Stinky Tale of Hazmat in the House

The sequence of events and facts in the following story are absolutely true. The names have been changed to protect the, well, you’ll figure it out.


While I was visiting my dear friend, Ruth, and enjoying tea at her kitchen table, I noticed a rather large gap along the baseboard of her kitchen cupboard.  “My, that’s big enough for something to live in,” I remarked.  Ruth replied, “Oh, yes, I know. I need to fix it one of these days.”

Sure enough, within two weeks, Ruth began to notice some nibbling activity in her bread drawer. The nibbling extended to a loaf of bread, a bag of potato chips, and a package of crackers. Ruth is not one to faint at such things. Her feelings are that little visitors abound everywhere, and sometimes they do make it inside into the forbidden zones of people.

That’s not to say Ruth is tolerant to the point of letting the litter critter be. No. Ruth had a solution. She’s a very softhearted soul and wanted to trap the critter in a humane way. She couldn’t bear to hear the cruel “snap” of a trap. She opted instead for one of those sticky traps that purports to be a bit easier in the dispatch method (the critter gets stuck and will try to use its nose to free itself, thereby snuffing itself out in the goo.)

Her traps set and properly baited, Ruth went about her business. One morning a few days later she discovered that the sticky glue traps had disappeared!  Without a trace. Whoa! What size was that thing? Try as she might, Ruth could not find where the sticky glue traps had gone, nor any sign of the critter who took them.

A few days later, a smell of unenticing merit started emanating from the laundry room. Oh no, the critter did get trapped and passed away somewhere in the house. Yuck, the stinky source of that awful sickening smell could not be located. Ruth moved the washer and dryer. She checked all the cupboards. She cleared all the countertops (Ruth’s a bit of a collector). She moved everything possible at least twice, and still found no sign of the little stinker in the laundry room.

The stinky smell became unbearable.  Three days passed and instead of the stinky smell dissipating, it actually seemed to increase. Oh my gosh. What did Ruth get, a whole stinky colony?  Nearly two weeks were suffered with a hazmat quality stinky odor that permeated the laundry room and environs.  It was downright awful (and very strange, too).

Vinegar, baking soda, lighted candles, open doors, fans, and other methods of stink removal were used to little avail. Ruth tried once again to find the stinky culprit. She moved the washer and dryer again. Sniffed high and low. No clue. Her recycle bin was full, so she removed the lightweight hamper style container in preparation for a visit to the recycling center. “I like to put the bottles and cans in one by one,” Ruth relates. “The falling coins make me feel like I’m winning.”

While driving to the recycling center, Ruth noticed the same stinky smell in her car! It was following her! Tormenting her!  And stinking up her car, too. This stinking stink had to stop, she vowed.

After arriving at the recycling center, Ruth eyed her recycle hamper suspiciously, then proceeded to remove each plastic bottle and aluminum can with extreme trepidation and facial contortions. Near the bottom she found a puffy plastic bag, and gingerly removed it, all the while wishing she had a hazmat mask.

Inside the puffy plastic bag was a bloated plastic Ziploc bag that contained two portioned servings of rotting chicken breasts!  Apparently the frozen poultry had fallen from her refrigerator freezer door and landed inside the recycle hamper during a midnight ice cream raid in the dark by another member of the household.

Sufferin’ succotash! “Chicken-rat” became the best laugh of the week.
BTW — They are off eating chicken at Ruth’s house. (They may even become vegetarians.)

Happy Cookbooking,


(P.S. – In case you were curious, the sticky traps were never found, and Ruth’s bread drawer has not been molested further. And the hole is fixed!)

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One Comment

  1. This is hilarious! I enjoyed reading this post, as I have also had a similar experience to Ruth. Turns out I have an extra sensitive nose and was the only one in the family that could indeed, “smell a rat” Found the critter in the corner behind a cardboard box, though I suspect everyone else was ignoring it and hoping it would go away! As if!

    Many thanks for the laugh.

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