My husband Dave has two great fears in his life. (BTW, he approved of me posting this!) They hold an equal grip of terror on his heart. The first is financial insecurity. Like many married couples, we love to disagree over money…spending, saving, clipping coupons, or how far to drive for the cheapest gas. When it comes to money, he holds to the “a little bit more” is what we need, and I hold to the “it will all work out, and that dress was sixty percent off.”
Some of what he believes is true….we have been in a time of financial stress that requires real sacrifice. But with the economy, our ugly friend anxiety has been hanging around the house a whole lot more.
The second fear is anything rodent-like, including but not limited to mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, squirrels, chinchillas, moles, and gophers. He shudders when he mentions any of them. When he was in college, a mice scurried across the upstairs hallway in his home, and he insisted that he had to sleep with his big sister (also home from grad school). In her bed. In her twin bed. The only thing that kept him from fleeing to his grandparents house was that it was the middle of the night.
So one fear seems big, one small. (no pun intended.) One fear is the stuff of self-help books, Oprah shows and sermons. One fear is the stuff of jokes, sarcasm and ridicule. Just as financial anxiety is our unwelcome friend, so are the scribbly, scrabbly animal sounds that have been coming from our attic. And after a dinner with the former home owners who explained their flying squirrel problem, it’s apparent that Dave’s worst fears have taken up residence in our third floor attic.
What’s a freaked-out rodent-hater to do? he googled “catching flying squirrels”.
“Oh Gosh!” he screamed from the study. “This blog says, ‘we trapped eight and that’s when we began to thin the herd!’” I heard his leg begin to jimmy, heel rapidly tapping the floor like an SOS. He relayed stories to me of flying squirrels on the walls staring down at the bed, flying squirrels scrabbling across people’s heads while they are sleeping, and flying squirrels hiding in shoes in the closet. He hit level nine panic.
We tried chlorine tablets to drive them away with the smell, but no luck. Dave resorted to shutting all the doors in the house, stuffing a towel in the small opening between the door and the carpet, and sleeping with a pillow over his head so no skin was exposed. We needed to take some desperate measures. So we started praying. Wanna know the rest of the story? Tune in tomorrow!