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» How clean is your house?

There's a rat in my bathroom (what am I gonna do)
OK, I'll be up front and admit that this isn't my story but is a re-telling of a story of one of my friends who we shall call V (for that is the initial of his name) from the halcyon days of my University in the mid-90's.

In our second year, we had all had to face the trauma and excitement of leaving halls of residence and moving into our very own student houses. V, along with a large group of lads had taken up residence in a house on Edgbaston road in Birmingham. Now this house, like many student places, was not the pinnacle of designer chic, but when they moved in had been big enough, and clean enough for their purposes. The only weird thing was that the kitchen had a fridge in it. And so did the downstairs loo. Anyway, over a period of 6 months of parties and returning from bars and clubs in variously mangled states the house began to take on that special student odour of putrifying kebab, which in itself is no big deal when you are 19 or 20, male and perpetually drunk.

Anyway, the days turned to weeks, the weeks turned to months, and terms and holidays slid past. Fast forward to the Easter holiday....

Easter had been a gloriously warm spring break. The various members of the house had all returned to bask in the warm embrace of their families for 4 weeks of home cooking and motherly love. I can only imagine that for V this made what was to come all the more traumatic. As the holidays came to an end and students began to return to university, V found himself standing outside his front door, key in hand and the first one to return to the house. He opened the door. V recounts that he noticed the smell the second he crossed the threshold; the high, sweet, sickly odour of death beneath the floor. Now V knew that they had had issues with mice and set about the unenviable task of trying to find the corpse, hoping that it would be under a kitchen cabinet or behind a sofa. Using his nose he began to sniff, terrier like, around the house to find the offending detritus. After a few minutes of work he found the smell was concentrated in the downstairs loo...this was odd. The pan, while filthy, was not a dead mouse. The strange toilet-fridge was closed, working and smelt as acceptable as student fridges can...but the odour was definitely emanating from the room. Thinking that perhaps the mouse was behind the fridge he decided to wheel the fridge out of the room to inspect underneath it.

It was at this point V puked for the first time. As the fridge was wheeled forward there was a sloshing noise of water spilling and a wave of putresence filled the house. Gagging, V looked around the back of the fridge. Now for those of you that clean behind your fridge you'll know that there is a bucket thing where all of the water that condenses in the fridge drains to. This bucket is normally sat near the pump and heat exchanger so that the warmth from these parts of the fridge help the drained water evaporate. This is a fine piece of design. Unless a rat has become stuck in that bucket and drowned. At this point the warmth and wetness becomes a machine for creating rotting rat soup. Despite the stench V knew he had to remove the contents of the bucket and thinking fast he armed himself with a stick and a bin liner. Using the stick he planned to fish the rat out, dump it in the binliner and run from the house to the bin. He had not, however, accounted for the reduced structural integrity of the rat. The stick went through the rate like a laser through butter. This in turn filled the water with an even headier combination of rat and maggots . Finally realising the power of cleaning products he decided the smart thing to do was to dump a bottle of bleach in the bucket and retire from the house for a therapeutic pint before having to scoop the flesh from the bowl with a (gloved) hand.

V still has a touch of thousand yard stare about his eyes 15 years later.

YAY! That was my first QOTW answer.
(Tue 30th Mar 2010, 10:09, More)