Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gopher Dad

Yesterday morning I went to my parent's house to remove the cabinets from their old kitchen. A friend wanted them for her house, so they had to be taken out carefully, so as not to damage them. Usually a sawzall and a sledge hammer would make short work of this project, but this was all putty knives, screwdrivers and wonder bars. It was a bit like a puzzle, once you take out the obvious support, you have to find the hidden support, and then realize you need to get that out to get to this, but before that can come out that other thing needs come off, and you can't get that off without removing those...pretty soon the entire house has been disassembled and is stacked in piles with nails sticking out everywhere, and the f---ing cabinets are still hanging there laughing at you.

I had four hours to donate before I had to run off to another commitment, so I was all business, HA! When I arrived my Dad was already entrenched and frustrated.
"Can you tell how those cabinets are still up?" He asked, indicating some uppers he had removed all visible screws from. I looked up and said...it's the soffit, the soffit was painted but it was wood and came down over the cabinet face and was nailed in about a hundred times. I began to pull it apart, but it was behind the crown on the door molding, hmmm, this is behind that! I found myself up on a ladder requesting this tool, then that, sweating and swearing, and Dad was scrambling to get me what I needed when he looked at me and said, "The tables have turned haven't they?"

We worked and worked on the hottest stickiest day so far this year and after removing the soffit from all around the cabinets discovered many dead and long dead, and long long dead mice up there. The odor was about as foul as it gets. Mom was grossed out, but relieved that she hadn't been imagining the terrible smell she couldn't seem to get out of the cabinets no matter what she washed them with. She'd even hung one of those pine tree car fresheners in there.

We had lunch and talked about social injustices, a high school student who was suspended for saying her teacher was a scumbag, in an email to some rat-fink friend of hers. Another girl who was suspended for taking control of the school bus when the driver passed out behind the wheel and safely pulling it over and stopping, because she was not a licensed driver. Then the woman who is taking the cabinets home with her, brought up a high school senior who was in jail for sexually abusing his dog, and posting video of it on the Internet. I didn't quite see the injustice there, but she claimed it was that he would be unable to graduate with his class. I couldn't help breaking out into a chorus of: "And they called it...puppy love". Then I went home and spent about an hour trying to get the smell of decaying mouse off me which seemed to be not unlike an odor tattoo.

21 comments:

citizen of the world said...

"The tables have turned haven't they?" I found that really sweet.

That's just insane that the girl, who should have been applauded, was suspended.

Baino said...

Ahhhh don't talk to me about mice! They're in the roof and in the walls thanks to all the wet weather we're having. The stuff we're baiting them with is supposed to make them run away . . .it's taking its time to work!

Quickroute said...

I remember clearing a chimney with my dad and a 2 month old dead crow dropped down the chimney with a thousand flies - freaked me out big time! Mice, flies, dogs (puppy love!) - fine - saving a bus and being suspended - WTF!

RED MOJO said...

cit, It was a sweet moment, at least for me. The world is full of injustices, but that one seems particularly nuts.

baino, sorry about your varments, ewwww...

quickroute, you win, that's nastier! I Know - WTF?!!

Slip said...

We had mice in this old house when I first bought it. Over the years "Wood Butchers" dropped the ceilings, some of them twice. You could hear the vermin running overhead. After restoring the beautiful 13 foot ceilings and repairing their ways in I have not seen another mouse in several years.

VE said...

I love the part about tearing it down to the foundation. That's exactly how I feel about any house project...it's just a secret dominoe effect designed to make me tear it down to the foundation. Maybe that's why I continue to have houses built to live in...everything is done (for awhile).

Charlotta-love said...

all this talk of students getting suspended...and I want to go back to school to be a teacher. lol

RED MOJO said...

slip, Nice, It's hard to find the tiny little places those f--kers get in through.

ve, It's never as easy as it looks! My rule of thumb for estimating is, multiply how long it should take by pi. That's usually pretty accurate.

charlotta-love, Finally someone who will fight for right in our school system! Just kidding all you teachers out there who read this. You're doing a great job! Don't check my grammar.

Craig D said...

Dead mouse stink?

I sympathize with you.

A mouse died in my office at work once. Maintenance couldn't find it. The stink would be in my clothes by the end of the day.

It finally rotted and dried out to the point where it stopped stinking, though.

I don't work there any more...

Natalie said...

ewwww...i can't imagine finding dead MICE in the walls. we had mice once and one fell down between the walls and died. we knew it. we smelled it. but there was nothing we could do about it short of tearing out the sheetrock. we just closed that bedroom door and waited. thankfully it was the extra bedroom so nobody had to be rearranged. it was nasty. i can't imagine if it had kept happening. glad your mom found out what was causing the big stink!

RED MOJO said...

Craig, the do stink less when the carcasses are old, but even when they are just skeletons, they have a nasty odor when they aren't encased anymore.

natalie, yeah, it's a hazard of the job. One I don't deal with very well, unfortunately!

Anonymous said...

Hhehee, hope the odour tattoo has washed or sweated away by now, Red Mojo! Hope the next appointment wasn't one where smelling sweet was essential! Reading about the cabinet puzzle put how fustrating it must have been, but your Dad's 'moment' must have made up for it all :)

TheWeyrd1 said...

Now I will NEVER be able to listen to my old Osmond album without that vision in my head...eww ick...that's as bad as dead mouse smell!

Dorky Dad said...

Excellent first paragraph. Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. That's exactly how I'd picture me taking down my cabinets.

Why no pictures of the mice, huh? Afraid to gross a few people out?

RED MOJO said...

Anon, Yes...it did finally come off! It was an especially nice moment with Dad.

theweyrd1, Yes, you can stop playing that now! Thank God!

Dorky Dad, Thanks. I consider that a great compliment! Yeah, they were mostly just nasty little skeletons! Ewww.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

An odor tattoo!! Oh, my. Now my worst fear is that the odor tattoo next door will be a permanent cosmetic.

And I wouldn't consider that puppy love but more, puppy lust.

RED MOJO said...

heartinsanfrancisco, yes, puppy lust...but no song for that!

Debra Kay said...

Oh, poor boy, dead a demented thing, bragged about it, and now has to SUFFER? Maybe the new "saying I'm sorry makes it ok" is "posting it on the internet makes it ok"...but the original one didn't fly with me either.

Dead mice-sometimes one of the snakes will decide not to eat-but it goes out in the morning and they just have to wait till the next feeding if that is the case. Just in case you are worried, snake poo (which is digested dead mouse) smells nothing like an uneated stinkin dead mouse.

Debra Kay said...

did DID a demented thing.

RED MOJO said...

debra kay, I knew what you meant, and I have no sympathy either!

tsduff said...

I'm very sorry - I commented on your post a long time ago, but it seems I'm having some issues with my aol address lately on MANY of my favorite blogs... grrrr. So , I don't remember what I said, but I'm sure it was about gross dead mice. I'd so much rather have dead mice than *shudder* those GROSS, awful, horrible, vile, insects that crawl around in dark places and scuttle away when you turn on the light... ugh!!!!