This is potentially the most random/awkward first post in the history of blogs, but that's how I do.
I live in an apartment that is riddled with problems. Negligent would be an improvement for our landlord. I am virtually waiting for the place to be the death of me. Among oh-so-many other issues, we've had a recurring rodent problem (through no fault of our own). We did get an exterminator out at one point and we're generally clean, but rodents are stubborn little fuckers and without constant vigilance for the entire building, they're not going anywhere. We'd been hearing them in the walls but since they were only inside the walls and not inside our apartment (shitting on my bed-- YES, this actually happened) we sort of just figured we'd live with it.
Imagine my reaction when I heard a rat chewing its way out of the wall behind our stove. (Hint: there was a lot of screaming, flailing, and incoherent yelling as I ran away. I'm no pansy, but I was alone in an ambush.) These are not pet store, cartoon-villain rats with New York accents and kicky caps. These are big-ass, fuck-off, your-pathetic-traps-don't-slow-me-down, hang-out-in-front-of-your-window-in-broad-daylight-after-you-doused-the-area-in-bleach rats. They don't fear humans. Or anything.
So I collected myself, put on big shoes, and ventured into the kitchen with a broom and a flashlight as protection. It was definitely not in the wall, but in the kitchen. I could hear it eating, including, at one point, eating a soda can.
So, to protect myself (and my peace of mind), I set up my advanced rodent containment system:
Yes, candles. Super ghetto. And the rat could obviously jump them, but how many rodents do you know that fuck with fire?
Eventually my roommates came home and we set up traps and duct taped cardboard across that threshold (so we'd at least know if it got out beyond the kitchen) to hold us until the exterminator came back the next day.
I'm a problem solver like that.