... Of last night's 50% successful rat hunt was when, around midnight, I went to plug my computer in a matter of some three metres from the remaining rat's bathroom hang out. You will recall that my eldest son's two rats have taken up residence in the inacessible exterior casing of the bath. I had managed to catch the first rat, Peanut, fairly easily, with a little yoghurt and stealth and near-unhinged desperation. The second, Houdini, is both more intelligent and more UNBELIEVABLY MADDENING. By this time I had already spent several hours sitting on the floor with one finger tipped in raspberry Petit Filous tube in a vain attempt to lure him out, trying to write about Liège nightclubs with the other hand, without success.
I plugged the computer in. I sat on the bed for a few weary seconds and stared into space, debating my ill-advised life choices until I was raised from my reverie by a strange, dragging sound from the bathroom. Very slowly, very carefully, I got up from the bed and tiptoed over to the bathroom doorway. In the darkness, something was indeed moving. As my eyes adjusted to the gloom, I saw that the rat was in the process of dragging the raspberry Petit Filous tube I had left on the floor over to its bath hideout. The tube was about as long as the rat but it was making brisk, determined progress. I stepped gingerly forward, hoping to head it off before it disappeared. A floorboard creaked underfoot, giving me away. The rat turned, and stared at me with impassive, beady, 'fuck you' eyes. Then it continued on its way, Petit Filous tube trailing in its wake. It scrambled neatly up into the bath with its cargo and disappeared. Silence. I waited for another hour, lying on the bathroom floor, but it did not emerge again. Eventually, at half one, I gave up for the night.
I am sure that was not laughter I heard a few minutes later. It was probably the sound of all the brain cells in my head popping like soap bubbles.
I have a new plan for tonight. It cannot fail. By which I mean, it cannot fail or else I will be sectioned.