Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I smell a rat...

This past month, on a very chilly morning, I turned on the heater in our car.  The heat was kicking out of the vent, but the loudest cranking sound came out!  It scared me half to death so I quickly turned it off.  We froze the whole way to school and work, and I just had a bad feeling about the bum heater and how much it would cost to fix it.  Geez, it is always something.  So, the cold days turned into not so cold days and we did not really even need the heater that much.  I had found out that the blower and having it fixed would cost nearly $700... we just did not have that kinda money to spend on a blower (we have to spend it on bills and food).  A few weeks went by, and then a month.  No biggie.

Last week, when I was pulling into the parking lot at my office I had some paper work that I needed to place in the glove box of my car.  When I opened it up I was so surprised to see insulation oozing out... everywhere.  It was a bit of a mess.  Then I had a light bulb moment (heater, noise, oozing stuff), this is what is causing the loud noise when I turn on the heater!  Yay!!  I quickly came to the conclusion that something foam like, that was around my heater thingy opened up and pushed out into my glove box!  I just needed to clean it out and all would be fixed!  Yay!  (O yeah, y'all probably did not know I have an imaginary side job as a mechanic and I know car parts, engines, and car noises).  Ha, not really.

As I am moving some of the insulation stuff out of the glove box, I noticed that some of the papers in there looked a bit shredded and burned (yes, I thought that they looked singed).  Then I begin to panic... my car heater has been kicking out so much heat and the insulation is not there to keep the heat in, but pushing it out to my papers and they are getting so hot and almost catching fire and this could have nearly caused my car to go up in smoke!  Eek!  We coulda died! (dramatic yes... but a possibility- FOR SURE!)  After I cleared out a bit more, I decided I should go and get a second opinion, so I get my friend Morty (not his real name, remember folks, I must protect the identity of my people... I just cannot have all 10s of you seeking them out (haha))!  So, Morty comes out, I explain how I have figured out the heater noise, but just do not know what to do about the insulation, and he walks around the door to peek in and says, "you've got a rat".  Very matter a fact like.
Ummm, I looked at him like he was crazy.  Hello, insulation bag thingy exploded... it was being pushed into glove box, singeing my paper stuff.  NOT A RAT.  Super disgusting.  Then I show him the singed stuff and he says, "um not singe... rat".  He encouraged me to take it to the auto place across the street, and I did.

As I pull my car in over there I start thinking of mice.
Sweet little mice.

Mice that help clean... cook... drive cars... make clothes.

I wonder which one I will have?
Maybe I will name him Mr. Jingles or if its a her Mrs. Frisby?
Anyways, I walk in and explain my situation again (refer to paragraphs 1-3).  Picture me explaining this to 3 men... 3 men who know cars.... 3 men who think I am a dodo bird and think I know jack sprat about cars and their parts (not "their parts... car parts").  There were a lot of hand movements and smiling (all me) and it was almost like I was talking to a wall.
I think that they were so shocked with my wacky explanation of stuff, and the fact that I could talk this much without taking a breath!
Finally, I stop talking.  One of the men walks me outside to look at the car, I open the door and show him the mess.  He just looks at it and says you have a critter. 
(Me)- A critter?
(Nice mechanic man who knows about car stuff)- Yes, something is in there.
(Me)- Well, there cannot be a critter, because I cannot smell it.  Therefore, critter talk is no bueno.
So, I start picking up my singed burned stuff (which does not have any burn marking on it) and I show him.  See, look, singe... burn... no good.
(Mechanic trying to not laugh at this silly woman)- those are teeth marks, something has been chewing on that stuff.  Also, the reason you cannot smell it, well, it is not dead.  It is still alive in your car.

Totally disgusted.
I started shoving all of the "singed papers" into a plastic bag to get them out of the way and then I see my Michael Buble cd... it has been chewed up too!  Who chews up Michael Buble?  What is this world coming to?  Is nothing sacred?!  Geez!  How does this happen.

I am still thinking that this "critter" that has taken up a short residence in my automobile is of the friendly nature.  I go back in to the shop to talk about how to get this mess cleaned up.  I tell them if there is a friend in there, if they could just get it, possibly put it in a box I can show my kids, ya know.  They pretty much tell me that will be a no-go option.  Fine.
I then give the option of catch and release.  They catch the friend and release it into a heavily wooded area (or just outside the door) whatev, I cannot come up with everything.  They pretty much laugh and assure me that it will be fine and I should not worry.

I leave the shop and walk across the street to my office.  I try to think of work only things, but all I can think about are sweet mice.  Now I would be an accomplice to murder.  Not good thoughts.  Then this picture comes up....
he is obvi not super friendly (and must be destroyed... that's right, I wrote that!)
It looks as if he died under the hood of the car and then was jolted back to life with the battery of the car.  That my friend is the "Walking Dead Rat"
The next things are articles about viruses carried by mice and then how you can remove a mouse from a car and let it go..... but it will possibly come back!!
I suggested catch and release!!
Then I see that these things will chew up car wires!
WHA??!  This thing is a menace!!

After a few minutes I walk back to the shop, because that is just what I do.  I am a hover-er type person, and I just wanted to make sure they were not packing this thing in a to-go box for me to take home!  My mind has been changed!!
Turns out, it had really been a critter of some sort.  This critter was not in the car any longer, but had made a nice little home!  How you ask??  Well, it had chewed up that insulation pad that helps to block noise from the heater, then had a collection of chocolatey ball candies wrapped in foil, skittles, and chex cereal!
I was dying!  Of course my critter would have hoarding tendencies (now possibly a diabetic)!
I asked where it got all of the treats and they looked at me like I was crazy.
(nice mechanics)- from your car
(me)- Wait a second, this has been in my car??  I thought my Aron had cleaned all of that chocolate candy off of the floor??  My kids had trouble opening it.
(nice mechanic)- I do not think your Aron cleaned any of it up...
(me thinking)-  vomit... vomit... scrub with bleach... vomit.  bleach!
At the tune of $40, my car had been fixed up.  I was so very appreciative.

How does this stuff even happen?
Y'all!  I have had some super strange things happen to me in my days, but mobile mouse motel???
-This is my life.