The day started out beautifully. The stove and dishwasher arrived on time and, without flinching, the loader guys hauled away the old stove. They didn’t mention the smell in the kitchen, but they were distinctly ashen-faced as they departed.
Then the electrician arrived. When I first called the electrician, I thought of it as a kind of courtesy. You know, the guy would show up, look at the plugs and say something like, “Looks good to me!” Okay. That didn’t happen. Why doesn’t it ever happen?
What the electrician said—or the only words I could understand—was, “We need to bring this place up to code.” Then he rattled off a battle plan that included pulling circuits “off the box” and drilling holes through walls and no, we couldn’t sheetrock anything, and no, he wasn’t coming back any time soon. And yes it was going to cost something.
As he ran to his truck, hand over his nose, he said, “See you next Thursday, Friday or Monday!”
In the afternoon, The Theory removed the rest of the sink. In another ingenious innovation, one of our farmer-husband had actually constructed the sink base cabinet around the plumbing. The Theory had to get in there with the saber saw, wielding it like a surgical scalpel until all the bits and pieces were removed. As he removed the final pedestal, he discovered the source of the smell.
I just want to pause here for a moment and confess that I didn’t actually SEE the dead rat corpses. The Theory claims they were strange, albino creatures, many decades old. But let’s just think about this for a moment, okay? I raised two children in that house. With those rats.
Under the dead rats were layers of insulation and rat feces. Think of it as a 14-layer torte of disgust. But under all that, guess what he found? Floor boards—actual floor boards!
The best part is that smell, that funky dead rat smell, is gone. And no, there aren’t any pictures.