26 April 2006


The first time I heard the crinkling, I thought it was coming from the kitchen. It was probably just a bag falling over, but uneasiness washed over me because no one was in there. When I heard it a second time, I realized it was coming from across the dinner table, but it was too late: anxiety was settling in.

I looked across at my Dad and requested he stop it.

"Stop what?" he asked.

"Whatever it is you're doing that's making that sound," I replied.

"What sound?"

For the moment, the shuffling had stopped. I sighed heavily. His hearing's not great to begin with, so he probably hadn't heard the sound while it was happening.

The swishing recommenced. "That," I said triumphantly. "Stop rustling your pants' legs."

I recognized the looks I was getting: Dad was baffled, Mom somewhat exasperated.

"You don't understand," I explained, "Every time I hear that sound it's like I'm having a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder flashback to when I had rats in my apartment."

"We don't have rats," Dad assured me.

"I know. I didn't say it was a rational reaction. It's just what my brain does when it hears that sound."

"You didn't have rats," Mom commented.

"Well, I never actually saw them," I conceded, "But there was a Tom & Jerry-sized hole behind my water heater."

"Oh," my Dad said appraisingly.

Mom joked, "It was probably just your neighbors."

"No," I scowled. "Neighbors didn't pull trash out my trash cans and spread it around." I stopped and took a breath. I could've gone on, but I really didn't want to relive the experience just to counter a joke. Clearly, they'd never encountered anyone with Post-Rodent Stress Disorder before. I see that now.

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  1. Sounds horrible. Let the sounds be heard ne'ermore!

  2. I had car rats once. I'm still traumatized.

  3. Scholiast: here, here!

    Tracy Lynn: oh god, I never thought of having them there. Well except for one night working in downtown LA when I feared they would get into the grip truck. That time I did see the rats, and they were large... ugh.

  4. i have that too! i had mice in my last house and they FREAKED me out with their crawling in the walls and peeing in the insulation (eww).

    i just got a flash and now i feel sick.

    :) sizz

  5. Ms. Sizzle: Doh, I didn't mean to make anyone else feel sick. And yet, it's good to know I'm not alone. We could start a support group. :)

  6. Maybe they were just mere little field mice. Why do you have to offend them and call them rats? Eeeew.