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VTMAS No.63: Polly & the Rat

I’m starting to learn that when I suggest something out of humor, I must be cautious to whom I give these snarky bits of humor. As we know it, in “VTMAS No.31: Who Did It?” that my intended joke can go further than I could ever expect. Imagine my surprise, when this very thing unfolded in the presence of my Mother-in-law, Polly.

She has a wonderful garden out back, a deck right out her french doors next to a huge camphor tree whose base is wrapped with a purple passion flower vine which blooms all year long. A footpath circles the parameter, leading you along hibiscus, camellias, mexican petunias, and more. At the right time of year, I lose myself to taking photos of the blooming flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors.

On this gorgeous sunny day, I found myself out on the deck with Polly and her sister-in-law Karen, chuckling and chatting away. The sky was wonderfully blue and a breeze was just strong enough to take the edge off the Florida heat.

“Man, Polly.” Started Karen, cuddling with her chihuahua mix. “Today would be a good day to grill out.”

Polly made a face, twisting her lips as if something sour had hit her tongue. “I would, but the rats have taken over my grill.”

“Rats?” I questioned. “When was the last time you used the grill?”

“It’s only been a few months.” Getting out of her chair, she marched down to the grill. “I think they moved in and had babies.”

“Gross.” Karen shuddered. “Time for a new grill.”

“But I really liked this one.” Pouting, she slowly opened the top. “ACK!”

The grill lid slammed down and Polly leapt back.

Laughing  I asked, “Their still home, huh?”

“He’s in there!” She exclaimed wide-eyed. “A big ole white and brown spotted one. There’s a bunch of grass… I think there might be babies!”

Karen and I were in tears laughing over her. She dug around the patio for a minute before producing a green plastic wiffle bat left behind by the kids. Edging back towards the grill, she held the bat high, ready to battle the unwelcomed guest just under the grill lid.

“Ha!” I was trying to catch my breath. “I don’t think that wiffle bat would harm a fly, Polly. You might as well burn them out of the grill.”

A sparkle in her eye killed the laughter and she dropped the wiffle bat. “Why didn’t I think of that!”

Much to our horror, she set the gas on high and with far too much enthusiasm, hit the ignite button. Flames burst to life, the lid popping open slightly to belch out the flames. Squealing came from the grill. A half toasted rat came running out the backside, leaving a trail of smoke behind as it ran to hide in the unreachable parts of the patio’s underbelly.

“Good Lord, Polly.” Marvelled, Karen. “I didn’t think you would go that far.”

Blinking a moment, I started laughing again. “I was just joking! Wait till Justin hears what his mother did today.”

Karen started laughing. “I can’t believe you did that…”

Polly burst into a riotous giggle. “Well, you said it was a nice day to grill out!”

We probably spent a solid hour chuckling over the whole incident, cracking puns. I even managed to take a picture of her with the wiffle bat and the grill sparking to life, but I can’t find the photos!! Shame on me!

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