First of all, Stranger was surprisingly in the news today! And the first part of this article totally makes it sound like I was arrested.

Should we be worried when something from Stranger is considered "newsworthy?"


So some of you may have read yesterday's post. And if you did, you might have noticed that I got a little carried away about things. And I may have proposed some violent solutions to what is most definitely the WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF ALL THINGS THAT HAVE EVER HAPPENED.

After I posted that, with the pictures that some have criticized as "inaccurate" and "false" and "absurd" and "impossible" and "Eli needs to start seeing all of the therapists in the world as soon as possible," I got to thinking that maybe I had overreacted.

Not to diminish the problem. Because, guys. A FREAKING RAT FROM HELL BROKE INTO MY HOME AND LICKED EVERYTHING AND HAD BABIES ALL OVER THE FURNITURE. Probably. I'm not sure that it did all of those things. But see, that's the problem! I don't know what it did because it had completed its job before I even got home.

So yesterday the landlord came by and put in a new screen and we got most of the chocolate cake out of the house and I thought ALL of the healthy things you're supposed to think after a tragedy about let's just put this all behind us and keep living our lives and the sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun, etc.

But it was all forced, because I didn't really feel those things. What I felt was despair. And instead of Annie the orphan, all I could hear was Anne Hathaway singing "I Dreamed a Dream" and I suddenly felt like I was a French prostitute on the brink of starvation. And then I thought of all the ways I would have added my personal touch if I had been cast in that role and then I was like, "NONSENSE! I'm not skinny enough for a role like that! Thanks a lot, food and laziness!"

I thought the best thing to do to help me get into a better place emotionally would be to leave the apartment for the evening. So that's what we did. We had an activity with the kids last night. Then on the way home, this happened:

Eli: Do we have to go home?

Daniel: You don't want to go home?

Eli: No. Can't we just go somewhere else.

Daniel: Like where?

Eli: Um. I don't know. Anywhere really. Like, I don't know, maybe, for example, like, oh I just thought of one place! What about the airport?

Daniel: Why would we go there?

Eli: To fly away and never ever come back to this part of the world ever again unless it's in a fighter jet and and we have come here to destroy the nation.

Daniel: Eli. Is this still about the rat?

Eli: He has a name!

Daniel: Oh? What is it?

Eli: Leotrix, duh.

Daniel: Ugh. Ok. So is this about Leotrix?

Eli: You don't need to use finger quotes when you say Leotrix's name. He's real, Daniel. And yes, this is about him. I don't want to live here anymore because of Leotrix. This island is too small for both of us.

Daniel: Eli, we have to just keep living our lives. We can't let . . . Leotrix control us.

Eli: Well . . . I guess as long as we keep the windows shut while we're away, it should be ok.

Daniel: Yeah, oh good. I'm glad you remembered to shut them tonight.

Eli: Excuse me? I thought you shut them.

**Ten seconds of terrified silence**


We got to the apartment a few minutes later and saw, to our horror, that Leotrix had returned with a fierce vengeance and had eaten a hole through the new screen. And he must have been pissed because the chocolate cake was gone because Daniel didn't save him a piece.

Pandemonium struck again and I no longer felt like I had overreacted yesterday.


Then Daniel came up with what is probably the most productive but WORST plan either of us has suggested. He filled a large water bottle with cake and water and stuck it outside with the intention of letting Leotrix get in and drown. He said he was going to sleep in the front room and keep watch throughout the night. I made DAMN sure he was aware that he was completely alone in this.

Eli: I want to make DAMN sure that you understand that you are completely alone in this.

Daniel: Why?

Eli: Daniel. What are you going to do if this plan actually works?

Daniel: What do you mean?

Eli: If Leotrix really drowns in that water bottle, are you really going to go out and gather it up in the morning?

Five seconds later Daniel went outside and brought the bottle back into the apartment and began cleaning it out.

So instead of trying to take matters into our own hands, I called the landlady again and I swear to you, this was our exact conversation:

Eli:  Hi Joy. Thanks so much for replacing the screen yesterday! The new screen looks great!

Joy: Uh-oi (This "word" is Palauan. It means every possible thing. It's the laziest word of all time and I never know what is being communicated at me when it is said. I always assume I'm being complimented.)

Eli: Thanks! That's so nice of you! Actually, I'm calling to inform you that Leo--uh--the rat came back and ate the new screen.

Joy: Uh-oi.

Eli: You're too kind! So . . .

Joy: Rat?

Eli: Yes. It keeps eating our things. AND WE DIDN'T EVEN LEAVE ANY CHOCOLATE CAKE OUT FOR IT!

Joy: Uh-oi.

Eli: Oh stop! Also I'm pretty sure it used tape to hang up a bunch of stuff and that's why some of the paint has been ripped from the walls.

So today when I got to the office and very calmly explained to my friend Brian that Leotrix had returned, he suggested that we retaliate and go to Leotrix's home and take something of his. So that's exactly what Daniel I tried to do today after work. We went to the dumpster area to take some trash. But we got freaked out when we saw this.

This is the outside of the garbage area.

This is looking into the garbage area.

~It Just Gets Stranger