Let me just preface this by saying, if you get easy queasy, maybe you shouldn't read this column. If the use of dead pig heads on "Mythbusters" to demonstrate various bullet theories makes you punch blindly at the remote buttons until you end up on Telemundo, maybe you should do the Jumble instead.
I am by no means a girly-girl. Don't let my penchant for dresses and skirts and supreme ambivalence about pants fool you. I can be gross. Just last weekend, I went squelching through mud that was probably highly concentrated in goose poop to take out my kayak and proceeded to mingle with filthy, disgusting nature. I touched live carp, the slimiest fish in the lake. I fished garbage from who knows when out of the lake as I rowed by (being green isn't always pretty). An errant toad that found his way into my boat was carried back to his home in the woodpile. And I'm pretty sure the five-second rule was observed at least once. I watch horror movies, fish, handle raw meat and treat blood with the same indifference as I would any other liquid.
Besides the icky-nasty things in life, I am un-girly in that I am fiercely independent. I know, it is unfair that being a girl can sometimes be synonymous with being unacquainted with things like hammers, fuel pumps and professional wrestling. I don't want to perpetuate a stereotype that being a girl means living in a crystal hamster ball that is constantly wiped down with Lysol, and you are rolled around by men who occasionally toss in rice cakes and shoe-shopping money. I mean, women have babies, and babies are some of the grossest things in the world. But they're cute, so it evens out.
I will unclog my own darn pipes, thank you very much. Building Ikea furniture, bring it on. Dark alleys, you will be walked through. And when gunshots ring out, I don't panic, I just call 911 from the closet.
But there are some things that hit my deeply buried inner-girl core. Some things that I can't bring myself to be tough about. And these "some things" are DEAD RATS.
Sorry, Willard and Michael Jackson, I'm with Sean Connery in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." Rats are gross. Not the ones you keep as pets (you weirdos), but the oily, gnarly field rats that come into your basement of your 100-year-old house when you are experiencing a ridiculous amount of rain for May and die on the bottom step and may or may not have been mangled by your cat. Those rats.
When I saw this horror, I froze in disbelief. I'm no Holly Homemaker, but I had never had so much as a roach or mouse before. But with this rain, even my parents found a mouse in their house, and they have a Roomba. I immediately tried to talk myself out of taking care of it right away. I was in a hurry! I had no time to find a 20-foot pole to push this thing into some kind of box that would disappear so I wouldn't have to carry it to the trash.
So after I left, I spent the day appealing to every guy I saw to come and take care of the rat for me. Old roommate, no dice. Ex-boyfriend, nuh uh. Friends, neighbors, countrymen, no help at all. Geez boys, I thought you liked this kind of stuff. Saving a damsel in distress is, like, the top thing you can do.
Though my quest to find a sap, er man to come rid me of this post-Rapture pestilence was all for naught, I am happy to say the rat has been taken care of. But it was an opportunity to confront the impulse to run to a guy to take care of a problem and to seriously think about why girls get these impulses despite years of training to the contrary. Sure, your loved ones would want to help you when there's a disgusting problem, but it is because they care about you, not because you're a woman. Funny, how a dead rat can lead to a serious discourse about gender roles in society. But not haha funny. Never haha funny.