Fat Rats and the Allure of Velveeta

Rotel cheese dip is something that, once I start, I simply cannot stop eating.  In fact, I contend that if I was a one of the characters who, with golden ticket in hand, had visited Willie Wonka’s fictional factory, my fat body would most certainly have plugged some tube there that pumped golden, melted faux-cheese and chili peppers through the place.  Augustus Gloop can have the chocolate.  I’ll take the Rotel.

cheese-dip-ingredianceFrankly, diabolical chemists at Kraft have apparently managed to molecularly infuse this concoction’s primary ingredient – Velveeta Cheese – with some mysteriously unnatural, irresistibly addictive property.  Think Winnie the Pooh and honey.  Oozy, steaming Velveeta, spiked with chopped tomatoes and chilies, is good enough with regular tortilla chips but when blessed to have it paired with Frito Scoops, the steam shovel of the chip world, hot Velveeta leapfrogs even marbled rib-eye steak, batter-fried chicken and deep dish pizza up the Food Taste Hot 100 Chart … with a bullet.

And now, the rest of the story …

It all started one morning last week when I noticed a hole in a golf ball lying in the floorboard of the front passenger seat of my Toyota SUV.  The hole appeared to have been drilled into the hard coating of the ball, and the shavings were still scattered around it.

“Those are teeth marks,” my wife, the lovely and talented Rothann, exclaimed.

I wanted to deny the obvious, but unless Lilliputian miners interested in the innards of golf balls had somehow infiltrated my vehicle during the night, clearly a rodent – a squirrel, a rat, a mouse (a big one) – had violated my sovereign territory.  And it had destroyed property.

I told myself that this was a one-time event.  Whatever had gotten in surely wasn’t “in” now.  The lovely Rothann and her skittish 11-year-old Maddux weren’t convinced.

“Something’s been eating the side of the seat!” Maddux incredulously exclaimed while Rothann, now standing outside the car, whacked her seat with an umbrella handle.  To avoid the imminent rodent horde that would, of course, be flushed out by his mother’s whacking, Maddux stopped, dropped and rolled to safety.  I was going to be forced to take action.

The first night I tried a basic, old-style mouse trap with peanut butter.  Sunrise revealed the results of my first direct encounter with our trespasser – trap licked clean, un-triggered.  After an ensuing two nights of more of the same, I stepped back and pondered the situation.

“He’s getting in and out for sure,” I thought.  “Or worse – he’s in there with me all the time.  Or worse than worse – THEY are in there with me all the time.”

rat-trapI ratcheted up my efforts and switched to a new-fangled D-Con black plastic, triangular, “hallway” trap – two of them.   Several more nights passed, and no hallway had been walked through as far as I could tell.  I threw it all out when I noticed the varmint had audaciously bitten into my seat belt strap.  It occurred to me that if he goes for a brake line, he may actually kill me.

The A-team theme song played in my head as I pulled my infested vehicle in at Rutherford’s Texaco.  I had a new battle plan, and it involved my Toyota being cleaned to perfection.  Of utmost importance, I explained, was that I not have a single Cheeto crumb or even the faintest dusting of powdered sugar anywhere inside my SUV this particular evening.  No, there must be only ONE thing to eat in my car, at least if the dashboard and floor mats aren’t counted.  Tonight carefully placed atop a heavy-duty rat trap – one powered by that ingenious human invention called spring-loaded steel – would be a juicy, bouncy, tacky cube of Kraft crack – Velveeta.

Dead Rat 016 - CopyThe following morning, as the sun rose to the first warm day in weeks, I expectantly opened my SUV’s right rear door, and visual evidence confirmed that my nocturnal nemesis had indeed finally met his end.  A steel bar crushed his not-so-little rat head during the night at his first and last taste of the human temptation that I had calculated he couldn’t resist.

Yes, the fat rat that eluded capture and elimination for weeks while yielding NO ground in his personal battle with Earth’s preeminent life form had finally succumbed … to the allure of Velveeta … as I knew he would.

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