Sunday, September 09, 2007

In which I scream like a girl

[WARNING, probably not a post to read if you've just eaten. Or are squeamish. Or don't like the thought of something nasty in the woodshed]

I sell books on amazon. Not many books, and not for huge amounts of money. But every once in a while an email comes through from amazon telling me a book has sold, and I get to search on my 'books for sale' bookshelves and find the book, print the packing slip, stick it in a padded envelope, stamp on my 'white elephant' return address (that's my amazon seller name) and take it to the post office.

All well and good, especially since we have lots of padded envelopes and brown paper which have been collected over the years my parents have been married. For example, yesterday I wrapped up a book with some wrapping foam and brown paper (we didn't have an envelope that was quite the right size, and I hate using ones that are too big because that feels like a waste of materials!).

The brown paper was obviously from a large parcel, and on it was the original address label. It was addressed to my Mum, at the house they lived at before this one. The house they moved out of when Bekki was 9 months old. That's when I was minus two. That's a long time ago. We have lots of padded envelopes and brown paper (although not as many as we have before I started selling books. I've sold at least 100 books. In that time I think I've bought two packets of padded envelopes and haven't actually used any of the ones I bought, just got them because I couldn't resist buying 6 for 99p in the '99p store')

I have a number of envelopes in my office (well, the front room, where the computer is and one of the bookcases of books for sale) but I couldn't find one that was the right size for the book that I needed to pack up (remember my need to use envelopes that are the right size to avoid wasting materials). So I headed for the understairs cupboard where the rest are kept.

Having started to rummage I began to smell a certain smell. It sort of smells a little bit like a gas leak, but not quite. I had a feeling that I recognised that smell after experience I'd had already this week (which I won't go into because it wasn't at my house and I don't want to embarrass the people whose house it was). I said to my Mum "That smells like... . If I find ... I warn you I will scream".

I finally got all the junk\stuff\boxes\vacuum cleaner\plastic bags\rags (yeah, the next job is to tidy the cupboard and put all the stuff back neatly) and pulled out the box with the envelopes. The smell got even stronger. I looked in the box. I screamed very very loudly. I dropped the box. I was shaking. I had to go wake up my Dad to come and move the box (Since I'd screamed and dropped the box my Mum wasn't too keen to just dive in there and look, she preferred to wait for him to come and sort things out).

It was a dead mouse. Dead enough for there to be maggots. Lots of maggots. We decided that perhaps we don't need to keep that box anymore. Or those envelopes. We have plenty elsewhere.

I think in the time it's taken me to type this I have now stopped shaking. I'm really sure that I want to go back and finish tidying the cupboard, but on the up side my Mum said it doesn't really smell in the cupboard, which logically suggests that there aren't any more dead mice in there. I guess once I'm totally calm I'll probably cope with that sort of logic. After all, I was the one that started pulling all the stuff out of the cupboard. And on another note, does anyone have any good ideas for storage that work in under stairs cupboards?

(The picture was taken one day on holiday. HP and I was sitting in the car and decided to take pictures of us making various different faces. This one was meant to be worried or shocked, I can't really remember. But I thought it fitted the post!)


Kathleen said...

Once I pulled what I thought was a string out from under our dishwasher, and it was a dead mouse's tail... not to mention to run-ins I've had with live mice, like the one I found swimming in the dog's water bowl that one January... But My favorite is the time (many many centuries ago) a boyfriend came to visit at my parents' old house, and while he was there my mother had him remove a dead squirrel from the basement and also unclog our shower drain. Needless to say, our relationship did not survive.

Kathleen said...

My point is, of course, that as shocking and gross as it might be, one day it will just be a good story. We have a humid basement, but I can store things there by wrapping everything in oversized plastic bags - or putting smll amounts of things in zip-locs. They can be re-used, too.

HP said...

It was definitely worried we were doing, its just you that looks shocked!!!