What's That In My BBQ!! - Maybe I should use it more often??!!
Why me, Why now?
The other day my stepdaughter was up for dinner and I decided to try my hand at the BBQ once again. I am still learning and you might ask "how does one reach this age and not know how to BBQ". Well first off I am not telling how old I am, but I will explain that my husband, who always handled the BBQ passed away a couple of years ago and I am trying to master this dubious way of cooking. It is after all a brand new piece of equipment bought just at the time that we were finding out about his illness and so it was never used much. Here it sits on my brand new deck, begging to be used.
So I prepared what I thought would be simple - hamburgers - after all what could go wrong with that. And it doesn't hurt that Paula is not a fussy eater. She will usually eat anything and everything that I prepare, not being much of a cook herself. I should add in my defence that I am a pretty decent cook - in the kitchen - and so that is where I always prepared and my husband took care of the outdoors.
I was actually feeling pretty good because I had in fact tackled it a couple of times through the summer to practice on myself. The time had arrived; Paula was here and we each had a glass of wine - Pinot Grigio (a favourite of both of us) in our hand and we went outside to light the BBQ. Remembering the basic instructions, I lifted the lid to get ready to fire it up and just stared, stunned, and not quite understanding what I was seeing. There, nestled under the grills and below the units that bring in the gas sat a great big wad of dried twigs and grass. Looking at Paula and then back at the mess in front of us I blurted out "what the heck is that" and then immediately a vision ran through my mind of the last time I had used the BBQ, just three weeks before - and remembered something scampering off and down a space in the deck when I lifted off the cover. A mouse!! Damn, we have a mouse nest in my BBQ!
Now I Feel Guilty - But Not Really!
Now, as it happens a neighbour across the way has just come out on his deck to light up his BBQ. As we are in a townhouse complex we are in close proximity so I can call over to him without alerting the entire neighbourhood, and with a terrified voice I do just that. "Jim I have a nest in my BBQ". He replies "a hornet's nest?" - and then "I'll be right over". Up on the deck he comes, has a look and then says can you get me something - a pencil or something to lift it out with. Meanwhile Paula who is an animal and everything flying or squirming kind of lover is saying "Look there's babies in there. Don't kill the babies; put the nest down near the end of your deck so the mom can come and find them".
At the same time I am telling Jim "I'll do better than that - I'll go get a bag, my garden gloves and trowel" - all of this much to the disgust of Paula who is now insisting that she is getting not only upset but is definitely getting mad at me. Am I supposed to feel guilty? Do not all of God's creatures deserve a chance to live? These are only babies after all! It doesn't take me long to say "I'm sorry but I am not putting this nest down beside my deck, so the mom can come and find them, and then next thing I know they are all having a party in my house. Paula's retort - "Well that's why you should get a cat"!! Bless her, but sometimes I just do not try to reason with her.
The Next Day
Well we got through that night with Paula deciding that she would still speak to me. I think the Pinot Grigio had something to do with it, but whatever works is good. And I could just hear her father saying "For God's sakes Paula, don't be rediculous, they're rodents". In fact when I told Jim that upon first discovering the nest I immediately said "And Craig just where are you when I am needing you". His comment was "He was standing right here next to you, laughing". And I didn't doubt it for a minute.
The next day I got the bright idea that I should ignite the BBQ and burn everything off, sort of a sanitizer. Before I did that I recalled that I should once in a while take out the little container that sits under the BBQ, where the grease drops into, to empty and/or clean it out. Reaching underneath I released it from its holder, pulled it out and looked inside to see two tiny baby mice - dead - inside. Now, it's a good thing that no one was out on their deck at this time because they would have seen me holding this little can with two tiny mice in it - out at arms length, hopping around and saying "Oh s*** - over and over again, finally taking it through the house and out into the garage to dump into the garbage.
This story actually had a bit of a bizarre twist to it because just a week before while having coffee with a good friend she commented that she wanted to get out and get a new BBQ. This time she wanted a small one that could just sit on their outside table because in fact they had not been using their old BBQ very much and mice were trying to nest in it. What? I had never heard of such a thing. Indeed in all of the years that my husband had BBQ'd I'd never heard him tell of it. Maybe it had happened and he had not mentioned it, not wanting to freak me out. Who knows? But what are chances that she would be talking of this just a week ago and it would happen to me!
So now, I have put one of those little Cascade dishwasher sachet packets into the grease cup under the BBQ hoping to deter another mother mouse from using my BBQ as an incubator. Another thing I do is, if I'm not using my BBQ, every couple of days I check it out to make sure nothing else is going on in there. Once is enough; I don't want to repeat that again. So far, so good. Who knows; possibly the Cascade is working.
WOW - A Nomination for a Nugget
I have just found out this Hub is one of six to be nominated for a "Nugget" for new writers. I will keep my fingers crossed. But even so, It is nice to be nominated and it even makes having that mice nest in my BBQ worth it - somehow? Naw -well maybe not!