I’ve mentioned in passing here how much I hate owning a house, and how much I hate owning my current house specifically, but all of those feelings (and consequently my drinking and cursing) have been taken up many thousands of notches recently.
It started with my dog scaring a rabbit to death.
Actually, it probably started with the former owners of our house with a tiny little oddly shaped back yard planting a tree big enough to reach the moon and house an entire colony of tree people. That tree has ruined our deck, our foundation, and until we chopped it down with the gleeful hate of a thousand neighbors, our basement drain. So because our drain still has lots of chunks of that damn tree clogging it and I haven’t had the time to get down there and clean it out, every time it rains the drain backs up and we get a little bit of water down there. It always drains away after a day or so and only leaves a faint musty odor for a day or two as well.
So, this rabbit. Dog killed it, I, being the suburban goober I am and not knowing any better, throw the corpse in the trash. Oops.
And then it rains. A lot.
Did I mention my kids are incapable of ever shutting a door when they play outside leaving our house open to any number of critters?
So anyway, we have a rabbit corpse in the trash, a monsoon in our back yard, and a basement drain that doesn’t work so good.
The first sign of trouble came with the flies. They started showing up in huge clumps at the windows. We spent a few days swatting them, spraying them, vacuuming them and any other number of ways to make them go away. Our first thought of course was the rabbit in the trash. But there were no flies around the trash. Then we came home from work one day to an awful smell in the house coming from the basement. I went down and saw that after about four days, this batch of water hadn’t drained and was really starting to stink. So I sucked it all up with the ShopVac and bleached the floor and put enough deodorizers and coffee grounds down there to choke out the Black Death.
But the smell remained. Not as intense as before, but still pretty awful. So the next day we sent the kids out to my in-laws and I donned a respirator and gloves and went poking around in the basement. Guess what I found. Go on. Guess.
A dead possum. Ew.
So learning my lesson from the rabbit corpse, I threw the possum corpse over the back fence into the yard of the neighbor I’ve never met.
More bleaching, more deodorizing, more slight reduction in the smell. But it still wouldn’t go away completely. After sniffing around in the basement and following the smell trail up to under the deck, I figured the deck must be the source of the smell. That was immediately confirmed when I cracked open the first deck plank and was treated to a smell that could only be described as dirt-enhanced death. But no corpse.
After enlisting the help of my neighbor (the non-corpse deposited neighbor) and his power tools with free beer, we cut out a chunk of the deck playing find the smell. We never did find a body, but there was a puddle of standing water that smelled so awful it had to be the source of everything that had ever gone wrong with the house. I assumed it was a liquid curse and disposed of it as such. By this time the smell in the house had diminished quite substantially and I’m hoping what’s left is just delightful leftovers from the previous rotting goodies. My next step is to get a truck and take everything from the basement (up to and possibly including the cat) to the dump. If that smell remains, then it’s only a matter of time I suspect before there’s an “accident” that burns down the entire house.
And the weeds are back too. I wouldn’t be surprised if these devil weeds weren’t what killed the rabbit and the possum in the first place. And then possessed them to invade my house with their smells. Forever.