I'm what you consider an animal lover; I will stop on the street to pet outdoor cats, will stop people so I can pet their dogs, cry at the ASPCA commercials, watch cute animal videos on Facebook, etc.
But there's one animal that I don't like: street rats. I can't stand them. They scare me almost to death. Literally. It's to the point that I will not throw the garbage out at night because of the rats running around. But last week, I did.
I had some friends over the night before and we all accumulated a lot of trash. The next morning I was able to sleep in for the first time in months because I had the day off. A REAL day off - the kind where I didn't have to do ANYTHING. It was nice; I lounged around my apartment all day watching documentaries about the Colombian Cartel. I kept telling myself, "I'll throw the trash out later".
Well, later came and it was dark out. I had three bags of trash and it needed to be tossed in the bin by today. I put on my slip-on chanclas and windbreaker, grabbed the garbage bags, and went around to the back.
As I was throwing out the trash, I heard some scuffling and then squeaks. I'm not kidding when I say that I'm scared of these Chicago rats. I've grown up in the actual city of Chicago my entire life - I'm used to the smaller rats and the mice running down the sidewalks and alleys at night...but not Wicker Park rats. They're one level below NYC rats. In my neighborhood, they're roughly size of squirrels. I can't handle it. They're OC.
Anyways, after hearing the rat noises, I ran outta the alleyway/backyard so I could get to the safety of my apartment. But you see, there's a slick spot underneath the air conditioner. My theory is that it's a combination of mildew and moss from the air conditioner and hose dripping water in the same spot the whole summer.
As previously stated, I was wearing slip-on chanclas. Some call them "sandals", "flip flops", whatever; to-may-toe, to-mah-toe... it's all the same thing. Chanclas are not running shoes in the slightest. They're house slippers. When my foot hit that slick spot, I went DOWN... I went down hard. Very hard. I'm not a graceful person.
As I was going down, I am no Ke$ha and was definitely not yelling, "Timber!". It was more of the lines of me thinking, "I hope I don't break my ankle or arm for the fourth time". I've broken a total of fourteen major bones -- NOT including fingers or toes.
I felt like I was falling in slow motion, my arm hit the iron-steel-whatever-type-of-metal bars on the window that covers the AC. When my body hit the ground, I felt like I had every breath of air sucked out of my body.
I got up like a bat out of hell because I heard the shuffling and squeaking again! I was okay. No broken bones; just a sore arm and a huge hole ripped on the arm of my jacket. My favorite jacket.
Wicker Park rats: 1
Rodent photo source: Clker.com