current | older | profile | links | rings | cast | reviews | quizzes
email | gbook | notes | host | image | design

Wildlife in my chimney
2004-07-20 - 9:41 p.m.

No, that's not a euphemism for something sexual. Although I suppose it could be. Get Richard Gere on the horn! But I digress.

Well, it happened again. It's been two years since it happened last, but it happened again. Some witless animal found it's way into my chimney / fireplace and proceeded to make my dogs bark almost incessantly.

The last time it was a squirrel, and we couldn't figure out how to get the stupid thing out. Until it had died. And really started to smell. If you haven't had the pleasure of the aroma of a dead squirrel in the middle of July, well then you're just one of the luckiest sumbitches alive, AREN'T YOU? Trust me when I say that it is a foul, cloying smell that can permeate an entire house. And I don't mean that in a good way.

We had to get a guy to come out to remove the squirrel when it had reached DefCon 4 on the major funk scale. It somehow wasn't in the fireplace flue itself, but in the "chimney box" that surrounds the flue. Our house was built in the 1980s, with no brick, so our fireplace flues are basically big metal tubes that go from the fireplace to the roof. Those tubes are surrounded by a big box that approximates the look of an actual brick chimney. Except it's covered with siding. Whatever. I call the damned thing a "chimney box", so sue me.

Anyway, we got another brilliant creature, this time a bird, into our "chimney box" just this past weekend. And you can hear the little bugger just scratching to get out. And more importantly, the dogs can hear the scratching. And they want to climb in the fireplace to kill the thing that is making the scratching noises. But they want to bark the entire time that they try to kill it.

So, my wife goes home early from work today to meet someone from the same company that we called last time. They won't let us down!

Guess again! A lady came out and discovered that it was a bird, but failed to get it out. And still charged us $85 for the housecall. Groan.

I'm notified about this when my wife calls me at work around 2:00pm to let me know that we're $85 poorer, but we still have a bird in the chimney, and by the way, THE DOGS HAVE BEEN BARKING NON-STOP FOR THE PAST TWO HOURS, AND CAN YOU PLEASE COME HOME TO GET THIS FUCKING BIRD OUT OF MY GODDAMNED CHIMNEY!!!

I might be paraphrasing, but probably not by much. She was clearly stressed, so I go tell my boss that I have to go home to try to get this thing out of the chimney, stop my dogs from barking, and save my marriage. "No problem", he says, so I head on home.

When I get home, my wife (God love her all over, as my Mom says) is quiet. Like she's at that point where she gets really quiet and really calm, and you feel like something really horrible is going to happen at any moment. One of those Hollywood movie moments where she's so calm it's scary. "Holly was sitting on my lap. I was holding her, but I had to let her go."


"I had to let her go."

Well, the dog's still alive, so that's good. At this point I try to sound reassuring.

"Okay, honey. I'm going to go change out of my work clothes, and then I'll see about getting that bird."

Fortunately for me, my paranoia was unfounded. I guess she found some kind of equilibrium, because she was pretty much fine after I got home. Although, when I was crouched on the floor trying to open the vent area at the bottom of the fireplace, I had a nightmare vision of her stabbing me with a large kitchen knife, all the while screaming that it was my fault that the animals were getting in the house. I think I've been watching too many movies.

Anyway, after screwing around with the bird for about ten minutes, I get the bird out of the fireplace. Well, it got itself out of the fireplace. And into the house. New problem. Fortunately, when I was disassembling the fireplace, I had my wife put the dogs outside, so at least they weren't running around the house barking and lunging at this bird.

So, on to opening all of the doors and windows on the lower floor, closing off all of the doors on the second floor, and trying to convince the bird to fly out of an open window or door. But the bird is having none of it. The bird's in the skylight, now it's in the foyer, then it's under the buffet table, etc. Well, we finally somehow get the thing to fly out of one of the open windows. Woohoo!

Now I just need to figure out exactly how the wildlife is getting in to the chimney, and figure out how to stop it. Which won't be too fun, because these animals seem to be Houdini. Except they're good at getting into things, instead of out of them. Okay so maybe they're not like Houdini.

Maybe they're more like David Blaine.

previous - next

want to get notified when I update my site?:
Powered by