Drew Magary's Thursday Afternoon NFL Dick Joke Jamboroo runs every Thursday during the NFL season.
The Super Bowl bye week is here. Guhhhhhhh. What a fucking awful time to be alive. It's a single-weekend preview of the seven agonizing months you are about to spend without football. There's only one thing that can help soothe the anguish of knowing I'm about to experience a weekend without any meaningful football: KILLIN' VARMINTS. Yes, it's time for the annual Super Bowl Bye Week Animal Death And Occasional Poop Story Jamboroo. Join us now for several tales from brave men and women who willingly stood up to a bat/rat/skunk/toilet and lived to tell the tale! Off we go:
My junior year in college I lived in a duplex with eleven other guys. When we came back from Christmas break, we noticed some paw prints in the snow on the deck, and later saw a juvenile opossum that we promptly named Bandit.
Bandit became a problem once he started shitting on the back deck and digging in the trash, and a few of us decided at some point he had to go. One evening we were watching the NFL playoffs and one of us stepped outside. Lo and behold, there was a long, pink disgusting tail hanging out of a trash bag on the deck.
All of us were immediately alerted, and we came up with a plan that still haunts me to this day. We armed ourselves with flashlights and croquet mallets, kicked the bag off the deck and began alternating blows to the bag. Two of our more faint-hearted friends retreated upstairs and yelled, "Its Lord of the Flies out there!" from a window.
After a few hits we stopped, and one of us poked the bag. THE BEAST WAS NOT DEAD. It came flailing out, hissing and screeching with a broken back. I'm not ashamed to admit that most of us, myself included, dropped everything and ran like little girls. One guy (the quiet one!) stepped forward and dropped a finishing blow on its head. We then scooped it up in a shovel, threw it in the dumpster, and went back to eating ribs and drinking. I'm still terrified its siblings are out there looking for me.
I was hanging out at the baseball house one night my sophomore year. There were maybe 5-10 baseball players sitting around the house drinking beers and generally hanging out when a bat decided to crash the party.
The bat was screeching and swooping around in the dining room near the ceiling. After we all finished cowering and squealing, we collected ourselves. We put on our winter coats, pulled up our hoodies and put on stocking hats.
We armed ourselves with whatever we could find: tennis rackets, frying pans, and so forth and went to confront the bat. I will admit that as soon as I saw how fast the bat was moving and how demonic the bat looked, I fled to safety. Maybe a minute later I heard one of the guys yell out "HOLY SHIT, TIMMY". My friend Tim had killed the flying, enraged bat with a fucking fungo bat.
In my twenty or more years of playing baseball, that is easily the most impressive baseball feat I have ever "witnessed". In a related story, of the 5-10 baseball players in the house that night, Tim was the only one who ever got paid to play baseball.
Back in college a friend and I spent a summer working at a summer camp in upstate New York. One evening we walk back to our cabins and a skunk must have been under the steps of my friend's cabin, the sound of him going up the stairs spooked him and it sprayed the front area of the building. These are old cabins from the 50's with creaky floorboards and screen windows. These places were good for getting out of the rain if and that's about it. The skunk smell permeated the entire cabin and all the kids started freaking out.
So now there are 3 counselors and about 10 kids running around screaming while the skunk becomes more and more angry and continues to spray. Another counselor named Jon manages to lure it into a trash can and decides to drop a couple large rocks on it to finish it off. While lifting the first rock the skunk sprays him from inside the trash can.
I don't know how he was still walking but he runs inside and grabs his lighter and a can of bug spray thinking that he'll just cook the damn thing. Jon fireballs the trash can and the skunk retaliates in kind. He does it again with the same results. Finally he can't stand it anymore and tips the trash can over. The flaming skunk shoots out running under the front doors of the next several cabins, spraying the whole time and vanished into the woods.
We had the kids sleep on the floors in the back of the cabins that night. Jon had to head to the medical cabin for what I could only assume was a tomato juice bath. The next morning we had to throw out the mattresses from the first 4 bunks of each cabin and the clothes of those kids whose beds got sprayed. As far as I'm concerned all skunks can burn in hell.
I once lived in an old 1800's house in suburban Philadelphia that was somewhat infested by bats. Within the first year, my post-college drunken roommates and I killed bats with tennis rackets, window screens, and folding chairs. By year two it almost became mundane, we'd be sitting in our basement at 2am and a stray bat would appear flying in repetitious circular routes while we idiotically cheered the thing. We named him Pat the Bat because Pat Burrell was on the Phillies, and we were fucking morons. But none of this is really the point.
At Thanksgiving dinner that year I regaled my father with some of our bat stories (like the time my friend was passed out on the couch and he swears a bat landed on his leg), and yet my father was unimpressed. As a kid we lived in a small house that had a rear addition that spanned the entire width of the house. The room had numerous windows and loose screen doors that were ripe for bat infiltration. Well, according to fatherly folklore, one night, after my sister and I were tucked snugly in our beds a bat appeared flying in one of those repetitive patterns, back and forth, back and forth, along the length of the room. Dad, rose from the dinner table, grabbed a wiffle ball bat, crouched over the plate and began to time the pattern of the bat. Back and forth, back and forth. After another pass or two, Dad swung and deposited the bat into death's upper deck. My father swears the bat made contact with the far wall (at least 30 feet) at the other side of the room. The light in my Dad's eyes while he recounted the story (he was so god-damned proud of himself) told me the story had to be true.
A few years ago my wife and I were eating at an Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We were seated outside, a main draw to the place. Halfway through our meal, we hear a woman shriek as she points to a rather large rat ambling about the garden. Like other jaded longtime NY eaters, I laughed it off, because whatever, there are vermin in Brooklyn.
The rat (and I'm talking small cat size here) caused enough of a commotion with everyone that the place finally ushered out a bus boy with a broom to attempt to swish the little guy out toward the street. Instead, the rat hobbled over to the nonworking fireplace to hide in a corner. Then it got bad.
Another bus boy came out with a wood log from the brick oven inside. Mind you, the garden is mostly full and everyone has stopped to figure out what's going on. The armed bus boy then proceeds to BLUDGEON THE RAT WITH THE LOG, SPEAR-STYLE, jamming him into the fireplace. The rat emits this horrible cry (think a human baby on fire) over and over as this insane person batters it to death in front of everyone.
Women, who minutes ago squirmed at the sight of the rat, now cried for him to stop. And after about 12 blows, stop he did.
Most of us were aghast. Some left. A few minutes later, the owner came out with a shrug and poured those who remained free shots of limoncello. Nothing was comped.
I have never been back. Shame too, they often had decent pizzas.
A couple of years ago, we took our five month old firstborn across the country for Christmas with my family. The night we returned, my significant other, Dippy, thought the house smelled weird, and eventually we found a flour bag with a huge hole on the side. So, rats.
Apparently, there had been some flooding because of rain and it had driven rats into our area. We spent the next few weeks setting traps: it ate the cheese off the springy ones without setting them off, and left a single footprint on the gluey ones, Zorro style. It laughed at us. It was getting into the kitchen via a hole under the stove that had previously been used for running a gas line. We covered that with cardboard and a brick; it took the cardboard and spent the next two nights scratching at the brick with its paw (scariest sound I've ever heard). For weeks, we were terrified that we would turn on the video monitor one night and there it would be, gnawing our son's face off.
Finally, we found it one morning, racing around the kitchen. We cornered it in the bathroom, and Dippy asked me to shoo it out the back door, which I did. Dumbest move ever. It was back the next night. We finally figured out that whoever had installed the sink cabinet had neglected to put a backboard on it, so behind the sink was the naked outer wall, and direct access to the crawlspace under the house.
A few more nights of abject terror later, I woke up to get ready for work. I was the one going into work early and grabbing the kid from daycare right at 5, so I was up at the crack of dawn while everyone else slept. I can't even explain how terrifying my mornings became. I was sure one day this thing would be waiting on the counter, ready to leap at my eyes as soon as I turned on the kitchen light. On this particular morning, my brave and beloved retriever, all 65 fucking pounds of her, refused to go into the kitchen with me. Just flat out refused. Couldn't even be pushed in there. I figured the rat was out and about. I went in the kitchen, slowly, and heard rustling behind some paper bags that we stored in the empty space next to the sink where a dishwasher had once stood. There it was.
Being the brave guy that I am, I went back to the bedroom and asked Dippy to come help. I grabbed a Swiffer (the first thing I saw) and jammed the butt end into the paper bags. Jackpot. Something was there. I carefully removed the bags and used an empty egg carton to ram this bastard into the wall. It started trying to crawl into the cabinet under the sink, and from there to sweet, sweet freedom.
As I was holding it there and we were pondering our next move, the kid woke up and started wailing. It's like a switch went off in Dippy's mind. MAH BABY! She grabbed a knife off the kitchen counter (big 8-inch chef's knife) and rammed it into the rat's hindquarters.
The rat yelped. Blood was on the blade. The thing was still trying to get away, only now it was hobbled and pissed. It started to make progress and was halfway into the cabinet, only it was stuck there, so I did what I had to do. I put on an oven mitt (no sense getting rabies) and grabbed the fucker by the tail. It tried to hold on to the boards, but in its condition it was no match for my mighty arm. I pulled it out and held it in the air for a second. Dippy had been busy filling a large pot with water; I threw it in and she clamped on the lid.
Turns out, our pots and pans have domed lids, so no matter how much you fill them there's still room in there to breathe. The rat starts desperately scratching at the metal lid. There's no way we're risking this thing getting away or attacking, so we are not moving the lid. Dippy and I look each other in the eye, and we know what we have to do. We move the pot to the stove top and turn on the burner. She proceeds to hold the lid on there for about 20-25 minutes, until we see huge puffs of steam coming out. She takes the lid off. I fish it out. We put it on a cardboard box lid and take a picture for posterity. I take the lid out to the driveway and dump it in the trash.
The landlord fixed the back of the cabinets soon thereafter. A couple of months later, another rat moved into the detached garage. We were battle weary, so we struck a deal. It didn't try to come into the house, and we left it alone in the garage. It was still around when we moved a year later.
When I was in college, I worked as a manager of a concrete plant during the summers in Indianapolis. One year these Africanized bumblebees set up nests in the ground at my plant. They completely covered this small tree, which angered me, so I ran my front-end loader (a big Komatsu, totally badass to drive it, trust me) into the tree and the bees became infuriated, landing on the bucket of my loader and trying to get in the cab. Unfortunately, one of the cab windows had a big crack, and they were starting to find it, so I drove the loader at 30 mph into a pond in the nearby quarry to get the bees to go away before they could get to me. It was a temporary victory.
A few days later, I was driving the loader near their ground nests, and one of these big bastards (about hummingbird sized) flew into said crack in my loader window and stung me INSIDE MY NOSE before I knew what was going on. At this point I went Martin Sheen in the last scene in Apocalypse Now and lost my shit. I had a 10,000 gallon diesel fuel tank on my plant to fuel my loader, dump trucks, and the concrete trucks that I would batch with concrete, and I filled a 25-gallon drum with diesel fuel. I then went to the ground nest area and saturated the earth with fuel. I then lit the diesel with my old t-shirt wrapped around a 2X4 and soaked in diesel (it is more slow-burning than gas and makes a sustained burn), and thousands of burning bees took flight. I had a bandanna wrapped around my forehead as I watched the flaming bees fly around trailing little smoke trails as they eventually spiraled to earth, and I took pleasure in decimating their colony. I prevailed over the bees that year, but I'm not sure I did the environmentally sound thing.
To this day I am respected by bees the world over and neither I nor my family have been stung since.
Several years ago, I was living in a small apartment in Augusta, Ga. My girlfriend, who is now my wife, was visiting for the weekend and on this particular Saturday night we were watching TV or a movie when out of the corner of my eye, I see something scurry across the floor. Assuming it is a cockroach - they are frequent and huge in Augusta - I get up to smash it. But as I approach it, it takes off running toward the water heater closet. I think, "that thing is moving too fast for a roach," and that's when I realize it's not a roach, but rather a mouse.
I screamed like a girl, "It's a mouse!" and jumped onto the coffee table.
My girlfriend soon joined me on the coffee table.
After several minutes of shouting, screaming and freaking out, we calm down, get some shoes on and head out to the closest 24-hour Walmart. We head straight to the rodent killing section with plans to kill that mouse. But as we get to the aisle, I see they have these "Humane" traps that are designed to catch the mouse so they can be released into the wild later. This seemed like a great idea, so we buy two humane traps and head home.
I set up the traps as directed with crackers with peanut butter inside as the bait. We also checked the bed and under the bed for the mouse and put our shoes on top of furniture. I don't think either of us slept well that night.
The next morning I go to check the traps. Sure enough, the bait is gone, but there is no mouse in there. Now, I am pissed. My girlfriend heads back to grad school while I head back to Walmart. I purchase a pack of snapping traps and rat poison.
I get home and set up my trap. Since I saw the mouse go in the water heater closet, and since I am too much of a pansy to open the door, I set two boxes in front of the door to create a single channel for the mouse, and in that channel, i set the snapping trap.
I then start cleaning my apartment like it had never been cleaned before. An hour later, I hear the trap snap, and then a bunch of violent noise as the mouse fought against the trap. It lasted about a minute and sounded horrible. I suddenly felt awful for using such a violent trap, and I did not want to see the destruction. I finally found the courage to check out the mouse. It was so small and cute, and I felt horrible for killing it. I grabbed the broom and dust pan and move the box to sweep up the mouse and throw it away.
Then the thing starts moving. It wasn't dead. It's foot was caught in the trap. The sudden movement startled me, and I just stood there, dumbfounded as the mouse escaped and ran back under the door.
At that point, my sadness turned to rage. I set up all four traps in alternating directions between the two boxes and continued my cleaning. And then I waited.
Three days passed and nothing happened. I was getting quite frustrated. I couldn't sleep as I feared the mouse would climb into bed with me. And I kept snapping my fingers while checking the bait and traps. I finally reached the point where I couldn't wait any longer. I set up a barrier to keep the mouse from getting to the rest of my apartment, and I opened the water heater closet.
There was nothing there.
The mouse had climbed back down the hole it came in. I bought a can of expanding insulation and I filled every hole in that closet. Fortunately, I never saw that mouse again. I was defeated by a mouse.
When I was in 7th grade playing floor hockey in gym class, our gym was attacked by a ferocious bat. It was dive bombing the game, doing laps of the gym, scaring all of us (including the teachers) absolutely shitless. The game was stopped and we all retreated from the gym, and peered in through the strip of glass on the side of the door. After about what felt like an eternity, but was actually about 3 minutes we see the other door emerge and it's a janitor. The janitor entered with an empty trash can in an attempt to capture the bastard. He swung the can wildly whenever the bat entered his range but to no avail. What happened next is etched in my memory for life, he left the gym and returned with a badminton racquet. We all watched in silence as the janitor stood there waiting to make his move, when the bat dive bombed him. This janitor swung like his was on center court at Wimbledon and DRILLED this mother fucker. He flew about 15-20 feet and landed on the ground. The janitor walks over PICKS UP THE DEAD BAT, and deposits it in the aforementioned trashcan.
One time in college I got a call from a girl who lived about 3 blocks from me frantically pleading with me to come and kill a spider for her. Now, spiders freak me out as much as the next sissy, but there's a damsel in distress and if she was as freaked out as she sounded there could even be some sort of pleasurable reciprocation for my spider killing services. So off I went—a smile on my face and a spider-killing tune in my coal black spider killing heart.
When I arrived, she immediately hustled me in the front door, slammed it closed and said, "It's trying to get into the house!" This was my first real indication that I might be dealing with something a bit more intimidating than your run of the mill house spider here. She takes me to the back kitchen door and shows me where she has placed a large wastebasket in front of her cat door, because it was trying to get in through there. Through the cat door. Seriously.
At this point, looking and feeling much less macho than I did a few minutes ago, I gingerly pull the wastebasket away not at all sure what I met encounter. A goblin? Ash's hand from Evil Dead? There's nothing there. Thank God! Maybe this girl is just bonkers.
At this point her cat-really not much more than a kitten-starts trying to get out the door. It's clearly got the scent of something and it's going crazy. I can see all the way down to the doorjamb out the window and there's nothing there so I figure why not just let the cat out and see what happens? It's just a spider, right? So out goes the cat and out the window I see it do an immediately about face and stare intently back at the door. Is it on the door? So creepy! But no, the cat starts batting at the doorjamb, and after a few seconds these huge spider legs start batting back! Terrifying! Horror movie stuff! I may have screamed like a girl. I know the girl did. The cat is having the time of its life! Just batting away at its prey, because cats are fuckers and they love to kill shit anyway. But this thing is not going down without a fight.
Eventually the cat is able to completely extract the spider from under the door jamb and we finally get to glimpse this monster in all its horrifying glory. This is not ordinary house, yard or any other kind of random spider. This is either someone's escaped pet, or it took a ride from Brazil to the local grocer in a bunch of bananas. It was easily 4" across, including the legs. Hairy, grey with orange stripes on its creepy spider legs, and it was pissed off at this cat. I shit you not, it was advancing on the cat. Forelegs up in the air. I had the door closed, but assume it was hissing if not full on growling.
Now, at this point, both the girl and I are getting a little concerned about the safety of the cat. I mean, it was me who sent this cat out there to do a man's job and I'd be damned if I was going to let it get venomed, cocooned and masticated by this beast because I was too much of a priss to handle matters myself. So I mustered up what little courage I had left and did what had to be done. I picked up the door mat from inside the kitchen, flung open the door, hissed at the cat to get it to take off, dropped the mat on the demon spawn, leapt on the mat and did a Mexican hat dance for about 30 seconds. I could feel it crunch. It may as well have been a squirrel.
I was too traumatized to seek any kind of reciprocation that day. I advised her to call the police next time and left.
My aunt's family would hold a 4th of July party every year. At peak times, their house would have around 100 family and friends milling around. July is not a very fun month in New England with all the humidity, so most people would find themselves in their in-ground pool at some point during the day.
I was probably a freshman in High School at the time and I love swimming, so I was in the pool for most of the day and into the night. My back was to a corner in the deep end and it started to itch. I reached up to scratch and felt something rubbery. I remember thinking to myself "huh, how's that pool toy sticking to me?" I then tried to pull the assumed pool toy off.
As it turns out, I had just grabbed a bat that was clinging to my back with my bare hands. For the next second or two, I had an angry bat scratching/biting my finger (it didn't break the skin so I don't have rabies hooray!), and at that point I threw/slammed it into the water. I can guarantee that bat went out of my hands faster than any major league pitch. I swam to the other end as fast as I could and went to tell my family there was a bat in the pool and I had totally fought it and won.
For all the people at that party, not a single person saw me or the bat on my back. They found the bat at the bottom of the pool, and my uncle's father said I had probably killed it on impact.
I just graduated law school and my girlfriend and I were studying for the bar exam. One night with friends at a bar, the topic turned to embarrassing situations we'd had. My girlfriend told a detailed story about how, in college, she went to class despite food poisoning and ended up shitting her pants while she was rushing out of class to the bathroom. I apparently enjoyed her embarrassment too much, as she got pretty pissed at me for making fun of her. It's relevant that she was from the former Yugoslavia, whose people have held grudges against one another for thousands of years.
We made up and there was no mention of it after that night. About three weeks later we're sitting next to each other in review class when it felt like all of my bowels had collapsed at once, like someone had squeezed a tube of toothpaste. I knew I had to get out of there post haste. I had to go down a few steps to get out, and after the third or fourth step, I could feel warm liquid escaping into my underwear. I instinctively placed my hand over my ass on the outside of my jeans. So I'm hurrying out of the lecture hall, hand over my asshole, watery shit seeping out, with 150 people watching. I made it to the bathroom down the hall but the motherload still came about a half second too early, as I was taking my pants off. I shit all over the back of my jeans, my underwear, and my shirttail, as well as on the wall and back of the toilet.
I threw away the underwear and rinsed the jeans and shirt the best I could and had a long, wet walk home. A little while later, my girlfriend shows up with a devilish grin on her face. She asks me "so how does it feel?" She eventually copped to giving me a shit-ton of laxatives in my coffee that morning. I tried to see the humor her drugging me for revenge, but then I realized how fucked up it was and we broke up within days. I'm sure she's become a fantastic lawyer.