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I dress people for a living. This means I am privy to a fair amount of disgusting information about their various bodily functions. I've picked socks up off an actor's dressing room floors that were so wet, sweat dripped through my fingers. I've scrubbed excrement out of more than one man's thong, and I've been frantically called to set in order to "Please cut this dancer's tampon string ultra-short, because it's hanging out of her leotard."
But all of this disgustingness pales in comparison to one single, shining day: Thanksgiving 2012. After enjoying a lovely lunch with a few pals at a fancy L.A. restaurant, I headed home — where I promptly passed out on my brand-new, custom-made, many-years-of-saving-for-it sofa. (Making sure to remove my bra and panties for maximum comfort before this well-deserved snooze, of course.)
I slept for the better part of an hour — but kept waking up, wondering to myself: "WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT HORRIBLE SMELL?" At first I ignored it and just rolled over, but the second time I woke up, I flicked on a lamp by the sofa and padded into the kitchen to see if the trash needed to be taken out.
You guys, it wasn't the trash that smelled.
Satisfied, I plopped down on the couch and fell back into a blissful mashed potato and pumpkin pie coma. But somewhere around the third time I was jolted awake by a terrible smell, I decided to find the cause of it once and for all. I got up, put on my boots, turned on the overhead light, and started looking all over the house, letting my nose guide the way.
Wouldn't you know it, turns out there was actually a smooshed-flat, many-hours dead, guts-oozing rat right on the couch underneath me the whole time I slept. I'd been blissfully rolling and grinding on a dead rat with a full Thanksgiving belly for the better part of an hour.
I instantly ran screaming out of the living room and into the backyard, trailed by my half-asleep boyfriend, who would not stop asking me: "WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU RIGHT NOW, PLEASE TELL ME, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU RIGHT NOW, PLEASE TELL ME," in a very loud, yet surprisingly calm voice.
As I really, truly began to absorb what had just happened, I turned to him and quietly asked: "Is there a wet spot on the back of my dress?" Peering closely, he said, "Um, yes?"
I pulled my dress over my head and tossed it into the neighbor's yard in one fluid motion, leaving myself completely naked (except for my cowboy boots) before the word "um" had even passed his lips. As I sat down on the concrete and cried, visions of rat guts seeping into my flesh, he mercifully made an executive decision to toss the entire blood-stained blanket I'd been laying on (with the dead rat rolled up in it) right into the garbage can. I never did see that dead rat again, but now I kinda wish we'd kept the dumb thing and turned it into a rat-copter:
I pretty quickly deduced that the rat hadn't just curled up on my sofa for a nice winter's nap and then suddenly died of old age — my (since deceased herself) furry feline, Sasha, had brought it into the house to appease me, her noble queen. She smartly deposited it right where she knew I'd find it.
I briefly considered being mad at her for it, but one doesn't just go around looking a gift rat from a cat in the mouth. It's as close as you can get to achieving undying devotion from your loyal cat subjects. And you know what? My neighbor never did ask why a dress he'd clearly seen me in a dozen times ended up draped over a tree in his backyard.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison
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