Mosquito University's Church Attic
The mention of dumb birds in my previous post reminds me of a church I used to service as a pest control operator. Actually it wasn't a church any more, just a buildingit had been "de-certified", or whatever it is that Protestants do to remove the holy-moliness from a structurejust an empty building owned by Mosquito University during the period that I was working there. It's probably been leveled for parking space by now.
The only human endeavor still being practiced in the church (aside from my pest control) was work done by one of the physical plant shops (an Upholstery Shop) that was located there for lack of a better location. That unlucky shop was always being shoved into some arbitrary, run-down corner of some abandoned building; it had previously been located in the kitchen area of a huge abandoned residence hall. Except that workers never had to be there at night, it seemed like a haunted house.
The second floor was considered none too stable, so nothing was ever located up there while MU owned it. A few workers, like pest control, would go up there, but infrequently. Later, when there were no shops at all in the building, I still kept an eye on it, for roof rats would sometimes traverse the utility lines and infest the attic. I don't know what they were eating; maybe the church was used as a clubhouse where they brought their own food. Periodically, I'd place heaps of wax blocks of brodifacoum bait up there, tied down or suspended in various ways by baling wire. Most of the rodents died outside or somewhere deep inside the house, I guess, for I don't remember any major odor problem or having to remove corpses. I was killing by remote control, with no sense of the consequencesat least, at that location. I kept track of the rise and fall of their population by the droppings. I'd sweep them up once in a while and see how long before the droppings got numerous again.
Bird On The Run (Another Really Damn Stupid Story)
Another story from that church that I recall is not a pest control story per se, but a bird story. That's why we've just changed colors.
For some reason (I can't recall why) a sparrow got into the second-floor rooms and then couldn't get out. Possibly the bird had gained entry the same way the rats did, through the eaves and other typical unclosed spaces of an abandoned building. There were internal doors that had been left open, and those connected the rooms to the attic. I later closed those doors off, but first I had to leave all the exterior windows open in an effort to chase him out that way. Being a stupid bird, however, all efforts to herd him out by waving arms, brooms, or large pieces of cardboard simply resulted in him flying full-tilt and upward into the upper half of the glassthese were old-fashioned windows that favored sunlight, with a glass pane below and a glass pane above. At no time could both panes of glass be opened, meaning there was always a booby trap for the bird. So, blam Blam, he beat his small bird brain out against the glass, then he'd go from window to window and repeat it, blam Blam! I soon felt pretty guilty about chasing him.
Pity for the stupid bird overcame me and I finally just left the windows open for two days. One day he was gone, so I guess he finally found his way out or else died in that remote and secret corner of the darkness where the rats went to die! I closed the windows and prayed he wouldn't come back. If he had come back, I might have considered pitching a cat in there with him. Possibly it would have been a very unwise move, though; I have known abandoned or neglected buildings to become infested with cats, too! That's a real problem, yet you're not supposed to exterminate cats. Birds stay because they're stupid; feral cats stay because they're smart and love to vex you. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.