My days seem to "hang a left" more often than not lately and veer farther from the path than usual. Not like I ever really expect things to go exactly as I planned, but I’d kind of like to stick to the script as much as possible. This one went way out in left field, but I’m getting ahead of myself. 

We’ve been having problems with a ferrydiddle in the wall of our house. We can hear it scratching and digging, driving our Beagle Boy Cletus crazy. He barks and carries on, tearing at the walls. 

The ferrydiddle has chewed two holes clear through the drywall. I was worried it would chew through our wiring and set the house on fire or die in there and stink so bad we’d have to move. 

So, I googled how to get rid of a ferrydiddle in the wall. Google doesn’t seem to know the term "ferrydiddle" and gave me results for squirrel issues. Close enough. It’s in the squirrel family.

I discovered we could buy things to plug in that send out a signal that is unbearable to rodents (mice, squirrels and ferrydiddles) but undetected by humans and canines. They range in price from $15 to $150. 

We got the three for $15 kind. We plugged them in the minute we got home from the store, after we managed to wrestle them out of that indestructable plastic container. They lock that stuff up like there’s a million dollars stashed in there. You practically need a Sawzall to open plastic packages. 

We heard the tell-tale scratches of a ferrydiddle in residence and then it just quit. And we hadn’t heard them since. With campground season upon us, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take one of the three out there, maybe scare off a chipmunk or two. 

I should’ve waited until payday when we could have bought three more because a couple of days later, I heard the unmistakable scratching, only this time I thought it was coming from inside the kitchen cupboard.

Oh no, it’s in the house! Cletus will go crazy, the house will be destroyed as he hunts it down. I’ve seen those AFV videos on TV. 

Ever the brave one, Dave walked in and whipped open the cupboard door. No ferrydiddle. Just scratching noises from the wall behind the cupboard. I went and got one of the remaining plug-ins and stuck it in the outlet below the cupboard. 

We heard some frantic scratching and then nothing. Evidently, it was trying really hard to escape the noise. So I left the plug-in right there in case it had any thoughts of returning. And leaving the upstairs vulnerable with no plug-ins. That turned out to be a bad plan.

We recently got a new cable company and just found out the boxes we have don’t record. We needed new boxes, which they promptly sent out with a little set of directions to hook them up. Or, they could send out a technician that we’d have to pay for. 

We tried to talk the kids into setting them up for us, but getting both there at the same time with free time on their hands, that they’d spend on us, just wasn’t going to happen. 

OK, so how much does it cost for a technician? Only $35 and it doesn’t even go on the bill for two months. I’m in. 

And, it’s not like days of old, with "Will you be home between noon and Tuesday?" They said the cable guy would be there between 5 and 6 p.m. on Monday. I got home from work at 3, so we had plenty of time to go to the laundromat. Or so we thought. 

We got home at 4 o’clock and the cable guy was in the driveway. He came in and got to work right away, after meeting Mr. Cletus, of course. 

After looking at our old school TV in the living room, he asked to see the other three. He checked out the one in our football room and was headed for our room when Cletus passed him in the hall, carrying on like an idiot. 

I explained to the cable guy that Cletus was convinced there was a ferrydiddle in the wall and he was probably right. The guy left to go check the garage TV and then went to his van to look for adapters for our TVs, which I guess are all old school. 

Cletus stayed upstairs to bark at the ferrydiddle and I went to the back door to make sure the gate was shut and latched. Dave went upstairs and was yelling at Cletus for making such a racket. Although I guess he shouldn’t have because Cletus was the only one who realized the ferrydiddle wasn’t in the wall, it was in our bedroom. 

Then, something screamed, presumably the ferrydiddle, Dave was doing more yelling, Cletus wasn’t barking anymore and then there was more screaming (I’m pretty sure that was me). 

Then more yelling from Dave, only this time it was "put that thing down." I asked if he needed the big pliers and he said it wasn’t dead, but Cletus wouldn’t let it go. 

I wasn’t going anywhere near that mess. I tossed Dave’s gloves and Cletus’ leash to the upstairs landing and went and stood by the gate. 

There was more yelling, more screaming (although I think that was me again) and then Dave said, "Fine, you take it downstairs then." And they were all in the living room. Cletus and the now-deceased ferrydiddle were separated and Dave took it outside.

That’s when the cable guy came back in and asked what we were going to do about the thing in the wall. Nothing now, it’s been tossed into the pine trees. 

Cletus was very impressed with himself, although not half as impressed as I was. Even the cable guy thought it was a pretty good deed. And obviously very exhausting work as Mr. Cletus slept until 10 o’clock the next morning. 

© 2018 Laura Nethken