Thursday, September 09, 2004

My crawl space



The Tony-winning director still finds those shivery, spidery openings into other worlds mysterious and attractive.
'The image of the crawl space is very important to me because it's emblematic of the hole in our heart that we try to fill up, with kings and queens and theater and images," she says. "It's not the 'just fine' part of us. It's the dirty, dark source of the creative drive.'"

--San Francisco Chronicle article by Annie Nakao about Director/Writer Mary Zimmerman
"As a child in Lincoln, Neb., Mary Zimmerman saw the crawl space in the basement of her house as "the most terrifying, enchanting, seductive and horrible place on earth."

Okay, it never ceases to amaze me the things people can romanticize about. A crawl space is a "spidery opening into other worlds," but they sure aren't mysterious and attractive, that is unless you find a nasty, dark space under your house full of pipes, ducts, spiders, cat urine and in my case, some dead animal, attractive.

I know that I harped on something dying under my house in my "The Curse" blog. But it has driven home to me how helpless we can be in dealing with stupid little things in life like removing some dead animal from under your house. Sure, my dad probably would have just crawled under there and drug it out with a rake. But then again, our crawl space growing up was in the basement and as far as I know, nothing ever died in it (though my brothers did threaten to stuff me in it a few times).

So, it leaves me with this dilemma of how to deal with it in a logical and sensible manner that doesn't involve me crawling on my belly in filth and putting my hand in god knows what to try and find the source of the smell under my house. Much as I love Google and it's amazing ability to find anything, it didn't quite cut it in my search locally to find someone who actually removes dead animals from under your house.

A search for "dead animal under my house" didn't yield anything. "Dead animal removal" brought up a few businesses that haul away dead animals, but these were primarily dead farm animals. There were "varmint removers" who humanely removed wild animals from your house or yard. And there were "pest controllers" who woul help you kill animals in your crawl space. Thus the crux of my dilemma: the animal is already dead and can't be humanely removed. And being already dead, it could pose a further dilemma for the pest controllers when faced with killing a dead animal. I don't think it's in their manuals.

Further searches turned up some useful information about having dead animals under you house and the length of time it would take for them to decay (a couple of weeks for a small dead animal and a couple of months for a larger dead animal...let's pray a stray elephant didn't wander in there to die). The article concluded that in order to stop the smell of the dead animal under your house, you had to find it and remove it. So, basically it puts me back at square one.

I would think some enterprising young person could make quite the business out of crawling under houses and removing errant dead things. As far as I can tell, there wouldn't be any competition. You could call it clever names, like: "Removing dead animals from under your house-R-Us," or "Ye Olde Removing Dead Animals Shoppe" or better, yet, "What died under your house, let us find out for you!"

But barring someone picking up on this breakthrough business idea, the best advice people at work seem to be able to give me is to hire some kid in the neighborhood to crawl in there and retrieve it. But, I question the wisdom of approaching neighborhood kids and telling them I'll pay them to crawl around under my house looking for dead things. It could be misinterpreted.

I've thought about asking the satellite television installer (who I am waiting for as I write this) to run the cable for my second receiver under the house. "And oh, while you are under there, could you look for a dead animal and kind of chuck it out here?" I think they'd be wise to that ploy.

So, I'm stuck. All of the technology in the world at my fingertips and I can't figure out a single way to remove a dead animal from under my house that doesn't actually involve me, personally physically going under the house to do it and tossing my cookies at the prospect.

And then I'd have that smell to contend with.

Sigh...

1 comment:

mozart_darwin said...

I had the same problem and took a couple of pounds of lye and dumped it on the dead cat... the smell stopped and the thing was destroyed in a few weeks... but still you have to get close enough to dump the lye...