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Soup of This Day #162: The Line Forms On The Right Babe

April 7, 2012

Rattus norvegicus
A Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus, demonstrating ball handling skills that have this day been sadly lacking from the Fremantle Dockers – Photo: Losch, 2008. Losch is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

We have a problem with rats.

Not in general – Mostly I let other living creatures be. In this case though we’re sharing a house with them and only 1 side of that arrangement is contributing to the mortgage. The other side is trashing the joint.

Rats like it here and not just because of the free room. There’s the free board as well. Mostly derived from a galah living in an aviary outside our kitchen window. The galah, Gabriel (The little devil is ironically named for an angel), likes to throw seed everywhere and this is a pretty tempting food source for your average rodent connoisseur.

There are numerous health and safety implications to having rats running around your residence eating stuff. Not the least of which is that they a. Like to eat electrical wiring and b. What they eat comes out the other end and not as wonderfully reconstituted electrical wiring.

As such I’ve taken an upswing in rodent activity seriously and have attempted to keep the area clear of readily available food. I’ve also blocked up as many access points as possible, turning our patio into a no-rats-land, with lights, traps and armed guards.

Technically the armed guards are 2 cats and a pensioned off dog who, and I @#$% you not, actually rolls his eyes when I ask him to help out with the rodent control.

In spite of that last bit I may have slowed the rats down. I even caught 1 rat, although it’s been suggested that it was probably the rodent village idiot and all I’ve really done is given evolution a hand by knocking off the stupid 1.

Sadly the remaining, allegedly smarter, rats haven’t taken the hint and just moved on out. Which is where I’ve now turned to my wife. A zoologist by training she has devised a bait that is apparently foolproof on native marsupials and therefore guaranteed to attract rats. This logic does seem a little flawed – Native marsupials in the wild would seem to have not as much to choose from so peanut paste would be more of an exotic treat than for a rat that is used to peanuts on tap from a domestic bird cage. Nonetheless I have gone along with the marsupial whisperer and have taken the bait, liberally applying it to some snap traps with the aim of eliminating those dirty rats.

We’ve gone to the mattresses.

Before the rat lovers of this world write in with objections there’s something I should make clear. These rats crossed the line.

They ate my car.

Obviously not the whole car. That would require a lot more than the wife’s enticing bait and 4 traps to combat. No, they got up inside the engine bay and ate a hose. I have no idea what the hose was there for and fortunately the car seems to be running fine without it – The brakes still work and so does the window washing thingamebob.

My concern is that, having acquired a taste for Hyundai hosery, they’d soon move on to more important hoses. Like the 1s for the brakes and the window washing thingamebob, meaning that I’d be unable to see when I was unable to stop. Or something.

Not any more.

My wife, the zoologist, is taking care of business.

Unlike the Fremantle Dockers. Whose business is playing and hopefully winning footy matches in the Australian Football League. Today they managed the 1st part alright but the winning bit?

Yeah… Not so much.

The Dockers went down to the Swans in Sydney by 13 points. Freo in truth were never really in the game and just seemed to lack cohesion and a game-plan throughout. In particular the quality of their disposals in the 2nd quarter was woeful – By half-time they’d wracked up 21 ineffective handballs – And on a ground the size of a small yard that sloppy kind of ball use is going to hurt you.

Hurt them it did too – To the tune of a 40 point deficit at the main break.

The Dockers did fight back in the 3rd, booting 6 straight to make it a 17 point game at the last change but that wasn’t near enough. The Swans booted the 1st 2 of the last term and although Freo pulled back another to stop the rot the Sydneysiders then did enough for the win, 14.10 (94) to 12.9 (81).

1 telling moment: Around 3 minutes from the end, with Freo needing another 3 scores to win, the ball was punted into the Sydney attacking 50. Freo tall Adam McPhee was in prime position to take the mark and propel the Dockers back into attack when he inexplicably chose to punch the ball to the boundary line. It was textbook defence but given his team needed to score it was probably the wrong textbook to be reading from.

Right after the touch-finding punch the cameras turned to the Freo coaching box where Ross Lyon had his head in his hands for a good 10 seconds or so. When he finally emerged he mouthed something to 1 of his assistants. I’m no lip-reading expert but this 1 came through pretty clearly:

‘What the @#$% did he do that for?’

Good question Rosco. It wasn’t the only blunder by McPhee for the afternoon and you could make an argument that his contribution was close to the difference between the 2 sides.

1 telling stat: Freo lost the free kick battle by 27 to 15. Back at Subiaco and West Coast won their free kick battle with Melbourne by a staggering 32 to 12. The Eagles also won their game by 108 points. No other games so far this round had those kinds of disparities in the free kick count. By contrast in Round 1 Freo had 27 free kicks to 23 for Geelong and the game was correspondingly close. Indiscipline or inconsistent umpiring?

Fortunately Freo return to their Subiaco home next Saturday for a date with the Brisbane Lions. Brisbane were towelled up on Thursday night at their Gabba home to the tune of 91 points by Carlton. This would put them on par with the Dockers and should make for a tough contest.

I wonder if the wife learned how to deal with lions in that zoology course?

The Line Forms On The Right Babe

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