I have an interesting story I’d like to share. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, though largely drawn from fact and an experience I had once upon a time. I Thought it might be worth a note here cus’ I couldn’t find a coherent reason to put it in a novel.
One day I was working in a small kitchen-only room enough for two at an elbow to elbow. In essence, the sous chef was also the dishwasher and changed jobs with a quick about-face turn. Well, we had the most important things a kitchen could need there. In the corner of the place was an upright meat spit. The one you’d find at a gyro place. To the left of that was the flat iron grill, moving left was an oven with two burners on top. In the opposite side of the meat-spit was two beverage Frigidaire with sliding glass doors. They were both converted to hold fresh produce-milk, eggs, lettuce, meat, etc.
Lets keep moving along left to get a clear picture. You stepped into the kitchen and you saw the aforementioned on the back wall. To the left of this fridge was the call window; a small little port to a bright world where tickets came in and food left. (Sometimes praise came in too but jus’ mostly curses were exchanged as far as words went.) Well than after this white and blue painted window was a table for prep. Then some shelves to hold pots, pans and spices. Knives were hung on the wall next to the prep table on the wall.
When you walked in all this equipage was to your left and to your right was the closest wall where your wash station was. It housed a double sink, a flexible jet hose,some drying racks and storage for the plates and silverware. Underneath the sink was cleaning supplies in addition to a few 30 gallon barrels of brined olives and sesame oil. If your wondering, I worked at a Greek/Mediterranean kitchen.
The point of the story, rather the focus was upon the low ceilings and exposed pipes. We had a rat problem-and probably every other shack on that strip of University Boulevard. One day this black grizzled old major comes as fearless as the first I’ve seen him to gather some scraps from off the meat-spits drippings pan.
I the sous, but at that moment the dishwasher noticed his decent. He clambered along those dusty pipes like some sorta’ causeway down onto the lip and the backing of the stove across to the crispy grease meat. He eyed me suspiciously, as i hadn’t paused with scouring this pot, he had assumed i didn’t pay him a thought. I watched him- he climbed back up with a sizeable prize clamped in his jaws.
Like a western show-down, I wheeled around. The dishwashing hose was clutched in my hands like a pistol and I sent a jet of water up towards the pipes. It surged upwards with suprising, grease eliminating force, and knocked the Old Major hard across the stomach. He toppled off balance and fell from the low-pipe right on top of the flat iron grill like some rat burger tossed from the sky. Burger, he was not. The rat squealed and shot straight up like a firecracker. It must’ve seared the hell out of him cus’ you could hear screaming and yelping all the way back up the pipes to his hole where he came.
I looked over at the Filipino I was working with. He had a Betel nut wedged in his cheek and was whacking away at some root vegetable.
“Oh, brudda’, you sure got ‘im good.” I grinned at him and he laughed. A bit of drool came down his lower lip and he wiped it with his sleeve.
“You think he’ll come be back again?” I asked.
“I ‘tink he’ll lick his hurt, rats aint’ stupid-hungry though.”
“He’ll learn” I tried to conclude.
He chopped again and cleared the peelings into a bucket. “Next time, I trap ‘im and kill ‘im.” His knife slapped the cutting board. “Brudda, he’ll learn to be a sneak rat-that’s all.”