On his first night in Malawi Mike woke up at midnight to see a rat running around his room. Every time he got up to try and find it, it disappeared. When he turned the lights off and lay back down he heard it come out of hiding again to chew on the door, or drag all the toilet paper onto the floor, or knock his toiletries off the bench. He said he didn’t sleep super well. Lisa was surprised he slept at all.
Fast forward to 6pm the next night (8am LA time). Mike has just returned from his first day at the office to be told by the hotel staff that they have not managed to find and remove the rat from his room because “they were out all day.”
Mike sounds somewhat resigned to this state of affairs.
Lisa: “You need to go and demand another room until they get the rat.”
Mike: “I don’t think there are any other rooms left, and they’re all really depressing anyway. I can’t really be bothered. I think I’ll just stay here.”
What Lisa was thinking: Are you insane?? If that rat got up on the bathroom counter you think it couldn’t get up on the bed, huh? And what do you think it’ll do when it’s on the bed in the dark in the middle of the night? EAT YOUR FACE!!!
[Contrary to widespread public opinion, however, Lisa does have some filters. And she judged that this might not be a helpful thing to say to a jet-lagged and overwhelmed spouse who was contemplating another night in ratville.]
What Lisa said: “Well, you’re a big boy. I’m sure you’ll figure something out.”
Mike via email at 8:12pm Malawi time (10:12am LA time): “Rat just left room. Apparently he’s a potty trained rat because as I was sitting at the desk he crawled over to the door and motioned to me that he wanted out. So I opened the door, which of course scared him because he’s a skittish thing. But I sat back down at my desk and prayed for God to give the little bugger the courage to try going out again. And he did. Thanks be to God.”