A flag stick, unlike a flag pole, is a piece of wood about 4 feet long used to hoist and attach an organization’s flag to said organization’s vehicle. I find flags of this type to be extremely ostentatious. So when I returned from my recent vacation to find flags affixed to several of our organization’s vehicles, I set about scheming on how to remove them.
Luckily, my housemate, J, agrees with me that neither of us want to drive a vehicle with a logo-ed flag flapping to announce us. On Friday, we took home one of these flagged vehicles and immediately cut the black rubber strip tying the flag stick to the truck.
We went about our business, which for J, was to burn the trash. Looking around for something to poke and stoke the fire, the flag stick was the most appropriate tool to be found. With flag still attached, the bottom end of the flag stick took on its new purpose. (Of course, we had a laugh over burning the flag, but the stick, except for a bit of char, and the flag remain intact.)
Around 5 am Sunday morning, the flag stick took on its 2nd new use. At this blessed hour of the morning, I was awoken by a noise in my room. I tried to tell myself it was part of a dream. It wasn’t. A minute or two later I heard a bit of a scuffle near the window and saw my curtain move. In the darkness I tried to discern what this thing could possibly be and how in the world it had entered my room in the first place. Was it the snake that allegedly entered our house a month ago and was still hanging around or was it a a different creature? Bat? Bird? Rat?
I worked up my courage to leap out of bed, bound for the door, and turn on the light. Keeping my eye on my room, I knocked on J’s door across the hall, “There’s something in my room!”
Without hesitation, J did a bit of poking around and rat (a rat!) ran out from behind my bed. After chasing the stupid thing around the room, into the bathroom and back again the rat ran up the curtain and into a cubby at the top of the window.
“What could we stab him with?”, J asked.
“The flag stick!” I answered from outside the bedroom door.
I monitored the mouse in the cubby while J grabbed the flag stick off the front porch. Thus threatened, the rat took a flying leap onto my bed at which point I screamed and ran for the living room. I let our night guard in to assist with the rat hunt. He and J chased it into the living room, and I ran for my rat-free room and shut the door.
I could hear movement round and round the living room and down the hall then whack! whack! whack!
“Is it dead?” I called.
“Yes, but don’t come out now, there’s blood dripping from the rat on the flag stick.”
(The first time a peace promoting NGO’s flag has been used for violent purposes??)
The guard disposed of the rat, J cleaned the floor with bleach and I changed the sheets on my bed.
The stick will be used again to burn the trash and burn the rat germs off the stick. In the meantime, I’m sure we’ll find other purposes for our well-used and useful flag stick.