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TRAPPED LIKE A RAT

A rat trap broke a retired senior master sergeant’s right pinky finger when he inadvertently sprung the device with his hand. (PHOTO BY TSGT SAMUEL BENDET)

A rat trap broke a retired senior master sergeant’s right pinky finger when he inadvertently sprung the device with his hand. (Photo by Tech. Sgt. Samuel Bendet)

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A retired Air Force senior master sergeant had his plans to trap a rat foiled when the trap he had set sprung ... on him!

The sergeant had been hearing noises in his attic. When he inspected, he found rat droppings, along with some chewed pipe insulation, apparently being used to make a comfortable nest for some future off-spring. The sergeant went to the store, bought a spring-loaded trap and returned home to set his plan into action.

With a little peanut butter to attract the beast, he left the trap and waited. The next morning when he went to check, sure enough, his antagonist had taken the bait, sprung the trap and suffered the lethal blow. After disposing of the rat, the sergeant reset his trap to ensure no other vermin were present. But the noises stopped, and no other nuisance visitors appeared.

He decided to leave the trap set to ward off future unwanted guests. Months passed, and with no need to go back into his attic, the sergeant forgot about the trap. One day his shivering wife nearly fell out of the shower when she discovered only cold water spouting from the showerhead. She told her husband he needed to check the pilot light on the hot water heater, which was located in the attic.

So the sergeant pulled down the door and unfolded the ladder to the ceiling entrance of the attic. As he reached his right hand over the ledge and onto the floor of the dark attic to help steady himself the rest of the way up, the loud snap and painful clamp of the trap on his pinky finger nearly sent him toppling down the stairs.

Startled and in pain, he let out a less-than-manly scream and shook and pulled his finger from the trap. A trip to the emergency room revealed the man had broken his finger -- either from the initial assault on his hand or the wild swinging of his arm afterward.

In the end, the sergeant learned a painful lesson about complacency and "strategic" placement of rat traps. And somewhere, if he listened carefully, he could swear he heard a rodent snickering. ...