Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don't Read This While You Eat

We saw one yesterday. It wasn't big; it wasn't frightening. It was just one of those. Scurrying past Darin's feet at a lightning pace, furry and agile, a mouse is cohabiting our garage.

I guess it's the free room and board that appealed to him. He was trying to get into the dog's food when Darin first caught a glimpse of him. Thankfully, he didn't achieve his objective, and the Puppy Chow has been saved. But I guess I've found there is one disadvantage to living by a pasture.

The only other battle I've personally fought against mice was in grad school. The rickety shack on Drew Street in Ft. Worth housed my roommate Kathy, myself, and a horrible vermin we named "Whitey." He found the pantry pretty quickly, delving into such culinary delights as oatmeal and Cherrios. I was prepared to let him have his way with our food supply just so I wouldn't have to deal with the nasty creature. Besides, I don't like oatmeal, and I could survive without Cherrios! However, when Whitey found the Kool-aid mix, Kathy announced, "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. We have got to do something about this mouse." Cheering delightedly, enraptured by her passion and zeal for this mission, I somehow missed the fact that "we" meant "me."

Kathy, a die-hard liberal and advocate for women's equality suddenly turned into a delicate southern belle from South Carolina. There was no way....she couldn't possibly...it was out of the question that she should set a mousetrap. So, she did the next best thing: she offered to buy the mousetrap. Gee, thanks.

Well, she did, and after reading the instructions (no kidding), I set the trap. Cheese was the bait of choice, and that night around 2 AM we heard the SNAP! "Good, our mission is accomplished," I thought as I curled back under the covers. I was wrong. The next morning, I discovered Whitey had made off with the cheese. So, that night, we used peanut butter. I figured he might stick to the trap if nothing else. Sure enough, around 3 AM, we again heard the ominous SNAP! I jumped out of bed to see if we'd succeeded this time. Kathy heard the sound, too, and timidly poked her head out of her bedroom and followed me to the kitchen.

Mousetrap instructions don't include what to do with the captured creature. I think Kathy planned to leave him to rot in the trap, but intuition told me that wasn't the best plan. So, armed and shielded with rubber gloves, I prepared to open the pantry door as Kathy went screaming back into her bedroom. (I'm not exaggerating. She high-tailed it out of there.) Opening the door, I saw Whitey, eyes bulging and bloody-lipped. One arm (leg? paw? whatever), was broken from the force of the spring, and a glob of peanut butter was stuck on the floor. I wasn't one hundred percent certain he was dead, so I decided that it couldn't hurt to leave him another four hours to really die, and I went back to bed. (This is a true story.)

The next morning, again armed with rubber gloves, I picked up the end of the mousetrap, and carefully carried Whitey's dead carcass to the dumpster in our apartment complex. Then, without even a eulogy, I threw him in. Mousetrap and all.

I set two traps in the garage today. I figure since I've never claimed to be a women's libber, if and when we do catch our furry friend, Darin gets to remove him this time.

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