Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spring Killing

One troublesome aspect of getting a new appliance or piece of furniture is moving the old piece out of the way and discovering you've been living in absolute filth. Dust, crumbs, lost toys all covering the floor under the old sofa or recliner. Doesn't matter how well you clean, there are just some places you can't get.

Example: I got a new receiver for our kick ass flat screen, but in order to hook things up I needed to pull out the TV stand to reach all the old cabling. Wifey and I flip up the rug, slide the stand forward and dust and shit come cascading down, creating a personal coughing and sneezing fit. It did look cool in the sunlight, though.

I get down on my knees to unhook the speakers and notice some black specks of dirt at the base of our heater. This is way behind everything and tucked away in the corner, so we NEVER dust or clean in this spot. Even if we wanted to, there would be no way to reach it. I lean in for a closer examination.

'Huh'. Wifey peers over the set and notices what I'm looking at. 'You've got to be kidding me', she says.

'Yup. We got mice'. I was nose to poop with mouse droppings. Good times! Now, my immediate reaction/hope was that these were old. We had mice before, as we discovered while watching a movie one night and witnessed two of them run across our kitchen floor, into the back hall, right past our stupid, useless dog (who barely moved while they ran by his snout), and down the pipe in the floor to the basement.

A few nights of traps and we seemed to be good. I offer my suggestion to wifey who says, 'maybe, I haven't heard anything in the walls and we usually see them at some point.' I know, she actually agreed with me! The world may have tilted on it's axis for a minute. I forget about them until two mornings later when I reach into the cabinet to get my son his Peanut Butter Crunch cereal, only to discover a huge hole chewed through the box.

That's it!! Not only do we have confirmation, but NOBODY FUCKS WITH THE CAP'N! This is so on!! After work I stop by Home Depot in Somerville, but they only have those crappy Tom & Jerry traps that never work for me. Instead I head to the Home Depot in Everett, which is approximately a 3 minute drive - 2 if you hit the lights right - from the Somerville one and pick up these beige traps that catch the mouse in it's jaw so you can dispose of rodent without actually touching it.

Since they have a thing for peanut butter, I swab some on, set and go to bed. Easy as pie, right?

Next morning I check the trap. It's been tripped, the peanut butter is gone, but no fucking mouse. Who am I dealing with, Speedy Gonzalez? Or maybe a mouse on steroids? Can hold open the trap, eat the peanut butter, then scamper away when he's done. Hey, maybe I can catch Mighty Mouse!!

Fuck it. I toss that trap and set another in the same spot. Next morning I got my first kill. Big mother, too, which means one of two things:

1: He's been making himself at home longer than we thought, which probably means there's an entire family around.

2: He's coming in from outside during the night to raid our cabinets.

Second seems more likely as we haven't heard anything scurrying around at night. When we had them before you could hear the pidder padder of rodent feet even when you couldn't see them. Plus, a quick check around the house revealed holes in the foundation just big enough for some dirty, little mouse to sneak in and out and steal my peanut butter cereal.

I set another trap each of the next two nights and get one more each time. So much for the 'not living in the house' theory. The other two are smaller, so they must have gone out looking for mom or pop mouse and found their way into my elaborate trap. I am master of all mice!! Fear me!!

Anyway, that seemed to be the last of them. I had a trap set out for about 4 days and caught nothing. Figured I would leave it out for another two nights just to be sure and refresh the peanut butter bait. Nothing.

One more night, I think, and leave it out. This is last night and wifey goes to bed early so I can watch the Sox win it in the ninth and watch Papelbon shut down the Rockies on 97 mph fastballs they couldn't touch. Awesome. (Quick sidenote: I would like to welcome Terry Francona to my list of loyal readers. Did you see the lineup Tuesday night? Did you?? I really need a consulting fee).

Where was I? Oh, the game ends, I watch a bit of Baseball Tonight which went WAY overboard with the Verlander no hitter (seriously - interviewing a newspaper beat reporter over the phone?), shut things down and am taking a leak when I hear some banging around. I yell at the dog to cut the shit, but realize he's laying down in the back hall. It's not him. I hear some more commotion and go hunting, but it stops and I can't find anything. What the fuck? I check the doors to make sure they're locked, look around again. Nothing.

Whatever. Go to sleep. Next morning I open the cabinets where the trap was set and it was like a rumble had taken place. Well, a tiny, cute rumble. Boxes were knocked over, pasta spilled out, and there right in the middle is another mouse in the trap. It must have been trapped, but not killed right away and was thrashing around trying to free itself. Poor bastard.

I heard somewhere, from someone, that for every mouse you actually see there are 5 more that you don't. This does not give me comfort. It does, however, give me a summer project. I'll keep everyone up to date on my kill count.

Current count: 4

New trap set Tuesday night.

Today's distraction: Play with some cuter rodents. It's Flight of the Hamsters. For some reason I think I posted this game before, but I couldn't find it in the past entries. Apologies for the rerun if I messed up.


Anonymous said...

I HATE this post!!! And if you continue with the count I will stop reading completely. Now that might not sound like much of a threat, but come on, who else is reading it?

French said...

You sonofabitch. Mice are vindictive, you know. You should set up a trap with your wife as the bait.

BeachBum said...

Actually you not reading would cut my readers in half, so that's a HUGE deal.

And while I can respect your respect for animal life, I need to point out that there are approximately 18 trillion mice in the world and I'm merely doing population control. Besides, they fucked with the Cap'n Crunch. I can't let that go unpunished.

I will, however, mention the mice killings no more.

French, I would only use my wife as bait if I'm trying to catch other, irrational, borderline psychotic women. While there are plenty of them around, they're not something I'm striving to accumulate.

One is more than enough.

French said...

Yeah, my comment fell about 20 yards short of making any sense at all. Not sure where I was going with that one...

Your explanation for not putting your wife in a trap, however, was priceless.

When's the next JJ Foley's gathering?

BeachBum said...

I'm always up for JJs and their Buffalo Tenders and ranch dressing that looks and tastes just like creamy italian.

Anonymous said...

Kill em. I used to feel somewhat sympathetic to killing mice until they leave droppings in my daughters room. I have been fighting them for weeks and can't catch a single one.