Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A return to coffee mugs

When Termite Guy initially came to my house, it was to deal with a mouse problem. The result of that visit was a number of traps set throughout my house, none of which ever caught anything. I believe, in large part, that this is because he set RAT traps rather than MOUSE traps. Concerned that a rat trap wasn't the best choice for a mouse, I was reassured by Termite Guy that rat traps would work just fine and, plus, they were all he had in his truck.

A couple days later, I noticed that all the peanut butter was missing from the trap in the pantry. Was there a mouse caught in the trap? No. Had the trap even been triggered? No. The peanut butter was simply gone. In my infinite wisdom, this led me to believe that one of two things had happened: 1) my mouse had dangled himself Mission Impossible style above the trap and ever so carefully lapped at the peanut butter, or 2) my mouse took one look at the rat trap, scoffed, and confidentially perched his wee little body on the trap while he enjoyed a leisurely dinner, knowing damn well he was far too light to trigger a rat trap.

I was not pleased with Termite Guy, but I saw no more signs of the mouse whatsoever - no nibbles, no poops, nothing - for months, so I decided not to worry about it. Perhaps he'd grown tired of my humble abode and, belting out the lyrics to "Movin' On Up," strutted across the street to the much larger house of my neighbors on the east side. Certainly stranger things have happened.

Or maybe not. Because now my pantry is littered with cute little turds again. And Saturday night, while happily munching away and watching the tube, I was startled to look down and find myself covered in tortilla chips, which had presumably made their way to my lap through the ragged hole chewed in the bottom corner of the bag. In a fit of indignation I considered calling Termite Guy to formally complain, but decided against it for fear of being asked out again. Instead, I marched my butt to Home Depot and bought myself a bag of traps. What kind of traps? MOUSE traps. I spent 20 minutes Sunday evening attempting to bait and set the damn things, the fruit of my labor being nothing more than two hands entirely smeared with peanut butter and one mouse trap entirely incapable of harming anything.

So I did what any self-sufficient woman would do: I had a boy come over and set one. In a matter of seconds, he had it baited, set, and placed conspicuously in the pantry. And at precisely 12:45 last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a satisfying SNAP! And then brief sounds of struggle. And then silence. I couldn't bring myself to check on my prey for fear that he might not be dead yet and I'd be faced with the choice of either closing the pantry door and letting him die a slow painful death, or finding something suitable to bludgeon him with. Or worse, finding myself face to face with a seriously pissed off rat with an annoying little mouse trap stuck to his whiskers. So I stayed in bed, haunted by visions of bloody mice and rabid rats, and only finally ventured a peek in the soft light of dawn.

It was empty - no sign of any activity except for the fact that the trap was sprung and was no longer in quite the same location. I'm guessing Mr. Mouse isn't going to be stupid enough to try that again, so I'm back to the only thing that seems to work: coffee mugs and suffocation. And only refrigerated foods for the foreseeable future.

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