We're All Damaged

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mouse House

The other morning, I came downstairs into the kitchen to make breakfast. When I flipped on the overhead light, there was a mouse standing next to the oven. For what seemed like five unbroken minutes, we stared at each other. He was busted, and he knew it. But he also knew that my days of being able to catch any animal faster than a Basset Hound were long over.

Recently, I’d begun to suspect that we might have mice. There seemed to be a constant rustling coming from the kitchen. There were frequent flashes of gray at the corners of my eyes. And, of course, there were tiny little turds in places where turds shouldn’t be. I’d managed to bury this in the back of my mind, but then there it was: undeniable proof.

“Dude,” I whispered. “Go away.”

Eventually, in no particular hurry, he disappeared beneath our refrigerator. I felt an overwhelming sense of dread.

Back in my childless bachelor days, I lived in a tiny apartment in Arlington, Virginia. Every winter, a family of mice would move in. I essentially gave them the run of the place, and they lived happily on Dorito crumbs and the heels of my bread. It would be easy to assume that this agreement I had with the mice—to live in harmony—was based on laziness. But it wasn’t.

Most guys wouldn’t have a problem killing mice—or, at the very least, overseeing their deaths. Clearly, though, I am not most guys. I look like one, I suppose. I can grow facial hair surprisingly fast, and I wear lots of sports-themed clothing. But, emotionally speaking, I’m pretty much a pear-shaped 14-year-old girl with braces who wants to grow up to be a veterinarian.

Mice are adorable, defenseless creatures. In movies for children, they often wear scarves and drive small motor bikes. But, they’re also rodents. And rodents carry germs, and they crap everywhere, indiscriminately. I am no longer a childless bachelor, and I’m married to a person who feels that the words “rodent-infested” are not words commonly used to describe an ideal home for a baby. Maybe she has a point.

This afternoon, a nice man named Mike came to the house. My wife was wise enough to call in a professional. My skills are mostly grammar-related. Mike set up a series of sinister little guillotines around the house and loaded them up with bait that he assured me “the little bastards can’t resist.”

And so I wait. At some point, probably tonight, there will be a snap from the cupboard, or, perhaps, from beneath the oven. The sound of adulthood.


1 comment:

  1. Poor meeces! I have them, too, and have the same dilemma. They're cute, I don't want to kill them. But, the new cat arrives Friday, so most likely they will leave on their own, & we'll all be happy.
    PS: My bro says little mousey electric chairs work great and are more humane. Plus, less gross.