Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"The Incident"...

The year was 2005. I was 17, and as most 17-year-olds believe themselves to be, independent, invincible and well versed in all aspects of the world. We had spent months remodeling the house we were living in and I had a HUGE bedroom, a bathroom to myself...and mice.

My only previous experience with mice had been when I was very young and my mom and I were living in a sketchy apartment in Denver. We had a mouse and immediately set traps...my mom is excellent at the independent woman stuff. All was good. Until we caught the little vermin.

Once it was caught, even my mother who is probably the most independent, empowered, "women don't need men to do the tough stuff" person I know, turned into a squeamish schoolgirl. Long story short, my grandpa, the kind soul he is, took pity on us and drove across town to dispose of the little beast.

Fast forward 12 years or so and we were living with mice and Grandpa was 250 miles away....a little far for a trip to dispose of our unwanted rodents. It was during this time that I had what I now refer to only as "The Incident"...for now we'll just say that it involved a mouse, a hoodie I was wearing and an emotional outburst that remains with me today as lingering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Okay, so I diagnosed myself via webMD, but I am pretty sure any medical professional would concur.

Because of "The Incident", I have a certain predisposed hatred of rodents. Thus you can only imagine my disgust when my dear friends SF and LJ were eating breakfast in my kitchen while I dressed for the day and informed me that they had seen a furball scurry from my trashcan to the pantry. EFFFF.

Sweet and dear SF advised that I name him Gus and try to think endearingly towards him and that maybe he would mend my clothes whilst I was away. No.
Sweet and dear LJ insisted that she was positive the mouse she saw was infected with Hantavirus and the Black Plague. Cool.

The 11 days since has been toilsome and painstaking to say the least.

I bought some "No See, No Touch" traps and an electronic one that each promised results ending in certain death for the mouse and a quick and painless disposal for me...I plan on writing D-Con and Viktor for refunds.

On Sunday evening I got this text from my roommate DG:
I was so glad to be enjoying the company of friends at LJ's house at the time.

I ran to the nearest store and picked up some "Snappy Traps" because DG reported that the mouse simply crawled over our our snooty falooty traps. Excellent.

(Sidenote: sometimes my sarcasm amazes even me. As I put 8 snappy traps on the conveyor belt, the cashier said to me "You have a mouse in your house?" My response? "Nope. Just game night". I paid and left. Don't ask me stupid questions if you want a serious answer, please."

I came home to find our living room "rearranged" and my roommates sitting on the counter and in the sink. We loaded 6 snappy traps with peanut butter and waited for that unmistakable sound that would inevitably come....or not.

By the time I came home around midnight, the trap were all still safe and sound. Around 1 as I laid in bed I could have sworn I heard the sound of rodent skull crushing trap springs. I was incorrect. The next morning the traps were all still set, but this time licked clean of peanut butter, turkey and every other bait we tried.

Apparently this was our Mouse:

I was beginning to wonder if we had a mouse or a ninja-pig loose in our house.

Last night when I came home after a particularly grueling day of work to find the traps all licked clean AGAIN, I decided it was now personal.

If I came into your house, ate half a jar of peanut butter, pooped on your floor and counters and caused chaos, you would be upset too, right?

I cleaned off the traps and thought of a new kind of bait. This was my thought process:

-Peanut butter can be nibbled without any real consequences...obviously.
-We need something stickier...much stickier.
-Remember that one time Gabby dropped a fruit snack in your car and then it stuck to the carpet, but gave off a lovely sweet fruity smell?
-Done and done.

I mushed up some fruit snacks into a ball of sticky sweet goo. Then I wrapped it tightly around the bait pedals on two traps and went to bed. As we snuggled in for the night (with towels shoved under our bedroom doors as they had been all week), I told DG that I thought, "Tonight is the night!"

That brings us to today.

As my alarm went off, DG came out of the bathroom in her towel and told me excitedly, "Ashleigh! The mouse is caught!"

Well, 6:30am and I was wide awake with the power of victory.

Because of the early hour, we felt a little guilty calling one of the many boys who had promised to come help us rid of it once it had been caught. So after 20 minutes of staring, gagging and debating whether to ask Professor Lyons (DG's professor of Physiology, a tough guy hailing form Jersey who lives across the way from us) to help us as he opened his garage to head to work, we decided we could do it.

I think the exact words went something like this:
DG: "Text our roommate TC and tell her that when she gets home from work, her finace can show off his manliness and take care of it...but...I kind of want to make pancakes for breakfast."

Me: "Well we aren't making breakfast with that dead mouse just chilling on the floor in the kitchen, that's for dang sure."

DG: "Yeah...but what if it moves when we touch it?!"
(Five minutes of staring and debating)
Me: "DG, we are strong and independent women...who want pancakes! We can do this"

So just like I imagine Rosie the Riveter would do it, with a mop, a broom, a dustpan and some serious skills at using these tools as giant chopsticks, I flopped the very dead mouse and trap into the dustpan and threw it all in the trash can. (Dustpan included, we'll be replacing that). DG wheeled it out to the curb just in time for the garbage truck to haul Gus Gus away.

Adieu Gus Gus. Adieu.

We made Mickey shaped pancakes for breakfast to celebrate.

And as a fair warning to any friends, family or acquaintances of Gus Gus who might be tempted to visit my home, I have a family size box of fruit snacks. Don't think I won't use them.