March 24, 2008

Y? Because we like you!

Well, step 1 seems to have worked. After a car detailing and some reorganizing, I seem to be free of Mickey, the gum-chewing mouse. This is a relief, as is the fact that it does not appear I will need to go buying mouse traps and digging little mousey graves anytime soon. Hurrah!

The thing is that I think that in dealing with this situation, I may have developed yet another neurosis: I think I'm now either obsessed with or terrified of rodents.

The other day while at the mall, I stood on a skybridge talking on the phone to my mother when I saw a mouse scurry across the street below, from the parking garage (where I had just come from) to the mall building (where I was going).

Not only did I completely blank out on what we were talking about, I just sort of froze there momentarily, considering whether I really needed to go into the mall, and whether it was completely insane to think maybe that mouse came from my car, and whether there was any potential that mouse was going to make it into the mall (and therefore whether, again, I really needed to go in).

I think I recovered well, but to be honest, I'm not sure. I think my mom just kept talking the whole time I was panicking.

Then, last night, I dreamt that my house was infested with rats. But not just any rats, the kind that are really smart and evade you at every turn while still periodically popping their ugly little faces out of strange places in your home and scaring the bejeezus out of you. Yeah, not a sweet dream at all.

Like I need something else to be fixated on! On the upside, this could very well result in some entertaining stories for you sadistic minds out there who are entertained by my every misadventure. So stay tuned for that.

March 17, 2008

This is my 250th post, and there is a mouse living in my car.

Let me repeat: THERE IS A MOUSE. LIVING. IN MY CAR. Is that both horrifying and disgusting? Yep, that’s what I was afraid of.

There is a mouse living in my car. And this dirty, disgusting little imposing mouse has a squeaky clean mouth (sorry for the pun).

I know both these things because this morning, when Jim and I were commuting to work, I reached into a little coin tray where I keep change and gum in my car for a stick of delicious Orbitz gum, and when I pulled out a stick, it had teeny tiny little bites taken out of it.

A goddamn MOUSE broke into my goddamn CAR and ate my goddamn ORBITZ. For the record, this did not give me a good clean feeling no matter what, as advertised.

“Oh…my…god…” I held one of the evidential sticks out to Jim, while not at all maintaining the 10 and 2 position with my hands on the wheel and only partially paying attention to the road.

“Looks like you have a mouse,” he said with utter disgust. “Eeew.” (Yes, Jim said “eew”. Priceless.)

“I do not have a mouse! There just IS a mouse! How did he even get IN here?”

I was immediately indignant. Nevermind that I have gone though periods where I could have been mistaken for living in my car, having someone bear witness to the fact that there was/is/had been a mouse living in there was a thousand times worse. Because mice are, well, icky. And I have it on good authority that mice only like really disgusting, dirty places. So that meant, in my head, that “my” mouse said something not at all flattering about me and my ability to maintain a car.

Just after I processed that thought, shaking my head and muttering, the next terrible one hit me:

“Oh shit! Do you think he’s still in here?!”

(As you can imagine, I was paying even less attention to my free right turn and the 5 key rules for safely operating a vehicle while processing this thought than I was before, because I was at that moment increasingly certain that there was a mouse – no, MANY mice, maybe hundreds – scurrying around under my seat, next to my feet, across my headrest, along the backseat. I was utterly convinced that they were everywhere.)

I couldn’t get us parked and out of the car fast enough. I scrambled to the elevator, imagining a torrent of rodents racing frantically behind me, worked to ditch the heebie jeebies and formulated my Rodent War battle plan:

1. Get car detailed, by a professional. Do not opt for the cheapie where they just vaccum your carpet, bite the bullet and request the full-on shampoo treatment, complete with bonus search for dead, dying or (eeew eeew eeew) alive rodents.

2. Lay a food booby-trap shortly after detail mission is complete.

2.a. At first sign of teethmarks, purchase 6 mousetraps – the kind that catch and squish the mice. (NOTE: Do not poison, as you have heard too many stories about people poisoning car-mice and then suffering through dead-mouse scent for weeks when they’re unable to find the body).

2.b. Have a nice strong drink. Consider setting up a hidden night-vision motion-detection camera with which to catch the mice in the act and determine their mode of entry.

2.c. Have another drink and reconsider motion-camera tactic, as it sounds like a lot of work.

3. Rely on the traps to catch and squish the mice.

3.a. Throw bodies away as needed, screeching "eeeeeEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!" the whole way to the garbage can.

4. Repeat as necessary until they wave the white flag or someone gives me a better idea.

5. Go shopping.

I do anticipate some problems. For one, I apparently live in the rodent capital of the universe. Mice have been a problem for some of my neighbors and even the previous renters of the house I currently live in (which, for the record, is VERY CLEAN AT ALL TIMES) and is so far free of mouse-sightings.

Secondly, mice breed like rabbits. Or cockroaches. Or something. I think they can have like a hundred babies in 10 minutes flat. Which means I may have to dip into the 401K to afford all the mousetraps this war may require.

Third, the irony: I have a cat, but she has no claws and lives indoors and poops in a little sandbox and owns a pink bedazzled shirt with the word "bitch" on it.

Finally, I don’t like killing things.

This is perhaps my biggest weakness as a person. It’s so GIRLY it’s unforgivable. I don’t even kill spiders – I make my cat do that (you don’t need claws to kill spiders). Hell, I go fishing and am happy to snag the fish and reel them up, but you will never get me to be the person with the bat who whacks that poor fish on the head to kill it. Nope, I’d rather put it in the cooler and know it’s slowly, painfully dying than just end it myself. I used to pluck and clean like 50 chickens every spring with my family growing up and I loved looking at all the guts, but I could NEVER handle that axe. So IF I get to step 2 and have to buy the horrible old fashioned mousetraps and I actually catch a mouse and find it in the trap the next day, squished and dead or worse—squished and not yet dead, I’m in trouble. Because there is NO WAY I’ll be able to a) open the door to the car in order to b) pick up and dispose of that trap.

Which may mean I’ll have to just give up and turn the car over to the mice and start jogging to work.

Wish me luck. And please, if you have any advice, I’m all ears. But not Mickey ears, because he’s the Enemy.