Friday, February 4, 2011

The Mansion: Winter Vacation Destination

I am as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers.

There is an uninvited guest in my Mansion. In my basement lair. Two feet to my left, under my office counter, in a space crammed with a paper shredder, a box of school supplies, and some Devil's Playground bags of waiting-to-be-recycled aluminum Diet Coke with Lime cans. Shh...did you hear that?

The last two times an uninvited guest came a-callin', it was Mr. Millipede and Mr. Millipede Jr. That was creepy enough, all those two thousand legs rippling like heads of wheat on the fields of Kansas (shout out to my college buddy, Bean, and my long lost brother, Chad!), where the wind comes whipping down the plains so strong it'll blow the eyebrows right off your face. Sorry, Oklahoma. My personal experience on a trip to Salina trumps your showtune propaganda.

Yesterday, when The Visitor arrived, I called my trusty Pony to investigate. The Visitor would not show his face, but continued to rustle and bustle, even after The Pony gave that box of school supplies a solid kick. So I figured it was another Millipede family member come to call. Icky enough, but somewhat familiar.

This morning, being home from school on our 13th snow day, The Pony lounged about on the basement couch while I wrote out some bills for little things like The Pony's Excellent Elbow Adventure. The I heard him holler, "Hey, Mom! You know that creature in your office? It's a mouse. I just saw him run by the Christmas tree." Like his pulse didn't even raise by one beat per minute. And yes, I'm purposely avoiding the issue of the Christmas tree in our basement on February 4.

We set out on an expedition to rival that of Captain Robert Scott's South Pole quest in order to pick up my paycheck at Newmentia, except that no ponies were harmed, and we all returned alive. I picked up four mousetraps for $1.50 at the Dollar Store, and we were ready for battle.

The #1 son couldn't figure out how to set the instrument of death, nearly severing a finger for his troubles, so he awaited the return of Mouse Exterminator H for counsel. He came sauntering down the stairs with a trap and bait, and insisted on showing me the means of execution.

See? You flip it back and put this pole in that slot.

What in the world is that bait?

Oh. It's a mushroom off the pizza. Dad says mice like mushrooms.

Dad says he's too lazy to get you a piece of cheese.

Anyway, I'm putting it behind the Christmas tree.

Several snaps and exclamations later, the deed was done. The trap was set. And I heard rustling in my counter alcove.

Get another trap and get in here now!

(Pant. Deep breath.)
OK. Where is it? I don't have bait.

It was over here. But now it's under The Pony's desk over there. Use a piece of sausage.

I hear him. I SEE him! He's so tiny! Do we have to kill him?


But he looks so soft.

He'll be really soft by this time tomorrow.

There he goes!


You're crazy!

No, I'm not. He ran under the wall into the workshop. MY FOOT WAS RIGHT OVER THAT HOLE ALL DAY!

He's gone. Settle down.


No, he won't. Where do you want this trap?

Where did you get that sausage?

Off that piece of crust on your plate.

I was going to eat that. I meant that piece there on the plate, not on the crust.

Too late now. Where do you want it?

In that little crack beside the box.

No. I'm going to put it right here along the cabinet base.

NO! It's too close to me!

He won't get it if it's in that opening. Mice run along the walls. That's because they're virtually blind.

He saw good enough to get out there by the Christmas tree.

You're ridiculous. I'm putting it here.

Silly me. I'm sure #1 knows all about the habits of mice. He probably learned it from the Library of Congress website.


Jennifer said...

I hate mice.. and now after reading this post will be checking everywhere around me.

Hubby got those mousetraps that are sort of like potato chip bag clips. and he used peanut butter.. it was horrible.. I could hear all night long little mice losing their lives.. and knowing their dead little bodies were laying there in the closet..

(We were having major construction done at the land of yonderville and it caused miceville to be relocated into our house)

knancy said...

Oh wow! Wait 'til all the baby mice are old enough to go exploring from their paper shredder nests!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yeah, that's my kind of trap. Mousie doesn't know what hit him. One minute, he's dining on a delicious pizza mushroom, and next he's deader than a doornail.

My mom uses those humane tunnel mouse motel kind of trap, then has to carry it outside with Mousie's toenails scritching and scratching as he scampers from one end of the tube to the other. I'm not sure if she lets him out, or he slowly starves to death.

Every couple of years, we get a field mouse. I don't know how this one got in. They used to run under the basement door, but Henpecked H finally fixed the gap.


I would be terribly disheartened by your clever insinuation, except for the fact that MOUSIE BIT THE BIG ONE WITHIN TWO HOURS OF BAITING.

AND...the paper shredder has been empty for nigh on 10 years now.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Glue boards. I use the great big ones that are for snakes......... making me wonder why you would need to capture a snake. Is the snake in the house? Everybody gets a mouse now and again, but snakes ..... in your house?

Hillbilly Mom said...

Well, horror of hideous horrors! Why would anybody want a snake stuck to a glue board when a perfectly good baseboard heater will do? That's where my grandma found a six-foot black snake. My uncle pried it out and set it loose. Outside.

I know black snakes are our reptile helpers, what with eating rodents. But that doesn't mean I want one in my Mansion. Or that I wanted it in Grandma's heater, two feet away from where my cousins and I laid in front of the TV watching The Waltons, on a soft, white, mountain goat rug that my other uncle shot in Alaska.

He shot the goat, not the rug. Just to be clear.