Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Real Mouseketeer

Setting Out On A Mouse Patrol

For the past couple of months we've been hearing scurrying sounds in the ceiling. Yesterday, I finally picked up a couple of mousetraps at the hardware store. Personally I like the good old fashioned North American spring traps that are cheap, small and remarkably lethal. Unfortunately for me, most Japanese retailers only sell the cage and goo varieties of anti-mouse devices. With the cage variety success means a new pet mouse. Success with the goo variety leaves you with a sticky conscious since the victim presumably suffers a long drawn out and harrowing death as it wriggles itself deeper and deeper into the goo and eventually dies of suffocation or exhaustion. I bought the goo variety.

A Canadian "Tunnel Rat" Prepares for Mouse Clearing Operations During a Peace Making Mission in Northern Japan

The reason I took a knife up there was to make the photo more interesting. The reason I took the camera up was so that I could stick it through the ceiling insulation and rafters and do some photo surveillance of the traps without going through the bother of forcing my head and shoulders through small spaces at awkward angles.

Trap 1 Clear!

Trap 2 Clear!

"Clear!" is not the result we were looking for. What is going on? They are mice, these are mousetraps. I even embedded crumbs of whole wheat bread and brown rice crispies in the goo! Or "what if," as my wife suggested in a dark voice, "What if it's not really mice in our ceiling? What if it's a snake?" Well, I am possessed of certain primeval prejudices and phobias which make that thought too terrible for me to contemplate, so tomorrow I will sprinkle fish flakes on the goo. If there are no mice in my mousetraps by Thursday, I will entertain the possibility that more serious threats than mice are a-slither, declare DEFCON 1, and prepare for total warfare.

Grace Reading L.L.Bean:Kids During a Diaper Change
(Perhaps It's Time for the Dawning of a New Age--
the Age of the Potty)

Hard at Work, As Usual