Last summer, I discovered that we had a visitor in the gar^H^H^Hshop.
Having never had mice in or around my house before, I was sort of
amused by the furry grey visitor. It brought back fond memories of
hamsters while growing up while carefully hiding all of the bad
mice-related things that people often associate with them. My kids
also thought it was cute and had lots of fun mouse-spotting while I was
out there doing what we do.
Then one day, my 10 year old daughter was in the garage getting some
bottled water for her lunch. While in the box, she disturbed the
mouse, who freaked out, and flew out of the box. Mighty-mouse brushed
by my daughter's cheek as it made its escape. That was the first nail
in the coffin. My very intellegent, articulate, and rational daughter
would no longer go into the garage without an adult. As a sensitive
and caring father, I thought it was hilarious.
Then I made a horrible discovery of gargantuan proportions.
It's winter, and the heating situation in my garage isn't exactly ideal
at the moment, leading me to limit my time out there. Also, I had been
focusing on some other projects around the house as well as some
unplanned auto maintenance. In short, I didn't realize that the mouse
had somehow found its way up the dust collection hose and onto the
surface of the table saw.
Did you know that mouse urine will etch a cast iron top? I now had
dozens of little black spots scattered across the cast iron. The
little f&*$@r had been using my table saw as an outhouse. I got out
the 0000 steel wool, wd40, and johnson's paste wax, but to no avail.
The rat has permanently autographed my table saw.
He had to die.
I went to the local borg to peruse the insecticide isle (about the only
thing it's good for) in the hopes that they also had devices that could
be used to rid my gar^H^H^Hshop of it's now unwelcome guest. They had
all kinds of better-mousetrap type inventions. One could electrocute a
mouse with 2 AA batteries. Yet another was designed to glue the mouse
to a pad (yuk) where it would surely have the slow, painful death by
starvation it deserves. Having never taken the life of any sort of
mammal before, I consulted my coworkers before this moment. Being
sensitive and caring coworkers, they thought it was hilarious. But
suggested that the 98c pair of old fashioned victor mousetraps would be
On the way home from the borg, my 7 year old son, laughing, now
obsessed with new and unique ways to kill mice, was suggesting all
kinds of gruesome deaths. The most creative involved a frenchfry
slicer and a vat of boiling grease. For a moment I considered his
proposal. But I decided against it since it would ruin a perfectly
good frenchfy slicer and frier.
Upon arriving home, I set the trap, baited with peanut butter. The
next day, I returned to find, much to my horror, that the trap had been
fired, but no dead mouse. Of course, all the peanut butter was gone.
I felt robbed. So I reset the trap and tried a different location.
While talking with my coworkers, one of them made a truly frightening
comment, "There's probably more than one of them." Could it be true?
Did I indeed have multiple mice masquerading as one? We'll find out
That night, around 9:30, the 6 and 7 year old boys snuck out of bed to
check on the mousetrap. Success! But I didn't know it yet. My first
indication that we had caught a mouse was the screams from my 14 year
old daughter who suddenly found herself face-to-face with a dead mouse
in a mousetrap. The boys thought she should have a close-up look at
the remains and thoughtfully brought it to her. Being a sincere and
caring father, I thought it was hilarious. My wife disagreed.
By this time, my three year old was showing some aprehension about
walking through the garage. He can't say "Mickey Mouse", instead
opting for the more humorous and oddly appropriate "Icky Mouse". A
passing sarcastic comment by one of the older children caused him to
associate the mouse in the garage with the Rat-King from Florida.
"Icky Mouse all gone?" he would ask in a concerned tone. If only he
new the reality.
Since that night, the bodycount had steadily increased:
Nasty mice with poor bathroom habits: 1
Pissed-off woodworker: 5
I even cought two at once. We'll see how many actually die before the