There are mice living in my house.
The place is a mess, it’s got a generally fetid odor, the kitchen is a disaster, and over the course of several parties our bathroom has seen a lifetime’s worth of horrors ranging from shower peeing to sink puking to a party guest getting an impromptu blowjob.
And now, on top of that, we’ve got a fully-fledged mouse infestation. Classic.
We’ve already killed three, although when we started setting out traps we thought there was only one.
You see, my roommate Cameron saw a mouse saunter through his room and out the door a few weeks ago. He came running out of his room to tell me, and for the next 24 hours I was living in a state of fear. I tore apart cardboard boxes and taped the shreds to the bottom of my door to prevent the mouse from crawling underneath, starting obsessively researching the diseases mice can spread*, and never ventured out of my room alone for fear that the mouse might rape me.
*Fun fact: If it’s a horrific disease that you thought had been eradicated years ago, mice can and do spread it.
But then, in the morning, the mouse dove headfirst into one of our peanut butter-baited Victor mousetraps – a move that resulted in the wire snapping down across the bridge of his nose, breaking his face into two pieces, popping out an eye, and leaving a bloodstain on our carpet.
The mouse was very prolifically dead, and we all figured that the crisis was over. Admittedly, we still hadn’t found the hole in our defenses the mouse had used to get in, theoretically leaving the door open for any other mice that wanted to join the party, but our reasoning was that our profoundly gory execution of the first mouse had given us a Keyser Soze style reputation in the mouse world, and the rest would stay away out of respect and fear.
Over the course of the week, though, we found two more dead mice in traps that we’d forgotten we had set. The message was clear: The mice were out in force, and they wanted us to know that they would suicidally Zerg rush our defenses until we ran out of both peanut butter and mousetraps. They delivered their coup de grace when, two nights ago, I walked into the bathroom in the middle of the night and watched a little furball go streaking out the door a second before it closed.
I hadn’t seen any of the other three mice – they always died and were disposed of while I was in class – so this was my first encounter with our woodland invaders. And let me just say this: It’s really easy to laugh at women in cartoons who see a mouse and instantly jump on a table with their skirt hiked up. It’s like, ‘What’s wrong with you? It’s just a little mouse! And to think we let you vote!’
But when you’re half asleep in the middle of the night and you see something with mangy grey fur and a tail scamper past your foot in your own goddamn home, I challenge you to not want to jump up on a table and start screaming. That second before you remember that it’s just a little creature that is pretty much at the absolute bottom of the food chain is a straight up nightmare, because all you’re thinking is ‘OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT THERE WAS A WILD ANIMAL IN HERE OH JESUS CHRIST IT WAS GOING TO WATCH ME PEE.’
This encounter galvanized me into action, and the next day I hit Albertson’s and picked up a pack of four Tomcat brand mousetraps. This was my first mistake. Do not buy Tomcat brand mousetraps. I’ll tell you why in the paragraph after next.
I’ve never set mousetraps before, but I’ve seen enough Saturday morning cartoons to know that it’s an activity ripe for slapstick comedy and severe pain. Naturally, I was very cautious as I primed the traps and daubed small amounts of peanut butter onto the bait trays, but I managed to make it through the entire process without having one of the traps close on my thumb, causing it to become comically large and red and make my eyes shoot out of my head. I placed the traps at key, mouse friendly areas behind couches and along the baseboards and went to bed.
In the morning, I went out to check the traps, preparing myself to see a grisly scene of mouse carnage – because it’s always surprising how much damage one spring loaded wire can do. But lo and behold, all I discovered was three still-primed and set mousetraps, albeit with completely empty bait trays.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you shouldn’t buy Tomcat mousetraps. While they have a very cool and intimidating looking picture of a ferocious cat on them, their trigger mechanisms are so unresponsive that they serve less as traps and more as plates with which you can easily convey food to the mouse’s mouth. Unless these traps operate along the ‘turn the other cheek’ principle, I think a bunch of nefarious vegans have started swapping these duds for functioning mousetraps in an effort to safeguard the livelihoods of these freeloading, disease spreading rodents.
So that mouse is out there in my house, belly full of peanut butter that I essentially gave him, gnawing on our wires and playing host to God knows how many fleas. All I’m saying is, I’d better kill his ass before he meets some nice girl mouse and I come back from Christmas break to find everything in my house buried under a fine layer of mouse droppings.
Truman Capps has also considered leaving a toy motorcycle out for the mice to ride in an attempt to make friends.