media; humour

Mice in the house

I HAVE a complex relationship with mice.

   They repulse me and, at the same time, make me want to talk in that voice usually reserved for babies: ‘Oh, look at da little mousey. Aren’t you cute? Yes you are, yes you are.’

   At the moment though they’re in my pantry and every day I’m forced to clean up their shit and throw away all the things they’ve ransacked. My wife – I think she’s in denial about the depth of our problem – always refers to the ‘mouse’ we have. But I know there’s never just one. Mice aren’t the type of creatures that live alone in one bedroom units with nice little gardens.  Sure they’d move into a one bedroom unit, but they’d come along with 3000 other family members and eat everything that isn’t nailed down. Bad tenants that they are, they’d leave every inch of the place covered in shit too, not to mention poking more than a few holes in the walls.

   Mice are a force of nature. Not one damn one of them has an interest in playing the guitar, watching films or writing pointless internet blogs. They are designed for two purposes only: to eat and shit. And even knowing this, my heart goes out to them. Because they have cute little faces, I pretend they’re something more.

   We’ve got a ‘mice device’ – one of those stupid humane traps. They walk in and a little door closes. You simply take the mouse away – I got two in it the other day – and release it into the front yard of your enemy. I chucked one of the traps in a bucket of water once and watched the poor little fella drown. But he kept coming back to me in my dreams, so I never did that again.  

   We’ve had the other traps too, but they tend to get the poor little things right on the end of the nose and they die a horrible, bloody death. I can’t abide that. I have to admit, though, my opposition to those splatter traps is driven more by the mess than the cruelness of them.

   If someone came into my house with a flamethrower (but didn’t damage any of the furniture) and barbecued every mouse we had, that would be fine by me. As long as I didn’t have to see it. Because then I’d want to kiss and cuddle them and tell them I was sorry.

   The most embarrassing part of this mice problem is the fact that our dog, Sam, is a Jack Russell. He was born to be a mouser, but hasn’t caught a single one. He’s killed birds by the bucket load (and no, we don’t encourage this), but mice always give him the slip. He walks away from every exchange shame faced.

   So, unless we take drastic action we’re stuck with them. Can mice and men coexist? I think not. For me it’s like a relationship that’s gone sour: I’ll always love them, but I’m sick of their shit and want them out of my life.  


5 thoughts on “Mice in the house

  1. Being similarly phobic about all manner of vermin, including guinea pigs and even rabbits, I engaged the services of a rat man last year to deal with a roof invasion. This was one of the worst decisions I have made. Having some foolish notion that he would hunt them down commando style, striking such fear into their hearts that they would flee and never return, he simply got on a ladder and tossed a few handfuls of bait into the cavernous space up there. After handing me an outrageous invoice he told me that in ideal circumstances they would take the bait and become thirsty and then leave the roof to go in search of water. This sounded fine except that it seemed that one of them decided, nah, game over, I’ll just stop here in an inaccessible roof cavity just next to their range hood over the stove. What followed was days of an overwhelming death stench no amount of incense and scented oil alchemy could subdue. Then came a shower of increasingly fatter maggots onto the stove over several days and then followed by about two weeks of coming home to a swarm of bulging blow flies every day. When the presence of all rat activity ceased I wondered, well, perhaps it was all worth it. Except for the fact that after a little bit of autumn rain there appears to be a new generation who see the same allure of our house as did their ancestors. And how they scorn my efforts to take the battle up to them outside the house. Like the Imperial USA or Sadam Hussein I have invested heavily in high tech armoury (Bunnings as my arms dealer) and chemical weapons, but like indominable little freedom fighters they continue to prevail. I haven’t scored a single casualty.

    • Thanks for your comments, Waz. You’re a very funny man. China was fantastic. I’d go back tomorrow if I could. Beautiful people.

  2. Can I suggest stuffing your crevices with steel wool? Buy a bloody big roll of it at the hardware and go your hardest. See you Friday night; gan bei!

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