Nov 12, 2006

M-O-U-S-E

Devora Geller has a mouse problem. And not a small one, either.

The trouble began almost a month ago when Devora returned to her apartment and walked into the kitchen to discover a partly eaten roll, some partly eaten candy bars, and a large pile of mouse poop on her counter. Prior to this, there had been some occasional mouse droppings on the counter, which had been dutifully cleaned up and largely ignored, in the hopes that perhaps this predicament might solve itself. The aforementioned fateful day, however, changed all of this. Devora was quite disgusted, actually, at the audacity of the mouse helping itself to her food. After that, the boxed goods in her cupboard took a vacation to her refrigerator for a few days so that the mouse wouldn't go on any more eating binges. After a day or so, Devora had gone back into denial, until she actually saw a mouse run from her stove to under her refrigerator, at which time she could no longer deny, in any way whatsoever, that she had a mouse problem.

So she left a note for her super to come visit her and tell her what to do. The super came up the next day and put out some glue traps. Devora got the feeling, since she had meticulously cleaned up all of the mouse poop and there were no other outward signs of a mouse, that the super didn't believe she had mice at all. But he left the traps, and Devora went about her business for the rest of the day. That night, she walked into her kitchen to put away a glass when she saw, in the middle of the floor, a little gray mouse in the middle of the glue trap, which was now in the middle of the kitchen. Devora was not pleased about this, since it was now 11:00 at night and she wasn't sure who she could politely call at that hour to ask how to dispose of her pest. She finally decided to call her super and convinced him to come up and get rid of the mouse (at this point, of course, the super realized that there had been, in fact, mice in Devora's apartment).

Devora was sure that the problem was solved. The mouse was caught, and for ten days her kitchen was back to normal. Until last weekend.

Last weekend Devora decided it was absolutely necessary to clean her floors. In fact, her floors were dirty, and so it actually was necessary. So Devora got her Swiffer out of the closet and proceeded to clean the floors. In the process of doing this she moved the remaining glue trap that was in the kitchen. A few hours later, as she was relaxing in front of the television, she heard some sounds coming out of the kitchen that sounded very much like a mouse. So she went to investigate, and sure enough, there was another mouse, stuck in the glue trap and trying to get free. Although Devora was equally as disgusted as her previous mouse encounters, she figured that since she had seen how her super had disposed of the last mouse, that she could probably bring herself to dispose of this mouse, without troubling anyone. So she did, and after that she proceeded to get rid of all of the trash in her apartment and wiped down her kitchen again.

Since Devora was now out of glue traps, and since the mouse problem hadn't gone away, she left a note for her super to bring her more traps. On Tuesday, when Devora returned from rehearsal and errands, she discovered that one of the traps was missing. This was puzzling, since she was sure that she hadn't moved the trap, nor that a mouse could get out of the trap. So she went to investigate. She looked under her refrigerator, and saw a corner of the glue trap. She tried to pull it out, but it was stuck. So she grabbed a flashlight, and when she looked again, discovered that there was a MOUSE on the glue trap under the refrigerator. Devora was even more disgusted than the previous times. Not only that, she wasn't sure what to do: she couldn't leave the mouse under the fridge, because eventually it would die and attract bugs and stink. Nor was she willing to pull the mouse out herself (she could handle a mouse on a glue trap in plain sight, but she had to draw the line somewhere). So, on her way downstairs to fetch her super (who wasn't answering his phone), she called her sympathetic mother to complain about how unlucky she was with this mouse problem. The super kindly came up to her apartment and got rid of the mouse, although by now it was becoming clear that the super didn't like mice any more than Devora did. Before he could retreat to his own apartment, Devora made him look around with her to try to figure out where the mice were coming from. They decided that the mice were probably coming from the opening in the wall under the sink, which the super promised to come fix on Friday. On Saturday, Devora heard squeaking in her kitchen. Thinking that a mouse got caught in the trap, she went to the kitchen in time to see a mouse run under the dish drainer, along the counter, into the stove, then out from under the stove to under the refrigerator. When Devora first saw the mouse, she was sure that it would get caught in the glue trap, so she just stood and watched and waited for the little mouse to get its just rewards. However, the mouse came nowhere near the glue trap. Devora nudged the glue trap nearer to the fridge, hoping that the mouse would get caught on its way out. When Devora went to bed, the trap was still empty.

On Sunday, Devora woke up to discover that in the middle of the night, a mouse had gotten stuck, but that it probably wasn't the one she saw the evening before. So she disposed of the mouse. By now Devora was really annoyed. Who wouldn't be annoyed at audacious mice coming into one's kitchen? So instead of shuffling back to bed, as she would liked to have done, Devora got dressed and went shopping.

She went to the drugstore, where she bought rubber gloves and steel wool. Then she went up the street to the hardware store, where she proceeded to buy a large quantity of glue traps. When she returned to her apartment, still in a less-than-cheerful mood, she put on the rubber gloves, opened up the box of steel wool, and proceeded to plug up as much of the opening under her sink as she could. Then she opened up the glue traps and put a whole row of them in front of the stove, and a couple more in front of the refrigerator. Now she lies in wait, ready (and hoping) to hear the chirping squeaks of little mice caught in glue traps. The end.

Devora's tale probably does not have a moral. In fact, this tale really isn't even at its true end. Devora most likely still has mice, and will as long as there is an opening of any sort under her kitchen sink. From now on Devora plans to nag her super until he finishes the repairs. She will not be leaving any food out on her counters. Nor will she stand by idly the next time she sees a mouse running around her kitchen. Devora thinks that she has had enough pest ordeals the past six weeks to last her for many, many, many years of her adult life. The end (again).

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