September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

Mouse wars

By Jerry [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Life out here in the country is simply chock-full of hidden advantages.
For instance, I could theoretically strip down, go outside and run around buck naked without anyone saying so much as "boo." With my luck, though, I would step on a thistle and have to hop around on one foot, whooping and cursing as I struggle to remove the offending sticker. My wife would then open the door and tell me to pipe down because I'm scaring the cattle.
But really, I could do that. Theoretically.
Another advantage to country living is that we get to enjoy a year-round cornucopia of wildlife. Well, maybe enjoy is a bit too strong of a term. Sometimes it's more like tolerate and in some cases, it's be terrorized by.
This is because wildlife has little or no respect for property lines. Wild animals often mosey right onto our place as if we were the ones living in their backyard and not the other way around. And sometimes, wildlife will even move right into our house and flounce around the place as if they were the landowners, and we were mere squatters.
At least that's how it is with mice.
My wife - who puts up with me and is therefore quite possibly the nicest person on earth now that Mother Teresa is gone - absolutely hates mice. Her distaste for them borders on pathological. In fact, she uses the words "yucky old" to describe any and all things rodent, no matter what their true size and appearance might happen to be.
For instance, she will say things like, "I was watching TV when a yucky old mouse ran under the couch!" or, "And there in the closet, in my new box of Christmas cards, was a nest of yucky old baby mice!" or, "My computer was acting up today. It got so bad that the only thing that worked anymore was the yucky old mouse!"
Due to my wife's strong anti-mouse feelings, I've had to conduct a war on rodent-kind. This war has been long and costly, and has ground on for decades.
Everything I've tried has had its drawbacks. Poison does the job, but sooner or later some mouse will get a gut full of the stuff and crawl into the deepest recesses of the piano to expire. It's like he's sneering a final "up yours!" at me by forcing me to extricate his carcass from the depths of a two-ton stringed instrument amidst the nauseating odor of rotting rodent.
And then there are traps. The spring-loaded kind are satisfying in that they deliver a quick and violent death. But their main downside is the act of setting the traps. Most of the time the trap snaps just as I'm putting it down, scaring the bejeebers out of me and making me twitchy as an espresso addict.
My wife favors glue traps. The problem there is if you catch a mouse, you have to watch all that writhing and squeaking as the little varmint is carted off to the garbage can. It's tough to watch a grown woman writhe and squeak like that, so I had to take over glue trap mouse disposal duties at our house.
I decided to bring the forces of modern technology to bear in my war on mice. I did a web search and came across a doohickey called the rat zapper, a device that lures in politicians with promises of access to a Super PAC. But instead of receiving money, the pol is introduced to the business end of a cattle prod.
No, wait. That was just daydream I had recently.
I fantasized over how a real rat zapper might work: a mouse saunters into the tunnel-like device, thinking that it might be a good place to leave one of his disgusting calling cards. The mouse is quickly nabbed, strapped into a tiny chair and hooked up to a set of electrodes. He is asked if he has any last words.
"I'm innocent!" he blubbers. "It wasn't me! It was my cousin Vinny! He's the one who left those tracks in the birthday cake frosting! He's the one who said we should use your sock drawer as a toilet! He's the one who ..." ZAP!
So I ordered a rat zapper. When it arrived, I showed the doodad to my wife.
"This is it?" she said.
"And it only uses double-A batteries?"
And then my wife - who really, truly is one of the nicest people on the entire planet - asked, "Is there any way you could hook it up to 220 volts? I don't want to take any chances with those yucky old mice!"[[In-content Ad]]


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