Rodentia must DIE!
When I was in the second grade we moved to a big old house in a halfway decent neighborhood. It was in the city but not as seedy as some of the places I’d spent time in up to the ripe old age of seven.
There were lots of pros and cons to this new place, like lots of kids to play with on our street, and still being an only child vs. having to walk almost a mile to school and getting bullied by an older kid along the way.
But, my worst memory of this house was mice. I’m pretty sure it was my first awareness of nasty ugly dirty mice, as opposed to the cute little Christmas Mouse I’d read about in a storybook.
My mother was terrified of them, which of course influenced my being terrified as well. That winter I cannot count how many mice we trapped and poisoned, yet they continued to proliferate and torture me.
When I would stall at bedtime, as all kids do, my step-father would find a dead mouse in a trap somewhere and chase me upstairs with it. Where I would wrap myself like a mummy in my covers so they couldn’t touch me. Good times!
As I got older I told myself this fear of mice was irrational. Bugs don’t scare me because anything I can squash with one swat of my hand I can deal with. But sneaky, nasty, mice? Totally different story.
I suppose I should be grateful I never lived in a place with rats, and I am, but in my mind mice are just midget rats. Same family…all Rodentia should be annihilated.
My son used to manage a restaurant in one of the sports arenas in Philadelphia and discovered a serious mouse infestation. When the exterminator came to collect the bodies, after a big poisonpalooza, he told my son they should be grateful they have mice because it means they don’t have rats…they don’t co-exist! Good to know. Still hate the little bastards.
Several years ago our next door neighbor gutted her house and reconstructed it. Not by herself mind you, although she probably could, but over a six month torturous stretch of noise, dust, debris…and mice.
It was a nightmare on so many levels I can’t describe. One interesting thing came from that experience…my fear of mice changed to total hatred of the little fuckers. (With perhaps a bit of discomfort in their known presence.)
This all occurred when dad was still living upstairs. One morning after Dave had gone to work I came downstairs and began the usual morning routine. Let the dogs out…let them back in…feed them. All before one cup of coffee.
As I opened the pantry door to get their food I jumped about 80 feet into the air. I could hear it before I saw it. The damn mouse was running up the inside of the door and got its tail caught in the hinge. It was squeaking and flailing like nothing I had ever seen.
Of course it was probably thinking “She’s jumping and screaming like some wild banshee while I dangle here!”
I immediately called Dave at work. It went something like this…
“You have to come home immediately!!!!!”
“There’s a mouse dangling and screaming from the pantry door and you have to come kill it!”
“Oh for Christ sake! Go up and ask dad to take care of it. If he won’t I’ll come home.”
So I go up and get dad, who was perfectly cool with helping the damsel in distress. Thank God for that!
He walks in and assesses the situation then starts to leave. I said, “Wait! Where are you going??”
“To the basement to get something to kill it with!”
He came back and told me to take the dogs upstairs while he ‘took care of it’… with the hammer he got from the basement!!
He beat the shit out of it with the hammer…bagged up the body…took it to the corner and dumped it in the sewer! I swear this is all true! Pretty impressive, if you ask me.
Eventually after the reconstruction next door we’ve blissfully gone rodent free for a long time. The occasional misguided little bastard will wander in somehow and quickly learn it was a mistake. I like to put the bodies out back as a warning to their little friends.
What critters do you fear or hate?