June 08, 2002

Of Midnight Mice and

Of Midnight Mice and Men

Now I am a tolerant and gentle sort of a guy. I can co-exist with the Phoebe nesting on our soffits, the neighbors peacock pooping on our front porch, and an occasional crow in the garden. But I'm sorry, the mice in the ceiling were a bit too much.

For weeks on end it happened. It's 2:34 a.m. Ann elbows me out of a very superficial grogginess: Fred, do you hear that? Do I hear it! Well BLEEP yes I've heard it for the last 2 hours! Whaddaya want me to do about it!

Here's the scene: You must remember the Looney Tunes character, Speedy Gonzales here(more about him later, and I apologize for the obnoxious animated rodent, but don't you just want to SLAM it off your screen? See...it evokes just the right mood). Our mice were not 'wee timerous beasties' I tell you. What we had was a track team of Speedys *ARRIBA! ARRIBA! running wind-sprints in the spaces between joists, in the dark spaces between our ceiling and the upstairs wooden floors. From the sound of it, they (and there had to be a whole team of them) were wearing their dirt-spikes and were approximately the build of a small groundhog.

Having placed exactly THREE open D-con bait trays in the room above us, plus a mousetrap, with no noticable effect on the four-mouse midnight relays, my only recourse was loud cursing (which made me feel better but our rodent-athletes could not hear above their ARRIBAS) and an occasional pounding on the ceiling with a shoe while standing on the bed in the dark (and this terrified the wife way more than the mouses).

Last resort, I gotta get some sleep: One morning last week, after another track meet upstairs, I resolved to end this man-against-nature stand-off. If they live in the space under the floor, well, that's where ya gotta fight'em. So, with a 1" woodbit, I sunk a hole in the old plank flooring, poured in a couple of ounces of delicious green D-Con, and pulled the rug over the hole (I'll patch it with a 1" dowel one of these days). That oughta do it, I gloated.

And sure enough, that night...no sprints, relays or broadjumps! Ah, victory. Sleep all night! NOT. The next night, and the next, Speedy and Crew were back again. OH, PLEASE get hungry, eat hardy and DIE! Think brain, think brain, think! I stumbled up the steps with the little radio I keep at my computer desk, put it on its side on the floor about the mouse-stadium, and tuned in to the only channel we get: Smooth Jazz. All night long. And....No mouses ever again. Nighty-night!

I always sort of thought enough Smooth Jazz could be lethal if taken internally.

* Full text of mouse-sounds overhead: "Arriba, arriba, arriba, andale, andale, ole, ole, ole, andale! Hello, pussycats, you looking for a nice fat mouse for deenner?"

Note: I'm afraid our friend Speedy is a victim of Political Correctness. Noticed that you have not seen him lately on Nickelodeon?

Posted by fred1st at June 8, 2002 07:05 AM
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