Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Of mice and women

Posted by Lissa on December 16, 2008

Many of you have read Breda’s inspirational post on will-to-live and self-defense.  If you haven’t, go read it now.  (But please come back!)

This, alas, is not so grand nor noble a story.  In fact, it’s kind of embarrassing.  But those are the stories you like best, aren’t they?

Many years ago, when I was young and innocent (snort), I lived in an apartment that we now call The Hobbit Hole.  The Hobbit Hole was a basement apartment in a house chopped up into several units; the washer-and-dryer were in a common room, accessed through a door in my bedroom; it was always kick in the butt when loud, chatty people decided to do laundry early on Saturday mornings (hiss).  The ceilings were just over six feet; I’m 5′ 3″ and I could easily reach the ceiling standing flat-footed.  Worst of all, as The Hobbit Hole was a basement apartment it was prone to house centipedes.  I’ve posted pix of those before.  (Nasty, skittering, creepy-crawly leggy disgusting little beasts . . . Excuse me while I go off and cry for a bit . . .)

To top off the many charms of my very first apartment, it was owned by a guy named Slumlord Jim.  This charming piece of work had that unmistakable distilled flavor of a used car dealer; every time I talked to him I had a feverish urge to scrub my hands with bleach and hot water.  Nothing EVER got done on time; he was incredibly disorganized and, also, didn’t give a sh*t about his tenants.  He would assure me greasily that he’d get my plumbing fixed, oh, absolutely, I’ll call the guy tomorrow, of course . . . and we’d repeat that cycle every week for a month or so before I saw a plumber.  He once asked me to send him a replacement check for a month’s rent that he hadn’t received; when I did, he then tried to cash BOTH checks.  (Luckily, I’d stopped the first check before sending the second.  His excuse was that he’d intended to cash both checks and then tell me not to send a check for the NEXT month’s rent.  Dude, my first apartment and my first job; do you think I had an extra month’s-worth of rent just sitting around in my checking account?  Not freaking likely!)

So, these were the circumstances under which I lived.  And you know what?  It was really okay.  I lived two blocks from a police station, so it was a safe neighborhood; I had my own garage, so I didn’t have to shovel out my car during the winter; and the rent was $620 a month, including utilities.  It was a very good deal and a wise choice for my first apartment.  I’m not complaining; I’m just laying out the atmosphere. 

Because without knowing the background, you might assume that, if my apartment had a family of mice move in, that it would be the landlord’s problem to deal with.  You might assume that he would quickly exterminate the little pests, since it was in his interests at least as much as mine.  Of course, we all know what happens when you assume.

You might also assume that, being a devoted cat-lover and shameless cat-blogger, that my cat would take care of the problem for me.  Sadly, that was not the case; I did indeed have a cat, but poor little Jolie was just getting sick.  (She died about two weeks later, of FIP.  She was five months old.  She was a good kitty.)

So it fell to me to rid myself of the little buggers.   A disclaimer: I am not at all fond of mice or rats.  I’ve seen people that keep rats as pets; I’ve got no problem with that.  But I volunteered for two years at the Carolina Raptor Center; any initial fondness I may have had for rodents (and that’s iffy, y’all) was drummed out of me RIGHT quick.  (“Let’s see . . . 24 red-tailed hawks . . . each hawk needs 1/3 of a rat, to be chopped apart with dull scissors and the innards dosed with meds . . . “) 

To get right to the point . . . I set out glue traps, and I caught a mouse.  A fat little brown-furred mouse. 

I stared at the mouse.  The mouse stared back.

“Oh, sh*t.  NOW what?”

Now, I’m not COMPLETELY without compassion when it comes to nasty rodent-things.  I have a friend who, when he caught mice in glue traps, used to just toss the trap, with its live mouse, into the garbage.  I didn’t want the mouse to suffer like that, but I was so NOT going to bonk it on the head.  (My hand-to-eye coordination is BEYOND terrible; without a doubt, I would have broken a finger, cut myself open and just grazed the mouse.  I’m not kidding.) 

As I muttered feeble euthanasia plans to myself, I tried to make the mouse more comfortable.  I gingerly picked up the trap and placed it in a Ziploc disposable plastic container.  I then cut a large slab of cheddar cheese and placed it close to the mouse so that it could have a last meal.  Stupidly, I even tried to pet it a little.

And that mouse reared up and bit the ever-living SH*T out of my thumb.

Sorry, mouse-lovers, but no happily-ever-after was in store for the mouse.  After discarding a number of hare-brained plans, I put the cover on the container and suffocated the little creature.  I like to think that she passed away full of cheddar and righteousness; she took a bit of my blood with her, after all.  As Breda pointed out, that’s more than some human victims manage.


JENNY:  “So, you called the doctor, right?”
ME: “No, why?”
JENNY: “Lissa . . . you got bit by a MOUSE.  That eats GARBAGE and probably lives in a SEWER.  You need a tetanus shot.”
ME: “Dude, I washed it out with soap and water.  Isn’t that good enough?”
JENNY:  “Um . . . . NO.  Why, NO, it’s not.  GO TO THE F*CKING DOCTOR ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?”
ME:  “Oh.  Okay.”

And a note for the ladies below, in white; highlight to read.  (But ONLY if you’re a girl.)

I had a physical last week and was able to tell the doc the exact month in which I last had a tetanus shot, thanks to the story above.  The physical also included a pap smear.  The next time I hear a guy complain about the “turn-your-head-and-cough” routine, I’m going to kick him squarely in the crotch.

7 Responses to “Of mice and women”

  1. Breda said

    Our first cat Sylvie died of FIP, when she was 6. And it still hurts to talk abouut it, so, um, yeah…

    Anyway, thanks for the link. 🙂

    • Lissa said

      Breda – Thanks for the lede, and my sincere condolences for Sylvie 😦

      Brad – Does that mean you have to sit there and wait for the mouse to crawl in? What if they only come out late at night?

      OrangeNeck – Ewwwwww 😉

  2. Brad K said

    Lissa, I like the Victor mousetraps with the yellow, ‘permanent bait’ flap thingys. You never bait them, I never touch the yellow tab – I hold the edges of the trap, pull the wire whapper thingy back, lay the trigger thingy up over the spring, tilt the thing back so the trap wire thingy just catches in the plastic bait flap thingy – and gently set nest to a wall or box. When a mouse violates the yellow bait tab thingy’s space – I hold the edges of the trap, pull the wire whapper thingy back, shake out the mouse outside for any passing cat, reset the trap and put it back. Odds are there are another one or three until the trap goes for several weeks with no more catches. Then I wash my hands.

    What is important to remember about Breda’s scenario, of an armed attack on civilians, is that liberals have been using elementary and high schools, and colleges, to commit social engineering. They have set agendas and hired professors and promoted ideas that guns are evil, and no one is allowed to think about guns. Also, as Bill points out in Billll’s Idle Mind, *all* mass gun killings take place in gun-free zones. From college campuses to Amish schools to shopping malls in Omaha – the gunman always picks a gun-free zone – not the Marine rifle range at Quantico!

    The liberals keep trying to disarm the thug that is already outside the law, while ignoring how increasing gun-free zones increases the exposure of the average citizen to mass killing sprees.

    The kids didn’t react, because they were in school. They were trained to cooperate. They were lied to, that police and anti-gun legislation were the only ways to combat a gunman.

    At what age to you admit to kids they might have to defend their own lives? And once you do, how to you demand unquestioning obedience in the classroom? Once you empower people, young or old, to decide on their own about life and death issues, you have to accept that they will be questioning authority, questioning standard procedures, and offering objections.

    As Tom Arnold expressed it in “True Lies”, “Denial. It isn’t just a river in Egypt.”

  3. OrangeNeckInNY said

    I would’ve hung the trap up against a phone book out in the yard and had myself some target practice with an air rifle.

  4. When you get a little older, the men you know will finally start to have a real complaint. My doctor is a woman for one very important reason: smaller fingers. Anything that can make a prostate exam feel a little less invasive is a very good thing.

  5. […] upon a time Lissa lived under the rule of Slumlord Jim.  Now, I need to emphasize right off the bat that I don’t regret living in the Hobbit Hole […]

  6. […] a very happy birthday.  Thanks for coming into the world, thanks for holding my hand, thanks for making me get tetanus shots   Thanks for that time you brought all of your sixth-grade authority to threaten the little […]

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