The exterminator knocked on my door today (exactly one week and two days after I asked my landlord in a panic to call them). He was here about the mice.
“I mean, have you actually seen any?” he asked casually.
“HAVE I SEEN ANY???” I threw my arms up in exasperation. “I’m STILL cleaning up SO MUCH MOUSE SHIT!”
Not entirely convinced that evidence of mouse shit meant any actual encounter with said rodents, I proceeded to tell him the story from the beginning. I realized after that I had shared some awfully intimate details of my life and should probably have offered him a cup of tea at the very least. There was also a lot of wild arm flailing in the telling of the story. It went as follows:
I arrived home last Monday from Hurricane Irene with fresh dark circles under my eyes and a body ready to collapse in bed…and then I opened a cupboard and a mouse darted across and I learned that I am the kind of girl who screams quite loudly when startled by mice. I consulted immediately with the landlord and went out to buy mouse traps.
The real problem with mouse traps is the fear that I might actually catch a mouse. It doesn’t say anywhere on the package how long it will flop around in the middle of the night on your stove in convulsions before finally being dead. It is a very long time! (my exterminator nodded knowingly). And then what are you supposed to do with it?? TOUCH IT???
Tuesday found me with heavier circles, no sleep, and a dead mouse in a snap trap on my stove. With no one to call at 6:30am, a job to get to and a dog that was WELL aware of the dead mouse on the stove, I had no choice but to man up and dispose of it. I used kitchen tongs and made a high pitched, airy, almost-scream the entire time.
I came home from job 1 to find another one dead (by poison) in the cupboard, which maintenance graciously disposed of, and then job 2 to find another snapped mouse under the sink.
That’s when I lost it. 3 Mice is my breaking point. I crumpled to my floor in a heap of sobs as Cooper licked the salt streaming down my face and for all of my adventures and mishaps I have had here in Texas that I have toughened up and gotten through, I knew I was not going to rise to this occasion. I took deep breaths and dialed reinforcements. I tried to act somewhat composed as I explained my situation, but I’m pretty sure it came out as “IhavemiceandIcan’thandleitandIamsotiredandthereisANOTHERdeadoneandwillyoupleasecomegetrideofitforme?” (except a lot longer), and because I have the most amazing friends in Texas, he did. Thank GOD, too, because by the time he arrived, there was yet another mouse body of an even worse than convulsing sort…it was still very much alive.
“It has a friend” he said as he peered under the sink.
“WHAT?” I cringed and peered under the sink with him. There it was, the little bastard stuck in a sticky trap staring up at me. VERY MUCH ALIVE.
“Well,” he said matter of fact, “I’m going to have to kill him.”
Brave Friend, in the Kitchen, with the Rolling Pin.
There have been no new mice since.
This may have been more information than the exterminator needed to know this afternoon, but he was kind and indulged me, agreed that I have brave friends and assured me that they are doing everything possible to keep the mice out of the building and most especially my apartment.
In the meantime, I am obsessively cleaning and have decided that the rolling pin will be stored permanently in the dish washer.