When our kids were in their teens, a hole in a bag of chocolate chips was a good thing. It meant that although someone had a chocolate craving, my secret Snickers stash remained undiscovered.
But when I found a hole in a bag of chocolate chips in our pantry a couple of weeks ago, it was high drama around here.
“Probably a mouse,” Dearly Beloved said casually when I raced past on my way to the garbage with the tainted chips.
“Mouse? MOUSE? Look at the size of that hole! ”
Rat? Chipmunk? (shudder!) SQUIRREL??? I headed to the supermarket with my grocery list–Mousetrap underlined twice.
The one I bought for about ten bucks promised to do a mercy kill, close the lid on the coffin, and have a little tombstone flag pop up on one end. Flowers optional. No blood, no viewing.
No mouse, either. The Cadillac trap remained empty for more than a week.
In the meantime, I cleaned out the pantry, tossing anything that might have been breathed on by the varmint. Everything that wasn’t in cans or bottles went into plastic canisters or ziplock bags.
Our food supply remained unmolested long enough to lull me into a false sense of security until yesterday when I found mouse droppings on one of the canisters and a none-too-small hole in one of the freezer-strength plastic bags.
“THAT’S IT! Call the exterminator!”
DB and I do not share the same sense of urgency. When he said he’d look online to investigate the best kind of trap and buy one the next time he went out, his wild-eyed wife yelled, “Hardware store. Now!”
The fancy hardware store near us has an expert for everything, so DB wasn’t surprised to learn that why yes, they do have a mouse expert. He was surprised when it turned out to be a woman, but that makes sense when you think about it. The urgency thing.
She steered him past the sticky pads and the no-blood-and-guts models to the wooden traps right out of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons. “The best,” she told him.
As Braveheart set the traps last night (two, just to make sure) I heard, SNAAAP!!! then “OUCH!” along with some mumblings about hair triggers at least half a dozen times before he was able to declare success, close the door, and go to bed.
I’d planned to stay up late and work on my current useless project: reorganizing decades of clipped recipes I’ll never prepare into notebooks to clutter my bookshelf. I know it’s silly, but they’re a history of our family, not so much from our salad days as from the BC days. (Butter and cream) I’d just managed to spread the mess on every available surface and open the glue bottle when I heard a noise.
SNAAAAP!!!! then quiet.
Did we catch it or had the hair-trigger misfired? Was I going to look? No way!!!
Not willing to take a chance on hearing any pitiful squeaks and before a mouse choir could assemble to squeak Amazing Grace, I went to bed and made sure I stayed there until DB and Scout had time to hold funeral services this morning. Nevertheless, DB insisted on telling me that it had been a cute little fellow who died with a smile and a quizzical “WTF?!?!” expression on his face.
What I’d rather know is how the hell it got in here and does it have siblings on the premises.
Over 100 years and 4400 patents later and we still don’t have a better mousetrap.
Then again, perhaps we don’t need one.