Saturday, July 31, 2004

Man or Mouse?

What excitement! What suspence! This is freaking hilarious (I'm grinning so big it hurts my face - really)!

Last night, about 9 p.m., Matt (my oldest son, 10) was putting the PS2 controllers away after watching me kick butt on Tomb Raider for over an hour, and he watched as a mouse dove behind our entertainment center. At first I didn't beleive it. Matt is a bit prone to "telling tales" that grow with the telling. However, I was nervous... my bedroom has a sliding glass door and in the summer we keep that door open about two inches. However, there is no screen on the slider. Sucks, I know, but you do what you can to keep cool air circulating. Well, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that things that live outside may want to experience life inside... like tourists. Usually it is spiders, crane flies and the occasional mosquito. No biggy. The landlord owns a pest control company and he sprays regularly so the sightings are kept to a minimum.

Anyway, it was no surprise when Matt again saw the mouse, this time in the kitchen. He watched as it ran from under the stove to a space under the dishwasher. Eric got motivated (Eric is the S.O. - significant other). He pulled out the dishwasher and sure enough, here was the mouse cowering in the corner. We took action! Eric picked up anything the mouse could hide under, blocked access to places he could dive under, opened the front door adjacent to the kitchen and the kids stood sentry to stomp in case the mouse ran toward the front room. I, amused by this display of consolidarity in the face of such a formidable opponent, sat regally observing from my perch on the couch. Hey, I may be an independant fem, but with three men in the house, pest irradication isn't my worry.

Eric got the broom to encourage the critter to flee toward our funnel out the front door. Well, the mouse moved - fast - skittering toward the front room. The boys dutifully stomped and yelled (war cries? screams of fright?) and the mouse changed direction - right at me. Since jumping off the couch really wouldn't work (too fat, can't jump), I stomped my feet and the racing rodent dove under the couch.

If I had thought the previous activity was stimulating to watch, what happened next was shocking in it's intensity. Eric began tearing the front room apart in order to leave no place to hide for the furred minion of Satan. Couch cushions flew. Today's newspaper was left to the winds of fate as it was hurled through the living room, coming perilously close to the ceiling fan. Books and toys the kids had refused to put away were promptly boxed and moved.

Eric turned the couch over and the mouse made a break for the entertainment center (again). Then back under the bookshelf holding all of our VCR tapes and CD's. Then back toward the couch. This being too much excitement for me, and since this is a Saturday and only 10:30 a.m., I'm still in my nightgown... I decided to head to my room and get dressed for the hunt. All of the doors along the hallway are shut to keep mice out, so I shut my bedroom door, and behind me, the hunt continues.

The activity moves toward me, and I hear Eric tell not to open the door because the mouse is pressed against it. It beats lions at the gate, but I'm still concerned. Against all odds, the furred minion of random chewing squeezes under the closet doors next to my bedroom, where, unbeknownst to us until this point is a small square hole in the wall that was formerly an exhaust port for a clothes dryer. Eric takes everything out of the closet and blocks the hole. Phew! It is still a problem but not IMMEDIATE. Right? Things are NEVER that easy.

Relieved, the boys head into their bedroom and Eric decides that he was just waiting for an excuse to pick everything up off of the front room floor and vacuum. Unfortunately, the only pair of jeans I can find has a huge hole in the caboose area, so I'm stuck in the bedroom sewing (phew!). Eric, finishing the front room takes the vacuum into the kitchen and begins cleaning behind the dishwasher and the stove (he pulled that away from the wall too?). I find more holes in my jeans that desperately need patching, all the while wondering how much will actually get done. And then the scream.

Matt rips into my bedroom yelling the he's seen the mouse run from his closet. Now, for the original mouse to move from the back of the closet, through the walls into the boys' room would take hours, right? There isn't even a hole in the back of the boys' closet, is there? Big trouble... the boys' room is a disaster. Their closet is piled with false proof that their room is "cleaned". Eric comes in a witnesses said mouse run behind the boys' computer desk.

Right now the boys are cleaning (really!) their room in an attempt to flush the mouse out. Eric has gone to the hardware store to buy traps. Me? I'm in my office with the door barred to half-ounce minions of chewing destruction, typing in my blog. After all, my Star Wars action figure collection is directly threatened! I'm guarding it.

So for now, mouse: 1, family: 0. Of course, there may be more than one mouse... whoo-boy!


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