There’s A Mouse In My House

They told me there was a mouse. They told me this was not an ordinary mouse. It was a mouse of which nightmares are made. They told me there was a mouse in my house.  And this mouse in my house held my wife and daughters hostage for the better part of a day.

slowpokeThere was panic in her voice when she called to inform me about the mouse. Apparently, she saw it, out of the corner of her eye, run across the room. It was hiding somewhere and , from her vantage point, high atop the bed, she had lost track of it. There was a free range mouse in my house. She said it was a big mouse. A big, brown mouse. “What am I supposed to do?”, she asked.

“You have to find it and catch it.”, I said.

” I don’t want to find it.”, she replied.

“Well, I’m not sure if it will come to you, but you can wait and see.”, I advise.

“You should have stayed home from work today.”

“Well, I didn’t. Go next door and ask the neighbor’s sons to come over and catch the mouse.”, I told her.

When the phone rang 30 minutes later, she was hysterical. ” The boys weren’t home, so the father came. He started banging on the furniture, and the mouse ran out from under the bookcase, and now we can’t find it. It’s in here somewhere, and we don’t know where it went.”

“Where are you now?”, I asked.

“On the bed.”

“Where are the girls?”

“On the bed.”

“And the neighbor?”

“He went home. He said he can’t catch a mouse that he can’t find.”

“Ok.”, I told her. ” I will be home as soon as I can.”

It took about 15 minutes for her to call back. She had seen a second mouse, a small, grey mouse, perched on a ledge behind the sofa. She went next door and got Mr. Tarkanian again, He found it, and he whacked it. Ding dong the mouse is dead. Which old mouse? The small, grey mouse.

“Well, that’s good.”, I said. “The problem is solved.”

“There is still the big, brown one. It’s hiding in here. It knows we are trying to find it. This is one smart mouse.”

“Have you looked for it?”

“Are you kidding?”, She shreiked, “I’m not getting off this bed until it’s out of here.”

“You know, it’s more afraid of you, than you are of it.”, I said.

“I doubt it.”, she stated.

When I got home, my daughters had gone out, and one of them was not sure she was ever coming back. “Well, that was easy.”, I told my wife. “We should have got a mouse in here a long time ago.”

“She’s been traumatised”, I was informed. “Mr. Tarkanian caught the little one, and beat it’s head in with a metal rod. There was blood all over the floor. Right in front of her!”

“Ya, if only it was possible to capture and rehabilitate them.  Any idea where this mouse could be? Where did you last see it?”

I followed her lead, and wandered around poking at things, looking under beds, furniture, and behind appliances. We checked closets, and the laundry hampers. No mouse. “It’s in here.”, my wife explained. ‘Its in here, hiding, watching us, just waiting for me to get up and start movingimages-3 around, just so it can freak me out again.”

“Uh huh.”, I said, trying  hard not to sound sarcastic. ” That’s one mighty mouse. Maybe he’s just here to save the day.”

“You’re an asshole”, she said. Clearly my attempts at not being sarcastic had failed.

“Well”, I advised, “we can either call an exterminator, or go the hardware store and take care of this ourselves.”

“I want it gone now.”, she replied.

So, off we went to the local Hardware Store. Apparently there is no humane way to get rid of mice. You have sticky traps,clap traps, and mousetrapgame2poison. I had asked my wife about her possibly doing to the mouse what she had done to the Beta fish. “Can’t you just beat the thing to death?” She declined.

We purchased the poison, and following the clerk’s instructions, strategically placed cubes of poison all around the house. It seems, the rodent(s) will eat it, and within hours, they will die. The downside is, we are likely to find dead mice around the place, which have to be picked up, and disposed of.

“I’m not doing that!”, my wife asserted.

I never thought, not even for a moment that she would. It will be my job to locate and dispose of any and all mice we find. I have undertaker_1476945become the rodent search and recovery professional.

In the meantime, my wife remains frantic. Only a corpse will relieve her anguish. She says there is still a mouse. She has never seen it leave. She says this is not an ordinary mouse. It is a mouse that lies in wait, stalking, waiting and then frightening her. She says there is still a mouse in my house. And I now search the closets, the furniture, and  behind the appliances, looking for the dead mouse that is terrorizing my family.

 

 

 

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A Cabbagetown Horror Story

It is cold where I live when winter comes. The Arctic winds blow insane amounts of snow that seem to pierce your skin like bullets. It is often dangerous, if not impossible to manipulate the roadways, and the sidewalks with the amount of snow that piles up on them. It gets dark early. Usually by 4:30 or 5:00, the street lights come on, and you can see the snow flakes, still falling, glistening in their glow.

It was on such a cold, wintry night that I stopped in at The Cabbagetown pork3Diner, a small ordinary eatery. I was a semi regular there, and with my wife working late, I took advantage of the opportunity. I sat near the open kitchen, revelling in the additional heat emanating from the oven, and began the customary conversation with Nick, head cook, and manager. He talked about the political and economic nightmare that had engulfed his beloved Greece, and I merely nodded in agreement. When he stopped to take a breath, I placed my usual order, meatloaf dinner, preferably an end piece.

I ate my meal. All of it. Not a crumb left. The Cabbagetown Diner had, what I believe was the best damned meatloaf ever created. Nick spoke to me the entire time I was eating. He was returning to his homeland, to work in the family business, and was leaving in 2 days. All I could think about was who was going to cook my meatloaf? I had asked Nick for the recipe several times, but he refused to disclose the secret.

pork1I asked one more time, one final attempt to extract the information. When Nick revealed what he put into the meatloaf, I heard myself scream, but I wasn’t sure-was it only in my head, or did I really scream out loud? He said that he used a beef/pork mixture. Pork! I had never eaten pork. It was forbidden. It is forbidden. I felt sick, and I felt scared. Was I going to go to hell for this abomination? Do I have to gargle with salt water? Do I pray for forgiveness? The guilt, the shame enveloped me like a blanket. Could I ever tell my wife? I mean, I could never go back there. Ever! How do I explain it to my kids? I felt like I was going to throw up! ‘I think I need to go to emerg”, I heard myself say, “Or maybe I should call a Rabbi”.

pig1I have never fully recovered from that night. I have not spoken about it to anyone. Not my wife. Not my kids. Not a doctor, and not a Rabbi. I have never been back to The Cabbagetown Diner, and have walked on the other side of the street ever since. I continue to struggle with the trauma, but believe that I have made great strides in recovery. I am able to look at pigs on television, however I am still not able to attend petting zoos, or farms.