Welcome back ya'll, it's time for part two. I know you've been anxiously waiting. Are you ready? It's gory, so take heed.
Let's set the scene: it's late January, snow on the ground, roommates bundled on the couch, and the subtle sounds of squeaking coming from the floor boards. At this point in time the apartment is occupied by my lovely roommate Tori, and our friends Alden and Monica. For whatever reason we had stopped putting out mouse traps for the past few months. I had sighted one on a few occasions. I named him Gustav, and we had a general understanding that as long as he stayed out of my way I would stay out of his. More than once I walked into the kitchen to find him scurrying up and over my stove top. We had developed a begrudging respect for each other, as long as he stayed off my counter tops. However when one night Tori heard scurrying on her night stand we all agreed that perhaps it was time to end the peace contract. A trip to the hardware store and one jar of organic-sugar free peanut butter later, the traps were set.
Gustav didn't even wait an hour, poor lad. The notes of whole foods peanut butter in the air were too enticing for our friend to resist, and slowly but surely he found the first trap by the window. I am happy to report that his was a clean death, quick and hopefully painless. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a moment of sadness. Never again would I come out of the shower to see his furry little butt scurrying to get back behind the wall. Never again would I exit my bedroom and turn on the light and see a mirrored look of horror on his little face as he threw up his front paws in shock. This was quickly overshadowed by the quite visible droppings on my entertainment center. My sadness went out the window (this is foreshadow folks, get excited), and we reset the battle ground.
Now we had two kinds of traps set at this time. One was your standard trap with wood and a metal bar, the second was a little more sophisticated and extremely hard plastic where two plates would come together to ensure a speedy end. One was significantly more efficient than the other...
On the night that Gustav died we were all emotionally drained, and decided to call it an early night. I was lying in bed reading Jenny Lawson's "Furiously Happy" (highly recommend), when I heard a THWACK. There was no mistaking it, another mouse had fallen. I crept out of my room, scared of what I might see. And too my horror I didn't see the mouse, I heard it. He had found himself in one of the old fashioned traps and the metal bar hadn't finished the job. His cries of pain were echoed by my cries of shock which quickly summoned my roommates to the scene. We all stood around him in his final moments, we named him Ratatouille and made sure he was truly gone before removing his body from the hall. It was then that I realized that the path he walked to find this trap was the same one that Gustav must have walked to find his. Was Ratatouille looking for Gustav? Did he know something was wrong? Upon realizing he was gone did he decide that life was just too much and followed Gustav into the dark?
And then the worst thought of all sunk in. Did I just kill Mickey and Minnie Mouse.....?
Bloody Valentines Day:
A few weeks had now passed and mouse after mouse had found their way into our web. At one point every single trap in our living room had exercised it's grip of death, and we were running out of peanut butter... Valentines Day was upon us and with Tori's boyfriend in Florida and my life being wildly uneventful we decided to have a girls night in. Champagne purchased, seamless ordered, and chocolate covered strawberries in the fridge (thank you, dad) we put on a movie and raised our glasses to a wonderful year of friendship.
That's when everything went to shit.
"Where is it?"
"Omg I can't stop screaming!"
A mouse had gotten close enough to the trap to dip his little finger into the delicious pool of peanut butter, but his reach was less than gentle and triggered the jaws of death. Unlucky for him the only thing that trap was able to pin was his arm... His panic was tangible as he squealed and spun in tight circles, unable how to free himself, not ready to die. We were at a loss of what to do. Two girls in their mid twenties were now jumping on their couch, matching a tornado mouse squeal for squeal. Tori immediately FaceTimed her boyfriend, surely a guy would know what to do. In between jumps and shrieks we explained what was happening and turned the camera to show him the mouse and beg his advice on how to somehow make it magically die without us having to actually do anything.
Tate: Just grab it and break it's neck.
Tate: Ok, then do you guys have any poison you could feed it?
Us: DOUBT HE HAS AN APPETITE RIGHT ABOUT NOW! (aren't we so helpful?)
Tate: Why don't you put some glass in it's food?
Us: SEE STATEMENT ABOVE!
Tate: Well then you're going to have to crush it with something, do you have a hammer?
We looked at each other with wide eyes and had an unspoken conversation. I was going to have to crush the mouse. I quickly grabbed the hammer from my tool set, threw back a shot of tequila to settle my nerves, and aimed. I was on my knees on the edge of the couch, left hand balanced on the window sill, right hand with a hammer over A-Aron. He knew what was coming and spun with all his might to try to free himself before the hammer literally came down. "1-2-33333333 I Can't Do This!" I tried over and over to swing my arm and every time I lost my resolve. Between screaming apologies and counting down I was becoming a broken record before finally accepting that there was no way I could pummel the rodent myself.
What was there to do? Mouse in house. No means to kill him cleanly. No will power to kill him forcefully. It was time for my fear to go out the window, and the mouse with it. So I improvised and headed for the kitchen where I grabbed two oven mitts. This was war, and I needed armor. We pushed the furniture out of the way, opened the window and the screen, and said a little prayer for A-Aron. I grabbed the edge of the trap from my gloved hand, and threw my best curve ball right out the window. Mouse separated from trap as they hurled through the nights sky, dancing, twirling, flailing.
And as fast as it began it was over. A-Aron laid on the street, flat on his back in defeat. Whether it was the impact of the fall or the shock of being thrown out a window, our latest friend had met his doom. Calm finally returned to the apartment, and we wrote a collaborative haiku to commemorate the occasion.
'Mice do not belong,
Our apartment is at war,
No no no no Scram!'
Of Mice and Women:
At this point in time we have three female roommates occupying our little space in Brooklyn. Michelle is the newest addition to our home and so far has had a brick thrown through her car window, had to beat a mouse to death with a broom, and found a cockroach crawling near her bed. Our vermin stories are far from over, but I'm happy to report that as of today our landlord has officially agreed to bring in an exterminator to deal with the whole building.
If I've learned anything from this whole ordeal it's this: mice REALLY like reduced fat peanut butter.
Stayed tuned next week, and don't forget to subscribe!