Dejá vu all over again, as a famous ball player (not known for his grammar) once said.
Last year (http://40andoverblog.com/?p=1085), we had a run-in with urban wildlife in our home. Since it is happening again this year, I believe it now qualifies as an annual event.
Over the weekend, we heard what we thought was chirping and we surmised it had to be coming from our stove’s exhaust vent (it vents outside). Maybe there was a nest there. We did not want to disturb the nest, but we did want the birds to know that there is only room for one family in our home, so we put the vent on, which would not hurt them, but make our vent less of a sanctuary. Maybe they would move on, we thought. I also called the Bird Nerd, husband of SOB (sister of blogger), who did not understand the urgency of our concern that others lived among us. You might think he would remember the hysteria of last year. But noooooooooooooo. I digress.
The next day, POB (partner of blogger) had a brilliant, yet frightening, realization. There had to be family of mice behind our washer/dryer and the babies (as in many) are making that noise. This all sounded plausible since there is an empty space behind those appliances that our contractors ASSURED us was closed and sealed, but there I go again, digressing. Birds, I can deal with. My son likes birds. SOB married a bird nerd. A MOUSE — worse, MICE — this I could not handle.
We left for a day out of the city, with the mouse family not far from my thoughts. We arrived home late so we had a quick dinner at a local restaurant. I go into the kitchen later for something and there is a teeny, tiny mouse. I scream, POB screams because I am screaming and our son asks why we are screaming. “Nothing, sweetie. Nothing wrong.” Ok, our son is a smart guy. If NOTHING were wrong, why exactly would his two moms be shrieking??
As our luck would have it, our superintendent is in Europe for another two weeks (note to self: consider a career change), and the exterminators come at the beginning of each month. So, if you are going to have problems, have them then. This tough love approach is designed to compel those of us who live in the urban jungle to train our varmints better so as not to upset the schedule of the exterminators or the management company.
Monday morning, the handyman lays down the sticky traps. These are inhumane and make me sick, but this is the urban jungle and this is my home. I am frankly terrorized by the potential painful deaths of baby mice, but I keep repeating ”the strong eat the weak” as if to make me feel more callous than I am. Also, I am comforted by the knowledge from experience that mice are too smart to fall for that old peanut butter on the glue trick.
Except later that night, two baby mice do fall for the peanut butter on the glue trick. (Another got away.) I hear about this when I come home to a dark home and find POB and our son in his room with the door closed, the air conditioning on.
POB very calmly (and without looking up from her magazine) tells me that the two baby mice are on the Glue of Death and that she is perfectly happy never to go to that part of the house again until the handyman comes the next morning to take the “glue-kill” away.
Ok ok ok ok ok ok ok. Worse than having live mice is having dead mice. I go down to the doorman who cannot leave the door because there are no maintenance people on duty after 6pm. He gives me a broom and a dust pan. He wishes me good luck. His expression shows he knows that I am a freaked-out pampered urbanite who never thought she would be doing this — mixture of sympathy and smugness that is sooooooo unattractive in the younger generation.
Up I go in the elevator. I come into the house. I walk over the radiator. I use the brush to sliiiiiiiiide the Glue of Death over to the dustpan. The broom bristles get stuck in the glue. The glue is eating the broom. The glue is getting stronger, rendering my ammunition useless. I step on the edge to hold back the Glue of Death and retrieve the broom, but the Glue of Death has taken my sneaker hostage. I am desperate to shake off the Glue of Death as the dead and dying mice bob up and down like pawns in a cruel game.
POB gets paper towel and tosses it on the floor. I think, this is not a game of rock, paper, scissors. This is a death match with mice, the Glue of Death and me. But I use the paper towel to extricate my sneaker.
I bring the whole mess down to the doorman and, with the privileges of age, ask him to make this go away.
I come back upstairs, pronounce myself a hero to my family but a serial killer to the mouse community. I take to my bed without food or drink until POB generously braves the particularly treacherous epicenter of our urban jungle to get fruit and chocolate for us. She screams, but happily it was only a water bug. (Oy, we are soooooo careful and clean, why is this happening to us?)
I am ready to move to a hermetically sealed compound.