The Dow was down 504 points today.
But mice are up!
As one travels along in a 25 ft. RV across the U.S., one may pick up one of nature's hitchhikers.
Mice are great climbers, aerialists extraordinaire. Plug an electrical cord into an outside outlet at an RV park, and it's Rodent Cirque de Soleil. They scamble up the onramp to Cheerios and fresh vegetables and paper and whatever else is available.
I discovered one of these when I was sitting at the kitchen table, writing at a late hour one evening last week. There is a set of aluminum venetian blinds on the window by the kitchen table. Was writing away when two of the blind blades separated, and the face of a brown Stuart Little emerged, as if to say, "OK, Mugsie, who is in charge here?"
OK, I love animals, but no mice are allowed here, as they poop worse than a goose, and chew through wires and spaghetti and, heaven forbid, everything else.
"Shoo," I said.
It disappeared, only to return around 2 a.m. when, sleepily, I heard it chewing on one of the fresh ears of corn we had purchased at a local farmers market. CORN ON THE COB! Don't these varmints know about ethanol? I'm surprised I did not hear a typewriter's end of line DING when the mousie got to the end of a corn row.
Seems to me, centuries ago in the wayback machine, I had a family of relatives who were having trouble with an infestation of mice.
The philosophy of recourse was absolutely fascinating. Please do the following to re-create the experience:
1) Sit talking to the host of the house. In the middle of the conversation, one hears the sound of scurrying behind the walls of the room where one sits. Definitely mice behind the walls. Witness the host abruptly stand up, run to the desk in the room, grab an air horn one would use to express an esprit de corps at a football game, rush to hold it against the wall, and press the button to create an extremely loud noise.
Host says: "Now the mice are scared."
You reply: "No, now the mice are deaf."
2) Decide to use sticky paper traps to catch the mice in the house. When you come home from work, find 5-6 mice still alive, struggling to release themselves from the sticky paper trap. Feel sorry for the mice. Pick up the sticky paper and the mice and put them in a paper bag. Place them on the street. Run them, and the sticky paper, over with the car.
Not wanting to be so loud or dramatic, we went to Home Depot to review the series of traps available to coax the varmints to another world...in this one, or not.
Doug held up a mousetrap, one with the image of a mouse on it, one with Xs in its eyes. I think it was called MouseBeGone. "This will do the trick," he said. He is a kind man, but very pragmatic.
I held up a safe trap, one that will catch the buggers so you can let them go, in a land far, far away.
Deviously, I set the trap with freshly cut corn from the cob, and a smear of peanut butter. At around 2 a.m., I heard the little steel door slam shut, and knew from the sound of frantic scratching that we had a winner.
Next a.m., I made coffee, and fed Walt, then gathered the trap and took it out to the woods. I opened the trap's door, and the brown mouse, and a little grey one, took off for Costa Rica.
Two for the price of one.
I hope the weather is warm.