I often run into various readers of my column who tell me that the trials I find myself in are representatives of their lives as well. All this time I thought these crazy things only happened to me. Well, I bet you can’t compete with what happened to this old gal yesterday.
It had snowed and my husband, who was tracking in a mess, said “It’s time to put the runners down,” and he wasn’t talking to himself.
No, the placing of the runners is one of my many jobs around here. He just happened to be heading to a job estimate, leaving me with his brother who was working in the basement, and also mentioned that he wouldn’t be mad at all if I baked him some biscuits for dinner.
“I’ll get right on that, boss.”
I sighed and walked away from my computer to haul in the big runner I keep coiled up in the garage. Even though I vacuum it before I put it away, it always leaves a ring of dirt on the floor when I bring it in and set it down. To minimize this I picked it up and dropped it down three times while still in the garage.
It seemed to have worked because as I gently set it down it was leaving no ring. I laid it down and delicately began to unroll it when egads … a mouse scurried out of it and into the small bathroom that was right there. I was on full alert and swallowing panic — hoping he was a bachelor and not a family man.
This is not the part where I dare you to compete, as lots of people encounter mice in their homes. Of course this house hasn’t seen a mouse in 15 years and that one time it did I had a cat. Not that the cat did anything but call my attention to it, but still …
This new mouse was hiding behind the magazine rack which was made of thin metal bars, and though he managed to completely hide his body behind the thicker pole in the center, his tail was a dead giveaway. I did not want to lose sight of him so I called for my brother-in-law. I called again, still nothing. The basement door was closed and I can’t yell loud anymore so I was in a pickle.
I turned on the light to see him better and he scurried over to the toilet bowl brush. This caused me to close the door on us so he couldn’t get out and he and I were about to go a few rounds. Unfortunately I was ill prepared. I mean, seriously I had nothing to battle with except my wits and that isn’t saying much.
“What’s the plan Deb?” I asked myself. I needed a bucket. Why didn’t I grab a bucket before I came in here? Did I even have a bucket? After precious minutes of deliberation and chastising, I spotted the plastic wastebasket that I had just emptied and lined with a grocery bag. I tossed the bag to the floor and got in position. The mouse got wise to me and darted past me and with no real plan of his own huddled against the door. While not my original plan I slapped the basket against the door — which was all well and good except that it’s a six panel door which would offer him plenty of room to escape on the sides so I began to slide the basket up the door and toward the center where it was flat. But first I bent down to see just how much escape room the panel was allowing and saw the mouse’s head protruding. I quickly lowered the basket down and sideways and he fell back in.
I slid the basket to the center and thought “Now what?” I stewed for a while. I couldn’t just pull the basket away because mice just might be able to climb up plastic. I needed a sheet of cardboard to slide across the top but there was none to be had within my reach. I was stuck. I called for my brother-in-law. I stamped my feet hard but he never came. I stewed some more. I knew that if I didn’t Macguyver this somehow, I would be stuck in this bathroom holding a basket for hours. Was it worth letting the mouse get free so that I could also be let free? I fumed. I yelled. I stamped my feet some more. How did I get to this place?
The Macguyver in me came though when I spotted the plastic bag on the floor. This could work. It took me painstaking minutes to wiggle that plastic between the door and the basket, but eventually I did it. The basket felt awfully light. Are mice really that light? Was he even in there? Was that eternity in the bathroom all for nothing? Where would he be if he wasn’t in the basket? I needed to look inside but I’m no idiot. I carried the basket outside just in case his plan was to bite me in the nose and take off again.
Oh he was in there. And he was dead. I think I played a little too rough when I tried to get his head back inside. So yeah, I had spent the better part of half an hour stuck in the bathroom when there was no need to.
And my brother-in-law, (who I wasted no time grabbing by the scruff of the neck) had the radio on. Yes he heard me yelling and stomping but he had no idea why — and apparently no desire to find out.