“Honey, I don’t want to scare you . . . ”
I clutched my triple venti vanilla latte and held my breath. What was Dave about to tell me? I had made the mistake of watching Kairo the night before—the original Japanese version of the horror movie Pulse—and was still feeling spooked. Ghosts? Is it ghosts? It’s ghosts, isn’t it?! ”
We have a mouse.”
. . .
AND, now we have to move.
It’s too bad. I basically have the whole house to myself because Dave lives in the basement. I go downstairs to do laundry, and that’s about it. Oh, and sometimes I visit Dave.
If Dave selfishly refuses to move, it’s safe to say I’ll never go into the basement again. I’ll take my clothes to a laundromat—they have free wi-fi, right? When Christmastime rolls around, and it’s time to drag the fake tree upstairs, I’ll stand at the top of the stairs and yell encouragement. If the tornado siren sounds, I’ll just hunker down in the bathtub with a heavy book over my head. On those nights when it’s too hot to sleep upstairs and Dave won’t turn on the A/C, I’ll go to a motel.
Actually, a motel is sounding pretty good right about now. Dave is getting ready to leave for work, and I’ll be alone with the mouse. What if it ventures upstairs?
I’ve had experience living with vermin, so I know my limits. I buy the mousetrap. Anything beyond that is Dave’s responsibility. I am more than comfortable fulfilling the female stereotype of standing on a table, holding my skirts above my knees, and squealing. The day passes uneventfully but not without a lot of darting looks and holding of breath. Remember: there still may also be ghosts.
You’re probably wondering why our two cats haven’t gotten involved. Being cats, there’s no reason for them to hunt down this mouse in broad daylight. No, they wait until the middle of the night. That’s when I sense a distinct lack of cats draped over my legs. And it’s quiet. Way too quiet. I get up, and they’re both in the kitchen, sitting very still and staring at the bottom of the refrigerator. The mouse has relocated.
The good news: I can do laundry downstairs. The bad news: I will never sleep again.
I get down from the kitchen table and go back to bed, where I lie awake, imagining the worst-case scenario:
After a while, the cats return to the bed. Prudence is playing with something—not unusual; she likes to bring her toys onto the bed and keep me up all night. But this time something is different. The playing seems . . . livelier. And then a mouse runs across my face.
After the screaming stops, I take the first of many, many scalding hot showers, scrubbing my skin raw with a mixture of bleach, penicillin, and rat poison. I shave my head just to be safe. And after I set fire to the bed, I take comfort in the fact that that will be one less thing to move.
Of course this doesn’t happen. That mouse is way too smart to be caught either by Prudence or a mousetrap. As for the ghosts, I think they’ve moved on. Ghosts are notoriously scared of mice.
TO . . . BE . . . CONTINUED . . .
If You Have a Mouse
- Move. It’s the simplest option
- If moving is for some reason impractical, get a humane mousetrap (this one catches 30—faints)
- If you’re ingenious and brave and slightly insane, catch it without a trap
If You Have a Ghost
- Move. It’s the simplest option
- If moving is for some reason impractical, get a humane ghost trap
- White people, take some advice from Eddie Murphy
(Whatever you do, don’t search for “Japanese ghosts” on YouTube and spend all afternoon watching them, even if it is sunny outside.)
Tasukete . . .
Maybe they’ll let me move in here