January 4, 2011

Back in the Day, I Could Handle This

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, I lived in a pretty low-rent college apartment in Santa Barbara with a couple of friends.  Back then, we didn't actually consider it low-rent, seeing as how we were newly post-college and trying to make it on our own.  We split a one-bedroom three ways and made it work somehow. The thing was, we thought we lived on Melrose Place, since it was only four blocks from the beach and a few miles into downtown and the party center of State Street.  We had furniture from RentWorld and dishes we'd stolen lovingly kept as souvenirs from the dorms.  And life was great, even if we did share our little place with several thousand huge cockroaches.

Yep.  Lots of 'em.  One night, I remember sitting out in the hallway, reading (I think this was because one roommate was sleeping in the living room and the other might have been entertaining in our bedroom).  Every few minutes, I had to brush the bugs off my legs. But I sat there anyway, instead of running back to my parents' house in tears, which would have been a much nicer arrangement. The little guys had become such a norm around our place that they were more annoying than disgusting.  When the exterminators came and we had to evacuate for the weekend, we thought our problems were over.  But after they bombed the entire complex, they neglected to clean up the casualties.  So we had to go around the apartment, sweeping up piles and piles of shiny little black corpses, which we then had to scoop up and dispose of on our own.

So one would think that now, having survived that, and being a mother who has cleaned up the horrors of children's injuries and sickness, one who has had spiders and snakes and other icky animals thrust upon her by small boys, one who currently lives with teen aged boys and who is subjected to not just the incessant talk of, but the toxic odor of, their bodily functions every day, one would think that I wouldn't be freaking out about the newest guests in our house.  But I am.

We have mice. 

Or one, very industrious, very smart, very busy mouse.  I'm certain there's a whole herd of them, or flock, or whatever you call a gang of mice, because they did so much damage to the food stores in my pantry that we had to empty the entire thing out and toss at least half of the contents.

They got into almost everything.  And the funny thing is that they were reorganizing my food.  John opened a bag of rice, and inside it were a dozen Milk Duds.  Huh???  There was popcorn in the box of cornmeal.   Like the critters didn't think I had things in the right place.

I Clorox bleached every inch of my pantry and kitchen, as well as every can that survived the attack.  And I still don't really want to put my feet on the floor.  Or wonder where they're all hiding since I just cleared out their Armageddon stockpile.


My skin is kind of itchy now.


  1. Yuck, yuck, yuck. A year ago this fall I found droppings. I was terrified for a couple weeks until the second, and final, mouse was caught, wondering if more would emerge... Getting woken up to the sound of them trying to get out of the glue trap box was a joy as well. Good luck.
    PS Wait till you find a milk dud in your linen closet. Or silverware drawer. Just sayin'

  2. We had a mouse a couple of months ago. A trap caught it, and I keep leaving another trap out, paranoid that the scoundrel had friends, but so far none have been seen or caught. Good luck!

  3. This cracks me up. We get mice all the time... part of living in the woods, I guess.

    Everything in my pantry is in rubbermaid containers. The rice, the cereal, the chocolate chips, the potato chips. If it doesn't come in a mouse-proof package to begin with, it goes in one.

    We put traps in the basement where they come in. One night we caught five. They were all babies.We single handedly wiped out an entire family.

    Sounds like you have some ambitious mice, with a lot of interesting categorizing skills. Makes you wonder...