In every situation in life, there's always a way to make a tit of yourself
I think you can probably guess where this one is going…
I am a mouse murderer, and to be honest, it doesn’t feel too great. But for your entertainment, here is the tale of Maurice. How he fought the good fight and was finally defeated on the 9th of March 2011.
To begin this story we must go back into the misty realms of days gone by. Because this story really began 2 weeks ago. I had found myself embroiled in mortal man-to-man combat (well, woman-to-mouse but whatever) with a dastardly four-footed deviant. I named him Maurice. Maurice was going down.
I have no fear of mice, in fact I used to have pet mice, so I wasn’t particularly alarmed to discover that I had a lodger. There was no screaming and standing on tables, or running around brandishing carving knives involved. However, I recognised that Maurice had to go before he managed to chew through/wee on anything too important, like an electric cable, or an essay.
But I didn’t realise quite what I was up against until one evening, as I was sitting in bed doing some reading (and by reading I of course mean stalking people on Facebook while my reading lay forlornly on my lap, open at the first page), I spotted Maurice running across the room. I had suspected that I may have an uninvited guest as I had been hearing rustlings in the middle of the night, and here was the proof.
I thought that I should probably do something about the fact that there was a small mouse running around my bedroom but, not having a convenient stash of traps, poison or really any kind of weaponry there wasn’t much to be done. I considered adopting the rolling-pin approach but I decided the chances of me actually hitting a live mouse with a small wooden bat were relatively slim.
So I just sort of sat there for a bit, until he disappeared again, and then I went back to my reading (Facebook). And then all of a sudden I heard a bang. I looked up to see (to my very great astonishment) that Maurice had dropped onto my printer and was rapidly disappearing up my paper tray!
Now, nothing in my life up to this point had prepared me for this. Nothing in my 11 years of school, 2 years of 6th form, and nearly 2 years of university had in any way informed me of how to remove a live mouse from a piece of electrical equipment. A shocking educational oversight if you ask me.
Fortunately he came out of his own accord and I wasn’t forced to print off essays with bits of mouse smeared across them (though to be honest, that could scarcely have made them worse). Quite why he chose to run inside the paper tray in the first place is a bit of a mystery to me, unless of course he happened to be a mouse with a penchant for reading decidedly dubious essays about the relative merits of Rousseau or cinema attendance between 1920-1960.
Anyway, suffice it to say, Maurice had escaped unharmed from his somewhat clerical escapade and lived to make mischief another day. And by gum that’s exactly what he did do. I began to feel like I was re-enacting ‘Mouse Hunt’ only with slightly less grace and elegance than Lee Evans.
I bought mouse traps – the classic first line of defence against any rodent incursion. My hopes for their efficacy were sadly dashed when I observed Maurice saunter up to one of them, take a sniff, and then run away (I’m sure he would have made a rude gesture if he had opposable digits). This experience has taught me one very important life lesson though:
Contrary to popular belief, mice do not like chocolate. Well, I haven’t done enough extensive research to fully dispel this urban myth, but what I can tell you is this. Maurice doesn’t like Cadbury’s chocolate buttons. Or bread. Or peanut butter.
I decided I would have to go nuclear in my anti-mouse warfare. I needed to arm myself with some serious chemical weapons. Parents were called for tactical advice and they offered to send reinforcements. Unfortunately I ill-advisedly phoned them whilst sitting in a cafe, and this led to a slightly awkward situation where I tried not to say “yeah, just send me some poison in the post” too loudly in a public place. That could have had rather alarming consequences for everyone involved.
Meanwhile, Maurice was wreaking proverbial havoc. He had started waking me up at night because he was just so damn noisy. Depriving me of sleep was very dangerous territory for our little Maurice to be on. I decided to take affirmative action while I waited for the poison to arrive in the post (also hoping that I didn’t accidentally kill the postman or anything).
I set about blocking up the gaps in the wall of my built-in cupboard through which Maurice was undoubtedly making his nighttime sojourns into my room. Tin foil and masking tape seems to be quite effective mouse-proofing (incidentally also quite good at draft-exclusion which was an added bonus). I didn’t see or hear anything of Maurice for a few days and started to feel mildly triumphant. Though I did have a niggling concern that such a cunning and dastardly mouse as Maurice would not be outwitted so easily.
My anxieties were not unfounded as before long Maurice started causing trouble in my flatmate’s room. However, the ever-so-slightly hazardous package arrived from my parents, and just as I was kindly preparing him a three course meal of death I spotted Maurice sneakily returning to my bedroom.
The deadly dinner laid out, I went back to whatever it was I had been doing beforehand and tried to ignore the sounds of tiny feet pattering around the room. And then, as he was running towards the desk I heard the fateful snap.
I was hoping for a quick and painless end to his mischievous life, but sadly that was not the case. I won’t go into the gory details but there was lots of squeaking, some shuffling around, and a little bit of being hit on the head with a screwdriver involved.
A somewhat ignoble end for a worthy adversary. But at least now I won’t have to worry about losing a toe if I walk around my room in the dark, or open my wardrobe to find that my wellies resemble swiss cheese.