Monday, February 05, 2007

Sometimes, Life is Just Weird

Why couldn't it have been angry sumo wrestlers, squirrels on crack or even snakes on a plane? No, it had to be mice in our printers.

This is getting old.

Mice love our printers. We have HP Officejet 7210 all-in-one printers and mice have been housing in them. This is no joke. Three separate printers have experienced mouse invasions. To steal a line from Frank Darabont in "The Green Mile", don't that just beat the mousie band?

A mouse ran up my sleeve about a week ago when I pulled a sheet from my printer and yesterday, when I opened the printer, a huge brown mouse was just sitting inside looking at me indignantly as if I had just invaded his privacy.

I can't work like this.

There's been an "urban legend" about a mouse caught in a printer cartridge (see pic - not my pic - I was too busy yelling to take a pic) floating around for some time and I'm here to tell ya', it's no legend. Mice like printers. I've had to replace one printer already, chewed up inside, and we've got two printers that frequently spit out pages spotted with urine and feces.

This is weird. Gross. And weird.

There was a time when mice were my worst nightmare and the mere sight of a mouse induced hyperventilation and vomiting.

Spotting a mouse was a flesh crawling callback to those teenage summers in my great grandmother's rodent infested trailer in Stephenville, Texas, when I had to evade rats during morning egg collections in the wrecked out cars that served as her chicken coops.

Rats often bit me while I crawled around collecting eggs but I figured out that while a ping pong paddle won't scare a rat or even hurt one, the noise the paddle makes on the car's metal frame will make a rat back off long enough to let me escape with my egg basket.

I learned commando moves that summer, not just in the chicken coops but also inside the trailer where it was common for my grandmother to whack a mouse running across the table, swat it to the floor and then continue eating breakfast as if nothing had happened. At night, I'd either sleep sitting upright on a chest of drawers weilding a broom handle or curl up in a sheet cocoon. But in the sheet cocoon, I could still feel the mice crawling on top of me and under the mattress.

The mouse stories could go on -- floors that moved at night, drowning baby mice in the bathtub, and a collective squeal during every rain induced mass exodus that was more terrifying than any event that made Clarice Starling cry out for silence of the lambs.

But that's all in the past.

Now, it's personal. This is my office. We've called exterminators, set traps, put out bait, and bought little electronic do-hickies. Still, I sit here wondering when a little brown rodent is going to run up my sleeve or across my desk. This sucks. I'm not thirteen anymore and I don't even own a ping pong paddle.

But, I'm wearing boots today.

Here mousie, mousie, mousie...


Unk said...

I feel your pain... LOL. When I went through the divorce from hell back in '91, I ended renting this little mountain cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Let's just say THE PRICE WAS RIGHT but nothing else about it was...

So I have this military sleeping bag and I lay down the first night. No television... Just a small little lamp left by the previous dope growing tenant.

I'm trying to go to sleep... I turn off the light. I lay there. Within a minute, I hear scraping. I hear scratching. I hear running.


I turn on the lamp and look around... HUNDREDS of little brown mice. On the curtains, on the furniture. On my sleeping bag looking at me... EVERYWHERE.

I had to leave the lights on so they'd be reasonably quiet.

The next day I purchased 10 pounds of DECON and strategically placed it all around the cabin.

That night, all I heard was EATING.

The next night?


And dead mouse bodies.

Oh and do you mind if I use the wrecked car chicken coops? LOL.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

:) if you use the wrecked out cars, you really need to know about the pot holders tied on my knees for crawling in chicken dung

mernitman said...

Hire a cat or two, I say.

And then get to work on "The Mousie Chronicles" (after Wendy Wasserstein, why not you?)...

MaryAn Batchellor said...

I wouldn't presume to follow in such lofty pawprints...

oneslackmartian said...

Dial "O" for "OMG, LMFAO!!"

ECHenry said...

Cool mouse stories, Marry Ann,

Living in the sticks I have a couple mouse issues. 1) They got into boxes of my high school / early college years and ate a lot of cool stuff. 2) One night a poor mouse got his leg snaped in one of the traps, and he "eeped" arround for hours untill I finally got out of bed and tracked him down, by the sound of flopping trap, untill he met a merciful end by the edge of my boot.

But mice in your printers? Girl, what hick outpost you workin' at?!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA