Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More Vile Little Beasties

It's official. My office is a Stephen King movie.

While some people might be misled by the elegant mahogany desks, gleaming floors and sparkling glass, the only real purpose those things serve anymore is to reflect my sickened expression each time a disease carrying varmint jumps out of my printer, leaps across my desk, dives off a ficus tree, or drops out of the copy machine.

We're a regular Mouse du Soleil around here. These creatures are acrobats, contortionists, and hurdlers. Each day, they spring, sprint, swing, and swoop in and then leave their feces breadcrumbs behind to remind us of their superiority (and to tell their friends where to find the donuts). I'm not sure how they avoid all the traps and still manage to get away with the bait but I suspect they have regular organized stealth training and watch Mission Impossible movies in the break room at night.

One mouse rode the lightening when he got caught in the coffee maker. The general opinion is that his death was an accident and he was going for the Starbucks' Caffe Verona but I think it was a botched suicide. Think about it. The chocolate in the Caffe Verona would have killed the mouse so he clearly had destructive tendencies due to self loathing and feelings of inadequacy.

Remember this? Well, my boots just aren't enough anymore. Sure, we've managed to kill a rodent here and there but our efforts have been about as effective as a little Dutch boy holding back a crumbling dam with his index finger. We're outnumbered. Plus, I think the mice are carrying knives now.

The infestation stems from an abandoned lease space next door that owners have only just obtained legal authority to empty. When the tenants, a dollar store of some kind, skipped out in the middle of the night to avoid paying rent, they left a rodent's paradise of cigarettes, snack foods and paper products.

The exterminators said that while my little electronic doohickies might help with common house mice, they wouldn't deter the Norway rats and roof rats which had chewed the dollar store from one end to the other over the past couple of months (now we know where they got the knives). The rats are searching for more resources and invading my building via pipes.

Get the picture now? These rats are jacked up on Cheetos, nicotine, and pantyliners and looking for a fix!

Since pepper spray, tazers, and shotguns are off limits in government buildings, my options are (a) file my first ever workers' comp claim based on the mental injury caused by extremely cruel and increasingly hostile working conditions or (b) make sure a Starbucks moves in next door.

Either, way, I had the exterminator go to the abandoned store and bring me a ping pong paddle.


Robert Hogan said...

I loan you my wife's two cats. They make great mousers.

Lucy said...

Hah, you're lucky the mice are only carrying knives. The ones that live in the stairwells of my apartment building have machine guns. Thank god for my THREE cats else they'd be inside the flat, playing poker and demanding burritos at 3am.

oneslackmartian said...

I could have written almost the exact same post, just substituting "rats" with "my redneck neighbors."

MaryAn Batchellor said...

My cat Lucy is an excellent mouser and we could bring additional cats from the animal shelter but there's so much poison out now that it's not safe for cats. We even considered bringing in a rat snake or two but figured the general public would not like it much..

OSM, do tell!

Moviequill said...

go down to Rent A Ferret or Snakes R Us ha... "jacked up on Cheetos, nicotine, and pantyliners"... thats how I do my best writing coincidentally

Julian @ duly noted® said...

Hi Maryan

Conincidentally, I'm suffering just the same problem at home right now. My conflict however is more psychological; a tactical cold war of nerves. The odd noise, a movement out the corner of my eye. Just when I think it's over, I find new spoor in the kitchen. Sure, I make my counter-moves, but the traps I've placed they leave either untouched or sprung but still (infuriatingly) empty. They're toying with me, dammit. They know how to push my buttons. But I got two of 'em, oh yeah. You weren't laughing that time, hey, Jerry? There are more though. I don't know how many. But they're out there. Watching...

On the plus side, the situation does help get me in the zone when I have to write "paranoid".

Hugo Fuchs said...

Well, the two best ways I've found for getting rid of mice are:

1) container with anti-freeze.

2) make a cake with boric acid added.

Both are toxic to little creatures, but keep the pets out of them. You might have to empty dead mice out of the anti-freeze every so often.