Wednesday, 17 December 2008


In many ways, one of the hardest adjustments to moving north (at least for me) has been being so far from those I love. Phone calls in general just aren't the same as being there with people. Be that as it may, there are times when a phonecall is almost as good as being there, and can even have some advantages. Now, I asked permission to tell this story, but have promised to mention that there's a chance I made some literary embellishments to it, or that I may have exaggerated the story to make it more interesting. That being said...

I was on the phone with a friend (who shall remain nameless so I can tell the real story or embellish, as I feel led), and she had recently arrived home. She's currently renting a tiny little house and her landlords had installed a mousetrap in the basement. She informed me that she was going down to check the trap and I had to come along for moral support. Really, there wasn't much I could do about that statement, other than hanging up, and I was enjoying the conversation far too much to do that. The way I understand it, they have an agreement that the landlords will empty and reset the mousetrap if she needs them to. But this was late at night, and, sure enough, there was a mouse in the trap. From what I understand, it was a very, very small mouse. Possibly a baby mouse. At least she didn't scream. But she was descriptive. It may have been a shrew. What do I know, I can't see it! I'm just on the phone.

You can do this, just empty the trap
but I don't have any gloves, I need gloves
do you have any paper towel? toilet paper? *pause while she rummages*
I think... oh shoot, I can't reach anything, no gloves in here. What am I gonna use? Okay, I've got two garbage bags, I'm going down now

Similar talking continues as she empties trap, using one garbage bag on her hand, and one to dump mouse into. After successful trap emptying, she resets the trap, places it carefully back where it was before, and goes back upstairs to toss the garbage outside and thoroughly sanitize her hands. We talk and joke for a bit, she thanks me for the moral support, and we say goodnight, as it's getting late. I move to get ready for bed, and suddenly the phone rings again. It being almost 1am, I knew it was probably the same person phoning back...

What, did you find another mouse?
Just phone me back!
okay *click*
Hi, what's up?
I was in the bathroom, flossing my teeth, and I heard a snap from downstairs! It was really loud! You need to come down with me. If there's another mouse in the trap that fast there must be lots of them down there!
Are you going downstairs?
I'm down already, but the trap's upside down. I need gloves! I'm putting you down on the dryer.
Do you have your garbage bags with you again?
Yup, two. But, I don't want to do this. God, I need your help or a husband!
Um, you'd better be careful what you ask for! lol
Okay, I'm going in for it. Eeew!
What are you scared of? (*asking out of curiosity, not derision)
I'm scared it might be squishy and... Yuck! I'm prying the thingy up to release the mouse.
Good job. (*or some other equally inane form of encouragement, like You can do it! As sounds of complete disgust with what she's doing come through the phone)
He's mushy and his brains are coming out!
Try not to think about it, just get him out of the trap! (*or, maybe that's more along the lines of what I wish I had said, It was probably more like, "you're doing a good job")
Is he out of the trap yet?
He's hanging above the garbage can... he dropped into the garbage can.
*more encouragement
What are you doing now?
Trying to set the trap, this is almost as scary as the mouse part!
Just don't catch your fingers in the trap, I don't want to be encouraging you through a trip to the hospital!
Setting it down is the scary part because I have to crouch down and I'm vulnerable
What scares me is the mouse could come out and jump on me.
Maybe those were the only two, and the last one was really hungry because it hasn't been able to get at any of your food! (*yes, I know, wishful thinking, but I had to think of something remotely encouraging!) *Sharp screech comes through phone*
What was that!
Did you hear that?
I heard you. Nothing else.
I almost got my fingers. The trap closed and it was REALLY loud! Okay, I think I got it this time.
Good. You did a good job.

As she took the second mouse out in the garbage bag, she commented "I can't sleep in a house with a dead mouse! Hey, that rhymes!" ... and I believe I left out the part of the conversation where she makes me sing a song of her choice while she cleans and sets the trap. What I won't do for my friends.
Personally, I'm highly amused by phonecalls like this. I get to be a part of my friend's lives even though I'm not there in person. I get to enjoy the moment without having to show whether or not I would freak out in such a situation. I've honestly never had a mouse in any house I've lived in. I figure it's 'cause I usually have cats. Not cats at this place, but then this place is new. I don't think a mouse would bother me any more than squishing bugs bothers me (I can't stand that crunch when I squish a bug. I will go to great lengths to kill or capture a bug without hearing or feeling the crunch! But I will still get rid of the bug.) Who knows, maybe I'll call a friend for moral support if I ever have a full mousetrap. Time will tell.