The impetus for this post comes from several months ago, if the truth be told. My parents hinted at this story in their yearly Christmas letter and some have heard the whole story, but for the rest of you, here it is.
One day after we were here a couple of months, I was sitting in our living room, chatting with my mom on the phone. It was shortly after Dan's parents' visited, and during that visit, we had talked about mice and the fact that fortunately, there were no mice in our old, drafty farmhouse. Well, as I talked with my mom on the phone that night, my eyes were roaming the room, and what did I see except an itty bitty mouse run from underneath the closet doors where our washing machine is housed into the living room. I'm sure I screamed, but I don't really remember. My mom's eardrums are now damaged, though, so I'm pretty sure I did. I do remember standing on the couch, yelling about the mouse and for Dan.
My mom, I'm pretty sure, let me go so I could deal with the problem, which for me looked like standing off of the floor on chairs/sofas/stools and making my way upstairs. (I'm adding this in-enjoy-from me, Dan)
Dan assured me that my screams had frightened away the mouse, but I wasn't so convinced. The next morning, I was called in to sub, and Dan graciously walked downstairs first to "scare away the mice." After school, when I had safely made it through the day without seeing any mice, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a "friendly trap." You know, the kind that allows mice to run into it and munch on the cheese & peanut butter cracker you left for them. Then, of course, you dispose of the mouse in a humane manner by bringing it to -- I don't know -- maybe a farm where mice can run and be happy and not sneak into houses.
I set this up by myself, even though Dan scoffed at the contraption. I also let the college know about my problem (with the mice in the house, not my extreme fear of mice), and they brought over a bag full of sticky traps, which are like fly paper for mice. Like that's not the grossest thing I've ever heard of. Get a mouse stuck to a piece of paper so it can either a.) gnaw its little feet off or b.) rot to death on a sheet of paper. They also sprinkled some poison around the basement.
For a while, our rodent problem seemed to be solved. No droppings were seen, no scampering was heard, no mice were spotted. I even commented on this to our RA. I shouldn't have opened my mouth, because – that very night back in November – I was sitting in the bathroom, on the toilet, going potty, and looking at the corner of the wall and tub. When we moved in, they replaced the tub, but they didn't do a great job, and left about 3" of wooden floor exposed, and for the last two inches, there is a gap under the tub. After the first mouse scare, I would look at that spot and think, "I wonder if a mouse could run through there?" And I assured myself that a mouse couldn't get through there. So I'm sitting on the toilet, checking out the spider which took up residence there, thinking that I should go smoosh it as soon as I'm done peeing. And as I'm looking at the spider web, it moves, and a MOUSE sticks its head out.
I screamed bloody murder for Dan, who was fortunately home. He came running in, but of course, by that time the mouse had left for the basement. I was freaking out – crying and practically hyperventilating. In the course of screaming and freaking out, I put my legs straight out in front of me, which in turn caused the already fractured toilet seat to totally break under my bum. I quickly wiped and pulled up my pants and then sat on the counter, which in turn caused the counter to pull out of the wall. (Excellently constructed house I live in, eh?) I was crying and my heart was racing and I was also laughing at the havoc I was wrecking on the bathroom. I stayed in the bathtub as Dan bravely went into our creepy basement to put these sticky mousetraps on the ground.
Anyways, for a while our solution was to put duct tape over the bathroom hole, along with a 5 pound weight. Also, Dan took up checking on the status of the basement mouse traps. Once day, when Dan went down to check on the status of the mouse traps, one had totally disappeared. So there's probably a mouse hopping around the house, all of its feet stuck to a little piece of paper. It gives me the shudders to think about it. Yucky.
Eventually, we removed the 5 pound weight from in front of the hole along with the duct tape, and Dan put a piece of wood trim along the side of the tub, making it look a lot better and forcing mice to find another way into our downstairs. My fear that a mouse is going to pop up has greatly diminished, although after we got back from our three and a half week sojourn, I was a bit worried that they would have taken over our house. But no! No mice did we see.
Now to this lazy Saturday morning. When we woke up, I came downstairs for a normal morning bathroom visit and everything was normal. I started on breakfast, pouring cereal and milk and heating water for tea. Dan came down and attempted to rinse out his mug with warm water and realized that we had no water in the kitchen sink! He's been working on that for the rest of the morning, capable man that he is, which has taken him into the basement with a headlamp, looking in the crawlspace and setting up heating contraptions (which includes my hair dryer). It's been a while since he's been down there (I don't go there due to my phobia), and we would like to provide an update:
Three dead, frozen mice.
This makes the score Mice 2, Dan & Hilary 3.