Friday, August 14, 2009

Of mice and men

True story. No hyperbole, exaggeration, embellishment or selective recounting. First hand account of a very personal battle.

There are 47 mice running a circuit between my kitchen cupboards and my bedside cabinet. Two less than yesterday. C embraces sharing of jobs and so chucked one dead mouse out but left 'one for me' to deal with. Not many to go now.

Last night I tentatively climbed into bed at about midnight and calmly begun my now-ritualised meditation. "I am thankful for everything in my life. Especially my husband beside me breathing lightly in through his mouth and out through his nose. I am particularly grateful for sound of the tiny mouse on the other side of me (was he waiting up do you think?) nibbling away at the cheese that's in the trap that's about to slam shut and kill the bloody little bastard. I am thankful that his death will teach him not to lead his entire high school graduation class through a Durham Reel round our room for three nights in a row. I am thankful for mice in general but especially dead, silent, never to chew, gnaw or squeal ever again ever ever ever mice." You get the idea.

And so I'm lying there, semi calmly, waiting for the PING of the trap. Breathing in, breathing out, in perfect harmony with sleepy C, waiting....nibble, nibble, scratch, scratch, giggle, giggle, chortle, chortle.

And so I'm lying there, not really calm at all, allowing myself to feel just a teensy bit tense, listening and waiting....and waiting and the mouse is just messing with me "Sach" it squeaks, "you're a loser....can't catch me.....mmm, nice cheese, thanks for the peanut butter".

And so I'm not lying there anymore. I leap out of bed, pick up everything that's in cooey of the trap, and throw it all out the back door into the night. No sign of mouse. But lots of important insurance papers, P's birth certificate and one pink slipper now blowing around back garden.

Return to bed. Commotion has upset C. He is now breathing in through nose and out through mouth. Sounds like pipe band calling all available mice to find a partner for the next dance.

What does this have to do with anything? My life learnings can be seen by the steps I've taken since:

1) Bought extra traps and set them up like you might a child's train track on our bedroom floor

This indicates that sometimes in life we have the right plan but we have to increase our level of commitment. Do what you're already doing but bigger, with more conviction.

2) When I subsequently discovered that several of these traps had bait removed but hadn't PINGED, I paused and evaluated.

This indicates that sometimes in life we need to step back and see the big picture before we get too caught up in the detail.

My analysis showed - the plan is good, they like the bait, they know where to find the traps BUT my execution sucks.

This indicates that sometimes we have good ideas but we don't carry them out in an appropriate way, or with the appropriate resources. Don't ditch the ideas, just get your implementation sorted.

3) So I've called my friend and local grocer Chris Milne and left 47 messages, one for each mouse, to let him know that the traps he personally recommended are shit.

This indicates that sometimes you should spend a bit more money to get the plastic traps like you used to have before they melted when you burnt down the kitchen.

Disclaimer: Not all my learnings will apply to every situation.

4) I've got a new strategy. I am staying up all night and will use all the tools in T's spy kit to catch and kill the mice.

This indicates that I never give up. Ever. I am not too proud to ask my children for help. I am not afraid of making a fool of myself (I draw the line at the fake moustache. I'm not sure disguise is necessary, whereas the Spiderman superglue gun is an essential part of my armoury).

I am at war. It has become very personal. The mice are taking the piss. I had hoped that one of my friends might have passed on to the little furries the fact that you know, I have cancer, and right now is not a good time for me.

The risk for me, as with many who are afflicted, is that we look for signs all around us and compete in bizarre rituals in an attempt to 'trick the game'. If I complete the cryptic crossword before 10am that might indicate that today's results will be positive. Not getting a car park right outside my piano lesson is a bad sign. Plainly nonsense, but we're just trying to restore order in a world that has been tipped upside down. The mice are obviously a test. I will not fail.


glennrewi said...

grey plastic mouse traps with the red lettering on them are the best ones mate, crunchy peanut butter BUT NOT TOO MUCH, make the fuka's work for there last supper before they get there little necks snapped in half! (issues Glenn?)hahahaha, trust me on this one Sach, they are gold when it comes to mouse killing machines, got like 7 in 3 days from one trap last winter!

Go forth and conqur!!! G :)

Kyla said...

You rock. Raising children, helping run a business, managing football, being the best sister ever, setting things on fire, making words work, making us laugh, and soon to be added -killing mice with the most well-thought out strategy ever.
You kick ass. And I love you.

BeJolly said...

Last month after ongoing inquiries, vigilance and scene examination Rolice were able to detain a pregnant female, her partner and young child. The trio were attempting to move into a property without any ownership rights. Perhaps the detainees incorrectly believed they would obtain squatters rights.

The property is currently owned by this couple and enjoyed by them and their three children. The owners are quite clear that the trio were not invited and are trespassers at the property.

Having been caught the detainees were summarily removed (without trial) to Council premises in North Canterbury.

Learning for you Sach: yet again be thankful: where there are mice there are unlikely to be rats.... and there are apparently none attempting to move into our place anymore

Rolice = Rat police

Kelly said...

When's the next installment coming?? Don't we all have you contracted to a certain # of words per week?? Love reading the blogs even if I do read them when I should be doing work/tidying up the house! Promise to not lose interst in reading about you catching mice when you don't have cancer anymore :)