Monday, March 12, 2007

You Can't Drive Your House (aka There's A Mouse In My Car)

There's a mouse in my car.

7:56 am. I bounce out the door heading for work, stick one heel in the driver's seat of my Toyota and hoist the book bag, the makeup bag and the purse onto the passenger seat being careful not to squish the bagels under the load of schoolbooks. I tuck my coat underneath, slide under the steering wheel and swing the other heel onto the floor mat, placing my piping hot French-vanilla filled cup of coffee
in the console and turn on the lights. Ahh.....just on time this morning and feeling pretty good. Boyfriend's face is smiling up at me from the CD case he'd made with our pictures on it for Valentine's Day, the sun is shining and I can't wait to turn up the volume and get to my little music world. Such a lovely day.

Well, it was for four minutes anyway.

Something was just not right near the toe of my left heel. What's that?!
Oh my God.

Go ahead, friends. Add some profanely appropriate words to that pitiful phrase - throw in a few guffaws, a hearty laugh or two. Hear the delicate mumblings of a Queen gone mad in her own car. Cover your children's ears. Color your world with visions of hot French vanilla thrown on Mimi's petrified pencil skirt and watch her tumble ungracefully out of a horror-rocked Corolla - schoolbooks on top of her head and coffee all over God's creation.

Bagels and boyfriend left for the mouse.

My purse was in the grass six feet away.

The contents of my satchel spilled in the dirt: ungraded papers, an apple, an orange, a bottle of vitamins, bills, hairbrush, a half-eaten Snickers bar - and a lipstick tube in shock over the filthy words it heard come out of my prissy mouth at 8:00.
Somebody pray for my soul.

Could it get any better than this?


"Good morning, Mimi.

"There's a mouse in my car."

He knows me well enough to know that if I am not hysterical at that point after making such a statement I must be in a coma or on the verge of an impending stroke.
Evidently some Saint somewhere must have said prayers for him this morning because he wisely salvaged our romance by choosing not to laugh. I heard a deep indrawn breath, waited five seconds and heard,
"I'll be there in 17 hours."

That's my guy.
"I can't go to work, Bud. I can't get in the car."

"Uh....are you sure there's a mouse in there? How do you know?"

Why do men always ask this question? You run out of gas. They ask "Are you sure the tank is empty?" They lose the remote control "Where did you have it last. Are you suuureee I used it during the game?" You tell them you're pregnant. "Are you suurreee....?"  Yes, I'm sure!! I am not hormonal, I am not out of gas and this is no time for channel surfing. Rats, rats, rats! There is a beady-eyed furry thing in my car. Not only that, but it appears it's been there for a couple of days. Why didn't I notice that nibbled-on candy bar before? And there's no mistaking those signs in the upholstery. The question should did this happen in the first place?

Glad you asked.

Ever since the OSHA Team swarmed onto our campus and insisted we unpack every jot and tittle that had been horded away since before The Flood (teachers literally keep things for eons....pack rats, as it were) and rearrange every storage room closet and corner - ever since we cleaned, we've had mice. Three in my classroom this year already. Apparently, I now have a pet that stowed away in my book bag and took a nice little ride home in my Toyota.

Does this story sound familiar to you? If you are a regular reader of my blog you know this is not the first time I've been visited by a mini four-legged mammal. Click here for the sordid details. But getting back to my dilemma. .....

Spiders do not bother me. I squish 'em. Snakes cause me no fear. I pet 'em. Kangaroos, bamboos, emus or slithering reptile I don't mind. But one tiny peak of those horrid gray Mickey Mouse creatures with their animated tails and squeaky voices and I'm a silly mess. They unravel my brain and send every nerve in my body into overdrive.

It matters not who is looking, where I am or whether I am clothed. Up on chairs. Screaming. Covering my feet. Grabbing people. Screaming. Knocking things over. Crying. Hanging onto chandeliers.
Did I mention screaming?

Go figure.

But this morning I knew I had to gather some pencil strength and face the naked truth.
One way or another, I had to find that blasted thing and get to work.
So I did the only thing a self-respecting woman would do.

I decided to kill the rat.

"Call an exterminator, Mims," said sensible boyfriend.

How thou underestimateth me.

I found a spray can of ant and roach killer under the kitchen sink and put on very very very thick yellow rubber gloves, very very very thick long knee socks, donned my old painting bluejeans, calculated a lethal dose aimed at rodent annihilation and tied my hair back in a ponytail and........ponytail.....ponytail......wait a minute!
What could kill a mouse faster than a speeding can of ant spray?
Of course. The vacuum cleaner.

Henry to the rescue.

If Henry could suck my ponytail up in the hose (that was a sad day) then he could suck that little sucker up too. Brilliant!

Three Hail Marys later and a phone call to work explaining "car issues" (well, it WAS) I'm standing in the door of my car with a thin yardstick poking under the seat.


He was one lucky mouse. Within an inch of losing his life at the swat of the meter stick, I decided to spray him out. I'd wound Henry's extension cord around the lamp post just in case I needed some traction

and dug my boots in the grass.
Spray under the driver's seat, the passenger seat, the glove box, the tissue holder and the trunk for good measure.


I threw two sticky traps near the brake pedal and sprinkled lots of green poison pellets around to entice him.



"Babe, he won't come out from under the seat."
"You went back to the CAAARRRRrrr? By yourself?"
"I know it's surprising but I had to do SOMEthing."

"I'm surprised you could even dial the phone."'
"How am I supposed to kill him if he won't come out from under the seat?"
" ARE trying to kill it."
"I know that and you know that but HE doesn't know that....Does he?

....Anyway, I decided to let Henry do it for me and now I can't find him."
"Huh? Who's Henry?"
"How am I supposed to kill him if he won't come out from under the seat?"
"Who's Henry?"

"You know. The vacuum cleaner. Are you listening to me??!"
Men. There's just no reasoning with 'em.

"Mimi, call somebody. You'll never get it out like this. Just call somebody."

So I did.

Service station down the street.

"You need a ride?"
 "That's right. I'm stranded and I need to get to work and my car won't work." 
"OK. Where are you?"
"I'm at home."
"Have you thought of calling a taxi?"
"I don't need a taxi. I need a ride."
"Hold on, Lady. Let me write this down. You're stranded. You're car broke down...and you don't need a wrecker."
"No. My car is fine. It just won't work. I need a ride." 
"Where are you?"
"I told you. I'm at home."
"You need me to fix your car?" 
"No. I need to get to work. I'm stranded and I need a ride."

"Do you take people to work or not?"
"Well....not really...unless their car is..."
"I can't use my car and I have to be at work in an hour. Can you pick me up or not?"
"Let me get this straight. You're stranded at home, your car won't work and you want to ride in the tow truck."
"Yes. No. Yes....I didn't wanna have to tell you this but...there's a mouse in my car. I don't think a tow truck will help."

The ride to work would have been so much more pleasant if he'd at least tried to hide his amusement. After the day from Hades I came home to find no dead mouse and now I can't sleep. I think I'll call Boyfriend and say goodnight.

"I almost wish the blasted thing had gotten loose in my house. It would have been easier to find and kill him," I told him. 
"Yeah...."he said. "At least you could have slept in your car." 
- transported for a moment out of my dreary morning into a positive thought from my always-trying-to-cheer-me-up-when-I'm-down-brighter-than-sunshine-boyfriend-who-knows-just-what-to-say-to-make-me-feel-better-I'm-so-lucky-to-have-such-a-sensitive-guy-marshmallowy-kinda-vibes-who-hasn't-laughed-at-me-once-through-this-whole-ordeal......" 

"There's just one problem with that, Mims."

"You can't drive your house."


  He and I are no longer together but we did share one heck of a mouse story. 


Lizza said...

Haha! That was way too much adventure for Queen Pencil Skirt in the morning.

I hope for its own poor sake that the mouse got out and escaped when you weren't looking.

anyhowblogs said...

Ha. That was hilarious. You know u could use some actual food to lure that little rodent out of the car. Just place it near the open door and wait...

Mimi Lenox said...

Lizza - You can say that again.
But Mickey doesn't have to worry. I'd never get close enough to it to do it much harm.

Mimi Lenox said...

Anyhow! Brilliant idea! I did that just this morning.
The poison is all gone. An entire pack of poison has been eaten inside the car. Can you believe it?
I left the door cracked...when I get home I'll probably have snakes and other critters inside, too. But at least mousy will have a chance to come outside and die.
God rest his *&%(*& soul.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh honey how awful for you! we had one in the house in podunk last fall and put some sticky paper on the floor and the next morning there was a CHEWED OFF LEG on it!! i swear it! ask sarge. a real chewed off leg. the poor little horrible three legged thing. i wonder where hs is now...

smiles, bee

Mimi Lenox said...


All joking aside....I'm a little stressed here. It appears he brought relatives with him.

I guess I could walk to work.

SGT DUB said...

Mimi, I am picturing you as the newest star in National Lampoon. Chevy Chase has nothing on you. I am sooo sorry for your experience, but I was laughing out loud at it. Hope all is better tomorrow.

Epiphany Alone said...

I probably would've put my cat in the car. Even if he didn't eat the mouse, he would've scared it away.

Karen had a similar problem with chipmunks (though they were living in her foundation, not her car) and they were eating the poison pellets that her hubby bought. She finally had to call an exterminator to find out you can't exterminate chipmunks in Jersey - apparently they are endangered.

I think your next step is to hire Dad's cabbie...

Mimi Lenox said...

Thanks, SGT. I shall live to see another day and kill another rodent.

One can only hope.

Mimi Lenox said...

Epiphany - I could use Hamied about now....

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

I'll call Hamied!

Travis said...

You are hilarious.

bobbarama said...

Pretty hysterical. I've never had anything like this happen to me ... although for some reason it reminds me of the time I unscrewed every light switch in the house so I could spray Ant and Roach Killer into the walls to try to knock off a cricket that was driving me crazy. The cricket outfoxed, outwitted and outlasted me ... and I finally gave up. I was not amused. :)

Driver8 said...

IF only you had a video of the event, I see and Oscar or Daytime Emmy if not YouTube of the Week!

nicolemarie said...

you win! this SO beats my rant about having my laptop stolen by a postal worker.

Annelisa said...

Ok, I can see how a rodent-phobia could become a real problem when one of the little beasts has hijacked your car, but Henry? You seriously thought he'd come and sit on the seat and be sucked up a pipe?

It might have been a traumatic experience, Mimi, but you sure do tell a good story!! :-D

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