Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kill the Beast!

Dear Loyal Readers,

We humbly present for your perusal an unfortunate series of events:

In the beginning, Msr. Mouse existed for us only as a glimpsed tail or subtle pattering of feet. We had no issues with mice, mice can be very cute. Mice might even eat spiders! We didn't know.

Then there were mouse droppings next to our water filter. This was highly unwelcome. We discovered another smattering of pellets on our couch and chairs. The infestation had spread. Yet we did not act. We considered the presence of Msr. Mouse as an unsanitary test of patience.

Emboldened, the little beast interrupted an innocent game of cards. He graced us with an encore while Jack was praying, peering curiously into his backpack.

One hears stories of Man-Eating tigers, who upon their first taste of human blood are forever consumed with an insatiable lust for more.  So it was when Msr. Mouse first closed his tiny jaws on John's Trail Mix.  We short-sightedly conceded this loss, and allowed the monster to continue feeding on the tainted nuts.

Meanwhile, we stored our remaining rations on the impregnable glass patio table, the centerpiece of our living room. Please see exhibit A. Clearly this was an unscalable summit. Smugly complacent, we retired for the evening.

The mouse protested our inhospitality by littering used toilet paper throughout the bathroom and hall for several nights in succession.

This stalemate, however, was doomed from the start. As we happily munched on our 6 lb, multi-month supply of Glorious Trail Mix, we noticed that the raisins, once so succulent and fine, had gone a tad stale. With a cry, Andrea snatched a peanut a mere inch from Jack's lips and pointed in horror. A newly-gnawed hole, proof of the mouse's dastardly act, silently bled nuts and raisins on the table.

Outraged, we constructed the first TRAP (Trail-mix Revenge APparatus). The initial model consisted of: one five gallon bucket, 3.5 gallons of water, one red bandanna, salvaged Trail Mix, a chair, and a ramp (cleverly constructed from a seat cushion). See exhibit B.  Our mouse-inspired constructions went beyond the TRAP just described.  In the spirit of any bear-wary camper, we devised two "bear bags" and hung them from the edge of two very tall doors. See exhibit C. In addition, the Trail Mix found a place of honor above the door frame.  TRAP in place and food secured, we marched off to dinner singing a deeply-felt rendition of "Kill the Beast!"

We returned from dinner. Foiled again! The blasted mouse had eaten the bait and escaped unscathed. And so it was that TRAP II, TRAP III, and TRAP IV were born. Each with more precariously-positioned bait. One was too strong, another too weak. We failed to find the baby bear of mouse traps, the one that was "just right." The mouse lived on, fatter than ever; despairing, we abandoned our TRAP machinations.

So began the uneasy peace of Mouse and Man - each gazing at one another over a Maginot Line of bear bags.

This peace continued until Andrea spied a hostile pink ear suspiciously near the Trail Mix. Driven by his unholy thirst, Msr. Mouse had scaled an eight foot vertical surface and again feasted his fat face on our Trail Mix. Panic ensued, diplomacy abandoned, the mouse ran down the door frame. With uncharacteristic malice, Andrea sprang forward and slammed the door, hoping to squish the hairy intruder. She failed.

Woebegotten and forelorn, we turned in for the night. As we slumbered, the mouse danced in victory, scattering half-eaten M&Ms and feces throughout the room.

Still, we were consoled by our last defense: the bear bags. The Trail Mix was gone, but at least the remaining food was safe.

Sadly, we must report that the mouse recently pillaged our peanut butter crackers. Astonishingly, the bear bags were no match for Msr. Mouse.  They now hang from the living room ceiling fan and a metal bar suspended between sheer concrete walls. Will these precautions stand in the way of Msr. Mouse? Probably not.

We come to you in need, Dear Reader. We will warmly receive any and all ideas for TRAP V involving materials readily available in rural Haiti.

The mouse must die!


Andrea & Jack



  2. I suggest large caliber firearms.

  3. I know you will win this battle! Keep at it! At least you have a sense of humor about it.

  4. Andrea & Jack,

    Do you think that I care only for your food? I do agree that we likely have a common passion for trail mix. But I also have a thirst for knowledge and have been reading Jack's computer books each night. The articles on this thing called "Google" particularly caught my beady eyes and, after some hits and misses on the keyboard, I have managed to find my way to the Internet and to your blog. Quite'll have to work harder to catch up with me!!!
    Msr. Mouse

  5. at least they are not cockroaches... (I think). I'm sure you can outsmart them.
    Try this for a TRAP: use a long ruler as a ramp, and then stick (with tape) a long-ish piece of construction paper to the end of it, hanging over your water bucket. You can put peanut butter at the end of the piece of construction paper. I've seen this work.
    Good luck! Renée Anne

  6. Andrea et Jack, 

    Pour que vais-je comparer vos tentatives pathétiques pour débarrasser 
    vous-même de mon entreprise? 

    Je suppose que vous méritez une chance de sport, donc je fais 
    cette petite contribution 

    Toutefois, si vous échouez à nouveau (et je suis sûre que je 
    doit déjouer vous!), alors je danse My M & M / selles 
    victoire de danse avec abandon complet! 

    Votre ami, 

    Msr. Mouse

  7. To Andrea's and Jack's friends,

    My apologies, I forgot that many of you do not speak French (though having listening to Andrea and Jack practice I can assure you that they are not much farther down the path to fluency than you), so here is my post in your native language. Is it true that, in American, most mice can only speak one language??

    Andrea and Jack,

    To what shall I compare your pathetic attempts to rid
    yourself of my company?

    I suppose you deserve a sporting chance, so I am making
    this small contribution

    However, if you fail again (and I am quite sure that I
    shall outsmart you!), then I shall dance my M&M/feces
    victory dance with complete abandon!!

    Your friend,

    Msr. Mouse

  8. Bonjour Andrea & Jack,

    Après avoir dansé la danse de la victoire de M & Ms / excréments toute la nuit
    Je suis épuisé. Voulez-vous bumbling Américains de ne pas essayer
    plus difficile à attraper cette souris haïtienne peu? Même maintenant, mon
    eau à la bouche de votre Trail Mix!!

    À la vôtre!

    Msr. Mouse

  9. Dear Friends of Andrea and Jack,

    Before I translate my note to them into English (what an awkward language, how do you communicate?), may I request that you encourage them in their quest against my total domination? Surely, they can do better, non? It is getting so hard for me to take their feeble gestures seriously! Here is my note to them.

    Andrea & Jack,

    After dancing the victory dance of M & Ms /feces all night,
    I'm exhausted. Can't you bumbling Americans try harder to catch this little Haitian mouse?
    Even now, my
    mouth waters for your Trail Mix!


    Msr. Mouse

  10. Andrea,

    Mademoiselle la souris à l'école a entendu dire que vous êtes
    passe réellement à enseigner aux enfants haïtiens ce
    étrange langue anglaise. Mon nez dans tics d'amusement
    à la pensée! Je ne peux pas attendre jusqu'à ce que je peux participer à la
    d'autres souris autour du baril de fromage et d'entendre de votre

    Msr. Mouse (American friends, please see English below)


    Mademoiselle Mouse at the school has heard that you are
    actually going to teach the Haitian children this
    strange English language. My nose twitches in amusement
    at the thought!! I cannot wait until I can join the
    other mice around the cheese barrel and hear of your

    Msr. Mouse