Of mice and men


It’s been a while.

How’ve you been? What’s new? What’s happening?

As the kids like to say, what’s goin’ down?

Or do the kids not say that anymore? I wouldn’t know. I’ve been here on my couch, buried underneath piles of paper and empty Starbucks coffee cups singing old hymns when I’m not rocking back and forth with a vacant look in my eyes.

Oh I’m being dramatic.

Truth be told, I finished the edits in plenty of time last week and decided to take a couple of days to regain some semblance of mental health. Even though I was sorely tempted to blog on Wednesday because you’ll never believe what happened.

We had a mouse in our house.

It was like God was testing me to see if I was serious about not posting on the blog.

P and I were watching T.V. late one night and all of a sudden we both thought we saw something move near our hallway. But it’s all dark and shadowy there and it was hard to tell for sure. P jumped up and turned on lights in the rooms off the hall and did a search to see if he could see a mouse or a roach or a hobbit that had made its way into our home.

He instructed me to stand at the hallway entry and be ready in case something scurried out. He also told me not to scream if it ran out because Caroline was sleeping.

Hi. Have we met? In what universe am I not going to scream if that happens?

But I tried to play it cool. He finished his search, kicked a few things to see if he could scare something out of hiding and then we decided we must have imagined it. Maybe it was just a shadow from the reflection of a car driving by or maybe it was the ghost of Christmas Past. Whatever. Just a long as I could convince myself it was anything less frightening than a rodent.

Plus, I reminded myself that P has a rich history of imagining he’s seen something. Over the almost fifteen years we’ve been married, he’s woken me up to ask if I can see the blue iguana hanging over our bed or the ninja standing by his nightstand or the squirrel running across our bedroom. I used to jump up in a panic because BLUE IGUANA! but I eventually realized that he just has very active dreams and a tendency to talk in his sleep.

Anyway, we went with denial and mutually agreed it was just in our minds. But P decided to set a mouse trap in the hallway just in case. Because like the old saying goes, better safe than infested with mice.

Then P went to bed. But I stayed up because I still needed to wind down and read Twitter updates and look at pretty fabric on the internet. I was engrossed in all this activity when I either saw or heard something, it’s hard to know which, and looked up in time to see what was undoubtably a little mouse running from the kitchen back into the hallway.

Which means it had already run from the hallway back into the kitchen at some point when I wasn’t paying attention.

Which means I kind of wanted to die inside.

I sat frozen on the couch. Not sure what to do, waiting on the sound of the mouse trap to snap. But that sound never came. And I did not, in the words of Buford T. Justice, care to be in HOT PURSUIT of a mouse.

So I just sat and tried not to think about it.

Then, just as the voices inside my head quit screaming, the little mouse came flying back through the hallway on his way back to the vicinity of the kitchen.

What is happening? Is this an episode of Tom and Jerry? Why is this mouse so active? Did he find a bunch of Sudafed in the guest bathroom?

I had no idea what to do and knew it wouldn’t do any good to wake P up because he’d just tell me to go to bed and that the mouse would still be there in the morning.

Yes. That’s the problem.

So I went to bed and rolled a towel to fit under the crack in our bedroom door in what I’m sure was an extremely effective and highly scientific mouse prevention technique. No way is a mouse going to break through a Disney Princess beach towel.

(Unless it’s Mickey. He’s always been bitter about the Disney Princesses.)

The next morning P and I whispered to each other about the mouse because in no universe did I want Caroline to be aware of our rodent issue. I told P about the mouse’s nighttime exploits and his possible addiction to amphetamines.

And so the next night, P came armed for battle. He brought a multitude of mouse traps and a bag of Starbursts because everyone knows the mice are crazy for them. Not to mention that it takes some dedication to get a Starburst out of a trap, guaranteeing almost certain death.

Sure enough, by the following morning the little mouse was no longer with us. God rest his little hyped up soul.

He met his end in the laundry room, with the mouse trap, and the Starburst.

Sadly, he didn’t fold any of my laundry before he died.

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  1. says

    At the risk of sounding like I should appear on “Duck Dynasty,” we once had a possum (A POSSUM!) in our house. Even if critters indoors are a violation of the basic human need to watch TV in peace, at least they make for blog posts that write themselves. I’m glad P got ’em. Welcome back!

    • Vicky says

      We had a possum in our house one time too! I heard the cat eating catfood, then I realized the cat was on my lap. I almost had a heart attack when I saw a possum helping himself to the catfood bowl under the kitchen table. Much hilarity ensued and we finally got the nasty thing out the door with a broom and a mop.

      Now for my mouse story. I put bread in the toaster and about 30 seconds later started smelling the most horrible burning hair smell and one of the pieces of bread literally FLEW out of the toaster with a smoking mouse right behind it! I swear I could not make this stuff up.

  2. Leigh says

    Once upon a time, when I was somewhere around 7 months pregnant, I saw a mouse in the garage. My pregnant self jump up onto the washing machine and screamed. I stayed on the washing machine until my husband rescued me and set a trap for the mouse. It was a wonder I didn’t go intop labor right then and there.

    Glad to have you back, Melanie!

  3. ANDREA says

    ba ha ha!!

    oh girl we’ve missed you SOOOOOOO…and um i would have been seen putting up a for sale sign in the yard that very moment i saw mickey the mouse just a scurrying all up in my hallway..i think not mr..i think not at all are you welcome up in this house!!!

    lol glad you caught him!!!:)


  4. Susan says

    Great post! Lots of action and risk – love it. We had an incident when I was pregnant with our first – Waaaaaay back in 1982 – and my husband was working in the basement of our little humble first home. When a bat came along. Thankfully it didn’t get upstairs because my husband stunned it with a push broom and knocked it right in the head with a hammer. Oh my, I was very thankful to have missed seeing him in real life.

    When I heard about it the next day I about jumped on the table, and it was already dead! Creepy thing was, it happened around midnight – no joke.

    Find out where he got in – or get a cat :-)

  5. says

    GAH! I. DON’T. DO. MICE. (or snakes, or spiders, and I don’t really like bugs, in general-especially if they fly)
    Do they have support groups for this?

  6. heidig says

    We had a mouse in our house while my husband was away (fabulous!). So I channeled the exterminator in me and set a sticky trap (sorry, but it was either me or the mouse). It worked! I found him the next morning and after I put very thick rubber gloves on, I gently placed the mouse and the sticky trap in a bag and threw him away. I was very proud of myself!

  7. Debi says

    Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT take any more breaks from blogging. In fact, begin blogging on weekends.

    I just can’t take not reading your blog.


  8. says

    Well, I am sorry about the laundry. I might be convinced to let him stay if he folded the laundry. I’m glad you didn’t tell Caroline b/c I was thinking she’d want to keep him as a pet and name him Elmer or LeRoy or something like that. Glad to see you posting again!! :)

  9. Colorado says

    Mice, frogs, lizards…… yep, those have all made it into my house. And we have a cat too! Had to laugh at ‘bitter Mickey’ and the princess towel stuffed under the door — I’m sure that towel kept you safe!

  10. BethA says

    Welcome back, Melanie!! I’m doing the happy dance. Well, a person with a broken leg’s version of the happy dance. And I’m sooooooo sorry that dirty rat, I mean mouse, didn’t fold your laundry. Just goes to show you that rodents do NOT make good house guests.

  11. jlinker says

    Glad you took a week off, i was out of town last week and when i went to catch up on your blog i was dreading the amount of time i was sure it would take me to read a weeks worth, but i could not bring myself to skip any. Then lo and behold i only had missed two entires. Also, i know it is sad that the mouse did not fold any of your laundry, but at least he didn’t eat any of it. My sisters hamster had a jail break one time. My mom found it in the dryer a few days later (yup, it had been throught he washer and dryer and met its demise. The sad part was it had chewed holes in her favorite pair of jeans before its final breath.

  12. says

    So glad you’re back! And thrilled that you no longer have a mouse to worry about! There’s nothing worse than a furry surprise visitor!

  13. Margaret says

    now,find where the little booger got in otherwise you will see another and another….. check around where pipes come into the house and stuff fine steel wool into any holes that you find. I speak from experience, a lot of experience.

  14. Susan B says

    I am SO glad to hear someone other than me is experiencing this right now. We found a mouse in the laundry room about a week ago…I hate mice more than anything else. Terrifying!…more than snakes, bugs, frogs, anything. Lizards are second. Anyway, with help from my boys we caught it with a mouse trap (grisly…). I could not feel safe in my house until that mouse was gone. At last, he was gone and life could get back to normal…except last weekend I saw another one scurry under my stove! What. is. going. on? How many are there? Should I call in the big guns?…I went to the store, ashamed of my circumstances, looking at the variety of arsenal available for this kind of invader. When a lady pointed out the sticky pads as being the best thing to use. I ask, “Are they still alive when they are caught?”. “Oh, yes!” she replies. (Shudder) I bought a pack of four. It’s been a day and I saw him again scurrying in the same spot…right where I placed the sticky things…uggghhh! I’m a bundle of nerves. I was on our computer last night and my son walked up behind me to tell me he was going out for the night and I jumped about a foot! I’ve found myself praying that the Lord would somehow help me out of this…My husband laughs, but really I think it freaks him out too!…maybe not as much as me.

  15. momof8 says

    We had a mouse in our house once. I was pregnant. Mouse + pregnancy = crazy. Then once after I had a baby, we had a BAT in our house. Bat + postpartum = crazy. I guess I have an excuse now. Hope you got the only one! I’d leave those traps out in case he had friends.

  16. Cindy says

    We have a mouse issue too! We see droppings in the garage and have not been able to catch the little boogger! I can also hear it between the floors of our house. I thought I was only one but my daughter has backed up my story! Yesterday my husband bought bigger traps and different kinds of traps. So far no luck. He is now out of town overnight. I do not want to be the one to find it so I will not be using the garage until tomorrow evening.

  17. Rhonda says

    When I was 18 and still living at home, I had just settled in to bed after working all night when I felt something and saw a form move across the bed, INSIDE MY BED, down by my feet. I looked over the side of my bed in time to see a mouse scurrying out from under the sheets and down the boxspring. I hollered for my dad to come in and he piggybacked me out of my room and into the guest room where I continued to sleep. I guess that’s not as bad as when my brother had a mole in his bed and he felt it nibbling his toes. He hollered for my mom and she beat it to death with a broom in his bed while he was still under the sheets.

  18. Julianne says

    Okay, not to make you feel guilty about taking time off or anything, but I have to say that my morning coffee is just not the same without a new update. And today’s “mouse on amphetamines” was just the perfect way to start what is shaping up to be a very long Monday. Bless you. Welcome back. Don’t ever leave again.

  19. Tammie says

    We had this SAME problem this spring. It seems to have become an every-other-year type of thing. I let my hubs set the trap with CHEESE. Nothing for a full day. So I reset the trap with Peanut butter that night before bed. Not FIVE MINUTES later it snapped. I of course did what any good wife would do, totally sold him and his sad cheese idea out on Face Book.
    Starburst however, that is a new one. I’d say I’ll try it NEXT time but I’m really hoping there is no next time.

  20. says

    One time I was working in an office and a mouse ran right under my feet of my desk. I let out a scream and pulled my feet up in the chair. NONE of my coworkers came to check on me to see why a woman would be screaming in the office. I picked up the phone and called up the hallway to see if someone would get off their butt and walk down to see if they could see the mouse. I was kind of freaked out. But, I’d take a mouse over a snake any day.

  21. Alyson says

    OH man have I missed you!!!!
    I HATE mice. CANNOT stand them. They scare the crap out of me. They stink and make such a horrific mess. One day while I was in the tiny bathroom in the mobile home I lived in, one came running in. Screaming, I slammed the door shut with me and the mouse inside of the bathroom together, and jumped on the toilet with no plan on how I was going to get rid of the little rodent. I did not want it to run back out of the bathroom into the house but I also did not want to have to kill it. All I could think of was the nasty mess it would make if I had to kill it with a shoe. GROSS!!!! I yelled for my husband at that time to bring me the broom. I made him come into the bathroom with me. I was not going to be alone with that nasty creature. From on top of the toilet I hit that thing at least a dozen times before it finally died. Absolute worst experience of my life!

  22. Kristyn says

    Growing up on a farm, I have a lifetime of mouse stories. Like the time I woke up to see on staring at me eye level on my dresser. Or how mice apparently like to lick the color off M&M’S, eat the chocolate inside, and leave the white candy shell. In a pile in my closet. At least I didn’t have the basement room like my sister–the mice would fall down the air return vents and not be able to get back out, so they would scratch and make noise, then die (and stink). And yes, just recently my older sister spent the night at my parents and found three baby mice sleeping in the bed, where I was supposed to sleep the next day. I could go on, but we’ll leave on that nice note. 😉

  23. Nancy says

    “He’s always been bitter about the Disney Princesses.” This is why I love reading your blog!

  24. says

    When we had some mice in the garage recently my husband very scientifically tried a variety of mouse traps. I think he said the white ones work best. And we haven’t seen any mice since.

    On another note, the reason we have pet gerbils is that my girls saw some mice in our garage years ago and wanted to make pets of them. So it is probably wise not to let Caroline know! (Although I really do like our gerbils.)

  25. Marie M.C. says

    Oh, Melanie and P. There is nothing WORSE than a mouse in the house. Love hearing other peoples horror stories. I had to google Starburst. I lead a sheltered life, one that involves avoiding the candy aisle and had never heard of Starburst. Out here on the West Coast our go to mouse attractor is peanut butter. Apparently the word has gotten out in the mouse world and they now know better than to eat cheese? So happy you’re back and making me laugh!

  26. says

    Absolutely hilarious!! The stories that you readers have told are funny too. The mouse flying out of the toaster had me laughing out loud!

    I always have to read your posts to my husband, the fellow Texas Aggie!

  27. Jeannette says

    earlier this spring I heard scratching in the attic. and then two holes appeared in my bedroom ceiling. and a NOSE! I jumped up and climbed into my attic. I saw a possum jump from my attic to a tree limb. I got wire mesh and stapled it in the hole.
    Fast forward a month. my neighbor says do you know that you have squirrels in your attic. Once again I go up in the attic (on Easter Sunday) (while Phil M. was losing the Masters) and applied several more layers of wire and used three lines of staples to the opening.

  28. Sue S says

    I missed you like mad! You came back at the perfect time! I had a doctor’s appointment to find out the results of a biopsy. I purposefully showed great restraint and saved your post for the waiting room. I sat there with shoulders shaking trying not to burst out laughing. It really worked much better than Ativan!
    I cannot wait for your book! I am glad you got your edits done and enjoyed your time off.

  29. Lisa says

    Whatever are you going to do when all his mouse family, which there are sure to be, come looking for him. How many Starburst did you buy??? :)

  30. says

    we saw a mouse in our flat the other night night! i was beyond sad. and disgusted. our neighbors in our complex have been complaining about seeing them off and on since the fall, but we’d never seen one. i chalked it up to my stellar cleaning skills and the fact we’re on the 3rd floor. uh yeah. i died a little inside when i saw it.


    now we need to see if we can find starbursts here in scotland asap.

  31. Talia says

    Ugh, I’ve had a squirrel (those little buggers reak havoc!), a opossum, a bat and a mouse in my house. I even live in the city. Yes, I screamed like the girl I am with each and every discovery…

  32. Cindy says

    We have been using peanut butter for the mouse in our garage. Caught one today. I told my friend about the Starbursts and she just happened (but it really was a God thing) to have 3 Starbursts in her car. The flavors that she did not like and gave them to me. Tonight my husband reset the traps with Starbursts! Hopefully this will be the end!!! Thank you!

  33. Brickhouse says

    You actually handled the mouse WAY better than I have in the past. One night when the boys were babies, I was on the couch watching tv waiting for the now-ex to drag himself away from poker night with the boys. I was ALMOST asleep with my head on the arm of the couch, when something caught my eye on the OTHER arm of the couch. Yep, you guessed it. Mouse. I screamed and jumped up, possibly flailing my arms, breaking my glasses in the process. I swear to you that the mouse also jumped and squealed and deposited a gift on the arm of my couch before scurrying beneath it. I quickly moved to the chair with a close eye on the couch, and called the now-ex to HURRY HOME. Apparently, it was “just” a mouse, so I was on my own. I must have sat in that chair ALL night holding my glasses on my nose, watching the couch. Whenever it would peek out to head for the hallway (where my babies were sleeping), I would throw whatever was handy at it. Luckily, the end table had a drawer with an assortment of things that had no purpose in there. The ex came home to find pencils, remotes, toys, etc all over the floor in the hallway and me asleep in the nursery. I think it’s safe to say that the mouse won that round.

  34. says

    I once sprayed windex around a mouse hole because I thought the smell of it would deter the mouse from coming out of his hole into my house again! :) Needless to say it didn’t work!