Oh no! Another country heard from!

During my childhood, when things got so complicated that my mother thought she’d probably have a nervous collapse, something else would invariably happen.  Whether it had to do with a person or an event or just an unexpected circumstance, my mom was sure to say, “Oh no!  Another country heard from!”

Those very words came tumbling out of my mouth just a few weeks ago.  Nyel was still at the Seaside swing bed facility and I was spending days with him and nights here at home.  I felt a little overwhelmed with things that Nyel needed,  household responsibilities, and did I pay that bill or not?

About the second or third evening, as I was moving through the laundry room into the kitchen, I heard a distinct rustling.  I turned on the light just in time to see a furry little mouse dart behind the freezer.  Another country heard from, indeed.

So… I checked the nearby shelving where we store extras — mostly household supplies from CostCo, canned tomato sauce (salt free for Nyel) for spaghetti or pizza or lasagna, bottles of mustard and mayo and catsup.  We laughingly call it our ‘pantry’ but it’s really our overflow.  Sure enough — mouse droppings, holes chewed through the cellophane wrappers of three (count ’em three!) packages of rice crackers — one package totally empty(!) and the other two with several crackers missing.  I pitched all of them, cleaned up the mess, and set a couple of mouse traps with peanut butter.  Adams peanut butter.  It’s the best.

Several days went by.  Then… peanut butter missing, trap sprung, no mouse.  I repeated the peanut butter and trap routine several times.  So did Ms. Mousie.  (Probably Mrs. Mousie.  She certainly stashed enough rice crackers to feed a large family.  Or maybe enough for an army and she’s General Mousie.)

I told Nyel about our visitor (read live-in companion) and he gave me advice — as in maybe I should call the exterminators who come once a month to spray our outer perimeter to keep us “pest free.”  Good idea.  The “technician” came a few days ago carrying a clipboard and wearing one blue vinyl glove.  I showed him the area and a bit of mousie evidence I hadn’t cleaned up.  He felt around behind one of the shelves with his blue hand and said (rather ominously, I thought), “Oh yes.  Still soft.”  Turns out he was sticking his gloved finger in a pile of unseen mousie doo-doo.

He explained their “rodent service.”  They set traps using Adams peanut butter and, if you aren’t too squeamish, they will lay those glue pads out — pretty much foolproof he said.   He appeared to be through talking so I said, “And what about the clean-up?”  “Oh we don’t do that.  That would be your responsibility.”  SAY WHAT???  FOR $250 YOU SET A TRAP OR TWO AND THAT’S IT?  “Pretty much,” was the answer.

We still have a mouse problem.  We are still putting traps (and a sticky pad) out.  Yesterday, no mouse, trap not sprung but there was one slightly nibbled rice cracker way out in the middle of the floor — as in nyah-nyah-nyah!  I’m trying to figure out how I can move that damned freezer.  I really do NOT want to see what’s behind it.  And I guess I’ll have to take everything off the shelves and see whether there are more “soft” spots.   eeeewwwww!  But first I have to get over that whole $250-to-set-a-trap-or-two thing.  Do they really sell such a service?  If so, there must be a lot of desperate little old ladies out there .  I hope I don’t have to join their ranks!

2 Responses to “Oh no! Another country heard from!”

  1. Sandy Stonebreaker says:

    Interesting that almost all the “sayings” of your mother are very familiar to me. I always thought of most of them as Midwestern. Apparently, that isn’t the case and also not exactly age related. So, they must have been kind of universal. SS

  2. Nancy Holden says:

    This reminds me of the time Carol called me and asked me to come to her house there was a mouse in her kitchen. I went and was unable to run it out.
    IT was a tiny baby , Carol was up against her sink, I was laughing at her.
    I could have owned her beautiful house should I have bargained for it.

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