Of Gravity and Rodents.

“I really should be grateful.” That’s what I tell myself while vacuuming out the car. Just imagine if I’d found them while driving?

For a month, I’ve put off getting the car’s ventilation ‘freshened’ because cost-saving measures come before buying perfume for my car. But then something got sucked up and blocked the heater vents. That moved cleaning the system to the top of the list!

Afterward, I decided to get the car washed and avail myself of the free vacuum stations outside. I’m regretting not making a pit stop at the bathroom before I came here, so I hurry to suck up the month’s worth of detritus. (Anyone doubting I had a child would be convinced by the loose crayons, left-over Halloween candy and broken bits mashed into the carpets and fused into the seat crevices. )

The hose inhales pen caps, receipts, and other miscellany from the trunk when, suddenly, I need to find the ladies’ room. Like, NOW! I dash through the automobiles inching their way up to the car wash entrance and stumble through the small office door. Fog immediately settles on my lenses.

Fun Fact: Cold glass + Warm Air = Temporary Blindness

I believe I shriek “Bathroom?” at an attendant before hurtling myself toward the facilities. I manage to take the urgent call from Mother Nature in time. (That woman has no respect for dignity!) Refreshed and relieved, I go back to battling the dirt in the car.

It’s as I’m finishing up the front passenger area that I notice the box of food I’d left there the day before seems to be disturbed. There’s a hole…no two…in the bag of dried Pinto beans. I shrug this off, because I do not watch horror movies and can’t recognize a clue when I trip over one.

I’ve sucked up about fifty-billion pieces of small plastic and wrappers torn all to hell and this doesn’t strike me as odd because my teenager is unaccustomed to restraint and ripping paper and eating candy is more than a pastime for him–it is a compulsion. One vice feeds the other.

When I jerk the backseat forward, I find it. The very obvious nest that some creepy crawly has been tricking out with old tissues and the remains of my son’s efforts at candy-coated papier-mâché. I now recognize what I’m facing: cleaning up after a slovenly child, industrious mice, all while hampered by my own laziness. A total triple-threat.

Gamely, I stick the vacuum nozzle into the space. I suck up many layers of mouse-related stuffs all the while waiting for the furry homeowners to make an appearance. The first time I suck up something heavy, I nearly shriek, drop the hose, leaving my car, and running for non-existent Michigan hills. It turns out to be a cloth shopping bag handle. I have to reach in and retrieve it myself because it is hooked up underneath something.

The entire time, it’s like there is mounting horror music playing in my head. I’m waiting and waiting for something to leap out and bite me. But, like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, the ending is pretty anti-climatic. I finish my business with no sign of the hairy monsters I spent an hour chasing with a hose. (#ISeeFuzzyPeople)

Even though I cleaned for an hour, I never saw hide nor whisker of the beady-eyed ones. But, I’m going to feel them watching me whenever I drive now. Oh yes, the mousy-ones are unforgiving bastards and they come back and get you in the sequel.

“Hi! I’m Mr. Fuzzy-Butt, nice to make your acquaintance.”

Getting home, I’m confronted by the sight of squirrels chowing down on bird seed despite my efforts at squirrel-proofing the feeders.

(I was briefly heartened when I discovered WD-40 created a greasy slide that made the critters look like particularly inept pole dancers. They’d fling themselves up there only to slide down with a look of surprise on their tiny rodent faces. I laughed and laughed. But, two days later, apparently they’ve absorbed the oil and are perching, unrepentant, on the rim of the brass feeder. )

Twice now, I’ve been bested by creatures not possessing two college degrees and opposable thumbs.

Sadly, the bird feeder that does actually work to keep the squirrels out…also keeps the birds out. Maybe they don’t like the color red? Or maybe the fact that I put only giant sunflower seeds in that barely fit through the feed trough holes might have something to do with it.

And lastly, I’ve been determined to figure out what has been blocking the lazy-susan in the kitchen from making its rounds. (And, no, my name is NOT Susan!) So I unload the entire contents except for two containers of oatmeal. Apparently, they are what is now holding up the upper level of the round-a-bout. And I have neither the tools nor that aptitude to fix this problem. Sigh. *Bangs head softly against the wall.*

So, as problems go, these are pretty banal ones to have. I guess life has gotten back to ‘normal.’

But, If anyone wants to come over and fix any of the things that are wrong with me, feel free to stop on by. I’ll have plenty of beans ready to serve…only partly pre-chewed.

27 thoughts on “Of Gravity and Rodents.

  1. Good luck against those determined survivors. This year — so far — I have seen no mice in my house. I don’t know if Teddy, the predatory Australian shepherd, is keeping them at bay or if my neighbor’s numerous cats are wandering this far south to glean the lilac hedges. Last year the smartest and I admit cutest mouse took up residence in my house for most of the winter. He was the first mouse in my mouse experience (which is considerable) I was unable to trap. I caught him once sitting on the back of the sofa above my shoulder watching a movie with me. I named him Njal and I really got so I liked him in a way. Over time I learned he had even slept with me. Creeped out? Yeah and no. I’d surrendered to Njal’s superior survival skills and named him for a Viking.

    Still, I don’t like them at all.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can so picture the scene:

      There you are, watching The Rescuers or The Tale of Desperaux. You eating popcorn, Little Njal nibbling on a single popped kernel. Both of you bonding over sentimental mouse movies. (Initially I used Ratatouille as a more modern reference, then realized Rats and Mice are not the same thing at all and would, therefore, not appeal to your little friend. Possibly he would be entertained by Michael J. Fox as Stuart Little, but it’s hard to know whether a mouse dressed in human clothing affects the credibility. Mice have standards, don’tcha know.) It is a lovely image regardless of the film of choice. One hopes he lives on in a nice woodpile somewhere dreaming of you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh, so very heart breaking. I did read your lovely tribute to your little viking buddy. I can understand the mixed emotions. I can be amused by wildlife outside my window, but the minute the little furry bastards are crawling in my car or invading my home, I go a little bit nuts and hire a hit squad to take them out. I am not an entirely nice person at times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was so caught up in the story that when I got to this sentence, “Oh yes, the mousy-ones are unforgiving bastards and they come back and get you in the … I read “squeal” instead of “sequel.”

    This was hilariously funny and I giggled throughout – you will forgive me, I hope?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are forgiven. Though, now I’m wishing I’d thought of that myself and cleverly included a Squeal Sequel into the post. Ahh, if only I weren’t too lazy to edit post-facto publishing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story! Mice invade my garage all the time; I trap and remove, more move in. Who can blame them, especially in our cold winters with so much snow? They’ve never made it into the house, so I don’t worry too much. But the one winter they started making themselves at home in my car? Oh no, uh uh, not having that. It was just as you described: I wondered how those bits of shredded paper got onto the passenger side floor? Oh, and what happened to that piece of candy I left on the console? I also knew dog treats had fallen between seats that I never retrieved; I rarely vacuumed. After looking more closely and finding mice poop on the interior floor, I started setting traps in the car overnight. Caught two in quick order and hoped that was the end of it, having heard the nightmare stories of wiring being chewed or nests made in the heating ducts so that every time you drove with heat on it smelled like rodent urine. But no, your/my nightmare hadn’t ended! I was driving down the highway one day when I heard one scurrying in the space between the interior ceiling and the outside roof, just above my head! I lost it, angrily pounding the ceiling with my palm, alarming my dogs riding in the back and nearly swerving off the road. Calming down, I realized all I could do is set more traps and hope for the best. Caught another two, and have never seen evidence of them in my car again. (Garage, yes.) Now I NEVER leave any hint of food in my car!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what I’m afraid of! Driving with Mice has to be a horror movie somewhere. (Forget snakes on a plane. The snakes would take care of any mice and are unlikely to disturb humans. Mice are not that considerate.)

      It is nice to know that I’m not being a totally squeamish girl in my reaction. I just jump whenever a mouse scurries by. (I wrote a post about an unfortunate bathroom incident with one such creature running past my feet.) To this day, I can get that crawling-up-the-spine jump to my feet sensation that left me peeing down my legs. Mice are indelible experiences.


  4. If it helps, our cat brought a vole into the house, it escaped and now lives under our fridge. No amount of cajoling or supposedly delicious to voles stuff in humane traps has persuaded it to come out. I’m waiting to smell the smell of dead rotting vole, but so far, nothing, just the occasional small poo near the catfood station.

    You are not alone.



    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think we get mice every year and it’s a brief problem because we have three cats and a dog. I’m really okay with them living in the shed and the garage, but not in the house, and not in the car.
    You told this tale very well. I’m sorry it’s not a fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I considered making it fictional and adding the alarming appearance of mice while cleaning, but I’m sadly too Midwestern in my upbringing and it felt too much like lying to embroider that much whole cloth.

      I’m allergic to cats, so we are going the noxious-smelling dryer sheets as a hoped-for solution to the mice in the car scenario. I’ve never had this happen before, but apparently, the Prius I drive was built to accommodate five adults and a horde of vermin.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Swearing is rarely an alluring characteristic. You may also be of my kind of weird if F-bombs (precisely placed) bring you to the yard.

      And being late to the party makes you fashionable, or so I understand. Just don’t stay up past midnight and we’ll be fine!

      Liked by 1 person

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