July 13, 2005

breaking news

As some of you may recall, I reported a strange noise and an errant yogurt lid in my Tiny Wee Studio some weeks back. Against my better judgment, I convinced myself that it was merely a roach of freakish size and strength that found its way into my garbage can, removed a yogurt lid, licked it clean and abandoned it several feet away from the trash can. Despite all evidence pointing to the contrary, I did not want to believe that it was a m-o-u-s-e.

Just the same, I armed myself to the teeth with Tomcat Snap Traps. I was hesitant to use glue traps because I'm not in the business of doling out slow death via an adhesive but at the same time, I'm not keen on having filthy vermin as a roommate.

So for the past few weeks, I made the rounds to CVS, Eckerd and Duane Reade and picked up a variety of weapons to help me in my task. I proceeded to create a treacherous perimeter around my stove since all evidence pointed to that area as the place of entry/exit. I even dropped a poison packet behind the stove and said, "Eat this, bitch." And why, just yesterday I added four more glue traps to the minefield.

You know, between the rodents, the violent asides, the weaponry and the barricades, this story is a little bit Ruby Ridge, Raw Deal, Les Miserables and Stuart Little all rolled into one. If Stuart Little ate from my garbage can and didn't wear pants, of course.

Anyhoo, after several weeks of frayed nerves, I was finally beginning to relax, safe in the knowledge that the area around my stove was secure.

That was premature of me.

I got home around 9:30 tonight. As usual, I flipped on the light and cautiously peered around the refrigerator to see if I had netted me any rodents. Truthfully, I never wanted to catch anything. I don't like killing stuff nor do I like disposing of bodies. In particular, I simply did not want to deal with the possibility that one of the victims might still be alive and squealing bloody murder because its fucking feet were glued to a gooey piece of plastic.

I was seriously hoping that any intruder would see the obstacles in its path and think, "This shit ain't worth it," and then turn around and go back where it came from. Alas, that's not what happened tonight.

Much to my horror, three of the glue traps were flipped over and two of them were stuck together. The Snap Traps were scattered far and wide. In my head, I heard that siren alarm thing that goes whoop! whoop! whoop! The perimeter has been breached! I repeat, the perimeter has been breached!

As far as I was concerned, a monstrous-sized m-o-u-s-e or dare I say, r-a-t, had taken a battering ram to my force field and made its way into my sacred space. So I did what most soldiers would do in the face of such adversity -- I leapt onto my Pier One love seat, sweated through my clothes in a panic and began whimpering.

I tried paging The Super on the emergency line but I couldn't get through because the number had changed. I called his office and tried copying down the new number left on the recording but my hands were weak and shaking violently and the end result looked like something a toddler scrawled.

I knew I had The Super's cell number on my computer so I turned on my PC to retrieve it. While waiting for the computer to start up, I leap-frogged across some furniture to get a sensible pair of shoes and a flashlight.

And then I heard a noise coming from the radiator. Abandon ship! Abandon ship! I grabbed the flashlight, my keys and the cordless phone and got the hell out of my apartment.

I banged on The Super's door to no avail. I ran out to the building's entrance and repeatedly pressed his buzzer but there was no response. I was near hysterics. I was about to call The Masseuse and beg her to let me crash at her place for the night, but then, like a miracle, The Super walked by!!! I totally pounced.

"There is something in my apartment! You should see what it did to my system of traps! You have to come and kill it!"

My voice was trembling. I was sweating and shaking like a leaf. I surprised even myself with my histrionics. The Super took pity on me, investigated the noise and promised to be back shortly to plug up the holes. But first he had to drop off a friend a few blocks away.

I did a quick mental calculation and realized that I would have to be alone in my apartment with the beast for at least 20 minutes. That was unacceptable. So I said, "I'm going to wait for you outside."

With phone and keys in hand, I walked out to the front stoop and made frantic phone calls to The Masseuse and Supah and they both talked me through my bout of crazy until The Super came back. (Thanks again, ladies!)

The Super entered my apartment and within five minutes, he came back out to announce that he had found the m-o-u-s-e. All he needed was a stick and a bucket. Um, what? I was horrified but sort of elated at the same time. Again, I don't condone murder but I was more than willing to turn a blind eye to the brutal beating that was about to go down in my Tiny Wee Studio. That fucker had terrorized me for the past three weeks and well, I was feeling less than compassionate.

Another five minutes passed and then The Super emerged triumphant from my apartment. He carried the body of the lifeless victim in a Target bag. I peppered him with questions about its size and whereabouts. Apparently, the m-o-u-s-e got its foot caught in one of the Snap Traps near the stove (score!) and then got stuck in a hole near the radiator on its way back out (hence, the creepy noise I heard that sent me scurrying for the exit).

I'm sure the thing freaked out when the plastic contraption clamped down on its foot so it started running around in a frenzy thereby upending the glue traps and scattering and snapping the other traps in its wake. Oh.my.God. Can you imagine if this happened when I was home?!?! If I saw that scene unfold with my own eyes and heard the traps snapping like castanets, I would have run out of the Tiny Wee Studio never to return.

I tried piecing together the forensics when I returned to my apartment but it's too gross to even think about. It's almost comical in a sick way but I do feel sort of bad for the dumb thing. Just the same, I'm glad it's gone.

And now I have the task of fighting off a serious case of the willies. I feel a little bit better now that I've finished scouring every surface in my apartment with Clorox Clean-up. Furthermore, I have an area rug, a kitchen mat and a bath mat all rolled up and ready to be thrown out. Why you ask? Well, for one, I'm a lunatic and b) the deceased dragged a trap clear across my apartment in an effort to save itself. Call me a fuss pot but if I can't disinfect an object in the presumed path of the m-o-u-s-e with bleach, it's going in the garbage.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the Dumpster and then I'm going to take the longest shower of my life.