Thursday, August 25, 2005

Be afraid...be very afraid

About a month ago, I discovered that a mouse had been invading my cupboard at work where I store my coffee supplies (filters, coffee in a can) and lunch supplies (plastic cutlery, paper plates, bowls). There were droppings all over the place so I just tossed everything out and called Building Services.

They brought up a Victor® No See Mouse Trap, put some peanuts in it, and set it on the countertop for the little furry critter. The guy who brought it up chuckled and said that about the only thing the traps ever caught was fur but it was all they had to deal with the problem.

I checked the trap when I returned from vacation in mid-July, and once again around the beginning of this month, but haven't really paid a whole lot of attention to it since it looked like the little varmint had quit coming around.

Today as I was putting my lunch into the microwave to heat up, for some reason I glanced over at that mouse trap. Now, I'd had a roll of toilet tissue on the countertop, very near where the trap was. I guess the white of the tissue was what caught my eye because, as I looked closer, I could see that the tissue had been pulled away from the roll a bit, shredded a bit, and was stuffed into one end of the trap. I laughed out loud when I realized what the implications were.

That little varmint was nesting in there, using the trap for shelter, and the tissue for batting! I began to giggle uncontrollably, imagining the little varmint thumbing his nose at us from inside that box. I called the Building Services guy and he came up almost immediately. While he was here, a professor stopped by to see what all the laughter was about -- the professor suggested that there was probably grant money to study this phenomenon. The building services guy picked up the trap, looked inside and said that it looked like the tissue had been pulled in, not to nest, but to aid in escape...perhaps to coat the sticky floor so that the little creep could walk in, take the peanuts, and leave without a problem. This suggestion sent me into more intense peals of laughter, as I imagined that little mouse standing, looking at the trap, and tapping his chin with his fingers, trying to find a solution to the problem. In between laughter and gulping for air, I pointed out that this seemed to be a very intelligent mouse -- most likely because this is, in fact, an institution of higher learning. More shrieks of laughter.

Now that I've been able to stop laughing, I got to thinking and, while I still chuckle a bit here and there, it occurred to me that this could be a sign that the rodent world is becoming more intelligent. Hey, I saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- their sensei, Splinter, was a rat. And here I thought it was just cutesie crap for the kids.

Intelligent mice. Mice that seem to be able to problem solve. What is this world coming to? What next? Homosexuals wanting to get married?

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