The Desiccation of Wit

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Of Mice and Men and Blue Cheese

I moved into my apartment around the first of November, after the previous tenant decided following just a few months in Manhattan that she was homesick for the Midwest and fled the big city for home. Whether or not there was already a mouse in residence at that time, I can't say. Within a month or so, he had presented himself, and traps had been purchased and installed: one behind the refrigerator, one in the corner between the garbage bin and the painted-over fireplace.

(After a bit of consultation with sorts who care about things like the Rights of Mice, I purchased the spring-loaded bar-snap type, rather than the stick-'em-with-glue-wait-as-they-chew-their-own-legs-off type.)

And I waited. And waited. As directed, I did not load the 'Cheese Pedal' with actual cheese. I continued to wait. November turned to December without incident, and December nearly to January when, late at night after 2005 had turned to 2006, Mouse reappeared, dashing across the tops of my sink and stove. After a particularly harrowing incident a week later, when I was awakened by his rummaging in my bedroom wastepaper basket, I changed my plan of attack: No fake cheese pedals would entrap this mouse; Gruyere it had to be.

And again, with the waiting. And nothing. And yet -- the cheese, it disappeared! Such sophisticated tastes had been acquired by this mouse who (co-)inhabited a 3rd floor, 1BR walkup here just north of the West Village-Chelsea borderline. And such cunning! Was it possible? Had he snuck his nose in between the cheese pedal and the wooden panel to snatch the wedge of gruyere without detection?

Months came and went. More waiting. Less trapping of mice. Perhaps, once or twice, I thought I heard rumblings from where he dwelt, but no results.

Then yesterday, thanks to the keen eyes of my comrade Sr. Martinez, the little bugger was detected again. And then, again. And then, after I reloaded the traps -- one with some Raw Milk Morbier, the other with Roaring Forties Blue -- he snatched it out again, right from under our noses!

And then again, across the countertop he scurried, disappearing straight into my rear right burner! Fiery attempts to smoke him out unavailing, we re-examined the mechanisms with which we (for A.J. was now steadfastly committed to this project) intended to nab him.

Aha! We detected a misrigging of the traps, through entirely my own fault. And rerig them we did, with particularly enticing bits of these finest cheeses offered by Westside Market. And yet, no results.

The best laid plans of mice and men, they say, are 'aft gang agley'. (Why do I know that in Scottish, or whatever that is? Damned if I know. But Bartleby supports me.)

Or not so agley! 8.38 p.m. Sitting on my bed, reading Planned Parenthood v. Casey (did this really need to go on for 40 pages?), watching the Rangers-Devils game...Snap! from the other room I hear the unmistakable ricochet of metal bar against wooden plate. No, nothing as gruesome as the crushing of mouseketeer bones, but indeed: upon close inspection, there he was.

How nauseous! How disgusting! See if you can choose which of the following actions I subsequently undertook:
1. Threw up in the toilet.
2. Threw up on the mouse.
3. Threw the mouse in the toilet.
4. Threw the mouse up (in the air).
5. Threw the mouse in the garbage.
6. Threw the mouse out the window.
7. Threw myself out the window.
8. Threw a party for the mouse.
9. Threw a party to celebrate the departure of the mouse.
10. Threw my hands up in the air in frustration.
11. Blogged.

(Hint: I did at least three of these things.)

(In an interesting and completely incomprehensible side note to this affair, I had lunch today with my friend James. As I was recounting yesterday's plight to him, I mentioned that I'd decided to rig the traps with real cheese, in contravention of the manufacturer's instructions. (Victor Corp., incidentally, which A.J. and I queried online.) James, who -- it should be noted -- has quite the affinity for affinage and once worked briefly in a cheese shop, suggested, of all things, that I should try some raw milk Morbier. Little did he know that my mouse had such refined tastes for blue cheese culture.)

4 Comments:

Blogger Mandy said...

You killed a mouse. I hope you feel real good about yourself, big man, reeeeal good.

Just kidding. I used to live at Rivington and Pitt, a.k.a. Rat and Mouse ground zero. Once I and my roommate, a skittish Teacher's College student, caught five mice in the course of an hour with successive mousetraps laid in the same 1" space between the stove and the wall. One by one they marched to their deaths, and one by one I bagged their snapped carcasses in C-Town plastic. Good riddance, motherfuckers.

12:41 AM, April 10, 2006  
Blogger lex said...

Advice for the future: You catch more mice with peanut butter. Trust me. It's like fishing for trout with corn: no one knows why it works, it just does.

9:28 AM, April 10, 2006  
Blogger super des said...

thanks for not letting them rip their legs off.

7:07 PM, April 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

two words: peanut butter.

oh someone said that already. phooey.

-rebecca

12:57 PM, April 18, 2006  

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