Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The simple plans of mice and Bone

Sunday night brought an unexpected visitor to casa de Bone. I was downstairs on the couch when I spotted it out of the corner of my eye darting in front of the staircase.

A mouse! In my house. Eww!

After an involuntary full-body shiver, I went over to investigate. At which point, it ran back behind the entertainment center and presumably into the utility room. And there's no hope of finding it in there because, well, you could lose a small child in there.

After another full-body shiver, I pondered my next move. I didn't have any mouse traps or other rodent-inhibiting devices. In all my years of living on my own, this is the first mouse I've had. It was like 11:30 so I wasn't really up for a Wal-Mart trip at that point. Besides, I figured why pay $2.49 for something I should be able to do myself.

Well, it turns out that virtually all my knowledge of mice comes from Tom & Jerry cartoons, so I decided to pay my good friend Google a visit. Using what I learned spending a couple of minutes on there along with knowledge gleaned from years of watching MacGyver reruns, I began to construct my very own mouse trap.

My crude-but-efficient homemade trap consisted of some cardboard, a small bucket, an empty toilet paper dispenser, and a shelf I had left over after I put my DVD case together a few months ago. I have debated whether or not to share a picture of my invention with you here, as I've yet to file a patent application. With that in mind, I would just ask that you use great discretion as I unveil for the first time in the history of blogging, a photograph of my homemade rodent capturing mechanism.

Behold, a mouse's worst nightmare:

Not bad, eh? (This is where I pause a few seconds with a proud, cheesy grin on my face to allow you to admire my handywork.) I mean, what rodent brain could outwit this marvel of human ingenuity and resourcefulness?

Since I am fairly certain most of you have never seen anything like this before, let me explain how it works. Ideally, the mouse will run up the black piece of wood to the first step, then up the cardboard to the second step. It will a then enter the toilet roll dispenser on the left side to reach the a piece of delicious feta cheese which I have strategically placed on the right side. (Do mice like feta? That's all I had.) However, little does the mouse know that I have left the dispenser teetering on the edge of the stairs so that the weight of the mouse will cause it to go tumbling into the bucket. And down will come mouse, feta and all.

And so, the trap was set. I retired upstairs to my bedroom, barely able to sleep knowing the rodent was scurrying around, but at least it was downstairs. Wait, mice can't climb stairs can they? Don't answer that.

Monday morning, I hurried downstairs with great anticipation, fully expecting to find the trap sprung and my mouse problem solved. Unfortunately, it was just as I left it. Disappointed but not defeated, I left it in place and hoped that maybe something would happen while I was at work.

No dice... or mice, as the case may be. (I think the main problem is that there were no MacGyvers where he had to catch a mouse.)

Unable to stand the thought of sleeping another night in my rodent-infested abode, I broke down and journeyed to Wal-Mart. I purchased some kind of twist-and-set traps that enclose the mouse so you don't have to see it, and also some of those sticky pads.

I set one of the traps in the utility room and placed four of the sticky pads in various hot spots I thought a mouse might go. (That got me to thinking about prepositions because a teacher once told me a preposition is anywhere a mouse can go. So I lost a few minutes there. But I digress.) That was Monday. This is Wednesday. Still no mouse.

So the commercial traps didn't work. The homemade trap didn't work. Or did it? Because while I haven't caught the mouse yet, I also have not seen the mouse again.

Here's what I'm thinking. (You may want to sit down for this.) Do you remember that anti-theft device for cars, it was called The Club or something? And in the ad, it said when theives see The Club, they move on to another car.

Well my friends, that's exactly what I think has happened here. I think that mouse came out of its hole Sunday night, saw this intimidating yet magnificent contraption, and said, "(Expletive) this (expletive), I'm going to another house!"

I have just invented The Club, for mice. The ultimate rodent-deterring device.

At least I hope that's what I've done. Otherwise, my next option may be to don some pied clothing and start playing a horn.

"Come on, babe, can't you see? I'm the Pied Piper. Trust in me. I'm the Pied Piper. And I'll show you where it's at..."


  1. I have a bit of bad news for you Bone. The only reason mice head indoors during the summer months is to give birth. She is probably hunkered down nursing a handful of little ones these last couple days.

    Having lived in a mouse infested house as a young lad with a $1 bounty on dead mice imposed by my mother, I can say with great certainty that to improve your chances of catching the mouse, set your traps next to walls especially where you have seen them. They don't like to stray to far from walls for some reason. Also, my bait of choice was peanut butter. It smells a lot more than cheese, can't be gotten out of the bait end of the trap easily like a hunk of cheese and mice find it irresistable.

  2. OH.MY.WORD! You have a real life mouse trap. Do you remember the game?

  3. LOL Bone this is a great post even with your dilemma. Ed's right about that peanut butter. It works like a charm. We had mice in our bathroom last winter and that's how we attracted them to the trap. Have to say that your invention was clever though. Hope your mouse hunting goes well and that you catch him. I can only imagine how much sleep you've lost these past few nights. Have a great day.

  4. Oh Bone this one had me laughing all the way through though I know I'm supposed to: 1) feel your pain and feel sorry for you
    2) admire your knowledge of Google and how it let you make the best mouse deterrent known to man, mice and Bone

    I still say get an exterminator. The money spent will be worth the cost though I forgot for a second you asked that people be discreet over your invention

    It's stupid but I love the "cheesy grin" line perhaps because it is so obvious

  5. I told you I have a cat you can borrow. I know he can catch it because he leaves at least 4 dead mice on our back porch EVERY week!

  6. I really hope you played MouseTrap as a kid... and this is why you're this good at creating said traps. That would explain it all to me. I would have NEVER done this- I would have been screaming and demanding that someone else come a "'take care" of this sitch. Not awesome. But I stand in awe of your bravery :)

  7. And there's no hope of finding it in there because, well, you could lose a small child in there.

    OK, I laughed for a full thirty seconds or more reading that line. I'm still kinda chuckling now. And down will come mouse, feta and all? Your mind is a wonder :)

    I have to say... there is something wrong with your mouse trap. Even if the mouse had fallen in to the bucket, Bone, it would have been able to climb right on back out. Have you never played the game, Mouse Trap? That bucket needs to come down over that little sucker's head, or you're still in for it.

    I say get a cat.

    Or don't, because surely if you don't it's going to lead to more posts like this, and I don't want to miss out on that :)

  8. I agree get a cat or a dog. The mice will leave.

    We have lizards in our house, not by choice they like to come to get cool or warm depending on the time of year it is.

  9. I'm sorry to say but Ed is probably right about why there is a mouse in Casa del Bone.

    and TC is right about your lovely trap...mice can jump and they don't need your little stair ramps. I'll leave it at that because I can hear your "little girl" scream all the way from there!

    If you don't catch mouse soon, I would call an exterminator...besides it gives me peace of mind to know how the buggers got in the house! My fortress!

  10. If you patent that contraption, will you have to share your royalites with the writers for Tom & Jerry?

    This is too funny! Good writing.

  11. Ed Abbey - Oh, how I hope you're wrong about the birthing. If not, I guess the only thing left for me to do is find a new place to live.

    OKChick - A couple of people have mentioned the game to me. I don't think I ever played it though.

    Michelle Johnson - Well, I did put peanut butter on the one commercial trap I set. Yeah, I know. If I'd seen the mouse upstairs, I'd probably be staying in a hotel right now. I just keep convincing myself that it can't possibly climb stairs.

    Pia - Yes, you were supposed to laugh :) I imagine this is close to what it must have been like when Ben Franklin blogged his kite story. Thanks.

    Mrs. R - Well, if by some chance my mouse deterrent system fails and the rodent returns, I may take you up on that offer.

    Cami - I remember there being a game called Mouse Trap, but I don't think I ever played it. I was more of a Hungry Hungry Hippos guy.

    TC - Your mind is a wonder

    Thanks. That's a nice way of putting it :)

    I don't see how a mouse could climb out of a bucket when it can't climb stairs. But if you think there would be that much of a demand for it, I suppose I could design Bone's Rodent Deterrent Version 2.0, featuring a new inverted bucket.

    PennyCandy - Well I'm not allowed to have a cat or dog where I live, but I may borrow one for a few days.

    Renee - There was no little girl scream. Just some shuddering and I might have pulled my feet up onto the couch.

    Yeah, I would like to know how it got in.

    Sage - Haha, I hadn't thought of that. Oh well, there should be plenty to go around for all of us.

    Thank you.

  12. lmao... FETA? You are creative!

    Ok go to the store and get rat/mice poison. They eat it and it makes them thirsty so they go outside for a drink and die out there. I think finding a live mouse stuck on a glue pad would be worse than finding one live in the house!! lol

    Actually this time of year they dont usually live indoors. It will be the fall when it gets cold that you may find them again... so put the bait out now!!! Be prepared in advance!=]

  13. You didn't happen to be watching 'Something's Gotta Give', were you? Something about that movie brings out the mice but don't get a dog because more than likely, it too will be cowering on the couch with you like mine did.

  14. I can't stop laughing at the fact that the only kind of cheese you have in your fridge is Feta. Not slices of American or Swiss or Cheddar, but Feta.

  15. Now only if you had Billy Mays to sell your "club" mouse scare away-er thingie on tv...

    get some little poison bags and set them out too.. just in case.

  16. Bone, your elaborate trap had me grinning from ear to ear...I can't believe it didn't work! It sure impressed the heck out of me. The description of your 'cheesy grin' really added to the whole mouse trap theme. heh

  17. Helene - Yeah, I'm somewhat terrified of actually finding a live mouse on one of the sticky pads one day.

    I figured you'd have a bit of expertise Didn't you deal with a squirrel not so long ago?

    Murf - Nope. I'm pretty sure I was watching one of my DVD's of The Office. I don't think I've seen Something's Gotta Give.

    Xinh - Well, I'm glad you got some enjoyment out of my cheese supply, or lack thereof.

    Shelby - Mouse Scare-Awayer-Thingie. I really like that name for it :)

    Fledgling Poet - Thanks. And like I said, perhaps it did work, just not in the way I had originally anticipated :)

  18. The original British version, I hope.

  19. Bone, that quite an enthusastic story, despite the fact that it was a horrible event (if it were a spider, I'd have had a whole-body shiver AND passed out). But I have one question: and a shelf I had left over after I put my DVD case together a few months ago. Um, wouldn't the instructions have called for ALL the shelves to be used? Just curious... :)

  20. This post made me laugh! I love your mouse trap... especially given that it would probably have taken much less time and energy (but also less creative genius!) to go out and buy a mouse trap!

    We had mice until recently. I tried every humane way I could think of to drive them out but they just weren't having it. Once they'd found a way into the kitchen cupboards, my sympathy for them was gone and I kept feeling personally offended that they seemed to think it was OK to ruin every item of food we had (rational thought, I know)!

    We ended up getting a rodent man in who was highly entertaining. He put poison down, filled some holes and told as we left, 'Remember - you have to think like a mouse!'

    We haven't had mice since. Probably not because I learned how to think like a mouse though.

  21. I accidentally killed a grasshopper in my bbq grill. After stopping him or her from nesting in my trash cans I guess he/she was looking for a warm place though it was 90--we set it free

    Heard too many fried grasshopper jokes

  22. Murf - Nope. The Michael Scott director's cut. I've never seen the British version, but hope to someday.

    Sean P. Farley - Ah, very keen of you to pick up on that detail. However, I find with a lot of the assembly required products that I often have pieces left over. I assume they put extras in just in case :)

    J. Adamthwaite - 'Remember - you have to think like a mouse!'

    Ha! I like that. My ultimate goal is to have Casa de Bone listed on Rodent Monthly's Ten Worst Places To Visit.

    Pia - Well, I have always heard that fried anything is good :)

    Mama Zen - That's a good thing, I hope.

  23. That is an incredible but crazy ass piece of work you did there.
    I know how you feel about mice though, but the thought of them in a trap is even worse.

    I caught a mouse once when I was in the 10th grade. While home alone, and after putting on some very large rubber boots, I cornered/diverted it into a corner with a yard stick and put a bucket over it. I left it there until my family came home, but it did work. Didn't kill it though just threw it outside.

    Send me picture of the babies..............

  24. Update please: is there still a mouse in the house?

    I am crying with laughter!
    The club! that has to be it Bone! she took one look and ran to the neighbors! so happy I didn't miss this one!

  26. If I beg, will you post more homemade Bone devices? please, oh pretty please? with sugar on top?

    That trap is pure genius!

  27. Cooper - That is an incredible but crazy ass piece of work you did there.

    I'm definitely taking that as a compliment.

    Yeah, it's not really the catching I'm worrying about. It's the discarding of it that I'm not looking forward to.

    OK Chick - Bone's back, baybee!!!

    TC - Nope! Well, I should clarify. There has been no further sign of the mouse since the initial sighting. Neither in my traps, nor scurrying around.

    Lucy - Thank you! I mean, that's the most logical explanation, right? :)

    Charlotta - As you wish.