If ever you are sitting around bored and wondering what to do let me recommend one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. This experience rates very high on my list of things that are exciting but not to be repeated, once is enough. Oddly enough it happened to me twice. I am getting ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning.
Several years ago I worked for a busy ambulance company. We ran all day and all night, normally leaving me exhausted on my first day off shift. I don't remember what day it was, just that I had gotten off a shift at 8am and was very tired. I drove forty minutes home and crawled into bed as my wife was getting up. We were newly married, had a five month old son, and couldn't afford much. The result was that we lived in a rather drafty three bedroom mobile home on my parents property. Over the course of the winter some mice had decided our trailer was warmer then the bushes and they moved in. We had put out poison and most were dying now so our little friend problem was getting better.
Sometime around noon my wife woke me up because she had to go to work. Our son was sleeping and I had the house to myself until he woke up. Now, I like to eat. When I have time to myself I frequently make something really good to eat. That day I decided that I needed chicken. I fired up the BBQ and cooked a piece of chicken breast for a sandwich. My mouth was watering. I was crossing my fingers that my son would not wake and interrupt this spiritual sandwich moment. Hey girls, guys are like that, if you want to win them over learn how to make good sandwiches.
Let me tell you about this sandwich. I started with a large chicken breast, basted it with BBQ sauce while cooking it. I then put it on a hamburger bun with mayo, BBQ sauce, lettuce, and a ton of cheese which melted it all together. It was too tall to take a bite. This was the grandfather of all sandwiches. I poured myself a large glass of cold milk, sat down on the couch, and hit the power button to turn on the TV. My eyes glazed over as I took in a huge breath through my nose, the smells of the sandwich making my anticipation almost unbearable. I almost got a bite.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
I stopped and turned my head, did I just hear something?
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Yup, I most certainly did. I should have sat there and ate that awesome sandwich. I should have ignored the sound. I should have, but I couldn't. There was something furtive making noise where there should be none.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
I set down the almost enjoyed lunch and started looking for the sound.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
After several minutes of searching I found the doors to a cabinet we never used. It was at the end of the couch and we had put an end table in front of it and had not opened it for years. I pulled out the end table and slowly opened the cabinet. Inside there was a tangle of paper, lint, cloth, and fiberglass insulation. And a mother mouse and five nearly full grown babies. I grabbed a mouse trap, put peanut butter on it and dropped it inside the cabinet and shut the door.
I went over and sat down to have another try at my sandwich that was quickly cooling. I picked it up and almost got it too my lips.
I couldn't believe how fast I had caught one. I set down the sandwich and opened the cabinet. Mom had taken the bate and had perished. Well, I thought to myself, I should get the babies now before they get hungry and wander off. I grabbed an old pair of firefighting gloves and an empty round fishbowl and surveyed the situation. The babies were all together in the nest and I thought I could get them all at once. I crept up and placed my gloved hand quickly over the mice and scraped them, nest and all into the fishbowl then placed a book on it for a lid.
That was easy! I washed my hands and sat back down at my incredible, now luke-warm, chicken sandwich. Just before I took a bite I noticed movement in the fishbowl. The mice were moving. Wait a minute, it looks like one is missing. I set down my sandwich and picked up the bowl and counted.
One, two, three, four. Hmm.
One, two, three, four.
Definitely there were only four mice. The fifth was missing. I was starting to feel a little cranky at this point. I put the structural fire gloves back on and went to the cabinet saw the mouse staring at me, daring me with his little beady eyes.
Have you ever had an idea that seemed like a really good idea, and later, in retrospect you wonder how you could ever have thought such a thing? How in thinking in the moment you had come up with a plan that was not only idiotic but could become dangerous? I fell victim to one of those momentary lapses of sanity. In my irritation I decided I could probably just use the fire gloves to grab this little pain in the back side. So I tried.
The next series of events ran downhill faster then I could have planned for. I reached in with karate hastened hands, I am fast and have good hand eye coordination. The mouse went matrix. My hand darted forward with snake striking speed and that mouse jumped straight up, ricocheted off the ceiling of the cabinet, shot sideways, hit the edge and then was clear on the other side of the cabinet. My hand then reached the place the mouse had been sitting when I first started. Mouse one, me zip.
I tried several more times and the result was the same, as soon as the mouse started moving it looked like I was moving in slow motion while he virtually flew around my hand and the inside of the cabinet. I then had the idea that I could move faster if I was trying to smash him instead of catch him. So I hammered my first down as hard as I could on him. The mouse, having enough of this crazy game jumped out of the cabinet and ran under the couch.
You need to remember here, I am tired, hungry, and my sandwich is cold. I got angry. Really, really angry. I ran to the kitchen shouting expletives and voicing the many ways I was going to torture the little rodent before I killed him. I grabbed the mop and charged back to the couch. On my hands and knees I started blindly slamming the mop handle in and out from under the couch so hard I was banging and shaking the wall behind it.
In the blink of an eye, faster then I could move, the little mouse ran out from under the couch, between my legs and right up the open leg of my pajama bottoms. Yes, you heard me right. Up the pant leg of my flannel pajamas.
The human mind is an amazing thing. It stores solutions. Whenever you have a problem, once you find the answer your mind then holds it, in case you ever have that problem again. This was an entirely new experience. My heart hit Indy500 speeds as I received a massive adrenaline dump and for once I was fast enough to catch the mouse, right about mid thigh inside my pants. So the mouse is screaming inside my pants and I'm running Mach Five laps around the interior walls of my trailer, not even touching the ground, as my mind desperately scanned for some scrap of useful information. I have found that running in circles at top speed is a very useful way to offset the sudden energy brought on by dumping pure adrenaline into the bloodstream. I exploded out my front door, jumped and whipped my pants off in one motion and expelled that mean little rodent into orbit across the yard that we shared with my parents. My pajama pants falling onto the lawn.
As I stood there half naked and panting, heart pounding and limbs trembling, trying to grasp the gravity of what had just happened to me I slowly became aware that I was in my underpants. I glanced around, and there, across the yard, standing on his porch was my dad. Eyes wide, with a coffee cup frozen halfway to his lips. He didn't drink coffee on his front porch for the better part of the year after that. I went back inside, threw my sandwich in the trash and went back to bed(after releasing the other rodents outside). My son had slept through the whole event.
The second time it happened, yes, I had a live wild mouse run up my pant leg on two separate occasions, wasn't nearly so exciting. See, my mind knew what to do with this situation now. I felt it on my foot and then in my pajama leg. I again caught it mid thigh, then stood and took off my pants and nonchalantly sauntered across the room and out the door to release the critter. My dad did not “freeze up” this time. He simply shook his head and walked away.