"" Writer's Wanderings: A Better Mousetrap?

Friday, February 03, 2012

A Better Mousetrap?

I've been going back and looking at some of my very old posts. I started this blog back in 2004. Here's a story I posted in three parts back in 2005 that still brings a smile to my face. Hope you enjoy it too.

Of Mice and Men

(Post One)
The weather had warmed considerably. The cover came off the Miata. To his dismay, the little critter inside the trunk was encouraged to find a new home. I say "encouraged," because Bob cleaned out the trunk and tossed his fluffy nest into the trash figuring that would be the end of the rent-free intruder.

The little guy (the mouse, not Bob) had more stamina than he was given credit for. He rebuilt his nest--fluffy and warm, nestled against the spare tire. Bob discovered the little guy's handiwork this weekend.

"Don't we have a mousetrap around here somewhere?" Bob asked.

"I haven't seen it lately," I said with a smile. The Miata is Bob's "baby"--don't mess with the baby.

Bob tracked down two mousetraps, baited them with some swiss cheese, and set them in the trunk of the car. A smile on his face, he drove the Miata all day Saturday, confident that his freeloader would be taken care of shortly.

Sunday morning, Bob decided to check the trunk before we left for church. Like a great white hunter, stalking his prey, he opened the trunk...

(Post two)
Have you ever played Operation? It's the game where a body is pictured on a cardboard base and little body parts are in small cavities wired with an alarm. The object is to pick out the body parts with tweezers and not set off the alarm. It's a delicate operation.

I suspected our little freeloader in the trunk of the Miata had lots of practice with that game. The traps were picked clean and neither was set off until Bob picked them up. He, obviously, did not have a lot of practice with the game.

Undaunted and slightly amused, Bob headed for the peanut butter jar.

"Let's see him get this off the trap." Was that a maniacal chuckle I heard?

The traps were baited and reset. To be honest, I wasn't sure who I was rooting for in this contest. I much prefer D-Con. After eating it the mice usually just crawl away somewhere and I don't have to worry about desposing of the remains. I didn't want to actually see this clever little guy's demise.

Bob replaced the traps in the trunk of the car and returned with all his fingers intact and healthy. We waited...

(Post three)
It was a busy Sunday afternoon. I was getting ready for a writers conference and Bob was getting ready for his annual trade show. The temperature climbed into the upper 80s and I wondered if the peanut butter had melted off of the mousetrap.

Being the great white hunter that he is, Bob waited patiently until about eight o'clock that evening. I heard the door to the garage open and close but didn't think much of it until a little while later, he came into the den. He was grinning.

"I got the little bugger." He said with pride. "I knew he couldn't get that peanut butter off the trap."

The way he said it though made me wonder if Bob hadn't struggled with just a little edge of doubt--a slight suspicion that his small opponent might be a little too clever for an old fashioned mousetrap. After all, this is the era of electronical everything--who would guess something as old fashioned as a piece of wood, a spring, and a metal bar would still work so efficiently.

So, to the electronics wizards of the world--those great white hunters--Do we really need a better mousetrap or is it the bait that counts?

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