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a mizzouse in the hizzouse

I have a mouse.

I’d say that I have mice, but the idea of there being more than one mouse bothers me so much that I find myself rounding down: I have a mouse. It seems to live in the basement under my apartment, and to infiltrate my territory through the spot under my radiator.

This is no ordinary mouse.

My insistence on there being only one mouse has led to some leaps of faith on my part. Earlier in the winter, the trap under my radiator caught a mouse; I found it affixed to the glue-board, too dead to skin, a week or so later when I returned from vacation. The singleness of mice in my apartment therefore demands, since there is and can be only one mouse, that the lab escapee which plagues me now should be in fact the same mouse, reincarnated, through some sick karmic joke, in the same form and the same location, this time with an understanding of traps and how they are to be avoided.
How else can one explain the present mouse?

When first I heard the skittering that signaled the new mouse’s arrival, I jumped out of bed just in time to see its tail disappear under the radiator. I countered by putting down traps around the radiator, good, strong snap-traps. I baited them with delicious peanut-butter, and went to sleep. Half an hour later, I was awakened by skittering.
Keep calm, I told myself. He’ll go for the peanut butter eventually. Then I put on my earphones and went back to sleep.

I bounded out of bed the next morning, eager to see if my traps had borne mousy fruit. They had not.

Over the next few days, I tried to let the traps be, telling myself that if any of them went off, I’d notice. It was no good: every time the wind blew outside, or a twig crackled, or a car drove by, I’d awake, certain that this time I’d gotten him. And every time, the traps lay empty. Meanwhile, I lay in a shallow sleep, waiting for the *SNAP* that would mean victory. Every night, I’d hear the mouse – or imagine I heard it – moving around below my lofted bed, scorning my peanut butter-baited traps in favor of delicious wire insulation, or lint, or whatever the fuck mice eat. Every night I lay above, growing ever more repulsed at the very idea of having a mouse in my apartment – it hadn’t seemed so bad at first – and wondering if, horror of horrors, there might be more than one mouse. Every morning I awoke more tired than I’d been the last morning. I developed dark, serial killer-looking shadows under my eyes, and when I looked at the traps, it was with a hateful, murderous intensity.

Then one evening, I looked over at them and saw that the spring triggers had been denuded of their peanut butter bait. The little fucker was mocking me!

A couple hours later I heard him scurrying around behind my bookshelf, across the room from his wonted radiator. I climbed out of bed as quietly as I could, picked up a heavy book, I guess to bludgeon him with, and crept over to the other side of the room.
The scurrying and rustling that I’d thought was coming from behind my bookshelf was, in fact, coming from on top of the table next to my bookshelf. The mouse was futzing around with my old papers. I flicked on the light and, quick as a wink, the mouse darted off the table, shimmied down the electrical cord of the lamp next to the table, and scurried behind my shelf.
I blinked.
What kind of mouse scales a fucking electrical cord?

I had to kill it.

I pulled out everything from the area on the floor around my bookshelf – my chair, my wastepaper basket, the table, a couple t-shirts – and raised the book – the Complete Works of Bai Juyi – in preparation to strike. At that very instant, the mouse shot out, ran over my foot, and covered the 20 feet between the shelf and the radiator in a second and a half, too fast for me even to throw the book at it.

That did it. This was serious Jerry the Mouse shit, and I didn’t know whether to feel like Tom the Cat, or like the cartoon human who stamps his foot, shakes his fist, and yells “OoooooooOOOHHHHH!” at the sky in inarticulate rage.

I moved everything, including my rug and my spare chair, off the floor. I got two more spring traps that promised to work without bait. I got glue traps. I got two more regular spring traps, loaded them with peanut butter, and then took an LED book-light, clamped it onto the side of my bed, and shone it on one of the traps like a spotlight, in case the mouse didn’t get the idea. From my parents’ house, I procured little satchels of poison, and used them to cover what few gaps remained in my perimeter of death around the radiator. No “humane traps” for me: I was going for traps of the inhumane sort, and if there had been any devices for, e.g., boiling captive mice alive, or teeny little mouse-sized thumbscrews, I’m sure I would have gotten those as well.

The mouse didn’t come back last night. I’d like to think that he died in a neighbor’s trap, or simply got tired of the pickings in my building and decided to mosey his little mouse ass on elsewhere. But I know better than that: he’s somewhere in the basement, or in the backyard, or in another shadowy corner of my apartment, watching me set my traps, noting their positions, calculating the angles necessary to evade them, rubbing his little mouse paws and cackling little mouse cackles to think of my hubris in assuming that I will be the one to prevail.
I can almost hear him.
Watching.
Waiting.
Scurrying.

26 Comments

  1. JD wrote:

    有试图给它们照相什么的吗? 取名字呢? 很想看看长的什么样子~;P

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  2. Joey, from lj-meetup, like, a year ago wrote:

    I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Not to say I don’t feel for you….but I have no sympathy.

    I have a snoring, sleeptalking roommate. Actually, I recall people (read: cartoons) bait mice with cheese. But I guess peanut butter is more cost efficient, esp if your peanut butter’s gone missing from the trap.

    So, how have you been? Today is my first “immediately due homework” free night for a while, so I’m chilling at home.

    G’luck with your one, solitary, probably quite lonely, so is seeking a partner to breed with soon, mouse. Better hurry! *thwack* :P

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
  3. Max wrote:

    Man, I hate that. I remember once back home in the lovely Mississippi countryside, I had a mouse that had taken to spending its winter under the hood of my car. Taking my car in for a tune up was a good idea. The mechanic opened the hood to find a mess of newly uninsulated wires and such. Mice are little bastards, that’s for sure.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 10:02 pm | Permalink
  4. lu t wrote:

    haha, i find it particularly funny that you tried to smack the mouse with the complete works of bai juyi.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 10:52 pm | Permalink
  5. Jon wrote:

    Your mouse must have the /best/ laid plans…

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 12:55 am | Permalink
  6. Brendan wrote:

    JD – The mouse probably moves too quickly for me to photograph it, but I suppose I could try. Mostly, I’m focused on killing it.

    Joey – eh. Same old same old. Back in the States to finish up my degree, and putting in my time ’til I can get back to Beijing.

    Lu – Hey, my 白居易集 was the nearest heavy hardback book. I could probably stun a good-sized dog with that thing.

    Jon – I’m doing all I can to ensure that yon wee sleekit, cowerin’, tim’rous beastie’s shite gang way fuckin’ agley, as soon as possible.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 1:01 am | Permalink
  7. JD wrote:

    有试图养只会吃老鼠的猫吗? 即使是只只啃罐头的猫咪应该也会有点威慑力把…

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 3:38 am | Permalink
  8. Gin wrote:

    You and your goddamn commentors are all so cruel. I mean, a mouse is a life, too. Even man’s friend. Didn’t you ever watch Cinderella? Bai Juyi would’ve been quite shamed of you. The problem is not the animal, it is you. The only night the mouse “did not come back” was the night when you were completely out (thus heard nothing) by the thought that you had laid the complete killing field or by your own exhaustion from jumping, digging, and waving the Complete Works of Bai Juyi all the the same time. So you see, man, it’s not the mice or mouse, it’s all in your head. Hahaha.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  9. Lili wrote:

    That’s it! I need a strong, white American boy to kill mice for me. Perhaps one with a strong Asian fetish, who has a particular weakness for sweet, cutesy girls who love Hello Kitty. I’m so scared of mice. Oh, help me, big strong American fraternity man!

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  10. Brendan wrote:

    Lili: you know how one of my entries occupies a fairly high spot in the Google results for the phrase “hot asian chicks?” I can put you in touch with some of the respondents. Charmers, all.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005 at 11:32 pm | Permalink
  11. I had a mouse I couldn’t get rid of for a while. he was actually sort of cute in an abstract sort of way :)

    Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 11:17 am | Permalink
  12. Lili wrote:

    Brendan: Could you really? That would be wonderful! In fact, I’ll have to admit that I learned English hoping to find a white husband someday. So much so that I majored in literature and am going to Russia to study amongst more white mens. Oh yea, and Hong Kong, where the sexy capitalists come to sweep us asia flowers off our tiny feet. I’m so happy to know that my world will never lack chesthair and budweiser. *sigh*

    Friday, February 25, 2005 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  13. Marco wrote:

    Hey I am living your same exact experience since I moved in NYC. I can’t get rid of those mice. I tryied everything, and in my bedroom I have at least 20 glue traps (always finding them empty). Read this…might help: http://www.pestweb.com/ipca/housemouse.html

    Good luck!
    Marco.

    Sunday, February 27, 2005 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  14. jennifer wrote:

    i’d get a cat, but of course you live in an apartment. But its always nice to see the cat come give you a mousey present. i bet you’d be pleased.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2005 at 4:21 am | Permalink
  15. mrkiasu wrote:

    Hey is this a poem or something about mouse. It take me so long to finish reading your post lah. Cause you write so much in a single post.

    Sunday, March 20, 2005 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
  16. Daniel wrote:

    Hehe…thats some funny shit man. Screw the traps Brendan…I say you go demolition man on that mouses ass and get some dynamite. Or maybe u can just get the mouse drunk and then kill it when it least expects it. If u r considering a strong white man to come and help get rid of your mouse, I don’t know where to find one…as they don’t exist in America or any other place I’ve ever been.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  17. TypeKey wrote:

    既然是谈鼠色变, 不妨介绍这个东西让你看看

    http://www.echum.net/dispbbs.asp?boardid=23&id=1418

    Have fun.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2005 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
  18. Bachlover wrote:

    I am so amused by your journal – I have never read the entire archive of anyone’s blog before.

    Of course I sympathise with the mouse incident – we’ve always had better luck in catching them, by means of more and more elaborate traps – and being determined and ruthless.

    Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 2:47 pm | Permalink
  19. JD wrote:

    好久不见,今天有时间过来转转。唷~~~ 这支老鼠还活着呢~~~ 嘎嘎:D

    Sunday, April 10, 2005 at 2:06 pm | Permalink
  20. Prince Roy wrote:

    yeah, yeah, yeah. you’ve got a fucking mouse. what have you done for me lately.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  21. Seitaro Kanamaru wrote:

    Japan didn’t investigate Ryongchon Explosion.

    I so naturally believe that Ryongchon Explosion, North Korea on Apr 22, 2004 was Japan’s 1st after World War II maneuver using a satellite Mbsat or N-Star-C. And Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi, a Toshiba spy or mind-controlling man, went to N. Korea again on May 22, 2004. Therefore I hate Koizumi very much as a human, although, of course, I hate Toshiba persons. But I believe the Japanese couldn’t expect 154 innocent persons including many children were killed on the explosion.
    Japanese Diet didn’t investigate it while even American Congress investigated Bush’s lie with Iraq’s WMD (Weapon Mass Destructions). Any Japanese media didn’t say it at all or there was no freedom of speech and no justice as human in Japan.
    It is right that Chinese and Korean people say Japan is toward militarization. Japanese satellite is an Military Weapon. I want them to reveal to the World that Japanese satellite is an evil Military Weapon. (But I hope that (parts of) Chinese people won’t go to the violence to Japanese.)

    Koizumi will mind-control UN members with Toshiba Corp to get a permanent UN Security Council seat.

    United Nation was cheated by Toshiba Corp. In 2003 Toshiba Corp joined United Nations Procurement Division “The Global Compact”. But Toshiba Corp does never admit its own criminal faults positively. Toshiba Corp hides too much – Criminals of 300 million yen Affair, Dec 10, 1968 and Corporate Secret Police “Toshiba OogiKai” since 1969, my case and so on.

    China’s affair “Mitsui&Co part-timer Kunio Nagase, 62, bribed a Chinese official to supply transformer equipments (not main equipments) for Beilungang Thermal Power Plant phase II (Unit 3, 4, 5) in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China” was informed, firstly on Jun 1, 2001, to Japan.
    The Chinese official was guilty with 11 years imprisonment on Dec 7, 2000. Kunio Nagase was guilty with 2 years imprisonment and deportation from China and Mitsui&Co was not guilty on Feb 28, 2002.
    In Chinese law court they were judged but Toshiba Corp wasn’t.
    Mitsui&Co didn’t speak very much but press-released that Mitsui&Co head office employed him in Jan 1996 in Japan.
    Toshiba Corp didn’t say anything to the press. While Toshiba Corp supplied 1 transformer equipment in 1997 and 2 transformer equipments in 1998 for the plant.
    Nagase can be a Toshiba spy and the real principal can be Toshiba Corp not Mitsui.
    Why didn’t Chinese investigate and accuse Toshiba Corp ? (My view is absolutely no wrong.)

    The explosion including death of 23 persons at Beilungang Thermal Power Plant phase I occured on Mar 10, 1993.
    GEC-Alsthom awarded Beilungang Thermal Power Plant phase I (Unit 1, 2) in Ningbo, Zhejiang in 1987 but Mitsui&Co and Toshiba Corp awarded (main equipments of) Beilungang Thermal Power Plant phase II (Unit 3, 4, 5) in Ningbo, Zhejiang in 1995.
    And Toshiba Corp supplied 1 transformer equipment in 1989 for the plant. I have thought Toshiba employees had chances to explode. This thought is crazy for a person who doesn’t know Toshiba Corp. (I suspect Toshiba persons executed terrorism by radar to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd, Japan in 2002.)

    Toshiba’s Mbsat is so risky in South Korea’s sky.

    I wanted World people to seek the truth and peace.

    by Seitaro Kanamaru, a Japanese
    * My BBS threads in English :
    I am an Mind-Control Victim by Toshiba Corp since 1997.
    http://www.perc.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=794
    (My face is at http://www.discussanything.com/forums/showthread.php?p=838876.)
    * My site in Japanese (This is not smart.)
    http://jbbs.livedoor.jp/news/1301/

    Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 12:10 pm | Permalink
  22. Seitaro Kanamaru wrote:

    For World Peace in the World, only Russian Pravda informs that Science Technology “Mind-control” exists. (I am not a communist.)

    “Mind control: The Zombie Effect” (Pravda Nov 10, 2004).
    http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/379/14567_.html
    – It said “Methods of latent impact on the human psyche are no longer secret.”

    “Psychic security department protects Russian presidents from external psychological influence” (Pravda Jan 6, 2005)
    http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/362/14790_psychic.html
    – Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin had Federal Security Service against Mind-Control. Americans have created radiators of modulated signals, which control people’s behavior thousands of kilometers from afar.

    “JOHN FLEMING: THE SHOCKING MENACE OF SATELLITE SURVEILLANCE FULL VERSION OF THE ARTICLE” (Pravda Jul 14, 2001)
    http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/07/14/10131.html
    – Mr. John Fleming is an American journalist. His root may be an Indian. He is the author of The War of All Against All: An Analysis of Conflict in Society (International Scholars Publications, 2000).

    Any Japanese major press doesn’t inform real Mind-control and many Japanese wrongly think Mind-control is a religious thing.

    Lexar Media alleged theft of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty claims against Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba America, Inc. and Toshiba America Electronics Corporation on Nov 5, 2002. (Detail at http://www.lexar.com/litigation/ and so on.)
    Toshiba Corp didn’t win at Lexar Media, Inc v. Toshiba Corp U.S. Mar 23 and 24, 2005 Trial but please don’t you be cheated.
    Toshiba Corp only pretends it can’t mind-control the jury and media, and next, it may mind-control the judge on May 16, 2005 U. S. Trial because Lexar seeks a court injunction stopping the sale of Toshiba products using its flash memory.
    Toshiba Corp mind-controls the World. I believe formerly Japanese Apple Computer executive Eikou Harada was a Toshiba’s spy on Apple Computer, Inc. and, of course, he doesn’t express his Toshiba career with his some careers. You know Toshiba Corp supplies its Flash memory for Apple’s iPod Shuffle (1G) and its HDD for Apple’s iPod.
    And Toshiba Corp mind-controls Americans to sell equipments for new U.S. nuke plant.

    Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 12:18 pm | Permalink
  23. Seitaro Kanamaru wrote:

    For World Peace in the World, only Russian Pravda informs that Science Technology “Mind-control” exists. (I am not a communist.)

    “Mind control: The Zombie Effect” (Pravda Nov 10, 2004).
    http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/379/14567_.html
    – It said “Methods of latent impact on the human psyche are no longer secret.”

    “Psychic security department protects Russian presidents from external psychological influence” (Pravda Jan 6, 2005)
    http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/362/14790_psychic.html
    – Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin had Federal Security Service against Mind-Control. Americans have created radiators of modulated signals, which control people’s behavior thousands of kilometers from afar.

    “JOHN FLEMING: THE SHOCKING MENACE OF SATELLITE SURVEILLANCE FULL VERSION OF THE ARTICLE” (Pravda Jul 14, 2001)
    http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/07/14/10131.html
    – Mr. John Fleming is an American journalist. His root may be an Indian. He is the author of The War of All Against All: An Analysis of Conflict in Society (International Scholars Publications, 2000).

    Any Japanese major press doesn’t inform real Mind-control and many Japanese wrongly think Mind-control is a religious thing.

    Lexar Media alleged theft of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty claims against Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba America, Inc. and Toshiba America Electronics Corporation on Nov 5, 2002. (Detail at http://www.lexar.com/litigation/ and so on.)
    Toshiba Corp didn’t win at Lexar Media, Inc v. Toshiba Corp U.S. Mar 23 and 24, 2005 Trial but please don’t you be cheated.
    Toshiba Corp only pretends it can’t mind-control the jury and media, and next, it may mind-control the judge on May 16, 2005 U. S. Trial because Lexar seeks a court injunction stopping the sale of Toshiba products using its flash memory.
    Toshiba Corp mind-controls the World. I believe formerly Japanese Apple Computer executive Eikou Harada was a Toshiba’s spy on Apple Computer, Inc. and, of course, he doesn’t express his Toshiba career with his some careers. You know Toshiba Corp supplies its Flash memory for Apple’s iPod Shuffle (1G) and its HDD for Apple’s iPod.
    And Toshiba Corp mind-controls Americans to sell equipments for new U.S. nuke plant.

    Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 12:21 pm | Permalink
  24. Brendan wrote:

    I remember being pretty happy with the Toshiba laptop I had a few years ago, but maybe it was controlling my mind.

    Thursday, May 12, 2005 at 3:01 am | Permalink
  25. zhongdian wrote:

    Our mouse ate through my computer mouse cable. That was a big hassle. From hearing them at night, you think they’re huge, but one of ours was brave enough to start coming out a few days ago, and it was tiny! Our mouse trap was too big for it, i’m sure!

    Monday, May 16, 2005 at 7:07 am | Permalink
  26. Julien wrote:

    Hello,

    My name is Julien. I am building a new website for expatriates, and will be the webmaster of http://www.expat-blog.com. In the last three years I have spent a lot of time travelling and living away from my home country, hence me setting up http://www.expat-blog.com.

    I had the idea to create a blog so I could share my experiences of living abroad and keep in touch with my family and friends. While reading other expatriate blogs the idea came to me to create a classified expat blog directory. This would include a free blog hosting platform with interesting features such as picture albums designed specifically for expatriates. I do not believe this would be in competition with existing blog platforms such as blogger.

    The website is still in working progress. The present situation is as follows:
    > The expatriate blog directory, including a classification per country and language – I am working on this at the present time
    > The free Blog platform – this section will be completed by the middle of June.
    > An Expat resource directory – this will include all expatriate suggestions.
    > A forum designed to encourage interactivity and questions/answers from expatriate to expatriate

    This is the global presentation of the website. Do you think my project is a good idea?

    Would you like to add your blog in the expatriate blog directory?

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Julien

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005 at 1:02 pm | Permalink