I have been informed by some that fear is not a genetically inherited attribute. Fine. No matter the source, I have a very specific terror associated with mice: that they are too damn small and fast to catch, and in a stressful situation they will hide in the darkest, warmest place they can find. Via the inside of my pant leg.
Recently, the Barony of Rossmore has had some trouble with rodentia. One mouse in particular, who can spot a trap at 50 paces, and who had the worst sense of timing I've ever seen. Turn a light on and he would panic; instead of hiding out in the garbage can, he would hurdle over the top and race away, leaving me screaming into my friend's voicemail. One night, I was making use of the facilities at 2am, and the little bastard ran out from behind the toilet and disappeared down the radiator shaft. Actually, he was moving at a speed that surpasses "running." All I saw was a featureless brown blur shoot out in front of me, bounce once making a sound like a rubber ball, somehow corner and shoot behind the cabinetry, leaving me screaming and pissing with the strength of a firehose to expedite my departure.
My roommate and I clamped down and locked up every avilable food source: lid on the garbage, dishes only in the dishwasher, everything that couldn't fit in the fridge locked tight in the microwave. After a couple of days, the mouse resorted to snatching months-old bait, but after a couple of traps his number was up and we sent him to the landfill in a double-bagged coffin.
I had hoped we were dealing with a lone gunman. But now I realize that he was not acting alone - and in retaliation for his martyrdom, his terrorist cell has declared a jihad. On my underwear.
The other day I was folding clean clothes and discovered a pair of underwear that came out of the wash crotchless. Huh, I thought, That must be one aggressive spin cycle! By the sixth unwearable pair, I started to wonder. Could the mice be . . .NO don't be ridiculous! Never in the history of interspecies warfare have I heard of this . . .
I convinced myself that the idea was absurd, until I looked at my laundry bag the other day and was greeted by half a dozen little black calling cards left on the rim.
Oh. My. Fucking. God.
It was shocking enough to learn that I had not been sleeping alone the other night. But worse, all of my fears have been justified. And now that they've gotten a taste of the sweet stuff, like a bear with a taste for human food, they will never go back to eating their native diet.
Somebody please loan me a cat. This chain mail bra and panty set is starting to chafe.