Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mouse Wrangling and Losing Man-Points

So, living in an Earthship is to live very close to nature. 

"Biotecture is to study and live with the Earth's natural phenomena." 

This is the mantra we hear time and again, in every classroom in fact. Living with nature, hearing the water dripping from the plants, with the odd cricket or flies in your house.

I am down with it. 

Until it involves
dodging daddy long-legs spiders
and wrestling with mice (or any other rodents for that matter.)

After our second long week of hard work in the desert heat, Marissa and I fell into bed exhausted. We watched the lightning storm over the desert and put on a television show.

We were getting comfortable, snuggling into bed when the flashlight fell over our heads. We both froze. It was a Daddy Long-Legs spider, hanging inches from Marissa's head. Now, I am not too jumpy at spiders in general. But THIS WAS HUMONGOUS. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the size of my hand.

I kept the flash light on it and talked Marissa down. "Don't move, babe. Nice and easy." I moved toward the counter, grabbed a paper cup, placed it firmly over the spider, covered it, opened the front door, and flung it with all of my strength into the dark of the night.

Phew. THAT crisis out of the way, we moved the bed to check for any more creepy-crawlies, found none, and returned for a full-night's rest.

That's When We Heard the Real Terror

This would be our enemy for the next 12 hours.

We were on the border of sleep, nearing total rest, when we both heard the rustling across the room. It was the obvious sound of something bigger than an insect. It was definitely rooting around our small counter-pantry of food.

I quickly spun to grab my flashlight (already handy because of "The Daddy Long Legs Incident" fresh in our minds.) There, glaring back with black, beady eyes, was the vilest of all creatures, a mouse.

There was no returning to sleep, no rest, unless we dealt with this beast right now. And, given how tired we were at 1:00 a.m., it was a Hell-beast of a foe.

Marissa threw on her cell-phone light application. My fading flashlight waved at it for a second, hoping that the light would shoo it away. Needless to say this plan was insufficient. (Minus 5 man-points for even attempting that.)

Marissa and I hung suspended on how to tackle this creature. We did not want to move to suddenly and send it scurrying (a deadly move by mice, and just darn creepy.) But we could not let it go.

I rose to open the front door.

"Dear, Jesus," I prayed out loud. "
Please make this creature walk out the front door."

It was simple enough prayer. Humble. And minus another 5 man-points for not killing the thing.

Suddenly it shot the opposite direction, ran around the floor, and headed toward the bed.

As I watched it move at lightning speed, barely able to keep my flash light on it, I imagined the mouse scurrying onto the bed, Marissa's only safe place right now. I imagined it crawl in her hair, on her shoulders, maybe nibble an ear, and the blood curdling scream that would issue forth.

Unable to bear that (which would come with a minus 15 Man-Point deduction) I dashed across the room with the broom, brushing it back as I cut off his route toward the bed. He shot back behind the pantry.

I was breathing heavy, exhausted. We were now deadly still, trying to a) assess where he was exactly, b) prepare to prevent him from invading the bed area, and c) buy us some time in figuring out how on Earth to get rid of him (without the gruesome killing of him.)

FOR THE NEXT HOUR it was a violet swing between him dashing along, and me cutting him off, praying intermittently for him to just walk out the door. Periodically, he would inch behind the counter, nuzzle his way toward the door, ("Thank you, Jesus" I began), peer into the dark of the green house leading to the outdoors, and pause. Just as I or Marissa would move to shut the door on him, he would turn around to the safety behind the counter.

Marissa's patience waned. My arm was tired from wildly waving my broom and flashlight. We sat on the edge of the bed. These two Homo Erectus, having conquered innumerable animals and caused the extinction of many more, were defeated by this accursed mouse. We were tired. We almost pleaded for the night to end.

We were exhausted. When suddenly...

He Walked Out The Front Door

We paused. We watched. We didn't move to quickly lest he come scurrying back in.

A minute passed.
Two minutes.
Five minutes.

"Go, babe. Close the door now!"

Marissa jumped and shut the door! Victory! The creature was forced outside. We quickly stuffed a towel into the gap under the door. A huge sigh of relief was had by both.

We quickly shut off the lights. We wiped the sweat from our brows, shook off the willies and goose bumps of the creepy rodent, and laid down.

On the verge of sleep, we heard a thump! Again, a thump! sounded loudly. I swung the flashlight back up in a rage. How in the world was this thing still plaguing my sleep?!

The plastic wall the mouse thumped upon.
Like the tell-tale heart, thumping away, the mouse was throwing itself against our plastic sheeting windows that separate the greenhouse from the bedroom. The light showing its full brown coat and white fur undercoat. It hopped and flung itself again and again against the plastic. We turned the flashlight off, needed to rest.

Thump! Thump! Thump! It continued. Like psychological warfare, the creature continued until we fell asleep.

I woke up just a few hours later, the daylight rising, and I had to use the restroom.

After moments of deliberating, I grabbed my trusty broom opened the door, stepped into the greenhouse (where the bathroom is located), had Marissa cover the opening under the door, and began my search for the creature.

He Had To Be Banished

I poked around the restroom to relieve myself. With the all clear, I used the bathroom uneventfully. Tired but awake, I was ready for the second bout with this beast. Though it was in the green house, we showered and used the bathroom in this part of the house. We had to remove the mouse from the house once and for all.

So, it began. I jammed the broom here or there, hoping to get the mouse to show itself. Finally, almost settled that he had found his own way out, I jammed the broom into our things in the shower room.

Grey Lightning (the mouse's new villainous name) ran around the cement. ('IT CAN CLING TO WALLS?!' my brain blasted at me.)

From this shower room, across, to the bathroom and back.
I brushed at it.
It dodged.
I jabbed.
It hid.
I screamed (minus 10 man-points).
It ran between my legs, shot across the greenhouse, and entered the bathroom.

Marissa, irritated to the point of anger, came out with the garbage can. The only addition this made for the moment was the noise we made. I would huff. It would scurry between my legs. I would scream (minus 15 man-points for the woman's proximity to me). Marissa would shriek. AND, the mouse would end up in the room on the opposite end of the green house...


Tired. Done with this charade. Making no progress. Marissa got angry. "I am SO done with this. This was funny for the FIRST HOUR. It is not funny now!" And, that made me angry at this.

"We are freaking BIG HUMANS!" I shouted. I got aggressive. And, we knew its moves. We had developed a system.

I would scare it out of a given hiding place.
It would shoot to the other room.
Marissa would be ready to bang with the garbage can.
It would frighten and stop, now trapped between us. The open door the only way out.
Then, I would play mouse hockey until I could almost get it out the front door.

Though I didn't want to hurt it, I began swinging hard enough to roll it over on its back, take a second swing, almost get it out the door. It would recover for a minute. Then attempt for one of the rooms.

Marissa and I were angry, skilled, and ready.

Scream (minus 5 man-points, I was now tougher and angrier.)
Tired from battle. Needing a nap.
Garbage can bang.
Mouse hockey, and into the daylight he went.
I followed him out into the day, both he and I blinking at the bright sun.
Marissa slammed the door shut behind us both.

He scurried away, safe from my broom of doom.
I sat, exhausted, tired, but satisfied at my adaptability to the wiles of a mouse.

As I sat, I tried to count the man-points lost on this effort, but gave up when Marissa's kisses of appreciation took over.

I would consider that a WIN.

1 comment:

Yvette said...

I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING!!!!!!! No MAN POINTS LOST!!! All that matters is what happens in the LAST CHAPTER.....YOU SAW, YOU SCREAMED, BUT...... YOU CONQUERED!!!!!!! Love you guys MUCH!!!!! Mom/Ms. Yvette: )