The Typhoid Taxi


“I want her DEAD! I want her family DEAD! I want her house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna… Oh crap! Is that an owl?”


October always brings uninvited guests to our house. They’re terribly rude, these guests. They don’t even bring a bottle of wine as an apology for showing up unannounced,  and they tend to poop in unpleasant places.

Nope, not the in-laws, though that’s a good guess. We have mice.

I don’t blame the mice, really. They have it pretty good once they get here. The amount of crumbs my kids drop could feed an emerging nation for months. Plus my kids have been indoctrinated by Disney movies and don’t care that the little critters are carriers of plague, pestilence, and seven different types of hemmorhagic fever. They freak out at the thought of killing them.  Can’t make the little ones sad. Kindness to animals and all that. So we plunked down our money for live traps.*

*Once a confused  mouse crawled into one after we had cleaned it and stored it for the off-season. We discovered him too late, and by then he was in a full state of rigor-mousis. But we felt so bad that neither VP  or I could bring ourselves to lift the lid and dispose of the poor little guy, so he’s still there. Perfectly preserved under the glass,  like a little Mouse Pope. I suggested making him a little pointy hat and a scepter but my husband obviously has no sense of humor. So weird.)

So last week  I woke up to yet another temporary guest of the  Rodent Ritz Carlton. I did what I always do:  I picked up the  trap with its  occupant and drove it to a local park.  Once there, I gingerly opened the lid  to set him  free to A) create a happy new life in a bucolic setting or   B) get eaten by an owl. Ahem. Circle of life and all that.

Only this  mouse didn’t play by the rules. As soon as I opened the lid he ducked into the entrance tunnel, and there he stayed. Guess he heard about the owls?

“Off you go, little guy,” I said, and waited. Nothing. I jiggled the trap a bit. No dice. I peeked into the hole, and he stared back at me, whiskers quivering.

I tilted the trap this way and that. He didn’t budge. It was as if he had teeny suction cups on his little mouse paws. I picked up a stick and banged on the trap, hoping to frighten him out. Still nothing.

We had ourselves a good old-fashioned Mexican ,er, Mouse-ican Standoff.  He’d lawyered up. Claimed squatter’s  rights. And he wasn’t going anywhere. I glanced behind me and saw a  woman in sitting her car eating her lunch , watching me with interest and no doubt mentally filing this away under the “crazy shit white people do” tab. Meanwhile, back in the hole, the mouse shook his whiskers at me, as if to say, “I know my rights, lady! It’s cold and damp out there, and in here it’s warm, and dry, and besides there’s peanut butter.” And then I think he gave me the finger.

Ergh. I tried again. “Listen pal, this isn’t Shawshank. You can’t just decide you prefer life on the inside. You really need to go.” I grimaced as I shook the trap, but not too hard. “Kind to animals” doesn’t include giving them a coronary.

I begged. I pleaded.  I … was the crazy lady in a park talking to a mouse. Twenty minutes went by, and he was still in there. It started to rain, and I was getting desperate. Leaving  the trap there wasn’t an option,  and neither was taking him back home. I pondered my situation. He pondered ordering the cheese plate from room service.

I picked up the stick again, and stuck it in one end of the trap hoping to drive him out. He ran out of the tunnel, and straight into the tunnel on the other side. At which point I stuck the stick into that tunnel, and he ran back into the first tunnel. Back and forth, back and forth, Boop. Boop. Boop. Like Pong, except with Hantavirus.  After a few minutes , I put the trap down in defeat. I had been bested by a mouse. I was beginning to wonder if  Tom and Jerry was, in fact, a documentary, and  I just hoped the mouse’s next move wouldn’t be lighting a wee stick of dynamite.

But… just then he stuck his head out of the hole and stared at me.   And then? He just walked out. He didn’t run, he just… ambled.   Cool, like the Danny Zuko of mice. He gave me a parting glance over his shoulder, though, as if to say, “This isn’t over, lady. See you in Hell!”

I  just read they can find their way back to their original nest from miles away so now I’ve got that to look forward to…. A mouse marching back towards my house bent on revenge.  Like a furry little Max Cady.

Either that or he’s somewhere plotting to hold up a tiny convenience store so he’ll get sent back. ‘Cause for a mouse, life on the inside is pretty sweet.

Happy  Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Awe, he’s gonna be pissed at you when he finally finds his way back!!! Lol. Also, gross.

    • Or maybe he’s already an owl hors’d’oeuvre. Lotta miles between here and there. But you’re right. Totally gross.

  2. OpinionsToGo says:

    So, so funny! You write a great visual!

  3. We get mice in our garage sometimes. They freak me out. Once I found one dead in a box. I screamed.

    • Yeah, it’s amazing how quickly we evolve from calm, rational grown-up to Looney Tunes cartoon housewife when there’s a mouse involved.

  4. Totally loved this post, Lisa! (minus the potential plague)
    So funny. I mean, so terrible. Poor mouse, or poor you? I don’t know who to root for here. (Not really, that kindness to animals thing would absolutely NOT extend to rodents in my house!) Good job shaking him down!

  5. I have humanely snared several mice that had to cheek to accost me. I put them in place where lots of cats socialise.

  6. Or, maybe he’ll think of the park as a mini-vacation and thank you when he gets back!!

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