Build a Dumber Mouse

Frankly, Douglas Adams had it all wrong. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with mice, and I’ve never been particularly impressed by their intelligence.

My first example comes from my high school days, when I was working during the summer at a Cub Scout camp. I returned to my tent one night to find that a mouse had given birth in my sleeping bag. And you can guess how I found that out. Well, those babies didn’t last long.

But more recently, we’ve been having a bit of trouble with mice in our house. For the first month or so, it was as you’d expect. Every now and then we’d hear a mouse scurrying near the cabinets. We got a mousetrap, and it worked very well, besides taking more batteries than can possibly be necessary. After killing a few, the problem seemed to disappear.

A few weeks ago, however, the mice came back. The zapper has long been out of batteries, and nobody has bothered to get more. Nevertheless, Darwin has stepped in to fill the void.

This new generation of mice has found a plentiful source of food — in our garbage can. Of course, the drawback to this is that the inside of our garbage can is two feet tall and smooth, so every week we find a few mice trapped inside. The first time this happened, I was amused enough to free them (a significant distance from the house). However, when it happened again, I decided it was better for the mice to take a trip downtown in a garbage truck. They’ve been going out with the garbage ever since.

Last night, though, one mouse, whom I shall refer to as Bob, decided he’d had enough of this. Adding injury to insult, Bob got stuck in the washing machine. He probably thought it was a spa. Anyway, before we even got a chance to know him, Bob died a swirling, sudsy death, luckily not in my clothes.

So, it’s time again to go and get some batteries. You might wonder why, since the problem seems to be taking care of itself. But with the way this trend is going, it’s really the humane thing to do.


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