Sunday, August 12, 2012
Last night, my husband having persuaded me to watch the Brazil-USA women's volleyball final, I wandered into the pantry late and there, three shelves up, its nose in a box of crackers, was a furry gray thing. It didn't move, but I—an inveterate neat freak, an everyday housecleaner, and yet a woman (it is true) who had let her pantry go these past two weeks—screamed.
I've never had a pantry mouse before.
There were decisions to be made. Who can kill a furry thing? Who can let it stay? In time, the mouse scurried down the wall and hid beneath the paper bags I had meant to recycle a good two weeks ago. From there it made a bee line for the dining room and proceeded, for the next 60 minutes to creatively dash and hide. This was a smart mouse, an Olympic mouse. It clung to the denuded pipes of the old radiator. It hid beneath a dish. It zigged when we zagged and zagged when we zigged. It did not wish to be caught.
It was a minor drama. We needed strategies, quick. I barricaded. My husband broomed. I dug an old shoe box out of my son's room, which can be counted on for many a thing that should have been recycled months ago. Dash, then silence. Tail, then scream. I stood on a chair for a courage-free five minutes while it ran beneath me. My husband would never do such a thing.
In the end, the mouse was shoe boxed and carried outside. In the end, those errant paper bags were recycled and every open box discarded (there were only three) and I scoured every surfaced touched by mouse. In the end, too, there was the exhilaration, perhaps even the romance, of having teamed in such savvy fashion with my husband. We weren't just watching the Olympics this time. We had our own starring roles. It's the closest I've come to an adventure this summer.
Maybe I need a vacation.