This Is Not An Open Letter To The Mice Family Living In Our Van

Awwww. How cute? Why is everyone so hysterical? We're just here for the Pirate's Booty crumbs.

Awwww. How cute? Why is everyone so hysterical? We’re just here for the Pirate’s Booty crumbs.

I’m level-headed most of the time in the real world (though hardly ever on this blog).  The proof: I am raising my two children with my husband, holding down a Costco membership and a job that requires my full mental faculties, all while maintaining a rich internal life as detailed on these pages.  While I’ve been known to do deep emotional work on mass transportation, Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s NOTHING compared to the emoting I did yesterday in my very own mini van.

The kids were strapped in.  Jeff was driving and our beloved cousin, Gabe, was riding shotgun.  I happily scrambled into the “way back” because I was getting out first for a shower that I was cohosting for a dear friend.  I was gazing at the two dozen yellow roses we bought for the bride when I saw a shadow out of my left eye.   Odd, given that it was high noon and the car was only going about 5 miles per hour.  Then I saw it again, and I knew.  I knew that the mouse Jeff was sure he’d “taken care of” last night was back.  Or had friends.  Lots of friends.  And family.

I took a deep breath, mindful that my children are deathly afraid of ants, so it would be imperative that they NOT know (1) there was mouse in the car AND/OR (2) that their mother was severely freaked out by the emerging rodent sitchy in the car we were all presently riding in.

I signaled to Jeff that I’d seen a mouse.  The signal? “Jeff, there’s a mouse in this car.”  Then, I cooed softly to the children, “Don’t worry, kiddos, this is just a grand adventure– like lice with an “M” or a rainstorm when we’re headed to the pool.  We define ourselves by how we react to these unforeseen events.  Laugh with me!”

We’ll never know if they were buying that because as soon as I shut my yapper, the mouse ran across my feet.  And yes, I had on my cowboy boots (I was going to a fancy shower, after all), and yes, I was setting an example for my children, and yes, I emitted a sound so plaintive and blood-curdling that my throat still hurts.

“Kids, this is what it sounds like when the doves cry!”

What followed, dear friends, is best described as mayhem/chaos/bedlam, or “chabedhem” as I now call it.  Both kids burst into tears, and Jeff turned the car around, pulled back into the garage, and gave me the task of calming the children while he and Gabe dealt with the critters.  We are not sure who had the harder job.  I tried to tend to my children while also listening to what the menfolk were doing in the garage.  I could hear the vacuum going and tried not to picture what exactly they were sucking through that hose.

Trying to get the kids back in the car was similar to trying to herd spooked horses back into a haunted field.  Had I been in the possession of lollipops or cupcakes, I’da bribed them with zero regrets.  All I had was my own sweet talking, which sort of fails me when the going gets furry and carries the bubonic plague.

All of the adults in this warm little vignette were convinced that all the non humans (read: members of the species Mus musculus) were equitably displaced from our mini van.  We laughed at the thought of two little mice living on our detritus. Ha, ha– there are enough snacks and dried up Goldfish to feed a whole colony!  I tried not to draw any adverse conclusions about my own housekeeping or general cleanliness.  I sure as heavens tried to forget that vivid chapter on the Black Death we spent weeks on during world history with Ms. Duff junior year.

We clinked our glasses as we congratulated ourselves on our cleverness and cunning.  For kicks, Jeff put one last trap in the truck.  You know for peace of mind.  And it would have given us just that except that when we opened the trunk, the cheese was gone and the trap was empty.

Yeah, so then Jeff and Gabe went to Home Depot at 9:15 PM looking for more peace of mind.  I spent the evening on Facebook trolling around to see if any of my friends have a cat I can borrow.  Seriously.  Anyone? Cats for rent?


66 thoughts on “This Is Not An Open Letter To The Mice Family Living In Our Van

  1. Hilariously disturbing, my friend! Our minivan that my wife drives all the time (I’m not allowed to call it her minivan) is disgusting, especially where the kids reside. I’d not be shocked to look in the rearview mirror one day and have a racoon staring at me from the far back seat. A few mice might be ok, but still, I’d be new car shopping immediately.

  2. This is one of the funniest, most horrifying stories I’ve read in a long time! I think I would have died on the spot and called it a day had I had this adventure of yours. You’re one brave lady, cowboy boots and all. As for that lone survivor, I’m sure he simply enjoyed one last bite of aged cheddar before he died. I vote for that ending. xo

  3. Drive up to Nelson St. We have two cats. One I’m pretty sure could do the job and the other…well, he relies on his good looks. She hunted a few potstickers out of the pantry garbge last night and while they’re not a moving target, they are mouse-sized, and she plays a good game of laser. I also have pudding cups.

  4. Don’t let them get into the heating system or you’ll have to get rid of the van, because you can’t get rid of the smell. Happened to my Mom’s car once when she was still living on the farm. Good luck!

  5. Oh my god. We had a mouse ‘situation’ a while back- but I chalked it up to nothing I can do about it. I tweeted a few times, and was not told good things. Namely how they CAN climb up stairs.
    Anyhow- I laughed at the dove cry. I think you might need to record that so I can share it with my own kin here one of these days. Or I see another one of our ‘visitors’ too 🙂

    PS- Our neighbor has a cat and I welcome his skulking in our yard. I don’t want to feed him though- because, duh, that’s what the mice are for- so I’m trying to figure out if they do any fancy pet salons here and I’ll gladly give him a gift cert just to keep popping in. Be strong!

  6. Hysterical! Outlaw Mama FTW with the Ursuline/Ms. Duff reference. 🙂 And I am horribly delighted that your haven’t gone totally Chicago and still wear your boots to fancy events. You can take the girl outta Texas . . .

  7. And I just remembered- I was working a summer job in Minnesota for a summer and my car was kept in an employee lot for days at a time. Once day I was sitting at a stoplight and a mouse ran across my windshield (he was living under the hood).

    You know I totally turned on the wipers.

  8. holy crap now i’m terrified to go in my car, which is just nasty because I never clean it. and now it’s like zero degrees out so yeah, no. but seriously, MICE?!??? holy cannoli.
    (I thought my kid was the only one terrified of ants. I do have a cat but he’s so dumb he’d probably run away from the mice.)

  9. We’ve never had a mouse in our Honda Civic, but… field mice keep trying to camp out in our house. We haven’t yet found the opening that they are crawling into. They are just trying to get warm, seriously. Even if our house was immaculate, I think they’d still try to come in.

    Give up on the cheese, by the way, Christie. They fall much harder for peanut butter. And we like the enclosed Ortho traps. For some reason, I’ve gotten a little more squeamish about the mice. Cimmy decided to use a few traps based on the more traditional design (not enclosed) when we trapped the last few a few weeks ago.

    She decided to show me the mouse carcass hanging from the open trap. I told her she was a sick fuck. She laughed.

  10. Go with the cat idea and at the same time also read to put a bottle of beer out and the mice CAN fit into it and well they don’t make it out…

    They are awfully cute–rats not so much.

  11. I was in tears laughing reading this not only because your writing is so smart and hilarious but because I am fearful of what may be lurking in my own car. Just the other day I cleaned out cheese cubes from the floor board that was part of a healthy snack meticulously packed for humans never thinking it could entice mice. I drove home today trying to keep both feet elevated on the pedals wondering what I would do if something crawled across my peep toes. I think that was probably answered a few days ago when my daughter threw her paci while her dad was holding her and I shrieked and scared all the kids in the house because clearly a purple paci bouncing on the floor looked like a mouse to me. Deathly afraid.

  12. I once went back to my dealership twice complaining that my windshield wiper sprayer was broken before they discovered that a mouse had perished in the windshield wiper fluid (which they had left uncapped). My story has nothing on yours, though ^_^

    Thoroughly enjoyed your narrative humor and unique terminology ^_^

  13. I used to raise mice in college….this was very funny right up until I heard the vacuum go on. we use a have a heart trap and peanut butter. Then I have to confess we relocate them to better neighborhoods. Yeah we’re kind of stupid like that. Sometimes too much Buddhism is a bad thing. But I really don’t mind mice so it all works out for me. I hope they’re all gone now for your sake and I suppose thiers too.

  14. holy laughter throughout this entire read. I was going to quote stuff, but seriously, the entire thing is hysterically quotable. Seriously though “kids, this is what it sounds like when the dove cry”. haaaaaaaaa you’ve found a place in my Prince lovin’ heart!!!!

  15. I also once went out my back door into the attached garage and saw a skunk walking out from under my mini-van. Talk about losing it! Once it got outside, my husband shot it, in town or not. YUK!

  16. I had no idea mice could get into the car. Thank you for making sure I will never put my car in our garage (where the mice are – it’s detached, so at least there’s that).

    Resubscribing with a new email address. Get back in my in box Outlaw Mama!!

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