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December 26, 2003

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse......or two. There's some type of evil irony going on here, given my recent posting of mice attacks. The fact is I basically didn't sleep Christmas Eve.I was lying on the floor in my sleeping bag, semi-conscious. My brother came in about an hour later and got in his bed. At some point, with the lights off, my dad came in to ask my brother something, and in the process stepped on me, not knowing I was there. He kind of jumped and then asked my brother what that was, in a somewhat annoyed tone. My brother simply said "Cameron." My dad was like, "Oh." My brother just laughed and said little comments like "he's your son." I wasn't in any pain and just wanted to go to sleep, so I tried to hide the fact that I was awake. Anyway, my dad left and I mentioned something to my brother, who was still laughing. We talked for a little bit, but I wanted to go to sleep. Then he asked if I was the one making scratching noises (which I didn't hear, figuring any noise was the rain falling outside). I said no, and he said, "there's a mouse in here." I didn't believe him, but my little alarms started going off. He said he had found some mouse droppings on his bed earlier that day, and had heard the sounds before, but didn't know if they were coming from the wall or the closet, or somewhere else, since the room is pretty full of furniture. With enough credible proof to fully alarm me now, I sat up and started listening very carefully for the scratching sounds. I heard them coming from the closet. My brother told me to not worry about it, since we didn't stand much of a chance of catching it. I, however, remained determined and very much unwilling to just go back to sleep so the mice could run over me at night.Anyway, to entertain me, my brother had me grab his little flashlight and I went over to the closet, slowly moving things and watching for the beast. I saw a flash of darkness outside of the closet and thought that was the mouse. I kicked a bunch of things, and then for sure saw a mouse run back into the closet. At my declaration that I had really seen it, my brother arose to join our now automatically-defined mission -- to de-mouse the room.Man, was that mouse fast. Big too -- probably 4-5 inches w/o the tail. He (women are thoughtful enough not to bother me, right?) ran faster than our eyes could follow -- all around half of the room. He eventually ran into a boot turned on its side, and that brought about his end. We went back to bed, both a bit worked up, but before long, my brother was sound asleep. It took me a bit longer. I could swear I could hear another mouse. My mouse-running-over-my-face-phobia had been triggered, and wasn't about to submit myself to certain doom. After probably an hour or so, I got up and grabbed the flashlight from before and would shine that into dark corners every 15 - 20 minutes, when I heard scratching sounds. Hours, very slow ones, passed. I didn't have a clock near me, but I was awake an awful long time. I think in the end I may have dozed off for 30 - 60 minutes, but I don't remember it. I even tried playing mind games for a while, trying to convince myself that it was no big deal if a mouse ran over me -- that it wouldn't do anything. This particular thought had been set off by the fact that the afore-mentioned mouse had run over my foot. But my mind kept thinking of the Hanta Virus and being infected by the little mouse. I tried thinking about a girl for a while. After a jumpy start and about an hour, that actually started working. I was calmed down, and not worrying about mice. Then I heard a louder scratching noise, and I was sitting up, flashlight on, scanning corners in a matter of milliseconds. And that's sort of how the night went. I eventually was able to mostly convince myself that yes, there was another mouse, but it was in the wall. Of course, I could think of ways for it to get out of the wall, which is where we think the other one came from, but I tried to ignore that fact. I want to laugh at myself, but I don't think the phobia is going away anytime soon. Also, to my enjoyment, another brother of mine (the one I live with) called me this morning to report that he woke up around 3:00, in our house, to some sounds and a fresh case of mouse-phobia he had gotten from me. While I'm sure our house is devoid of vermin, my brother couldn't let it rest. It was only later that he realized it was just rain (ironic, I think), but he made sure to blame me for contaminating him with the phobia.

Posted by charr at 1:22 PM
Reader Comments

Wow. Are you sure it wasn't a rat, being so big?

Posted by Renee at December 27, 2003 10:01 AM

That's what you get for killing them, Cameron. Now you have bad mouse karma.

Posted by Ellen at December 27, 2003 7:23 PM

I don't know if it's any consolation, but I found your story entertaining and if it weren't for the mouse, you wouldn't have had the story to tell.Is the boot still usable?

Posted by dan at December 28, 2003 1:02 AM

LOL. Poor Cameron. I don't blame you for your fear of mice. I don't think it's a phobia, though. A phobia is an irrational fear; taking into consideration your experiences with the terrorist mice, your fear is very understandable and quite rational. And funny. You have my sympathy. I had a similar experience with wild hamsters.

Posted by Jan at December 29, 2003 7:00 AM

A word of caution to everyone, tap your boots before you put them on. I know more than one person who put their foot in to find a critter dead or napping inside.

Posted by Renee at December 29, 2003 10:20 AM

Renee, excellent advice. I got into this custom on my mission, where the shoes would be populated by not-a-few roaches each morning. I've gotten out of the habit, but with all those pernicious vermin around...Also, yes, it was a mouse. Ellen, how do I cleanse myself of a bad karma?Dan, the boot will be fine, as long as its owner doesn't find out what was in it.Jan, are you certifying me as not crazy? I hope so.

Posted by Cameron at December 29, 2003 10:32 AM

I didn't say you weren't crazy, just that you didn't have a phobia. ;)

Posted by Jan at December 29, 2003 10:41 AM

Well, that's better than nothing.

Posted by Cameron at December 29, 2003 10:51 AM

Do something nice for the mice of the world to improve your mouse karma... you could add a "I brake for mice" bumper sticker to your car. Personally, I think mice are cute and fuzzy. Maybe because I used to have pet hamsters.

Posted by Ellen Auchter at December 29, 2003 5:43 PM

I saw, in the bargin bin at Wal-Mart, possibly the most disturbing pest trap that I can imagine. It was a large pad with SUPER MAXI ADHESIVE all over it. You peel off the cover and leave it somewhere for critters to get stuck on. The drawing on the box had a picture of a mouse, a snake, and a roach stuck on one. How sick is that? Can you imagine walking into your basement and finding a LIVE mouse or (shiver) SNAKE on that thing? As much as I hate snakes, that's just cruel. And who's going to detatch it to set it free elsewhere? Ick, ick and DOUBLE ICK!

Posted by Renee at December 30, 2003 12:15 PM

The large adhedsive pad sounds like a some kind of gag gift you would find in a novelty store. I find it rather humerouns, actually. They should have stuck a 3 year old on it too.

Posted by carlene at January 2, 2004 3:39 PM

If I see one again, shall I get it for you, Car?

Posted by Renee at January 3, 2004 9:47 AM

Heh. It's a new approach to parenting. Instead of those silly harnesses and leashes....

Posted by Jan at January 5, 2004 5:20 AM

Yes, PLEASE. I can add it to the strange brew playset and Christmas story "dad" figurine (complete with leg lamp) that I keep on my desk.

Posted by carlene at January 5, 2004 10:32 AM

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Last Updated 11/07/03