Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mouse Who Refused to Die on Election Night

            “She’s here!” my roommate cried gleefully as I walked into our house.
            Oh how sweet! I thought. She does love me!
            “Now you can kill the mouse I caught!” she added.
            Ah, that’s more like it.
            I walked back to Jackie’s room armed with my bulky winter gloves. The box was shaking violently as the vicious beast tried to free himself. He had been terrorizing our house for weeks, nibbling in corners and rustling sheets. And now, it was time to die.
            I hesitantly picked up the box, ready to face the hideous creature. Instead, inside the box was a cute baby mouse with half of his body and his head stuck to the sticky adhesive.  His breathing was labored and he looked surprisingly undiseased. We locked eyes, his beady little peepers glued on mine, much in the way his body was glued to the deadly paper. And I could see a fierce resilience that said, "There's no way I'm dying before I know who's running my country."
            “We’ve got to save him!” I declared. But how?
            I had to call someone, but not just anyone. I needed a manly man with skills. Someone who wears flannel regularly, has shot a gun, and can grow a beard in a matter of days.
            “Seth! How do I free a mouse from a sticky trap?”
            “Hmmm,” he pondered, probably stroking the invisible beard he had just decided to start growing. “Try rubbing alcohol. But use a q-tip so he doesn't bite you.”
            We were out of rubbing alcohol, but nail polish remover appeared to smell the same. I rubbed at his feet vigorously, before realizing that I might just rub his foot right off and turn him into an amputee.
            It was time to make another call. This time, to my sister.
            “Adrienne, I need you to look something up for me.”
            “I’m at a political party,” she said disinterestedly.
            “I need to know how to free a mouse from a sticky trap.”
            This matter of life and death perked her up.
“AHH! I’ll ask Alfredo.”
            In a matter of minutes, a think tank composed of Notre Dame graduates had been assembled. The members on this vital mission included:
            Adrienne Pastula, BS in psychology, likes animals
            J. Alfredo Blakely-Ruiz, BS in biology, boyfriend to Adrienne, will figure out a solution because it’s important to her
            Dr. Alexandri Zavodny, PhD in a multisyllabic subject, began college at the age of 14, became our friend because he enjoys dancing and puns
            Two minutes later, she called with the solution.
            “You can free him with vegetable oil. It’ll dissolve the sticky product.”
            I quickly ran outside and took the mouse and box to the yard. I checked my watch. 80 minutes until the polls close.
            I hastily poured oil onto the trap. It spread around his body, and he began trying to free himself more vigorously. He squeaked in protest. Or excitement. I couldn’t tell, because despite my best efforts, I still can’t communicate with animals.
            “Yeahh! There you go little buddy!” I cheered, beaming at my good deed.
            Then I realized something, His body was contorting horribly to the right, trying to get away from the oil. It was surrounding his mouth, which was stuck to the trap. He was going to suffocate, just like my college roommate’s beta fish that we euthanized by pouring oil on the water when we saw his stomach had exploded.
            I dabbed at his mouth with a piece of toilet paper.
            “Don’t you die on me!” I cried into the night.
            Then quit trying to kill me! Baby mouse’s body seemed to suggest.
            Then, after about thirty seconds of painful struggle, he slowly began to free himself. His head, then his legs, and finally his tail. He slowly walked across the trap, covered in oil and panting in victory.
Go baby go!
You can tell that's an American mouse, because he is free  
Go, I’m pretty sure he was trying to say. The polls are closing, and our country needs your vote.
            “Thanks baby mouse. But first, let me make you a house out of my glove so you can survive the night and see who our next president is."

Mouse House