Wednesday, January 4, 2012
"Thank you." - All Mice in Our Home
Boonah is in the throes of a mice plague, of sorts. More specifically, the family home in Boonah has come under tiny attack. Which is unfortunate because my family has concurrently developed a code of conduct for dealing with all animals, including pests, that includes not, you know, hurting them.
Gone are the spring-loaded mouse traps that snap viciously. This is as much for the fact they seem inhumane (insofar as inhumanity applies to dealing with mice) as it was for the fact they were manifestly inefficient. They just didn't catch anything, save for the odd human finger which wandered waywardly on to the mechanism.
And so here we are with a new mouse-trap. A small cage with a one-way funnel which lures the mice in but doesn't let them leave, like an early morning infomercial for knives which can cut through several layers of titanium and the hide of an 80-year-old Gold Coast socialite who has spent too long in the sun.
Do you see the problem? Ah, yes, Mr Miyagi. The mice are caught, true, but they're still alive. Which means my mother and sister are now the Chief Operating Officers of a rather elaborate catch and release program, which doesn't really do much for the mice problem which started all this. You don't get rid of the mice, you just make them very late for something.
I inquired as to the effectiveness of the program.
"How do you know where the mice go, once you release them? How do you know they just don't come right back?" I asked. It was a decent question because we have been catching so many.
Mum was ever wedded to the scientific method in her response.
"Well, I make sure we release them in the corner of the yard, facing the neighbour's place. They run that direction."
I stared unblinkingly into her soul for several seconds.
"Mum, have the geneticists engineered mice that only run in one direction now?"
There was an awkward silence. I presumed I had won.
But my mother doesn't like to lose an argument based on silly theories. She would demand empirical evidence. Hard data. She would rig the experiment to prove we didn't have any re-runs. That's what we were calling the possibility of returned mice. Re-runs.
She started painting the tails of the mice we caught. You think I'm joking? I am not. I presume she ran out of microchips and scanners so mum just started dabbing their tails in paint, on account of the fact we'll know if we get any re-runs.
And now we wait. It's been a day now and we've got nought but originals.
I don't know who the real winner is here, but I think it's the mice.