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Posts Tagged ‘Battle of Attrition’

*Update*: Of mice and men (subtitled: Score one for the good guys)

In Just absolutely dominating people, They have the Fever on February 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Casualties are inevitable in any armed conflict, and I believe it is completely justifiable to take lives when faced with enemy forces invading one’s home territory.  Especially when I am on the only side with access to weapons.  Including a brain larger than a peanut.  That’s my type of battle.

After a week of frustration and near misses, we finally eliminated a member of the opposition’s army.  It wasn’t clean, and it wasn’t pretty.  And it wasn’t without pain: for him acutely physical; for us, definitively psychological.

The date?  Thursday, February 12, 2008.

The time?  Between the hours of 7-8 am.

The location?  Our kitchen in Brooklyn.

The opposing forces who met?  Mighty Mouse and Mighty Mosher.  What followed was an act of brutal necessity, described by the mercenary himself, in what is surely the most powerful email you will read today (or ever):

Subject: Good morning

Time: 7:42 am


“Little did I know when I woke up this morning that I would be forced to dig deep into the darkest corners of my psyche and summons the courage to brutally take the life of another of Earth’s creatures for the good of our apartment.  But that is exactly what this morning had in store for me.

I walked  into the kitchen, still wiping sleep from my eyes, and stopped dead in my tracks.  On the floor I could clearly see a gray mass hanging out of one end of our spring traps.  My first thought was that it looked like a dust ball.  Seriously.  Given the proven stealthiness and agility of these supermice, this new chapter just seemed to fit perfectly into this ongoing tragicomedic saga: a dust ball blowing harmlessly across our kitchen floor had applied enough pressure to the trap to set it off, even though the mice have been feasting off the trap with no results.  But as I turned on the light to get a better look, I realized I was wrong.  So wrong.

The mouse was still alive, and struggling.  His rear quarters had been clamped down by the spring trap, but his front half was most certainly alive.  It brought to mind the hiker in Colorado whose arm had been pinned down by a boulder.   A helpless feeling, I am sure.  Not only was the mouse alive, but he still had the strength in his anterior to drag his crippled hind legs and the entire weight of the trap across our kitchen floor.  Honestly, this mouse was clearing some ground.  I don’t know what his plan was, or where he thought he was going.  Maybe there was some rodent surgeon waiting for him in the walls of our apartment — it wouldn’t surprise me.  These mice have seemed to evolve the equivalent of 400,000 years in the last three weeks.  The shock, awe, excitement, curiosity, and amazement that had so pleasantly been stroking my emotional canvas were quickly dissolving.  A new, more powerful feeling was taking hold, and it was eclipsing all else.  It was an urgent, Jack Baueresque sense of responsibility.    I knew what had to be done.

I walked into our coat closet and found the heaviest object I could.  It happened to be Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey.  I grabbed the book and stormed back into the kitchen, not stopping for a second to consider how I would approach the task at hand.  The rest is a blur, but I have snapshots of the book laying on the ground, feet coming down on the book, eyes closing… Screaming! Gasping! Mayhem! Confusion! pain!


Oh such powerful words.  Luckily, Mosher was able to take a self portrait after this initial kill in Mouse Wars 2009: