That's an old-fashioned word,isn't it? You don't hear it that much anymore, if at all.
And no, this post has NOTHING to do with math. (I know, that's a double negative, just to prove how much I abhor math. It's a four-letter word don't 'cha know!)
So why the heck did I title it, "Arithmetic"?
I'll tell you why.
Because my Daddy taught me how to spell that word.
A Rat In The House Might Eat The Ice Cream
But a rat in MY house eating the ice cream would be the least of my worries.
A rat in my house, PERIOD, would just piss me the hell off.
A couple of years ago, we actually got mice in our trailer.
It's bad ENOUGH that I am TRAILER TRASH, but do I have to live up to my NAME?
To the best of our knowledge, we think the little varmints crawled up the water hose and somehow squeezed into the hole by the sink. Anyway, that's my husband's thinking.
I was suspicious for a few days that something was in our trailer. I have VERY GOOD EARS, and would hear our garbage bag crinkle around at night when we were both in bed.
I was sick with a bad cough/cold (similar to now), so I was spending my nights on the recliner in the back of the trailer. I heard some papers rustling again, and I thought to myself that I'd have to mention it to Jim in the morning. My throat was killing me so I got up to make some hot tea. I didn't put my glasses on, meaning I was pretty blind, but stumbled around in the kitchen getting out the tea cup, etc. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something zip up the curtains! As I got closer I saw that it was a mouse, frozen in action, probably hoping he would blend in with the color of the curtains.
I went flying up to the bedroom and started shaking Jim. Unfortunately, I didn't have much of a voice due to my sore throat.
Now imagine being woken up from a dead sleep by your crazed wife, who's screaming, but it sounds like she just gargled with Drano and chewed up razor blades, but slowly the words sink in, "It's a mouse! It's a mouse!"
Jim jumped out of bed, and without putting on HIS glasses, grabs a PAPER TOWEL, goes right over to the mouse, who for some reason is still frozen to the spot, and GRABS the mouse, opens the trailer door, and tosses him out into the night! I stand there dumbfounded because a) the fact that the mouse didn't move astounds me; b) the fact that Jim could even SEE the mouse without HIS glasses amazes me; and c) the fact that Jim would grab the mouse with just a PAPER TOWEL, EWW!, makes me want to throw up AND hug him at the same time!
Things settle down, Jim goes to bed, I make my tea, and call it a night.
The next morning we start looking for traces of the mouse in the house.
I've NEVER seen mouse poop before this. It looks like this.
Kind of like wild rice. Yeah, it took a long while after this for me to eat that again.
Anyway, after the mouse-up-the-curtain incident, we thought we were done with mice.
Go ahead and laugh, I'll wait.
So, yes, it's true, where there's one mouse, there's more.
Do you mind if I say shit? 'Cause I'll tell ya. I said a LOT worse.
Okay, so I looked for wild rice/mouse poop and I was surprised what I found. It was in my silverware drawer. Yuk!!
Also in my utensil drawer. Double Yuk!!
I dumped everything out of the two drawers and scrubbed them, put them back in.
The next day - same thing. Black little "lines" everywhere!
Son of a biscuit!
We have more mice!
After daily washings of all my silverware, my sister finally said, "Why don't you put your stuff in a big ziploc bag? Then you only have to wipe the drawer out each morning."
I could have kissed her! She is so smart - no wonder we call her Linda Martha Stewart!
But back to the infestation problem.
Of course we got on the internet to see what we could do.
We bought one of those "sonic" devices that are supposed to keep away all bugs, pests, mice. Yeah right. That's all it did was take up an outlet. It didn't work. Either that or our mice were deaf. I wish I would have thought about that. I know sign language. Although anyone knows the INTERNATIONAL sign language that I wanted to give them.
Course if I HAD this cat, I wouldn't of had mice to begin with!
Okay! So we have the plug in device. Then we read that mice don't like "Bounce" sheets.
Something about the smell deterring them from entering the home. So we stuck those sheets by every one of our slide outs. Even the one in our bedroom, even though I NEVER saw or heard a mouse up there.
Not only did the Bounce sheets NOT stop them from coming in, but they used them for TOILET PAPER!!!
I wish I were kidding.
Yep. Mouse poop on the bounce sheets. Kind of like we were paper training them.
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS
Oh, yes, in the mean time, we were using traps.
We tried the sticky traps.
I know some people might think these are inhumane. Try living with a few mice for awhile. You'll change your mind.
So, yeah, we tried the sticky traps. These mice were strong. They just left part of their FUR on the trap. But they got away.
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS
My sister-in-law suggested we stick some "ugly fruit" around the trailer. They look like this:
They are the color of tennis balls, but look like "ET" brains. Wonderful. So now we have 6 or 7 ugly fruit, or "Hedge" fruit spread around, plus bounce sheets, plus a sonic doohickey thingy, and a furry glue trap.
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT
Then Jim read that mice didn't like the smell of moth balls.
So he put a whole bunch in our "basement" (storage area) under our trailer. Well guess what? The only thing he got rid of was me! The fumes were SO BAD that I got an instant migraine!
I feel like you are laughing at me. Are you?
You can, you know. Because NOW it is funny. But then? Not so much. I was in tears most of the time. I wanted to move out of the trailer and live in a hotel for a couple of weeks until Jim could prove to me that he rounded up all the dead bodies.
But we couldn't afford a hotel, PLUS our camping site. (Of course, a divorce is pretty expensive, too.)
So Jim removed the moth balls from the basement, and buried them around our trailer, especially by the wheels, to try and keep the varmints away. We were one stinking mess.
But we still had mice.
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT + MOTH BALLS
We also read that mice didn't like the smell of peppermint. (I don't know how anybody really knows what mice like or dislike - that's all I know is, this proves you can't believe everything you read on the internet!)
We found a place that sold different kinds of oils and scored on peppermint oil. We put a few drops of it on some cotton balls and spread those around the Bounce sheets and ugly fruit. It was getting mighty crowded in our trailer!
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT + MOTH BALLS + PEPPERMINT OIL
It was time to leave the campground we were staying at in Minnesota, so we packed up all our cares and woes, and maybe mice, and headed to Wisconsin.
I'll be damned if those little devils didn't take a trip with us!
Jim went out and bought the regular old-fashioned metal mouse traps.
THIS WAS WAR!!
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT + MOTH BALLS + PEPPERMINT OIL + METAL MOUSE TRAP
Oh, we were feeling quite smug that evening, I have to admit! Jim rubbed peanut butter on the trap, set it, then climbed into bed.
We didn't hear a thing overnight.
Jim checked the trap in the morning. It was still set.
But the peanut butter was gone!
Why I oughta!!!!
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT + MOTH BALLS + PEPPERMINT OIL + METAL MOUSE TRAP + PEANUT BUTTER
"Aha!" Jim thought. "I'll put CHEESE on the trap!"
So that's what he did.
We went to bed, and before long we heard a loud CLAP!
He ran down to check!
The cheese was gone, and there was no mouse.
We had some VERY CLEVER mice on our hands.
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT + MOTH BALLS + PEPPERMINT OIL + METAL MOUSE TRAP + PEANUT BUTTER + CHEESE
It had now been about two weeks of fighting the battle of the mice. I was tired. Jim was tired. The ugly fruit was attracting fruit flies. The moth ball smell lingered in the air, mingling with the peppermint oil. I was tired of living out of a ziploc bag in my silverware drawer.
Then a light bulb went off over Jim's head. He would SUPERGLUE the cheese to the trap.
You heard me.
That night we eagerly climbed in bed for all the wrong reasons. We were hoping to hear the clap of the trap and the last breath of a rodent.
Sure enough, SNAP! We both jumped up in bed cheering. Jim ran to the kitchen, and....and...
He set the trap two more times with the same piece of stinking cheese super-glued to the trap, and we caught/killed a total of three mice (not including the first one that Jim promised me he had strangled with his bare hands).
SONIC DEVICE + BOUNCE SHEETS + STICKY TRAPS + UGLY FRUIT + MOTH BALLS + PEPPERMINT OIL + METAL MOUSE TRAP + PEANUT BUTTER + CHEESE + SUPERGLUE
The moral of the story is: Don't live in a trailer! No. I mean, tenacity pays off AND don't believe EVERYTHING you read on the internet, even IF Mr. Gore DID invent it. But you can ALWAYS believe what you read here. Well, almost. But this story is the GOD'S TRUTH.
Oh, yeah. And this is why I hate A-R-I-T-H-M-E-T-I-C!