I usually don’t participate in Throwback Thursdays, but today I’m going to make an exception and offer a story that happened a little over 10 years ago (actually, I was just struggling with an intro and am using Throwback Thursday as an excuse). As the title subtly implies, this story involves a mouse (I’m a master of my craft). I’m not sure how many of you have had a run-in with a mouse before, but this was my first. And I’d like to think that it set the bar pretty high for any future encounters I may have.
My friends Adam, Kyle and I were all hanging out in Kyle’s basement like we did pretty much every day as teenagers because video games were fun, girls were scary and the sun was bright (our lives haven’t changed much). The set-up in the basement had a futon against the back wall, the TV directly across from it, a couch on the right side and a mattress on the floor in the middle of all of this. There were usually blankets and pillows strewn everywhere, controller cords scattered across the floor and the basement smelled distinctly of B.O. and stale popcorn, but we were damn proud of it (the basement, not the B.O.; it was still a confusing time in all of our lives).
After staying up all night staring at the TV screen, eating shitty microwave snacks and drinking more soda than any human being should, we were all pretty much in a zombie-like state. Kyle had meandered over to the computer to talk to girls on MSN Messenger (yes, this story is that old and no he was not successful). Adam was firmly entrenched on the futon playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I used this opportunity to pass out on the mattress for a little bit before continuing the marathon of unhealthy, sedentary activities (this is why childhood obesity is a problem, folks).
After a couple hours of snoozing, I wake up to the sight of Adam and Kyle patrolling the basement with airsoft pistols and room-sweeping tactics that they had lifted straight out of 80’s action movies. Kyle looks at me and says, “Dude, you may wanna get up.”
“What? Why? What happened?” I groggily reply.
“A mouse dropped down from one of the ceiling tiles. We haven’t found it yet.”
And with that, I was on my feet and patrolling the basement with them. We didn’t have any more airsoft pistols so I frantically looked around the room for anything else I could use as a weapon. What I finally settled on was a bubble sword (to this day, I’m not convinced that this was the wrong choice).
I call it Mouse’s Bane
We stalked around the room in a formation best described as “The Idiot Parade,” overturning furniture, tossing blankets and shining a flashlight into every dark corner of the room. Despite our obvious organization, keen senses and natural hunting ability, we didn’t turn up any trace of the mouse. Eventually, it was decided that we needed to set some traps. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any traps and would need to go buy some. The three of us spent a bit of time arguing over the best way to proceed (because we’re dumb). We decided that Adam and I would go to WalMart to buy supplies and Kyle would stay there and keep an eye out for the mouse.
As I said, this was quite some time ago, before any of us had our licenses, so Adam and set out to walk the 3 miles to the store. We didn’t last very long; it was late, it was dark outside and we had to keep hiding in bushes because we were out past curfew (cops in our town don’t have much to do besides bust kids for being out too late). We got about halfway there and gave up, turning around to head back home. Then we got about a third of the way home and gave up on that too, calling Kyle’s mom to come pick us up from a gas station (did I mention that we’re dumb?).
Upon our return, Kyle reported that he hadn’t seen any signs of the mouse while we were gone (either because the mouse stayed hidden or because he was too absorbed in playing Metal Gear Solid 2 to notice). We all decided to just go to bed. Thinking I was being clever, I told Adam that I’d let him have the mattress for the night and I’d take the couch (Kyle always got the futon). I told him it was because I got to sleep on the nice mattress earlier, so I’d take the lumpy couch for the night to make sure things were fair. My actual reasoning was because I figured if the mouse bothered anyone during the night it would be the guy closest to the floor, so I wanted to be on higher ground. Adam fell for my ploy and happily took the mattress while I flopped down on the couch (did I mention that we’re really dumb?).
I remember my dream that night quite vividly: I was moving around some electronics and video game systems when one of the cords dragged across my foot. That was when I woke up and realized that something had actually moved across my foot, and that it was now moving up my pant leg. I’m not sure if any of you have woken up to a mouse running up your pants, but I think I’m safe in saying that no matter how stoic you may be this is something that will shake you a little bit. And when I say “it will shake you a little bit” I mean “You will bolt awake, kick off the covers and jump up screaming ‘HOLY SHIT THERE’S A MOUSE IN MY PANTS!’” That is exactly what I did. I kicked off my blanket as hard as I could, then watched as the little brown rodent sailed through the air, over Adam’s head and landed on the other side of the mattress before scampering away.
For whatever reason, being awakened by their friend jumping up and down on the couch shouting “THERE WAS A MOUSE IN MY PANTS” the very same night that they had previously been hunting a mouse didn’t seem to really get either Kyle or Adam motivated. They both groggily rolled over, cussed me out and told me to go back to sleep. Maybe it just took a minute for it to register in their brains, or maybe it was the fact that I absolutely refused stop shouting and let them fall back asleep (who knows?), but they eventually got up and joined in my panic. We gathered up our pillows and blankets, shook them out just to be safe, and went upstairs to sleep.
We went back out for traps the next day, this time in a car. And eventually the mouse was caught. But that’s the story of the mouse that nearly got to 2nd base with me.