Yes, I’m a hypocrite
I was faced with a pretty big moral dilemma when I started having kids. Before anyone had actually fallen out of my uterus, my response to finding eight-legged creatures in my home was to smash them into insect puree. Then I had kids, and I started saying fancy stuff like, “It’s wrong to hurt living things.” Sure, that sounds good—on paper—but doesn’t really help when something black and hairy is scurrying across the floor, does it?
So I made a Bug Box—a small insect condo with cardboard walls and a removable roof (furniture is optional, of course, but I wouldn’t recommend windows). My theory was that if I could scoop the offending arachnid into the box, I could release it back into the wilderness…where it would get its exercise by scurrying back into my house.
Unfortunately, the spiders were watching me the night I made the box, and they sent Kamikaze Bug to test my convictions. Have you ever tried to catch a moving spider (one that’s clearly hopped up on espresso) by chasing after it with a small box? It’s not an easy task, I’ll tell you that right now. After five minutes of running and turning and lunging, my kids got tired of watching the show and headed back to the TV. That’s when I squashed the spider with my slipper, then used the box as a coffin. I had conquered nature. Or so I thought.
Soon the snow thawed, and I discovered that not all uninvited guests have eight legs. A freakishly-large mound of dead grass pressed against the outside of our home was the first hint of trouble. That, I was informed by my Long-Suffering Ex, was a Goddamnedmousenest. It didn’t take long to discover that the Goddamnedmice had turned our kitchen cupboards into rodent condos. They’d removed the stuffing from my oven mitts and used it as bedding. They’d enlarged the holes around the water pipes (the mouse equivalent of double doors) and used our pie plates as toilets.
After a short but unprintable outburst, my Long-Suffering Ex filled every potential mouse entrance with steel wool, threw out what was left of my oven mitts and tossed our pie plates into the garage sale box (Side note: Thoroughly wash everything you buy at garage sales). He then went into the backyard and performed the Dance of Death on the Goddamnedmousenest.
My job, during this massacre was to keep our kids distracted in case any mice tried to escape (our kids could have suffered permanent mental anguish of they’d seen Daddy clubbing Mickey Mouse to death with a broom). I, on the other hand, would have been unmoved by the mouse’s plight. After all, Mickey Mouse never crapped in my pie plate.
Brenda has written over 4,000 articles as a freelance journalist (primarily for Woman’s World and First for Women magazines). She’s also published five books for kids (you can find them here). You can follow Brenda on her blog, and you’ll find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. She also has LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts, but has no idea what to do with those.