We have mice at work. Every so often somebody yelps when they spot one, and I’m told that I missed a full-scale meltdown (“OH GOD A MOUSE OH MY GOD!”) complete with chairclimb. I, of course, am rooting for the rodents, having undergone a lifetime’s brainwashing by cartoons, and have gone so far as to secretly dub the mouse who kept scurrying back and forth across the aisle the other night Pepito.
While some of my more softhearted colleagues have suggested humane methods of pest control like one-way traps and ultrasound, Maintenance laid glue traps. Tonight, Pepito or one of his brethern was caught. The younger of the two guys on the night shift wound up holding the glue sheet as the rest of us stared. The captive was small enough to fit on the palm of my hand with room for a friend.
“What do we do?”
“Some people, when the mouse is still alive, they stomp on it.”
“Yeah, I couldn’t.”
“We can’t leave him stuck on there. After a few hours, a mouse will try to chew itself free. They’ll chew the paper, their own leg, anything.”
This mouse didn’t look as though it could have freed itself; it was splayed across the adhesive with no apparent leverage.
“If you use hot water — not too hot — you could free it from the glue and let it go.”
“Well of course, not in the building. Outside.”
As the mouse-warden headed toward the men’s room at the far end of the hall, the rest of us got silly.
“This is an infringement of the mouse’s rights.”
“It’s being unfairly victimized! It’s entitled to freedom from violence!”
“What happened to peaceful co-existence?”
“Freedom of movement. Food security.”
“It’s probably thinking, ‘Don’t I have diplomatic immunity?’”
“Actually, it looked like it was thinking, ‘FUCK.’”
The mouse was liberated from the trap and carried outside in a plastic cup.
Pepito’s current whereabouts are unknown.