Friday, January 15, 2010

why yes, you CAN build a better mousetrap

Through the wonders of Facebook, I have reconnected with a long-lost friend I'd met during our time in rural Tillamook county.

We could not have been more different, Kristi and I. She had grown up there, had been the high school prom queen, married the quarterback and had 4 kids by the time she was 22. She drove a huge truck, could gut a deer with her eyes closed and didn't take shit from ANYBODY. I adored her.

This morning she reminded me of a story from when we first met. Word, it seems, had gotten around about Eric and I.

Now, Eric and I had been living in Eugene (you know, where tie-die clothing is always in fashion and people swear that Jerry will never die, man) for a couple of years. For reasons I won't bore you with now, we got the brilliant idea to move to the Oregon coast. Unfortunately, the Oregon coast (at least the town to which we moved) is located in Tillamook County. Tillamook county is as close to Mississippi as it gets on the west coast. We're talking R U R A L. It's all dairy farmers (as you can imagine), loggers, hunters, ATVs, and Monster Truck rallies on the weekends.

So Eric and I pull into town, idealistic little environmentalists. It's not too long before we discover that our rental house has a raging mouse problem; on our counters, in our cupboards, in our drawers! We had to do something about it. Our plan was to catch them and then "relocate" them, somewhere far from our kitchen and our utensils and our organic bread. You know, a lovely field somewhere.

So we go down to the local hardware store, where we are given an unsmiling once-over from behind the counter by the grumpy owner. This man is so surly, so ornery, that we will learn later his nickname is "Grissel". He can obviously spot an outsider from 100 paces and has no tolerance for city-folk.

Sensing this not-so-warm-welcome, we get down to business and ask, glancing hopefully down each isle, "Where would we find the humane mousetraps?"


and then: "The WHAT? What the hell is a humane mousetrap?"

We explain slowly because he is obviously not very bright: "You know, a trap that lures the mouse into it without killing it, so you can then set him free somewhere else?" DUH.

He bent over laughing, slapping the counter, tears pouring down his cheeks. And from that point on, over the next 10 years we lived there, that man never looked at us with a straight face again, whether we dared come into his hardware store, ran into him at the post office, or at the local cafe.

We ended up ordering our humane mousetraps over the Internet. I, for one, am proud that there are, by now, several generations of little mouse families who have been born and raised in a mountainside meadow with a stunning view of the Pacific ocean.


Dee said...

Aren't you proud that you made the old Geezer laugh? No doubt that was the only time in years.
I can't believe how granola you were------you've improved a whole lot since then.

Linda said...

One of my favorite stories, is how Eric, resplendent with his dread locks, went to work with those red necks, and got so much shit, until he calmly pulled a 10 penny nail out of his own hand. That's my favorite! Tell than one next Kate, tell that one next!!!

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