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"Mouse Hunt" Isn't Just a Bad Nathan Lane Movie - It's the Story of My Life

By Stephanie Berger

Remember Mouse Trap, that board game you used to play as a little kid? You would spend hours setting up the Rube Goldberg-style board, with its intricate system of little choking-inducing parts. If assembled properly, turning a crank would set all the components in motion to “catch” your opponent’s plastic mouse.

Fast forward to adulthood. Now I get to play a new game — Mouse Trap: Real Life Edition.

I first encountered my unwanted houseguest a month ago. Although I was the only person who signed the lease on my apartment, my furry foe apparently thought he could live there without paying rent. One night, a friend who was staying with me jumped up on the couch, tearfully explaining that she had seen a mouse scurry across my floor. I did what any rational young woman would: I jumped up next to her and started screaming.

A week and $30 spent on traps later, no mouse had been caught or seen. I convinced myself that my friend had been hallucinating. All was well for a few days, until something caught the corner of my eye around 2:00 a.m. as I sat in my bed, reading gossip blogs on my laptop.

It was brown, and it had a tail. I didn’t sleep all night, convinced that it was going to crawl in my hair — It happened on “Sex and the City,” and if Carrie Bradshaw can’t handle it, neither can I.

The no-kill traps I had purchased obviously didn’t work. So I said goodbye to my empathy and hello to possible PETA censure: I bought some glue traps. When mice run across the traps, they get stuck. Alive. And then they start squealing. I know, because I caught one last night.

Don’t ask me why I thought I would be able to deal with a live mouse stuck to a piece of plastic the size of an index card in my kitchen. I’ll save you the gruesome details and just tell you that I’m lucky enough to live down the hall from a guy who isn’t afraid of mice — or screaming girls. He took the mouse out of my studio, presumably to its doom, leaving me feeling like a cross between a helpless child and a cold-blooded killer.

Hopefully, I won’t have any more unpleasant mouse-torturing experiences. An exterminator came today and rodent-proofed my home by sealing up a hole in the floor near my radiator. He said the mice were probably crawling up the pipes from the boiler room to scavenge my apartment.

So what have I learned from my terrifying adventures with rodents in my confined, 300-square foot space? Simply that when I chose to move to New York City, I should have realized problems like this would come with the territory. And if I can deal with mice, maybe other things to come — like medical bills and mortgages — aren’t so scary after all.

That, and I’ll never be able to look at Mickey Mouse the same way again.

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