The water in the basement was not a problem. OK, it was a problem, but it was not THE problem. I’m used to getting puddles in the basement every time it rains. It is one of the joys of owning a house that sits at the bottom of a sloping backyard.
No, the problem was the dead mouse floating in the water in the basement.
I must say, I am a pretty tough suburbanite. I can handle just about anything in my backyard, the occasional cave cricket in the house, and four trunks of disgustingly dirty camp laundry. What I cannot handle is sloshing around in a couple of inches of water in the basement and all of a sudden having a soggy, dead mouse slap me across the leg and adhere to my calf.
“AAAAUUUUGGGHHHH!” I yelled. It was 5:45 in the morning and I had woken up to a clap of thunder that tipped me off there might be some flooding downstairs.
My husband was on a business trip so I knew there was no pretending that I didn’t notice the water so he would discover it first and have to clean it up. This is what I usually do with things like dog puke in the family room and stopped up toilets. However, when he travels, it is all on me, and unfortunately, this is typically when the flooding, dog puking and toilet clogging tends to happen.
Instinctively I reached down, grabbed the mouse’s tail, and flung the mouse across the room where it struck and stuck to the wall.
It would seem that dead wet mice have amazing glue-like qualities. Had I not been so thoroughly grossed out, I might have appreciated this scientific discovery and shared it with Nat Geo. However, having just had a dead mouse stuck to my leg, and now having a dead mouse stuck to the wall of my laundry room, I was not inclined to analyze this phenomenon, but rather, I was inclined to freak out.
“JOSHHHHHH!” I yelled to my son, who in all likelihood, was sleeping soundly upstairs. I decided that there is really no point in having a teenage son if I can’t wake him from a sound sleep when my husband is out of town so he can come to the basement and dispose of a sticky dead mouse.
“What??” I heard him yell back from above.
“Come downstairs!” I returned the yell.
“Right now?” He wondered.
“Yes!” I bellowed. “It’s an emergency.”
I heard him clomp down the stairs and emerge in the doorway to the basement.
I pointed to the mouse on the wall.
“So?” he said. Apparently a dead mouse on the wall is not quite as disturbing a sight to a teenage boy as it is to a middle-aged mom.
“Can you please get rid of that?” I begged.
“Can’t you do it?” he asked. He smiled. He knew I couldn’t do it, but he wanted to get as much mileage as he could from this situation.
“If I could do it, I wouldn’t have called YOU to do it.” I responded.
He didn’t move.
“Look, I just peeled a dead mouse off my leg, flung it across the room and now it is affixed to the laundry room wall. I am quite traumatized by this,” I said. “So much so, that if I suffer any further trauma, I doubt I will be able to make the school lunches today.”
He stared at me through hooded eyes. In a choice between torturing his mother, and having a super-sized sandwich to eat later in the day, it was clear that his stomach would win out.
He walked across the room, grabbed a rag from the bin, and pulled the mouse off the wall.
He sauntered back over to me. “Here,” he said, offering me the stuffed rag.
“Ew!!! No! Go throw it out!” I demanded, recoiling from the rag. He smiled and left with his prize.