It’s not uncommon to hear sudden screams, shouts and obscenities ring through my office every now and then. In recent months, many of these have been attributed to one terrifying thing: A mouse.
A mouse is in the house.
It all started like this: A coworker of mine, who sits on the opposite side of the office from me, praise God, sees a furry friend scamper across his keyboard. The entire office is alerted to this event when he utters a single phrase: “OH F*CK ME!”
This terrifying event prompts swift action. Traps are set up throughout the office and in both bathrooms. (Yes, there are only two bathrooms for all of us. We’ll talk about that another day. Are you there, OSHA? It’s me, Tiny Bladder.) And much to our nausea-inducing delight, one of us discovers a trapped mouse a few days later.
HOORAY! NO MORE MOUSE HOUSE!
So, we resume normal work. Until a few more days pass. Everyone is working, working, working, then “BLOOD CURDLING SCREAM!” A mouse runs across June’s toes.
Bring in more strategically-placed traps, mostly around June’s desk. And tra-la-la: Another mouse is captured! All is right with the world. Every time a trap snaps, an angel gets its wings.
Until, later that week, someone whispers, “Oh my God. He’s back.”
Chaos ensues. More traps. Another mouse caught.
This continues on.
The CEO traps another mouse, puts it in a cage, buys it food and a wheel, names the mouse “Shannon” after our corporate lawyer, and gives her as a pet to the guy who sits behind me. (I’ve been sneezing ever since. Also Shannon’s gross looking. The mouse, not the lawyer.)
The CMO throws her trash can down the hall after she hears rustling in it. After thorough searching, no mouse is found. But we do locate the CMO’s lost scarf.
Guy Behind Me comes in one day to find that (shockingly) the bag of Shannon’s mouse food sitting under his desk has been chewed open by a rogue mouse. We follow the trail of food all the way to a hole in the wall, set a trap, and catch another mouse.
Another male coworker releases a string of four-letter words, claiming “the big one” ran across his desk again. I, who had remained heroically stoic up to this point, lose my shit upon hearing it described as “the big one” and stand on my chair, where I remain for the rest of the day.
The next day, I arrive at work as usual (read: 15 minutes late) and open my desk drawer to stuff my purse inside. Along with my purse, this drawer houses several important things: a hair straightener, a hand mirror, various flavors of tea, and numerous snacks. Upon opening the drawer, though, it occurs to me that the bag of crackers now sitting at the top of the pile in the drawer was most certainly at the bottom of the drawer the day before. (I haven’t eaten crackers in a few weeks.) Taking a closer look, I pick up the bag of crackers.
There is a hole in the bag.
There is poop in the bag.
There are no crackers in the bag.
“THE MOUSE POOPED IN MY DRAWER! MOUSE! POOP! FECES EVERYWHERE!” I squeal incoherently. “CHEWED A HOLE! IN THE BAG! ATE! POOPED! EVERYWHERE! TETANUS SHOT!”
After a quick visit to the first aid kit in the kitchen, I adorned myself with latex gloves and a face mask and scrubbed my desk clean, all the while muttering things about “the big one” violating my personal space. When my desk was clean, I spent the rest of the day emailing B and random coworkers every three minutes with pictures of mice, theories on how the mouse got into my desk, and fears that he was, in fact, hiding in my tennis shoes.
Another mouse was caught yesterday, but then another one was seen.
The horror continues, gentle reader. The horror continues.