Mickey and his friends “welcomed” us home

The day my wife Wendy and I returned from our six-month-plus sojourn around the country was, as the saying goes a “day that will live in infamy.”

The reason?

Mice poop.

Your read that right: m.i.c.e.p.o.o.p

I grew up on a farm. Mice poop was just another poop to go along with cow poop, chicken poop, dog poop, rat poop, and all the other assorted poops generated by animals.

But this was mice poop and, according to Wendy, it had to stop. NOW.

So, we called a local pest control company and a perfectly nice young man (let’s call him Michael) came out with his electronic combination of calculator, design aid, and clipboard in his hand and, for some reason, wanted to look in our attic.

I had no idea mice liked attics. I always thought they lived behind little round holes in baseboards, for those of us who remember Tom and Jerry.

I wasn’t there when Michael climbed up our attic ladder, but I guess he said, “Oh, My!”

Those, of course are two words you never want to hear a technician of any sort say.

Then, Wendy started showing him around the backyard where our friendly groundhog has been residing since … well, since forever. She was barely through with that before she showed him everything else that was wrong with the house, most of which were my fault and Michael commenced to agree with Wendy that every single wall and crevice had somehow been damaged by mice. The groundhog had to go, as well.

That was when the tapping began. 

A lot of moments passed while Michael tapped away on his electronic thingy and everyone knows that the more someone types on those, the more expensive the end number is going to be. Michael was gleefully tap-tapping away, occasionally stopping to scratch his slightly balding head or to crack his knuckles, before an evil grin would cross his face and he would tap again.

“Well, you know,” he said after the tapping had ended. “Mice can be quite destructive, and often deadly. And what you have in your attic is a high rent condominium for mice. You are giving them food, water and shelter. No wonder they are all up there.”

Having just left central Florida where mice (especially one named Mickey) are quite popular and very profitable, I was quite distressed to hear this. “A… a … a mouse resort?” I stammered

”Yes, yes,” he said in a very serious tone. “Mice have been known to start fires, spread diseases, and do all sorts of unspeakable things to humanity.”

He then went on for 30 minutes about how this horrible set of circumstances can be avoided if we followed his solution, which included sucking out all the “non-treated” insulation and replacing 

it with “treated” insulation, plugging up all the holes where the mice have gotten into the attic.

I cannot imagine a better speech unless it was MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech but it did not take me too long to realize he was talking about everything except, of course, the price.

Finally, after he had us scared out of our wits, imagining flash fires and green stuff growing on our cabbage in the refrigerator and we were ready for the price. 

“All this,” he finished with a flourish, “for only $12,500.” He paused and stared at my face, then quickly added, “If you want a total protection guarantee, then it is $15,000!”

Dead silence.  Then more dead silence.

“What do you think?”  he asked.

More dead silence.

I sighed. I had been defeated again, this time by a condo full of mice.

One of my personal features is my total distaste for anything Disney.

Now, I had another reason to hate that freaking mouse.