One evening long ago I rushed onto
the M train (subway) as the doors
were closing. As I got my bearings,
I realized that my fellow passengers
were in a frenzy. All because a small
rat was in the car riding along with all
of us. Terrified, the poor rat ran from
one end of the car to the other as we
humans scrambled and screamed out
of it's way. We sat with our legs raised
as we waited to reach the next stop!
Upon arrival we ran out as others ran
in to grab a seat on the Rat Express!
Hop to it!
Our little furry friends aren't all that
evil. Like us they're trying to survive
this rat race that we call life. Yet for
whatever reason we innately loathe
rodents and when one is personally
confronted with their reality most
of us recoil and then do everything
possible to eradicate their existence.
Hence even the thought of a rodent
throws the bravest into a frenzy. So
if you've ever had a mouse in the
house you understand that's it's all
too easy to freak out! EEEEEEEK!
Bait and switch
In my younger and more vulnerable years
I decided to uproot my family and move
to Illinois. In those days of 18% mortgages,
Lincoln's state was a candy land of bargains
for rabid easterners like us. We purchased a
large and charming Victorian abode. Which
we furnished beautifully. Then one fine day
we came across some small black "seeds"
in our St. Charles custom kitchen drawer...
Quickly we learned that said tidbits
were actually mouse droppings. Now
fully aware that we had a problem we
searched and found black bits of terror
throughout our beautiful home. One
afternoon as we sat in our thirty foot
long living room we watched a mouse
scurry across our lovely new carpet.
That's when we realized that our new
home was INFESTED with a bevy of
furry friends. They say that when you
see one, there are at least ten more. In
our case there were hundreds more...
We called in Orkin and quickly they
set poison and traps throughout the
house. It's odd what one gets used
to. Every dawn I would patrol the
battle field and swat poisoned mice
to death with a broom. Plus collect
traps full of the those who opted to
grab the tainted bacon. Weekends
I crammed steel wool into crevices
and spread mothballs out in crawl
spaces. We did everything possible
to rid our home of mice and WON!
Only to immediately MOVE OUT!
You see, in the eyes of my family
our home was sullied. No longer
livable given rodents had been all
over the place. Just the thought of
their being near pushes even the
best over the edge. My infestation
taught me to be vigilant of vermin.
A skill that has since helped me in
all aspects of life - even the office.
You see most vermin rarely scurry
about with furry snouts and tails.
Instead they're ordinary folks who
are waiting for us to take the bait.
Unlike the average house mouse human
vermin are fully aware that their actions
impact others. I've watched first hand as
one individual and his minions infested
a company and tainted it beyond repair.
The problem was that others didn't fight
the infestation. Rather we welcomed it
with open and naif arms. Initially the
biggest of rats try to both charm or woo
their prey. Slowly they nibble their way
to one's weaknesses. Reducing even the
most superior of species to easy targets.
Which is why some lead, others follow.
Rats feed off others as their legions grow.
Therefore one must eradicate whatever
fuels their power. Why would anybody
allow vermin to take over? Rather than
be innocent prey, we must protect ALL
that we value. Which requires we act
with conviction. Bravery alone doesn't
make a super hero but it proves that one
is committed to doing the right thing.
That is what separates mice... from men.