lundi 1 février 2010

Outlet outhouse

Mouse merde

Sometimes there are just no words. I can feel the enthusiasm for my home and visiting me here dropping off like, well, mouse droppings.

This makes one mystery sort of explained of about a million.

Some nights, when I was particularly aggravated and aggrieved by my husband (oui, hélas, ça arrive), I would sleep out in the guest room, which was, at that time, in this room. I have since slept in the orange room and enjoyed that, too (much more). After vacuuming the largest of the spiders and and checking for them in my bedding, I'd turn on the bedside light and sink into the down quilt and soft mattress, pillows piled against the wall, and complain in my journal before cracking open the book I'd chosen to lull me to sleep, waiting for the familiar sound of something alive in the wall.

"Scritch... scritch... scritchscritchscritch...," and so it would go. The game was to put off the moment I turned the bedside light back on to make absolutely sure it was actually inside the wall.

And not just behind my pillows.

Now, when guests arrive and I take them through their painstakingly prepared room, pointing out the fresh towels, the clean spa terry robe for their personal use and comfort, and how to work the plethora of light switches, I'd also be sure to add an offhand warning about the sounds of animal life in the walls late at night. An extra winning smile would usually do it to throw them off just enough that all the appalled guest could manage was a brave smile and "Oh! You needn't worry about me! I sleep like a log!"

Kind guest, but I know the truth.

And now, I really do know the truth. When I pulled the outlet cover away from the wall, I noticed what appeared to be pellets of styrofoam spilling out onto the floor. It could not, however, be missed that there were also some suspicious dark pellets mixed in.

Oh, don't think I only noticed this today. No. I noticed this days ago. I just didn't say anything while I considered the implications. But, just now, I poked at the cover plate a bit with my trowel, wiggling it vigorously, as piles of pellets of styrofoam and of mouse turd poured forth, making a nice large, gross pile on the plastic floor covering. Dégueulasse.

Where, I had been asking myself, was this coming from? Was the mouse (or mice) using the outlet as an outhouse? If so, why? Why there, specifically? Why not anywhere?

Watching the turd flow, it struck me. The wall is solid. It is made of concrete blocks covered on the inside in nothing more than plaster (more on that in a bit). Mice cannot run around inside it just as they please like they could were it made of two by fours and sheetrock. No. There is forcémment a plastic tube snaking through the concrete block for the wires, and it is this particular plastic tube that has been serving as a highspeed rodent network. Given that there are several outlets, each with its own wiring, there are certainly several plastic tubes.

Conclusion: Mice do not like to relieve themselves just anywhere, they prefer to choose one place for that purpose and keep their mouse house tidy.

I suppose, if you want to look at it that way, that this is actually good news. They can't get out onto your pillow.

Now, I need to get the vacuum cleaner and see just how much crap there is in there. Ugh.

Remind me to tell you about the other miserable discovery that shouldn't have been one were I not trying not to see the obvious.


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