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Friday, December 30, 2005

The Glue Trap






















Do not fucking use these

Jen here.

For those of you who don't like my politics, it's okay; keep reading. Sometimes I post just because I feel the need to write, and now is one of those times.

I just walked in to my apartment about fifteen minutes ago.

I had an average day at work. I have tomorrow off. After work, I was too tired to haul downtown to have a (huge) mudslide at the Continental, so I aimed to go straight home to drop off my laundry and get some milk.

I had two beers at the Bohemian Beer Hall in Astoria, where I caught up with the regulars, read 70 or so pages into the novel I'm trying to get through, and helped two bridge and tunnelers figure out the menu. I was feeling good. After getting back to the apartment and throwing down my messeger bag, I took out my garbage and made ready to drop off my laundry. So far, so good as far as beginnings of long weekends go.

I dropped of said laundry across the street from my place, and hit the bodega next door to the laundromat. Got milk. Didn't win my scratchoff ticket. As I waited for the light, I tore up my lottery ticket and started to throw it in the trash can on the corner.

Then my evening changed.

I heard tires screech as a car dug in to an empty space about 4 cars behind me. Doors slammed, and I heard loud male voices. I ignored them; a sports bar was across the street. As they came up on me from behind, I smelled Too Much Cologne and heard a "bang" noise. Soomething landed in the trash next to me, so hard and so close I almost jumped.

"Hey Mike, whydja bring the book with you? Leave that shit in the car!" I looked up-one of the loud young white guys had an accountant's ledger under their arm. I always suspected that the sports bar ran books. They were very loud and a little scary. "Yo, last time I left it in the car, it got stolen, and Paulie almost killed me!" They crossed the street. Once they were in front of me, I looked in the trash, expecting a bottle.

Instead, I saw two glue traps.

Fresh.

Each one had a mosaic of roaches large and small, flies, and ants stuck to them.

And one small, live, struggling mouse on each one.

My Mom called earlier today. A bat had gotten into the house a few days ago, scaring the crap out of her. She hadn't been able to find it. She discovered it in the middle of the living room today, half dead.

She put it in a shoebox and threw it out, but couldn't bring herself to kill it.

She had seen my stepfather die--awfully and slowly--from crushing in a car accident. And she just couldn't do it. He used to have glue traps around, and my Mom would freak if a mouse was stuck to it that wasn't dead. Now, she does not allow glue traps in the house (we have a cat--at least the little guys have a fighting chance) but she couldn't "have the nightmares" from crushing this poor bat--which was sick/wounded beyond repair--either.

When she called me, I tried to convice her to kill the bat, but to no avail.

As seconds ticked by, I watched the two mice struggle in the cold and the starting-again rain on their traps.

I felt like it would be cowardly to just walk away.

Carefully, I fished the two filthy, hellish glue traps out of the trash. I realized that there was no way I could pull the mice off. I was afraid to touch them, but tried moving them with my foot, bits of lottery ticket, etc. It just made them more stuck.

I couldn't watch them twitch--to wait to die, by freezing or rats or bugs or starvation.

I put the two traps on the sidewalk, after prying the sticky corners off of my fingers.

I was wearing my Fluevog boots. I just had them polished today.

I crushed the two little mice.

Once quick stomp and twist each, full force.

As I stepped in a muddy curbside puddle to wash off my boots, I didn't care if I got a waterline of grime on the fresh polish.

I felt like crying.

I felt like I had done the right thing.

I looked down again, and each mouse was now a smear of red, white, and purple on the traps.
I re-rinsed my boots in the puddle, and carefully put the traps back in the trash.


I got in and wiped my boots on every welcome mat and strip of industrial slip-proofing on my way up the stairs. I washed my hands three times before I even put my milk away--twice with softsoap and once with dish detergent.

I lit my Chanukkah candles--and a stick of cheapass incense from Ricky's--somehow the whole incident left an almost spiritual stench in my nostrils. How could those guys just toss out two little creatures like that?

I'm not an Animal Rights Freak. But if you're going to kill something, at least don't make it suffer.

I still feel sad over all of this. But at least I can feel better for having acted decisively. I hope I alleviated at least a little tiny bit of suffering somewhere.

posted by Jenonymous @ 12:00:00 AM

12:00:00 AM

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