Thursday, May 6, 2010

There's a Mouse in the House

Every morning when he comes down to make his oatmeal and discovers my feces, which resemble enlarged caraway seeds, on the kitchen counter, he growls, “You little motherfucker.” And you should have heard him on Monday morning, when I got up onto the dining room table, which the missus had thought unimpregnable, and feasted on one of the 39-cent avocadoes he’d brought home from Aldi! I’m not supposed to enjoy guacamole as much as the next fellow? And it’s hardly as though I ate the whole thing; I only ate a sort of crater into it; probably five-sixths of it was left. But he had to make a big display of binning the whole thing. I wish some of his friends to whom he’s always talking about his own great frugality had been there to see it!

He doesn’t have a garbage disposal, and ever since he moved in he’d been tossing his garbage into an open white plastic bag under the sink. Well, that was really bright! Why didn’t he just order a big sign for the front window: Welcome, Vermin. 24-Hour Buffet. He finally started putting his garbage in a closed cylindrical oatmeal container when he noticed how prolifically I’ve been defecating down there.

After the missus moved out last month, it took him a while to get through his head that any crumb on the counter, any morsel left in a pan or pot, was an irresistible invitation to me. He began tidying up after himself a lot more vigilantly, but you’d be surprised how little it takes to keep me going. A fleck of oatmeal? A grain of rice? Bon appetit!

I remember with delight the little prank I pulled on him and the missus late last summer. I hoarded in her wellingtons bits of dog food I stole from her greyhound’s bowl. When she discovered my stash, she was sure Hubby, who prides himself on his…unusual sense of humor, was up to another of his wacky shenanigans. She told him over dinner about having started to put on her wellies, only to discover them full of dry dog food, and interpreted his delighted giggling as self-betrayal. He had to do some fancy talking to convince her of his innocence. I almost shat myself laughing. Well, I actually did.

It’s what we do.

He’s been looking into getting a housemate. I’ve heard him say he wants one just slightly more than testicular cancer, but that he needs the money, now that the rent from the house in the UK comes no longer. He clearly didn’t share the missus’s adoration of the greyhound, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed he won’t rent to a cat-lover. I’m hoping he’ll remember how the basement reeked of kitty urine when he first moved in.

The other day I heard him talking abut mousetraps, and his saying he didn’t want a traditional one. “The poor little bastard’s just trying to survive like everyone else,” he said. I gather whoever he was talking to urged him to get a humane mouse trip, but having seen what I’ve seen of the guy, I can’t picture it. It pains him to spend money. This is a guy who drives 35 miles to the nearest Trader Joe’s, in Danbury, Connecticut, and spends $23, a guy who secretly prides himself on having spent less on clothing since he and the missus got back from Thailand in 2006 than his pal James spent on a pair of shoes this week. One of New York’s Great Cheapskates.

Last night, after having gotten the idea on line, he tried to capture me by balancing a cardboard tube with peanut butter at one end over his orange bucket from Home Depot. Let’s just say the peanut butter — from Trader Joe’s! — was delicious, and that I am still at large.

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