The Gander is going to the dentist this morning so he’s dropping off the youngest of his three kids for some babysitting. Not long ago he went to the dentist for the first time in eight years where he discovered that he needs eleven fillings. I’m not sure how many he’s getting done today. The eleven fillings are the result of an previously undiagnosed tooth grinding problem, which sort of makes sense because how would you know you’re grinding your teeth at night if you don’t go to the dentist for a checkup.
Not that I’m one to offer advice in this area. I don’t think I’ve been to the dentist in a similar amount of time.
The reason I bring him up is that we were over at his house for dinner on Sunday night when he and his wife told us of their recent mouse experience. Long time readers will know that we are familiar with rats and mice at Dadding It, largely because we live with Tony Soprano the cat who likes to bring his kills into the house. So, in a slightly perverse sense, I like to know that other people are copping it as well. What follows is their experience more or less as they told it.
Mr and Mrs Gander had noticed a spike in mouse activity at their house. Initially they discovered one hanging around their compost bin in the kitchen. There were scurryings and other tell tale signs. Traps were set and snapped in the dead of night. They got the kids to cut the heads off the dead mice and place them on sharp sticks around the outside of the house to scare other mice away. Alright, I made up that bit. They did catch a few in the traps though.
There followed a lull in activity. The Ganders were confident that their vermin problem had been solved.
A week or so later Mrs Gander was at home with the kids. She’d unpacked the dishwasher and was was about to load it with dirty dishes when she noticed some brown sludge nestled next to the bottom of the door seal.
The sludge had hair.
The sludge had a tail.
Somehow a Maisy Mouse had got into the dishwasher. Hot water, Finish and an Intensive Pot Scrub cycle had done the rest.
At this point in their retelling of the story I helpfully suggested that given the degree of decomposition of the corpse the mouse had probably been in the machine for a long time, maybe a week or more. My imagination kicked in. In my mind I saw a CSI style lab montage where beakers are being filled, various gases are expressed into testing chambers and white suited technicians are monitoring readouts on the mass spectrometer. I could see a range of different brands of dishwashers into which the technicians were placing dead mice and then standing back with a clipboard as they determined how many cycles a Meile as opposed to a Fisher and Paykal took to fully dissolve a mouse tail.
I looked over at Mrs Gander, she had progressively become whiter as the story unfolded and was now clutching her stomach. “You know, I have have been feeling a bit sick this week,” she whispered, her eyes glazing over slightly. I back peddled and said that I thought that the temperature inside a dishwasher was probably hot enough to kill any germs or bacteria. I didn’t see her mouth move but heard her say, “But you can’t be sure, no one can.”
What can we learn from this tale. I don’t know about you, but when I next check the toaster for dvd’s I’ll check the dishwasher for mice. I’m also going to make an appointment at the dentist.