Hunting for mice against the setting of office supplies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2000

Quiet settled over the office, like the deathly silence that proceeds the charge of a cape buffalo on the savanna. There was something in the air, hanging like a noose around the neck of a hero in a cheap western novel. Could it be fear, or opportunity, or could it be the fact that my secretary just thought that the sound she thought was her computer printer could actually be (gasp!) a mouse???

Slowly the great hunter appraised the situation. Grasping tightly to his trusty nine-iron, he slowly parted the morass of books and papers, post-it notes gone awry, file folders and manila envelopes that had mysteriously found a fate worse than death: the gnawing ivory knives of a one-ounce mouse. Carefully,

the great hunter moved with all the grace his corpulent form could muster and there, just behind the monitor was the mouse (the real mouse, not the computer one). His lips glistened with the remains of a Hall's MenthoLyptus cough drop; his beady eyes showed all the effects of the sugar coursing through his system. This was no ordinary mouse: this was definitely a super-charged office mouse.

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With speed belying his size, the hunter whirled into action. Raising his club for war, he looked his prey in the eye, appraised the situation, and chased the furry vermin from his place of hiding. Oh no, he thought, I've miscalculated the beast as he watched his secretary work on Edwin Moses hurdle form and clear the desk and side chairs with the ease of a giraffe picking leaves off a rain tree. The mouse zigged; the hunter zagged; the metal rod of death flashed like the hammer of Thor and …

I'll spare you the gory details. Suffice to say that it only took about an hour to clean up the mess, and from the post-mortem, it looked like the mouse either died of fright or laughed himself into the great beyond.

Eat your heart out, Mr. Hemingway. An office safari offers just as much challenge as a stalk in the jungle, albeit in climate controlled comfort. I am having a difficult time finding a mouse taxidermist, however.