This morning I awoke and went downstairs to check for signs of rodent activity. All seemed in order, so I lifted a roasting tin from the drainer to put it away. A mouse fell out of it, landed on my foot and then shot under the nearby washing machine. I pulled the washing machine out to find its bed.
The mouse was clearly quite settled and had been for some time by the looks of it. It was then that I remembered a key part of the Pest Control man’s monologue:
‘They’re neophobes, you know. Hate anything new, any change. It drives them crazy if you block up any holes or move anything. Sometimes just doing that is enough to make them go’
I decided to radically upset chez mouse in the hope that he would feel so discombobulated he would flounce off.
A small part of me (a part of which I am not proud) hoped the mouse would simply cross the road and take up residence at Eric’s. Eric would be unlikely to hear any rodent noise above the sound of his television and his grumbling. Eric would also be unlikely to put any energy into getting rid of the mouse if he did detect it – as this would leave less energy to emerge from his house like a demented weather clock character every time one of his neighbours misparked.
I thought about breaking up the bed, but then decided I could do something far more disturbing. I added some members of Aurora’s Sylvanian Family to the scene:
I mentioned the rodent neophobe theory in the office. Morag admitted to classic neophobic traits – having joined and quit Facebook within the space of a single afternoon.
Morag then left the office to attend the leaving drinks for Clive at The National Clay Pipe Centre. I seized my chance and:
mixed up all the tops on her flipchart markers
changed the order of her desk drawers
adjusted the height of her chair
Worth a try.