Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Victor, you're fired
If you've ever dealt with a rodent problem you are intimately familiar with this device. It was invented more than 100 years ago. And believe it or not is still the method preferred by professionals exterminators.
I know because years ago we had discovered mice in our attic.
Actually, there weren't mice, they were tree rats which raises the ick factor logarithmically. One of the screens to the crawl space had come ajar and the rats were entering, climbing up the interior pipes and nesting in the attic. Fortunately we were able to keep this news from my daughters otherwise we would have been forced to leave the house for an expensive stay at a nearby hotel.
The exterminators sealed the hole, set the traps and within a week we were rat-free. They also provided me with a half dozen of the pictured contraptions to set around the house, you know, just in case.
If you've ever tried to set one of these hair-trigger happy bastards up you know it's not that easy. And I'm sure you have the black and blue fingertips to prove it. Perhaps that is what gave birth to the aphorism: Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.
The other day I was working on a script about the notion of better mousetraps (this is why I love what I do for a living) and came across what I believe to be, a better mousetrap. You don't have to buy it. Chances are you have the household items you need to build your very own.
Just ignore the rancid water if you can and admire the Maguyver-like construction.
The mouse, or tree rat, walks up the ramp and leans over to eat the peanut butter rubbed on the glass jar suspended by a common broom handle. The jar spins and the mouse or tree rat, unable to maintain its balance takes a swan dive into the 2 inch pool of water. Lacking the ability to swim or navigate the 90 degree slippery plastic surface, the disease-carrying rodent suffers a long and agonizing watery death.
It doesn't have the beauty of the classic spring loaded Victor.
But what it lacks in aesthetics, it more than makes up for in devilish simplicity.