A Better Mousetrap

"Utah man’s shot at mouse hits roommate."

As a newspaper headline, this one certainly did its job of catching my attention. It wasn't immediately clear, however, whether the victim was the roommate of the man or the mouse. Finding out that and other details required reading the whole article.

Apparently this man spotted a mouse in the pantry of his apartment. His reflexes possibly being faster than his thought processes, he hauled out his gun and shot at the critter. The article didn't specify what type of firearm, but surely anything bigger than a .22 pistol would have been serious overkill.

Not surprisingly—mice are small targets, not to mention quick—he missed. The bullet went on through the wall into the adjoining bathroom, where it hit the man's roommate. In the best tradition of old Western movies, it was a shoulder wound.

The shooter was 27, old enough that one might think his brain would have matured into a certain minimal level of common sense. When he spotted the mouse, then, why didn't he do what any reasonably functional adult would do and simply set a mousetrap?

Well, maybe he didn't own one. Maybe he couldn't find one. Maybe, like so many of us, he had a couple of mousetraps somewhere, probably in the kitchen junk drawer. Amid the clear tape, masking tape, duct tape, scissors, screwdrivers, pliers, odd nails and screws, matchbooks, string, paper clips, rubber bands, bag clips, broken refrigerator magnets, pencil stubs, and nonworking pens, a couple of insignificant mousetraps could easily get lost.

Or maybe he was out of peanut butter to use for bait.

It's also possible that the "small, empty balloons and burnt tin foil" the cops found in the wastebasket had something to do with his decision. To me those items sound like evidence of a children's birthday party where somebody left the potatoes on the grill too long. Since the man was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, however, apparently in the world of law enforcement they are evidence of a different sort of activity.

At least the story had a happy ending for somebody. With one roommate hauled off to the hospital and the other to jail, the mouse could enjoy undisturbed occupancy of the pantry. With plenty of space and plenty of food, it may have even decided to sublet to a couple of roommates. Slower ones, preferably.

After all, if the shooter got his gun back when he was released on bail and came home, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have more than one furry little target to share the risk.

Categories: Wild Things | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “A Better Mousetrap

  1. Frank

    Some people shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.I hope the idiot who you wrote about , won’t get his gun back after getting sprung.

  2. Kathleen

    I’m sure the mouse is hoping the same thing!

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