If you give a mouse free room and board…

By Henry Soong

My track record with pets is pretty miserable. Because my parents weren’t fans of keeping animals, I can only base this off a few isolated incidents from my childhood. For example, when I was 6, my pet turtle ran away. I swear I only left him out on the patio to play with my big green turtle sandbox. But after taking my afternoon nap and having a grape and cherry juicebox that really hit the spot, I couldn’t find him anymore. My turtle had disappeared – probably escaping down a manhole to live a teenaged mutant ninja life, I reasoned.

So you can imagine how confused my roommates and I were when we discovered a mouse living in our room this weekend.

It was very untimely to discover a rodent infestation in my room, considering all of Unofficial’s festivities. On his way downstairs to contact maintenance, my roommate gave me the breaking news.

Roommate, somberly: “There’s a mouse in our room.”

Me, facetiously: “We’ve got a mouse in the house?”

Roommate, methodically: “It ran from your room, into the common room, underneath the sofa, into my room and then into my laundry.”

I nodded incredulously and sniffed his breath as we headed for the lobby. This, from the guy who stumbled in at 3 a.m. the night before, handing each of my other two roommates and me a rose before collapsing in bed.

I guess this is divine rodent karma for bad-mouthing the campus squirrels last week. I now have a mouse problem in my room. Eyewitness friends and guests describe it as white-beige-tannish fluffball about “this size!” (hands cupped to the size of, ironically, a computer mouse). There was a brief debate over whether it was rat or mouse, but thanks to Wikipedia, we can definitely conclude it’s too small to qualify as a rat.

We filled out a maintenance request form with the night-shift man. He seemed more preoccupied with keeping intoxicated students from getting to their rooms than with finding mouse traps for our uninvited guest.

Night Man, uninterested: “We don’t have any traps. You’ll have to wait until the morning when maintenance comes. They might know what to do.”

I must say, it must take either enormous confidence or great foresight for a building with more than 700 residents to not have any spare mousetraps for emergencies. In situations such as these, are our landlords placing proper priority on residents? Getting in and out of the dormitory is like escaping a maximum-security prison, while regard toward pest control is a minor afterthought.

It didn’t help that on Unofficial weekend, each resident in the building was allowed to have only one guest stay the night. Everyone’s rooms were filled with guests, leaving my sleeping options rather slim at 4 a.m. So my roommates and our overnight friends camped out on the floor lounge, some of them opting to sit on tabletops to minimize the risk of rabid mouse encounter.

We haven’t seen the mouse since its daring foray into the clothes heap, and given my roommate’s infrequent laundry habits – well, let’s just say the fermenting gym socks could have done the mouse in.

Either way, I’m not too keen on spending too much time in my room until our guest is gone. I’m not entirely sure when or how maintenance will go about finding it; I just hope this can be solved diplomatically.

Mouse, if you’re reading this, I have powerful, powerful friends. Friends with cats. Friends with snakes. Let’s be civil and call it even. I’ve given you your cookies, milk, free room and board. It’s time you mooched off someone else’s floor-strewn pizza crust.

Get out now, or there might be an accident after my afternoon nap and juicebox.

Henry is a freshman in Business. He’s a bit cranky from not getting his sleep and would like some cookies with a glass of milk. Oh, and could he have a twisty straw too?