I grew up in Michigan, and lived in various areas in Western Michigan until I was 21. It’s an odd pocket of the country, it runs on it’s own time and has it’s own customs. It seems that many of the inhabitants think that they are very worldly, more often than not, they aren’t..at all. It is still very small town, even as it grows. This is still where most of my oldest friends live, those that I grew up with. People that I cherish. People that have witnessed some of my greatest moments, and certainly the most embarrassing and ridiculous moments as well. We loved to go camping, see concerts, drink large amounts of cheap beer, and just hang out. We also did the occasional shrew hunting.
As we got a little older, many started to go off to college or develop more adult relationships.(Like getting married or having kids or anything that didn’t involve drinking large amounts of cheap beer). Some became too cool for our low brow humor and immense beer drinking. But our core group held on, it just got smaller. Mike was one of the core group. One night, when the rest of the crew was busy working on becoming adults, Mike invited me over to his newly rented house in the country to drink some beer. He had had gone to the store to buy some of the new on the market Molson Ice beer. This was seriously some fancy beer for us and held great appeal as it had an alcohol content of 5.6%. (Higher than our usual Bud Light which comes in at 4.2%).
He showed me around his new house and we settled in the kitchen to chat and drink our fancy new beer. Mike mentioned that he had seen some evidence of mice and we discussed using traps to catch them. However, the more beer we drank, the more we realized that killing those poor mice was just wrong. What had they done to deserve to be killed? After all, it was he who moved out to their house. It would be wrong to kill them in traps, cruel. We needed to find a better way, a safer way, a more humane way to get the mice out of the house.
We looked around for mouse catching gear and managed to find the right equipment. After a few more beers we were fully decked out in baseball caps, boots, and baseball gloves to protect our hands from any of the more ferocious mice. We devised a fool proof plan. We placed a paper plate with a healthy portion of peanut butter on it onto the floor. I then climbed up on to the kitchen counter and held a trash can upside down, waiting for the moment that the mouse came for the peanut butter. Mike, the pillar of sobriety thought I was being a bit of a girl about the situation.
“Why are you sitting on the counter? Are you afraid of a little mouse? Said Mike, in his I am too cool for this voice. Envision the cool guy from any 80’s movie, and that was Mike.
“Uh, yeah, Duh. I don’t want that mouse to run up my leg or something, ” I said, sounding as though I were an expert on such things. I was, after all, attending Community College and thus very learned.
While we were deep in conversation about mouse behavior and the best options for protection against said mouse, the mouse sauntered into the kitchen. Mike jumped up into the air like Bruce Jenner jumping a track hurdle and at the same time he let out a scream like Caitlin Jenner. He ended up sitting beside me on the kitchen counter.
“Oh My God! That’s not a mouse, look at it’s nose! It must be a shrew or something!” Mike screamed. (Yes, he did scream, just like a girl in a horror movie.)
I agreed it did look different than the mice I had seen in the past. It’s nose was elongated. It must be something more exotic than a mouse, and a shrew seemed reasonable. We drank some more beer to prepare for the upcoming battle.
Now, completely hammered with both of us sitting on the counter top, we waited for the deadly shrew. Because I am sure everyone knows that a shrew problem is much more serious that a mere mouse problem.
He calmly walked to the peanut butter and had a little snack. We expertly brought the garbage can over top of him, we had him trapped! We both screamed like little girls!!
“We caught the shrew, we caught the shrew!!!” We both squealed.
We sat there for a while, drinking a beer and trying to decide what we were supposed to do with the deadly shrew now that we had captured him.
After a few more beers, and lots of deep thinking we came up with a plan. We scooped him up in to the trash can, walked down the street and dropped him off at the neighbor’s house. Yep, that was our grand plan for taking care of the deadly shrew. We then went back to the house to have a Molson Ice to celebrate the successful hunt. Worldly, wise and very Michigan.