Monday, April 25, 2011

Mack: The Mice That Ate My Car

Thanks to Mack Hall for letting me publish this.

He writes a column for the Beaumont Enterprise.

The Mice That Ate My Car
The micezillas are eating my car.
Why do mice eat the wiring of some makes of cars but, apparently, not of others?  My mother's pickup, made by Brand X, has lived in the country for years, and has yet to host the first mouse.  My car, on the other paw, Brand Y, is like a cruise-ship buffet for the better class of rural rodentia.
This is probably because of man-made global warming and so is your fault for not using squiggly light bulbs. 
The folks at the dealership are kind and patient and helpful, but lately they look from the gnawed wiring to me and then back to the gnawed wiring, all with profound disappointment, not unlike my parents when they saw the algebra grade on my report card.
The latest manifestation of rats in the wiring was the failure of my right-turn signal.  I was quite worried about not having a right-turn signal, not only because I did not want a ticket but because of the safety issue.  Further, I felt that good people would stare and point, and dismiss me as unworthy of civilized company because I wasn't deploying the signal for right turns.  I needn't have worried; in East Texas folks almost never use turn signals at all.  Indeed, the safe driver who signals for a turn is an eccentric.
But I drove the afflicted vehicle for a while because I could not endure the guilt-making of the guys at the shop.  No sidewalk yellevangelist appears to be as despairing of your soul as a quiet, mournful service writer who really wants the best for you but can only shake his head at your miserable failure to control your rats.  A yellevangelist loudly demands "How's your soul, sinner!?" A service writer quietly and sympathetically asks "Do you know how much a new wiring harness will cost you?"
Were mice one of the plagues of Egypt? Was the harness of Pharaoh's custom-built chariot cursed with critters?   "So let it be bitten; so let it not run."
I have sewn the ground beneath my car with rat poison, but anything that feasts on wiring laughs scornfully at poison.  Someone suggested mothballs, which seems illogical since the wiring is not being eaten with moths.  I placed sticky traps, which stuck nothing.  After a water moccasin beat itself to death with a shovel (because, PETA knows, I would never, ever wish harm to one of our reptilian co-inhabitants of Gaia, the Water Planet) I respectfully flung its corpse underneath the car as a critter-deterrent.
If I had placed the snake on the windshield it would have been a windshield viper.
And yet the mice cometh and they goeth, and they doeth so in insolence.
In my despair I turned my hopes to a higher power, the internet, which sayeth unto us that some new wiring is coated with soy-based insulation which rats and mice find a part of this complete, nutritious breakfast.  Hey, it was on the internet, so it must be true, right?
The 'net says that I should spread forth rat poison, mothballs, and sticky traps, which I had already done, and avoid soy-based wiring harnesses.  The dead snake was my idea; I'm thinking of getting a patent for it.  As for the putative soy-based insulation, is there anyone who ever asked a car salesman about the nutritional quality of the wiring harness?  Is the battery labeled for its calorie count?  Are cruise controls fattening?
I'm at my rats' end in the matter of the micezillas, and am definitely open to suggestion.
In the meantime, as you go to sleep tonight, remember that The Mice of the Baskervilles might be coming for your car in the hours of darkness when evil is exalted.  They might even be under your bed, lurking there, grinning, with glowing green eyes, waiting to feast upon your soy-based flesh, waiting, waiting, waiting….

...people say: "He grows more absurd every year!"
Which isn't true, because I was absurd from the very beginning.  Thanks be to God.
-- Giovanni Guareschi

Published Photographer for Hire.

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