Monday, September 14, 2009

An Unwelcome Passenger

I think the smell is starting to dissipate, or is it only wishful thinking? It is getting a little cold to ride in the car with the windows down, and I can only hold my breath for so long. I should probably back up a bit.


In July, I noticed a smell in my car, particularly when the air conditioner was running. I knew what it was because my mom had the same smell several years ago. It's a mix of gamy, earthy and incontinence. I was pretty sure a mouse was living somewhere in my car. My mom's mouse was in the engine, so I popped the hood and had a look around, but I didn't see anything that looked remotely mouse related. A few days later I found some paper napkins in my glove compartment had been chewed and there were a few mouse poops stuck to my lint roller. At that point, I had a thorough look through the interior of the car, but saw nothing amiss.


Fast forward to the end of August. My clothes dryer was broken and awaiting service. Every time I hung laundry on the line... without fail... didn't matter how sunny it was... didn't matter what the forecast was, it would rain before it was dry. I gave in and took a basket of wet laundry to the laundromat to dry it. I popped it in the dryer, fed it quarters and headed to the school for 45 minutes to prepare for some volunteer work I do there.


Once my work and drying time was up, I walked out of the school to my car and saw I had a flat tire. I called Sweetie, who was working at home, with this multiple choice quiz...

a. Did he want to come change my tire?
b. Should I call AAA?
c. Did he want to come down with the compressor to blow it up and change it at home?

He chose, d. None of the above. He would come down with the compressor, but I would change the tire. While that sounds reasonable now, I wasn't in a reasonable mood then, and he did fail to mention that he would help me. While I waited the 15 minutes for him to drive to the school, my mood deteriorated, as did the weather. It was sunny and cloudless when I called him. It gradually got gray, then black and the wind started to blow. As he pulled in, random, giant rain splats were hitting the pavement. By the time, we hooked up the compressor, the skies had opened up. I was madder than a wet hen, and when the tire was inflated, I looked like one too.

I hurried to the laundromat and grabbed the clothes from the dryer which had long since stopped. I noticed that one of my nice Garnet Hill, monogrammed white bath sheets was missing. It had been stolen from the dryer. My town is not a hot bed of crime. Nothing happens here. People who do drugs, do them quietly in their homes; nobody robs, kills or assaults, but there was a bath towel burglar running amok. They're lucky I didn't catch them in the act or I might have bludgeoned them with my box of Bounce. I could have used a towel about then as I was standing there dripping over my dry clothes. And why couldn't they have stolen one of the faded, worn JC Penney towels? But I digress...


I rushed home before my tire deflated, and started my lesson in tire changing. When I got the spare tire out of the back, there it was... the beginnings of a mouse nest and lots of little mouse leavings. I cleaned everything up and put a box of mouse poison where the starter nest had been. It wasn't long before the smell changed. This time, it was clearly decomposition. It was my hope that the unwelcome inhabitant would leave the car before his or her demise, but I wasn't so lucky. So far, my searches have not turned up a body, and I will probably have to wait until it's nothing but dust before the smell disappears completely. Has anyone else had an experience with mice in their car? Misery does love company.

7 comments:

Wonderful said...

Oh my! Thankfully I've never had that happen to me, but I did have a tiny spider try to make a web in my car while I was driving. Believe me, it wasn't fun, but I eventually smushed him with a napkin I had.

~Molly~ said...

Not living for extended periods, no. Hubby left the window down in his car one night. Rats got in and chewed one of the back seatbelts nearly in half. We can't use that car as a family now because we have three kids. GRRRR. We haven't priced seatbelt replacements yet.

Sorry you're still smelly, that's not fun.

Molly

Lorilee said...

ICK! My grandmother had a mouse die in her car! My Dad couldn't find it to remove it. It smelled quite rank! Lucky for her, she didn't have to drove very often!
Blessings,
Lorilee

Aunt Becky said...

Blech. Hope that you uncover the body soon.

Tammie said...

i know the whole main point of this is the mouse, but i cant get over the fact that someone stole your Garnet Hill towel. I would have been BEYOND mad.

i have no advice about the mouse though.

Liz said...

I didn't have a mouse, I had a squirrel. Nasty little sucker too! While he lived under the hood he chewed through the covering to just about every electrical wire. They all had to be replaced after the tow truck took the car in.

My dad locked his cat in his car for three days. Fortunately, the cat survived. Unfortunately the back seat didn't...

Blogger Grrl said...

Betts,

Are you going to do NaBloWriMo with us again?

http://nablowrimo.blogspot.com/2009/09/this-year.html

Amy

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