I get two types of reactions from this little tale. People are either completely grossed out and demand I get therapy, or they laugh uproariously. Interestingly, the reaction is pretty gender neutral.

OK, fine.

It seems real nasty to flick the switch and grind up the mouse. It's also a little gross, but the garbage disposal doesn't stink and the pipes still flow fine. The thing to remember is that I already had the traps and the poison, so the decision to kill the mouse was already made. If I'm too squeamish to pull the trigger, then I shouldn't have gotten the traps and the poison. Anything else is hypocrisy. Killing is killing, directly or indirectly.

Strangely, the biggest adjustment (other than the commute) to living out in the boons is the immediacy of death. I kill weeds and bugs and rodents. A robin struck my picture window and broke his neck. I looked out the window and saw the life drain out of its eyes. Spooky. A suburban brat like me isn't used to that. Manicured lawns, racial harmonious (read: pretty much all-white) neighborhoods, shuttle service to soccer or shopping (thanks mom!), that was what I grew up with. I have still, at age 34, yet to see a dead human body. Animals died as road kill. We never had any pets bigger than gerbils, but other people's cats and dogs went to the back room at the vets when they got too old and sick. Death is not part of suburbia. At least not typically so, though I write this a day after two nuts in a Colorado suburb attacked their school. That was an aberration, not a way of life.

Reality is not suburbia. Things die. Beef comes from large docile animals that say "Moo", not from a butcher’s shop, all wrapped in plastic. We sometime get too removed from reality when we live in undifferentiated suburban cul-de-sacs. Reality is that we have impact on the environment and the environment has impact on us. I don't care much for death of any kind, but--not to be too trite--it is part of life.

The mouse died quickly and cleanly. Poison would have taken longer. Mouse traps sometimes only incapacitate and maim. "Humane" ("Mousemane"?") traps just release them on the outside, and they find their way back in.

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