The columnist stands far away from the mice

Remember that little nursery rhyme about the Farmer in the Dell?

It was a cutsey sing-song about how the farmer takes a wife, who takes a cow, who takes, um, a pig or something and eventually, the whimsical childhood ditty winds all the way down reveal a mouse who takes the cheese which, ultimately, stands alone.


As a child, I guess I never really understood the fundamental point of the cheese standing alone … that is, until a few weeks ago.

Because that’s when it became patently clear to this more-than-middle-aged woman precisely how and why the cheese does indeed stand alone. And the reason is: the mouse is too smart to take the bait.

This I discovered as a happy clan of mice danced around the bits of cheese, gobs of peanut butter and um, I think, some slices of $85-an-ounce goose liver pate which my husband had so delicately placed inside the mousetraps he’d dotted our camper with sometime back in November – in a vain attempt to keep mice (et al) from taking up residence within our formerly happy place.

Happy it was not on that cold spring morning, my friends.

Yes, ’twas the first part of April when all through the camper Mice were playing and laughing, shoot, I think I even saw one scamper.

In fact, the rascally rodents were literally frolicking inside our now decidedly-grumpy place as we flung open the door of the camper to open it for the 2013 season and found the vermin which methodically, effectively and with full malice, erased the collective grin from three Kimerer camper-er countenances.

Major, major hmpf.

True, we’ve been down this tiny road before it was not the first time I’d found raisin-esque deposits inside my skillet, pillowcase, couch cushions, sink and well, you get the idea.

Let me tell you something, folks: it is one thing to open your camper on the first day of the season and see evidence of small, furry, long-tailed intruders having crashed there during the cold of winter and fled at the sound of incoming humans.

But, it is something else entirely to witness them gleefully playing Parcheesi at your kitchen table.

“Hey, could you shut that? It’s still a little chilly out there,” said non-Mickey Mouse.

Chimed in non-Minnie with a tiny smile, “Yes, if you wouldn’t mind. And, we’re running low on snacks; could you be a dear and just set some nacho crumbs there on counter?”

Folks, there’s just not a hmpf big enough for a germ-o-phobe such as yours truly to express my disgust at the vision which would become my nightmare for a solid week.

And just like that, I posted this ad e-Bay:

“Selling two-year-old camper. Holds great memories and sleeps up to 10. Like new; except for nooks, crannies, corners and other various spots chewed through, soiled upon and mocked by various members of local rodent community. All reasonable offers considered. And some non-reasonable ones. Heck, buy me some Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards and we’ll call it even.”

Kerry deleted it before I even got one bing.

Needless to say, my hands are now sans that layer of epidermis which is generally considered helpful.

Yep, I bought every last bottle of cleaning solution on the shelf at the nearest market and proceeded to douse the place in germ-eradicating effort with a concoction of anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-mouse poo cleansers so potent in that, of course, it made me sick. A small mushroom cloud still faintly hangs over the slide-out.

Hmpf / sigh.

Old buddy Fred Callahan of Kinsman didn’t realize I am still in mourning for my dead layer of skin and olfactory senses. When he heard of our unsightly stow-aways, he glibly chirped, “You don’t really want to hang out in a place that even mice wouldn’t live in, now do you? It’s a sign of a desirable destination; consider it a compliment.”

Fred is dead to me.

Unlike the pests who continue to try to edge us out of our very own newly-disinfected and soon-to-become-happy-again place.

Forget it, non-Mickey and Minnie – unless you plan to sanitize yourselves and start forking over rent, you are formally on eviction notice. This camper’s not big enough for the – I don’t know – 48 of us?

Shudder / hmpf.

Better watch those cute little whiskers, because it is on

Kimerer is a camper enthusiast – but only within reason. Contact her with ways to shoo away unwanted houseguests at