One fine day at the office, I heard some shrieking going on. This caught my attention. It seemed to be coming from the environs of the break room. I scurried over fast. Odd that I use that word. It just came to mind. I was thinking of the movement of little mice feet skittering across the concrete office floor. It seems apt. Here’s what happened. It was morning break and the coffee was brewing. The smell lured everyone in a certain direction. People were beginning to congregate in the kitchenette for a morning snack with their java. One woman was in a state of jitters while pointing anxiously to the floor. Apparently we had friends in the office that day of the nasty, furry kind. Mice! Eek! Everyone was laughing, but it was no joke. We had to get rid of them. I believe there were two, practically a family. We decided to have a silly little contest to see who could build the best mousetrap. Surely there were a few amateur engineers among us.
I could see people putting their thinking caps on. They seemed to be enjoying the challenge. Within an hour an assortment of devices were lined up on the countertop in the breakroom. One was odder than the other. Who were to be the judges? We decided on the office manager and two executive assistants—an impartial threesome. They were checking out the entrants in the contest and making notes while discussing the options. They voted and selected the most humane mouse trap that would trap but not kill the mice. I concurred as did everyone else standing by. No one wanted to witness an execution, even of a witless inconsequential critter.
The clever solution used only a large bucket, a spoon, and some peanut butter. A dab of peanut butter was placed on the handle of a spoon that was balanced on the countertop with a bucket underneath. When the mouse runs out to get the peanut butter, it would fall into the bucket along with the spoon. Don’t want to keep resetting the trap? The trap creator said try skewering a plastic bottle and positioning it over a bucket so it spins when the mouse runs out to get the peanut butter. The engineer offered an alternative, even simpler. Put some peanut butter on the inside of a glass and prop it up on a nickel. When the mouse tries to get the peanut butter, the glass should fall and trap it inside.
So we had our little contest and a final winner. We didn’t take long to put the device into actual use. We tried the mousetrap within minutes and guess what, it worked. We took the two stricken mice outside and freed them into the field behind the office building. Most everyone joined the judges on the trek. We felt good about it and there was a round of applause. Shortly thereafter, the break room was safe for occupancy once again.