January 8, 2006

"I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house."

Mouse gets back at man. The house is completely destroyed. The man sounds awfully sadistic, but perhaps you'll be less judgmental knowing that he's very old. (81.) The story is a lot like that one about the squirrel, you know, just about the funniest thing ever on "This American Life."

22 comments:

Palladian said...

It's your worst skwerl nightmare!

Scott Wickstein said...

Being 81 is no excuse for being a sadistic arsehole. Justice is done if you ask me.

Ann said...
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Ann said...
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Jenna said...

Hilarious.

However, Scott, justice was not done.

Losing your home is adequate justice for burning a mouse???

Dexter said...

Doubtful – the whole story. Surely he wasn’t burning leaves immediately adjacent to the house. So how far can a mouse run while on fire (that is, while maintaining open flames) – even if dowsed with an accelerant? Might be one for the myth busters.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, this is a very fishy story. A man is burning leaves very near his house in the middle of a horrible drought? I wonder if he'll get an insurance payment for this -- it sounds like arson.

Jonathan said...

In the past, saboteurs in war released small animals with burning material tied to them into powder magazines. That's why it became common practice to build metal mesh screens into the air vents of magazines.

"iolafby"

Eli Blake said...

Scott:

I have to disagree with you. He was trying to kill a pest. That by itself doesn't qualify one as being a 'sadistic arsehole.'

Mice are a pest, no different than flies, snakes, barn swallows, gophers or mosquitoes.

Yeah, burning it is sort of a weird way to get rid of it, but if you have a handful of burning leaves and then see the mouse in front of you, then it seems like a logical strategy.

And I'm not sure it's any more sadistic than a cat having one claw out and slicing it apart a piece at a time for hours, or people putting poison out that causes the mouse's nervous system to shut down until it is paralyzed and can't breathe, or mousetraps (which don't always kill cleanly, by the way-- I distinctly remember that we had a housemaid, and if she found a mouse that was not yet dead in a mousetrap, she would dump it on the ground, carefully put her shoe right on it and then lean forward with all her weight on that foot.)

I mean, it would be nice if you could just zap it with something and say, 'bang, you're dead,' but that something would be a gun, and the chances are if he had a gun and fired it in a residential area, he'd be arrested.

I only think it qualifies as sadistic if he is doing it for pleasure, or intentionally inflicting more pain or dragging things out more than is necessary to kill it.

But the idea that people just never have a legitimate reason to kill animals, while perhaps quaint, is not realistic.

Dexter said...

Eli,

The expression “taking pleasure in pulling the wings off of flies” comes to mind – sadistic.

Tom T. said...

Those who find justice in this story likely would also enjoy the movie Mouse Hunt.

esk said...

"Yeah, burning it is sort of a weird way to get rid of it, but if you have a handful of burning leaves and then see the mouse in front of you, then it seems like a logical strategy."

You have got to be kidding me. Wouldn't the logical thing be to just realize it outside?

esk said...

I meant to say "release" it outside

PatCA said...

In my own mouse war, they infiltrated my house causing over $1000 in damage by eating the wires in my washing machine which caused it to overflow (three times). We finally had to duct tape every possible opening in the machine and close off every entry into the house, repair the machine (three times) and replace lots of flooring. Big bucks. I called in the bug man and said, have at the little buggers.

jeff said...

Rule #1 when trying to get rid of mice:
Close the door behind you.

Eli Blake said...

Dexter:

re-read this line of my comment:

I only think it qualifies as sadistic if he is doing it for pleasure, or intentionally inflicting more pain or dragging things out more than is necessary to kill it.

Pulling the wings off flies is sadistic. Swatting them with a fly swatter is not.

esk:

Mice come inside, especially in winter. We've always had cats who were pretty good mousers, but if you don't have one then you have to do something. I'm still not convinced he wasn't just trying to get rid of a pest. Clearly not in a way that worked, but if he'd, for example, killed it with the rake would you have a problem with that?

Old Dad said...

A little local flavor. Many rodents in New Mexico carry hanta virus, a very serious and sometimes fatal disease, especially among the elderly.

Dexter said...

eli,

I read your comment the first time. One would generally consider it just as easy to dispatch a mouse with the heel of one's shoe as to carry it outside to burn. I don't think we have to probe to deeply to determine the intent here.

esk said...

Eli - A rake has the "potential" of being much more swift. Throwing it in a fire just seems rather barbaric to me.

(mind you - i would have preferred he just release it)

RogerA said...

Old Dad is on it--Grant County Washington had a fatality from hantavirus last year--moreover, rodentia--especially in New Mexico--carry plague--thats right, good old fashioned plague. The strategy employed seems appropriate at least from a health perspective.

Caveat: I am not one who normally performs mice auta de fes.

Michael said...

See United Novelty v. Daniels (42 So. 2d 395)

Meade said...

Dexter said...
Doubtful – the whole story.