The NEW! Victor® Multi-Kill™ Electronic Mouse Trap

My family & I live in a very old house. And like many old houses, we have mice. When we first moved in, we would occasionally hear them in the walls. Chewing, scurrying, doing their mousey business. For the most part we ignored them. They kept inside the walls, we kept outside, and never our worlds would meet.

Several months ago, I received an email out of the blue. It was from a gentleman who works for Victor Pest. Victor Pest is the manufacturer of the mousetraps you see everywhere, the ones emblazoned w/ the big V logo w/ the mouse head.

Snap traps, glue traps, they make them all. Anyway, “Mr. Victor” said he’d been reading & enjoying my blog, and as I have a decidedly ‘country living’ angle – along with a love of products, was wondering whether I’d be interested in reviewing the NEW! Victor® Multi-Kill™ Electronic Mouse Trap. As it just so happened, a night or two before receiving this email I’d been awakened by some especially loud gnawing coming from the corner of our bedroom ceiling. So w/out hesitation, I said YES.

Within a couple weeks, my mousetrap arrived. Unfortunately, instead of sending it to my PO Box, Mr. Victor sent the package directly to my house. Where it was signed for by my older daughter, who brought the box in and immediately opened it, because that is what 10 year olds do. The next thing I know, my daughter is in hysterics, demanding to know why I am trying to electrocute rodents. I had to promise her I would never EVER use the trap. I emailed Mr. Victor the next day to explain. He very graciously said he understood. I stuck the box in the closet and promptly forgot about it.

Until two weeks ago. My husband & I were watching a movie. It was late. I was half-asleep on the couch when suddenly John LEAPED UP and dashed to the corner. He grabbed the small hatchet we keep to make kindling. I thought he’d lost his mind until he shouted in a half-whisper. “I just saw a mouse.” Mickey never saw it coming.

We thought it was a fluke, this mouse. We do have a parrot – not the tidiest eater, as well as hamsters and guinea pigs. And our house isn’t exactly spotless. My hatred of cleaning in combination with all the work we’ve been doing has pretty much ensured a layer of debris everywhere. But this was the first actual mouse we had seen (apart from a dead one in the toilet) and we figured it’d be the last. HAH!

The next day I noticed a mouse turd on the counter. I was aghast. I may not be a clean freak, but the kitchen? That’s different. I am a mother, I am a licensed commercial baker; I do have STANDARDS. I called my husband over immediately. We assessed the area, discovering more droppings in the back corner. I fetched that box from the closet faster than you can say U R TOAST.

The Victor Electronic Mousetrap looks like a plastic lunchbox, the kind you see in black & white photographs of men perched 40 stories above New York.

But instead of sandwiches, it houses metal plating and electronics.  A small dual staircase in the back leads rodents to the upper chamber. You bait the end with something – we used peanut butter – and the mouse enters to get a free snack. But at what cost! As soon as it reaches the end, the metal plate beneath its feet fires, zapping Mickey to kingdom come. The floor then drops, dumping the body into a collection chamber below. The plate flips back up, ready to work again. Its ingenious design is essentially foolproof. As long as it’s baited and has working batteries, the Victor Electronic Mousetrap is a killing machine.

Within two weeks, we caught 11 mice. Typically 2 at a time, and always in the same combination: one large brown mouse, about the size of a gerbil, and a tiny gray one. Were they working the kitchen as teamed pairs? Who knows? But after catching 5 sets like this – they sure seemed to be. The only odd man, another small gray, was odd in more than one respect. Most remarkably, he was still alive! I heard the telltale zap and came running into the kitchen. The day was rainy and before I trekked out to the yard, I wanted to make sure I hadn’t been hearing things. I peeked into the chamber and two bright eyes peered back at me. YIKES! I closed the box quickly and grabbed my shoes. Instead of tossing the little lifeless body into the pile of yard waste with the others, I hiked further back into the woods. When I was a decent distance from the house, I stooped down in the tall grass and let him go. He was alive, but obviously stunned. I had to tap the container to get him out. He walked awkwardly and when he looked up at me, his black eyes shone w/ hatred.

That was the last mouse we caught. The turds have magically disappeared. No more scurrying noises from the walls. In my heart I know I’m not a bad person, but I still see those two eyes looking up from the grass, and I feel bad. Perhaps the survivor has warned his comrades. Maybe they fled before they too fell. I’d like to think so, at least. But just to make certain, the trap’s still on.

Grease stains, Ice cream cones and Walmart – Oh MY.

A couple months ago, I was in a pickle.  I’d put a pair of pants up for sale on eBay before noticing they had a subtle grease spot on one of the legs.  What can I say, I’VE BEEN DISTRACTED.  As luck would have it, the pants sold and I was left in a quandary.  I couldn’t sell misrepresented merchandise, but I didn’t want to forgo the sale if I could help it.  So I looked online, searching for a sure-fire way to get that grease out.  Trust me when I say there are a lot of questionable suggestions out there.  Everything from talcum powder to WD-40 to Cheez Whiz is supposed to remove grease.  But I needed foolproof.  I didn’t have time to spare, and I didn’t want to further damage the pants in the process.  Several websites spoke glowingly of a product I’d never heard of before.

Dawn Power Dissolver.

Dawn Power Dissolver is a spray cleaner made to remove caked-on crap from dishes, but people online raved about it taking grease off ovens and more importantly, OUT OF CLOTHES.  I wasn’t optimistic, but figured it was worth a shot.  It wasn’t expensive.  And if it worked…  OOooh!!  So I googled the stuff, trying to find someplace to buy it.  The only store w/in miles?  Walmart.

I don’t normally shop at Walmart.  Apart from what it’s done to local economies, I hate the parking lot.  Nowhere else on earth (apart from Christmas Tree Shops) are pedestrians put at greater risk.  But I needed THAT SPRAY.  I told myself I’d just be quick – in and out, then home.  But being at the Walmart here (versus the old one in Philly) was sort of a novel experience.  Whereas the Philly Walmart offers rock-bottom prices in filthy surroundings with hordes of half-dressed shoppers, the store here is ginormous.  It’s new and super clean.  And, perhaps b/c of the cooler climate, the clientele here wear more clothes.  I may hate Walmart, but I love bargains.  So after I’d picked up a bottle of spray, I got a cart and tooled around the NASCAR-sized arena.  I bought a new mop.  Some hamburger buns.  And then I remembered my older daughter wanted ice cream cones.  She’d been asking for them for a week, I’d kept forgetting.  I found them, helpfully located at the end of the frozen foods aisle.  They had several boxes, I reached for some at eye-height, feeling joyful as I put those Joy Cones into the cart and proceeded to checkout.

I returned home to launder the pants.  The Dawn Power Dissolver worked WONDERS! removing the grease stain completely w/ no ill effects whatsoever.  My daughter enjoyed her ice cream cones, whilst I mopped happily and my husband grilled burgers for our buns.  We all sang Kumbayah and .. and… AND!

The first part of my story is completely true.  Dawn Power Dissolver IS the best grease removing spray in the world.  I sprayed it on those pants, waited 10 minutes and then washed them.  The stain came out like magic, I marveled at my good fortune, and everyone was happy.  As for everything else..  ALL LIES.  The mop broke the first time I used it, the burger buns were stale – but the biggest kicker were those cones.

Does this look like the face of a happy child?

She is, after all, holding a box of JOY.  You’d think she’d be a bit thrilled.  But no.  And why?  B/c Walmart and the Joy Cone Company played a terrible trick on me.  Oh yes they did!  And here is the rest of my story.  (ALL TRUE.)

Look at the package.

Pretty, right?  Attractively colored, sure to please.  Placed at eye-height, just where I’d grab it and stick it in my cart.  It’s a box of ice cream cones, for pete’s sake, what the heck could be wrong?!  BUT IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY..

You will see each and every one of those 60 (yes, 60) cones is actually .. smaller than the size of my THUMB.

Here is one of the cones beside our (quite average sized) ice cream scoop.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Although my husband was simply overjoyed by these shrimpy JOY cones, thinking they would restrict our daughters’ consumption of ice cream significantly, my daughters & I were not amused. AT ALL.

Those tiny ice cream cones might look cute, and charming, and if they were sturdy, they indeed might hold something other than the two drops of air inside.  They might even hold – gasp – a spoonful of ice cream!  We could have stood round scooping a good cup or two total of ice cream into all 60, placed them in a bowl or on a tray and eaten the whole lot of them, whilst chuckling heartily at the hilarity of it all, snapping pictures, and wondering when we were going to do it all again.  Instead, when I tried spooning the barest wisp of ice cream into a single one of these cones, it left the damn thing in crumbs.  Each of those petite ice cream cones is a ruse, a mere TEASE.  You cannot get ice cream into any of them, without smashing them into smithereens, unless your ice cream is soup.  Whereas most people would chalk all of this up to experience, WHHHOOOPSIE, I bought some tiny ding-dong cones, MY BAD>, I am not one of them.  REMEMBER?? I am a crazy woman having to sell greasy pants on ebay to get by !!!!!! That dollar or two I spent on that box of worthless ice cream cones – and believe me, they are completely worthless, was TOO FREAKING MUCH.  I do not like being had.  Joy Cones, FOR SHAME.  And here’s an idea for you.

Please tell me what I am supposed to do with the remaining 58 minuscule cones I still have in my possession.  B/c apart from the above, I cannot think of a single thing.