we have a mouse problem at work.

No more than any other large office in central London, I assume. I mean, I don’t think the people working here are any more grubby or less hygenic than any other random selection of office workers. Well, I have my doubts about some people (the fact there needs to be a sign telling people not to use the same cloth used to wash the plates to wash the floor does make mewonder a bout my fellow drones. And then shudder slightly as I eat my brought-from-home soup in my washed-at-work bowl).

But today I watched in awe as someone from “Facilities” (that unknown entity that seems to deal with all your office related woes, from defunct printers, to network-less computers, via, well, a massive rodent problem) came along and brazenly opened up the trap that’s been sitting near to my desk for the last couple of months. No pause to take a deep breath and psyche himself up. No small squeal escaping from his lips as he opens up the trap, in preparation for the worst.

A brave man. A hero, some might say.

When it comes to rodents and other creatures for which you could justifiably use the verb “scurry”, I am, alas, a stereotype. As I write this, even the thought of the little critters is causing me to sit with my legs up on the chair. I’d take my shoes off in order to be more comfortable (and avoid scuff marks – I wasn’t born in a barn), but what if I put my shoes back on at the end of the day only to find some furry little be-tailed beast has decided to make its bed there (more fool him – it’s not so fresh in there)? I’m thirty years old now, I should suscribe to the school of “he’s probably more scared than me” and “it’s much smaller than you, what are you afraid of?” by now.

I once had to lie down for a good half hour cause I thought I saw a mouse in the kitchen. Turns out it was a piece of recently chopped aubergine that had fallen off the worktop. Almost caused a swooning incident of the Jane Austen variety.

But it gives me hope and reassurance that I’m not the only one. A friend’s recent Facebook update advertised the fact that she had been stuck on the sofa for two hours because she was sharing the living room with a spider, and her husband was out. And I think my ex-flatmate (male) would have rather moved home then deal directly with anything that crawled.

So let’s raise a glass to all those brave souls – those hardier folk who have more perspective and can cope so well with these things. And then quickly hand them that same glass so they can do that nifty trick with a postcard to get rid of the 8-legged monster that has been freaking us out. I’m sure it’s looking directly at us.

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