Man and machine, reacting as one, devouring the thin black ribbon of winding road that lay ahead.
A flash of uncertainty...wondering what my nemesis had in store for me next. Then the quiet confidence of my inner voice reminded me of a failed poisoning attempt, and machete wielding assassins that lay in my wake, unsuccessful in dismaying me from my mission.
Suddenly, another voice, familiar and welcome, yet strangely the tone seemed somehow annoyed. "Doug, Doug!" Not James. The road ahead faded and I found myself awakened in a darkened room, the first hint of daybreak creeping around window blinds.
"Marvin the cat has something cornered in the bathroom...a mouse...or bat...can't you hear that squeaking noise?" I listened intently, desperate to "not hear" anything and get back to my high performance ride and a night of danger and intrigue protecting "Queen and Country," but alas it was not to be. What I did hear was our teenage daughter Jessie stir, shuffle and sleepily ask Marvin to "scoot" as she made her way to the bathroom. Next came a scream and running footsteps! "A mouse just ran across my foot and into my room! OMG! OMG! Find him! Get him out!" Making my way to her room I wisely asked if she could describe him. "Any distinguishing features?" She was having trouble finding the humour in my request. "Little and grey and creeeeeeeepy," she wailed. "I think he was just a baby and probably hurt by Marvin's teeth and claws." At this point I'm thinking that this is mainly a recovery mission, and Brenda agreed, handing me just a mere napkin to retrieve him with.
I lay prone on the floor peering under Jessie's bed (the mouse's last known whereabouts). Gently probing through the typical teenage debris, when suddenly a flash of grey from within a discarded chip bag, and he was up and running right for me. Since mice are not normally man eaters, I can only assume that he was racing toward more sanctuary, and since he was grey, I'm sure the grey head before him seemed like perfect cover! A scuffle ensued, profanity's exclaimed, and mouse and man abruptly parted ways.
This was no injured baby mouse! This was a full grown adult male in his prime, full of vigor and fury! Not wanting to face the beast in an all out "him or me" confrontation, I decided to beat him at his own game, the very reason that he invaded our home, his quest for food. We generally keep a mouse trap set in the cold room this time of year, a kind of an early warning sentinel should our perimeter be breached (it seems to be the point of entry for the occasional interloper). But this being early in the year, and the creature so brazen as to make his way to the sleeping quarters of our troops, I decided a multi-pronged "shock and awe" retaliation best suited the circumstances.
I carefully planted the one trap from the cold room in Jessie's room, baited it with a piece of chewy good candy, and set off to the hardware store to buy more of the same. I guess the exertion of his struggles with "Marvin the Mouser," and his brief meeting with me under the bed, made this little fellow a bit peckish, because upon my return from the hardware store, there he was, bug-eyed and quite dead in the trap I had just set! A quick and decisive victory was mine!
Now I admit that this adventure pales next to anything that Ian Fleming could dream up in a book, or that I could conger up in a lucid dream, but it was still man and machine against a villain. Reality had me battling a little grey mouse with a $2 trap, while my dreams usually have me pitted against a super villain in a $190,000 Aston Martin. I suppose the theory is the same. "Shaken, not stirred? Yes, of course, as you wish, Mr. Moreau."