Skip to My Loo

Earlier this week, I visited a distribution center in Boise. After a meeting in a makeshift boardroom and before a tour of the warehouse, I made a quick visit to the washroom. The men’s washroom was pretty basic but had all the necessities, including soap, a roll of paper towels and a Rubbermaid waste basket. The women’s washroom was an upgrade with an actual towel dispenser and a waste basket in blue and cream, with lilies and a lid. Oh, and there was also a mouse trap, indiscreetly placed just inside the door.

It startled me to see it and it startled me to see that it was just like the old, very crude, very nasty wooden snap traps they had when we were kids. Did people still use those things? Fear is indeed the parent of cruelty. The only difference that I could see with this variant is that the snap bar was at a 90-degree angle instead of 180 degrees. This way, I imagine, it closes much faster, so that the kill is quicker and, in a perverse sort of way, more humane after all.

Five little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way.
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
Four little mice go scampering back.

What would they do with the little nibbler if they actually caught it?

Understand that this is not some dingy by the docks brick warehouse with rats and drug deals going down after dark. This is a modern, factory-built construct with bright lights, temperature controls, phone and computer hook-ups, slick if not swanky offices, a lounge, and a fully equipped kitchenette. It is only normal then that the casual visitor would be surprised to find this low-lying, low-tech terminator underfoot. Of course, there are quiet corners and half-eaten lunches left in open trash cans, so this Small Office branch might well be open for an after-hour nosh.

The trap business left me thinking. What would they do with the little nibbler if they actually caught it? I imagine the sight of a dead… uhh… disconnected mouse – a snout here, a tuft there – would be more horrifying than a live one and would elicit higher decibel screams. It could be, however, that the trap has been there for some time, almost as a deterrent, while the clever mouse, its whiskers quavering at the insult of it all, is having nothing to do with the nasty snapadoodle. And, I wondered, if there were to be a breach in security, would sitting put you in a compromising position with no defense or escape possible?

Finally, you have to ask yourself why there is the trap in the women’s washroom only. Is that where they found the droppings? Did one inconvenienced and shaken female patron see a furry little bugger disappearing behind the toilet? Were the men just more willing to look the other way or, in the words of writer and clergyman Ralph Connor, would they be more the cowards but for the shame of it?

I wondered about all these things with one eye scanning the obvious hiding spots.

Four little mice came out to play
Gathering crumbs along the way.
Out came pussycat sleek and fat
Three little mice go scampering back.

2 thoughts on “Skip to My Loo”

  1. Being a warehouse and all, the company did not invest in spring-loaded self-closing doors for the bathrooms. So the doors were ajar. The mousetrap right near the opening was plainly visible. The object of the trap’s affection was not.

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