The Butcher of Clinton Street

This past week, we noticed the presence of mice in our basement. In one way, I like mice. They’re cute, plump and furry. I understand why they want to join us. It’s cold outside and there’s not much food. Inside, it’s warm and we have lots of food. They’re just trying to get along. But mice pee and poop indiscriminately, and, if so disposed, will chew the insulation off your wiring and burn your house down.

So they have to go. I use the classic Victor mouse trap, baited with a bit of a Milky Way bar, sweet, sticky, sure. I’ve killed four mice this week, and I feel guilty about every one. It brought to mind my tenure as an executioner at a small advertising agency in Syracuse. Our building was an old one, with established families of mice. Some of my tender hearted co-workers favored the “catch and release” philosophy, but of course the mice were back in the building before they were.

Somehow, it became known that I knew my way around a mouse trap and what bait worked best. Which is how I became known as The Butcher of Clinton Street.

Kihm Butcher

This was the work of Ken Renczenski, a brilliant artist whose talents have not been fully appreciated in this cold, unfeeling world.

One more note: Our boss, who was extraordinarily thrifty, actually re-used mouse traps, disposing of the late mouse and dusting the trap off, good as new.


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