I live in an old building. Well, relatively old for Parisian standards since most of the pre-19th C buildings were destroyed by Baron Haussman. One thing you learn when you live in a building that is nearly 200 years old, is that it is always moving – almost like a living thing. There is about a 15 degree pitch on the floor of nearly all of my rooms as the building is settling into the limestone that makes up the porous foundation under Paris. It also makes interesting noises late at night (well, when my upstairs neighbor isn’t playing World of Warcraft anyway) that are related to the various things going under the building three stories below (we are about 150m from the Eola RER line which was responsible for the near collapse of a block of buildings rather close to ours).
The other thing you learn is that when it gets cold, the mice look for shelter. Now, I have never really worried about mice and rats in my 17 years here, but I do have kids now so when I saw a little bugger scurrying its dirty little ass across my floor as I lounged on my couch last Sunday, I found it annoying and just a tad worrisome. I mean, if you see them in daylight, they must already have the place surrounded. That being said, I am not a man of violence and honestly, armed with a pot warmer (so sexy when I am armed and dangerous I know), I couldn’t find the little rodent. A few hours later, there was an event for some kids in the building and when we went up to collect our hyperactive-kid-on-kilos-of-sugar-bouncing-off-the-walls from a neighbor’s apartment, I casually mentioned the mouse problem to a few neighbor dads over my 2nd or 3rd glass of Malaga (hey, each of us has to find a way of dealing with kid-related stress, right?) and within 48h Operation Mouse Apocalypse was launched. In a few days, some armed musculus hunters will go from apartment to apartment hunting every one of these little beasts down. I will thankfully be at work and miss out on the carnage and excitement. It is a little conflictual, I mean there could be innocent little baby mouse deaths alongside the more legitimate mommy and daddy mice and the guilt would just haunt me. So, I’ll be skipping Mouse Apocalypse hoping that there won’t be piles of dead rodents waiting for me when I get home on Wednesday. The suspense is killing me.