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One Step Closer To My Dream Of One Day Thoroughly Annoying Tim Gunn In Person

Building a Better Root-Vegetable-Based Mouse Trap

So about the mouse.

It continues to elude Max's completely uninterested clutches, and Max continues to not give a flying fuck. 

Last night Jason and I heard something crunching on kibble in the kitchen, along with a metallic clang -- like one of the pets pushed the food and water bowls together while eating. 

Except that -- you guessed it -- both of the pets were sitting on the couch, with us. Jason jumped up and cautiously peeked around the doorway, but the intruder was already gone. I proceeded to have a full-body attack of the itching creepy crawlies while Jason checked the humane traps (I KNOW, OKAY) that he'd placed behind the stove at the assumed point of entry.

The good news is that a mouse had gone into the trap. At one point or another. The bad news is that he'd clearly had no trouble CHEWING HIS WAY OUT.

"So, that's that." I said. "We'll get some nice toxic traps that break their backs or fry their brains or something, right?"

He mumbled something while opening cabinets and pulling out casserole dishes or whatever and I went back to the living room. 

Turns out? Jason had a plan.

Behold. This was his plan:


For those of you who have no idea what you're looking at (which I imagine is EVERYBODY), you are looking at the cat food dish, hidden under a mixing bowl that has been propped up with a wine cork and weighted down with a sweet potato.

I'm just...gonna sit here for a minute and let you re-read that last sentence a couple more times.

I swear. I SWEAR TO GOD. This actually fucking happened.  

After laughing my fool head off and taking some pictures, I opted to go to bed. I mean, the evening could ONLY go downhill at this point, right?

At 4:30 in the morning, we heard -- OH YES WE DID -- yet another metallic clang. A more...forceful sounding one.

I poked my husband. "Did you hear that?"

He had. I poked him again. It was a congratulatory, high-five kind of poke. 

At first he said he'd deal with it in the morning, but I worried that perhaps the whole SWEET POTATO thing was maybe not entirely fail-safe, like what if the potato rolled off the bowl and the mouse can like, MOVE the bowl around like a little hamster-wheel and we go down there tomorrow morning and can't find it? 

(4:30 in the morning, you guys. And I'm fretting over the mental image of a POSSESSED MIXING BOWL skittering all over my house.)

Jason got up and went downstairs to check his trap. He returned a few minutes later.

"It wasn't the mouse," he reported. "It was Max. He was just sitting there, staring at the bowl, like, what the hell?" 

"I'm sorry," I said. "That would have been pretty awesome if it worked."


"But seriously, you've got to let me nuke the bastards next, okay?"



(Sweet Potato Helmet Army Man Says Hold Your Ground! Fire When Ready!) 


Alison C

I would have loved for that to have worked! But I think the mouse may be laughing to hard to go near it.

Jason, you rock!!


HA! Hahahahahahahaha! I have to go get more coffee now because when I saw that mouse trap picture I spit it all over my desk.


this is the funniest thing I've read all week...


Ha! We have a mouse too and that rat bastard is a genius. My husband has tried the plain ol' wooden traps. We wake up, and the traps are sprung but NO MOUSE. My husband is turning it into war and calls the traps and poison, his "arsenal". I like animals and usually don't want to hurt them but have reached the same point you have. Kill the little fucker and get it out of my house!

We have some turnips. I'll let you know how it goes.

Megan (Best of Fates)

Now that's creativity.


I'm picturing the mouse lying dead next to Jason's trap, a tiny little smile on his face and his little paws wrapped around his furry belly - dead from laughter.

Hey, it could work.


Wile E. Coyote and ACME have got *nothing* on Mr. Jason Storch.


Hysterical! Apparently Max lost his bet with the mouse and was the one who had to try and get to the food.

Peanut butter laced spring traps are the way to go against mice. Mice are the enemy. Ask not for whom the trap springs. It springs for them.


Um, assuming the trap had worked on it's intended target (and, you know, it totally could've), how was Jason going to take it out to FREEDOM! without letting it escape?


Ahh...forget the humane traps...get one of those that breaks the f@#$er's backs. That would be more humane than the slow death from the heart disease the little bast@#$ will surely get from eating all your food, wouldn't it?


OK, here's my tail (GET IT?!?!)Husbando concocted his trap with a 5 gallon bucket, half filled with water, a scrap piece of wood, the spindle from my paper towel holder, a coke can with the ends cut off and peanut butter. He smeared the can with PB, put it on over the spindle, ran the spindle across the top of the bucket and leaned the wood against the bucket at an angle. So Mickey would then walk up the wooden plank to do the log roll dance on the spinning coke can and plop into the water below. Then at 3 in the morning while I was beyond tired, sitting on the couch breastfeeding twins, I got the pleasure of hearing said Mickey splash in the bucket and PADDLE FRANTICALLY for 10 minutes until he mercifully (for me) drowned.

Although he was not happy when I woke him up in the morning to go fish out a soggy dead mouse, so I could bear to go in the kitchen to make breakfast!


Seriously hilarious!
Would have been awesome if it had worked.


My dad tried to catch a ground hog with a home made contraption like that. He took an old rabbit hutch, turned it upside down, propped it open with a stick that was tied to an apple. He placed a free weight on top to hold the ground hog in once it feel for the apple tied to the string.

I laughed my ass off when I saw it. I mean tear streaming from my eyes kind of laughter. Funniest thing he'd ever come up with.

...until the ground hog wandered in, pulled the apple and trapped itself.


Your post reminded me of this game.

(It's Tom & Jerry's trap-o-matic.)


If you want to try another live catch trap, search for "tin cat" on amazon. We've had pretty good luck with these baited w/ various foodstuffs over the years. They're metal, so no amount of chewing with help the little bastards.....

BTW, this is said as the owner of two cats who have never in 15 years caught a mouse... they toyed with a flying squirrel once, but that's as close as they've gotten to their predatory roots. :)

JP in IL

That is HILARIOUS! I wish he would have connected a string and sat and waited for the mouse, and then pull the cork out, and trap the mouse.

One question...actually two...

1. How was he going to get the mouse out from under the bowl if he caught it?

2. What woud he have done with said mouse?

Katie Kat

NOOOO! Do not get the traps with sticky glue (I know, you already went through this). Even though you may hate teh meeces, you need to be humane (remember - you need to be a good example for Noah, lest he has another "drop a baby rabbit" fiasco!). Just get the hard plastic humane traps and check it often. SERIOUSLY!


I am all for humane but really? That is too funny - which I am sure is exactly what the mouse was thinking!


Sorry for laughing at your unfortunate situation, I know I wouldn't be laughing if I were you! The potato bowl trap is awesome though! Thanks for sharing. Hope Jason him!


(wiping the tears) Thanks for the much needed laugh. The best part is "root vegetable based". We need to incorporate more root vegetables into daily life.


Thanks for a good laugh.


I am laughing my head off. Poor Max. Then again, it serves him right for not being a mouser in the first place!


Ok, that was so funny I went back and read it twice. And I completely laughed out loud BOTH TIMES.

I am totally linking my readers over here, too.


So awesome, thanks for the laugh. I applaud your husband's efforts at humanely catching the mouse. His care and sensitivity is great! However, I'm totally with you, it's time to "nuke the bastards!"


That is so clever!

I have a cat, but I don't think he has any rodent experience either. Thankfully it hasn't been needed. When he was younger there was an apartment we lived in that had these horrible 2-3 inch long bugs with about a hundred tiny legs that I called "dragons".. the cat was pretty good at taking them out and I am still in his debt for it!


Man it would have been so amazing if that actually worked!


Hahahshahahaha. My stomach hurts I am laughing so hard. Oy.


OMG, that was too funny! Mad props for ingenuity. I'm sure that was one very confused cat though....

Thanks so much for the laugh!

Life of a Doctor's Wife

That has to be one of the funniest, most creative things I've ever seen! Too bad it didn't work though - that would have awesome.


What was the plan IF IT HAD CAUGHT the mouse?

Also: Awesome creativity !


for what it's worth i was sitting here cracking my shit up over this post and husby came over to see why and the first thing he said (without reading any of the post) was "oh is that a mouse trap!?" and then "the sweet potato is a little questionable...but it could work" sooo i guess it IS recognizable to some. heh.


I remember you saying years ago on your blog that your husband was a Republican. This makes up for that.


That? That's awesome. I love it and so wished it had worked.


So my whole family, but especially my dad, are a bunch of softies when it comes to animals, so when there was a rat (RAT!!) in the walls of my parents' house, my dad trapped it and released it in the woods like a mile away. The next night? That rat was back. My mom (resourceful Kindergarten teacher) tried to think of what would repel the rat and came up with the idea to get a recently shed snake skin from a pet store. Which they did and which they dropped between the walls. Rat took one sniff and packed his bags...he did not want to be someone's dinner. Problem solved, no animals harmed.


This post made me choke on my lunch laughing! Personally, I think the the whole cat as mouse-catcher / eater thing is bogus. I've had two cats and neither has yet to catch an intruder of the vermin sort.


Wait. I don't get how the mouse was going to trip the trap. how would he knock the cork over? those things are TEENY!

Also, when we had meeces, we put out a bajillion traps and never, ever caught one. Our cat caught a few live ones (AND BROUGHT THEM TO ME IN BED, as I have mentioned, the memory makes me want to scratch all my skin off), but even the exterminator's traps never worked.

Michelle Smiles

Never worked on Tom and Jerry either. Darn.


I've tried the "humane" mouse cube thing (clear plastic box with a one-way door) but the experience was so harrowing (if successful, you have to PICK UP a CLEAR BOX containing a PANICKING MOUSE and LET IT OUT with YOUR FINGER) but I don't think it ended up so humane because I was so freaked by having to carry that wiggling box with a poor little rain soaked rat and see his little beady eyes (and his tail! that pale, hairless ratty tail!) that I only made it across the street from our house before chucking the entire box as far as I could into the bushes. The box is probably still there, with a little rat skeleton in it. And I feel bad about it.

So my new thinking is, killing it as efficiently as possible may be more humane (relatively speaking) than allowing it to live on and have dozens of mouse babies which someone will eventually kill anyway. Not great moral reasoning, but it helps me sleep at night.

Amy K

Wow, it's like you're married to Survivorman! His traps on the show always look awesome, too, but they never work.




Ha! Your husband sounds like my husband. He is an engineering nerd!


This must be a guy thing. I once had a friend construct some elaborate mouse trap for his girlfriend. I think it was a piece of cheese inside a plastic fishbowl that was tied to the ceiling fan. the idea was that the mouse would enter the bowl, knock it off of the counter (he had it balanced on the edge) and hang suspended from the ceiling. I think there was also something attached to make a noise so he would wake up. Don't think it ever worked.

shriek house

I have not laughed harder in WEEKS. Still wiping the tears away. Thank you. And Jason, too.


I think that is the most perfectly shaped sweet potato I have ever seen. Root vegetables FTW!

mama without instructions

Awesome! When I first saw the photo I figured it was Noah's contraption. I've had mice and I can relate on so many levels. Sadly, death was the only option but now my husband has plugged in some rodent repellant noise making things in the basement and maybe, just maybe, they are doing their job as well. Or maybe we just killed a whole family of mice and that's all there was. Sigh.

Kristin J

Nuke away woman! Don't feel like you need to be nice to the mouse. It might have some crazy transmittable shit like Hantavirus. I'm all about lovin' the fuzzy wuzzy animals but when it comes to rodents in my house . . . not so much lovin' going on there. Not to freak you out but you should check out the CDC's website for some tips.


Dude... SO needed that. I'm still laughing.


I had rats in the college house I lived in. It was my responsibility to dispose of them, which is not so much fun. My question is how does Jason plan to get said mouse out of the bowl once trapped. I imagine him dancing around with such glee that the plan worked. Having thought no further about how to get it out his tone might change rather soon


OMG Amy, I just laughed my ass off! That is too effin funny! And the mental image of the bowl moving around with mouse power is just hilarious! Nice try Jason! Good luck with the nukes. Mice are crafty buggers.

For those asking about part two of the plan, my guess is sliding something like cardboard under the bowl to trap the mouse. That's what I would do.


That is so something my husband would do. That is, if he wanted to capture the wee, sleekit beastie alive. But he's not as tenderhearted towards rogue animals; he actually used his bow and arrow to shoot a rabid animal on our property once. It was kinda awesome to see him defend our land that way. So maybe my husband would be okay with the scorched-earth rodent removal technique after all.


We had mice - several. We bought humane traps too not because we actually cared about that (I wanted the buggers dead) but because we were worried about our three-year-old getting ahold of the violent or poisonous ones. They were little plastic boxes with a slanted door that allowed the mouse to go inside but would theoretically close behind it and trap the mouse inside. Only problem was that the mouse would thrash about once inside, upend the trap onto it's side - thus releasing the door - and waltz right on out with my peanut butter crackers.

If this is what is happening to you - I have a very simple solution! We just used some duct tape and taped the plastic trap to the face of an old magazine. That way they couldn't be upended - the wider, flat base of the magazine kept them firmly horizontal. Then we could just do away with the whole thing however (in)humanely we wanted.


Trying not to wake the napping babies as I snort out loud - thanks Amalah.


Best thing I've read all week! Thanks for the laugh.


Once you trap the mouse. How are you going to remove it??



I almost spit diet dr. pepper out my nose and all over my monitor. I have tears in my eyes trying to keep it together from laughing.

Thanks, Amy. You made my day.


We have tried several different traps.

The only, and I mean ONLY, ones that work are the Victor traps, the kind that snap their necks. And baited with peanut butter.

Caught four in a span of 60 minutes.

Four. Mice. With diseases. Ew ew ew ew ew.

I love animals. I bring birds to the wildlife rehab so much that I KNOW they call me the Crazy Bird Lady behind my back.

Mice gotta go. They have diseases. They poop everywhere. And they use their own pee like Hansel and Gretel used crumbs, to find their way home.



The caption for the last picture nearly made me pee my pants. I seriously hope you have been barking military-style commands at your husband since this happened. AWESOME.


HAHAHA oh this is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
I think of myself as a nice person but it doesn't translate to rodents. They are to me what volcanoes are to you and I want them dead and gone.
But one of my friends is much, much more tender-hearted than I and so, when a mouse kept creeping into his house, went to Petco. And asked for a jar of snake poop. SNAKE. POOP. And sprinkled it outside where he thought the mouse was getting in, to deter it. He claimed it worked, and that snake poop is scentless to humans, but I remain skeptical. I also remain unwilling to be the crazy snake poop lady at Petco.


I had, shall we say, a *challenging* day in my marriage. This helped.

kim at allconsuming

So I've been sitting here laughing my own fool head off at this crazy plan when I retell it to my husband with the coda: that is so something you would do. He came over all indignant with a "NO! I mean, what's the cork going to do?"


Now Jason must start a blog on new and innovative ways to catch vermin. Because yeah, those things called 'mouse traps' really never caught on.

kim at allconsuming

And you've seen the episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittinshall's TV show The River Cottage where he gets the mouse whisperers in - who ASK the mice to leave the house and return to the barn?


Perhaps tomorrow you'll find bite marks in the sweet potato...

Seriously, though, enough with the catch-and-release program; break its little rodent spine already!


WELL, Max. Maybe if you bothered to catch the mouse they wouldn't boobytrap your food. Ever think of that? Huh, Cat?


If your husband isn't already an engineer he should be.


The tears, they are streaming down my face!!


i was all for the "snap their freakin backs" traps til one got his nose snapped and he bucked and flailed all over the basement floor in a panic - and i had to find a way to get rid of the harbinger of disease AND the trap stuck to his face.
we have a little metal have-a-heart now, that we leave down there and catch em from time to time and do the mousy relocation program with them.

but the bowl and the potato, that is priceless.


uhg - we had mice in our attic a few months ago.

unfortunately the death nukey no more mice traps are the only way to go. :-/


Maybe it's the 4th vodka tonic talking, but this is one of the funniest things I've ever seen/read. Totally drunk chuckling here.

Mariana Perri

You might or might not have taken notice of me before around here... I am a long time follower who simply cannot go a day without getting my dose of Amalahism!
I have my own blog, in Brazil, and have been asked to nominate 5 blogs that are a must in a mother's reading list. Yours immediately came to mind... unfortunately my blog is written in Portuguese, but I am hoping that few readers enjoy coming around here as much as I do!
So, do not be surprised if all of a sudden a few Brazilian mothers start showing up, ok!


HA! That is hilarious. Mice are actually pretty clever little critters. They're pretty good at figuring mechanical stuff out. I know this because I have a mouse... as a pet. Stop looking at me like that! He's really sweet and loves to sit on my shoulder while I type. Now stop looking at me like THAT! LOL

Seriously, wild mice are not so tame, but still fairly wiley. I recommend using a gravity style trap, but the kind that works like this: the mouse walks up a see-saw type ramp, which goes down to let him in, then it swings back up again when he steps off it, preventing escape. We had friends who bought a different kind of humane mouse trap that didn't work as well.

You know what else works pretty well? Don't laugh. Put a glob of peanut butter at the bottom of an empty milk jug. Mice LOVE peanut butter. They climb in, can't get out. Pretty simple. I used it once in my garage and caught THREE.

About your cat, I was cracking up at that too. My cats don't know what to do with mice either. I let Moose (I named I mouse "Moose") out one day and he ran up to one of my cats, who was chowing down on a treat, and HE STOLE MY CAT'S TREAT. And my cat... SHE LET HIM.



Uh, just realized that I accidentally deleted the last sentence to that second paragraph up there. AS IF I'M NOT ALREADY WRITING A BOOK, HERE. Sorry about that.

I meant to say that while the other humane style mouse trap didn't work very well for my friends, the ramp style one DID.

That is all.


My husband and I once set up a crazy contraption to catch mice. We put a 5-gallon bucket on the floor next to the kitchen cabinet. There was a ruler balancing on the counter sticking out over the bucket with a glob of peanut butter on the end. So a mouse would climb out to the get the peanut butter and fall into the bucket. But we could only catch one mouse a night this way, and there were clearly more than one. After a few nights of scared mice in the morning they started to figure out how to get back out. So I had the brilliant idea that if we put a layer of vegetable oil in the bottom of the bucket, the mouse's paws would be to slippery to climb out. Which worked, but then we had cold, oily mice to release. Poor things.

Then we bought those plastic live capture traps, but once a mouse was in one its friends would chew holes through the plastic from the outside to release him.

We eventually got regular spring traps.


i am absolutely hysterical!!! Thanks for the laugh :) I havea perfect mental image of Max saring at the bowl over his bowl contraption and wondering why you were making him work so hard for his food!


Oh hon. We had a mouse in our couch recently. OUR COUCH. Which I still don't sit upon. Because it was in our COUCH. Also, I don't do much laundry anymore as that was its entry point for us. So we are wearing dirty clothes and sitting on the floor. Good times...


And the award for best use of a wine cork and sweet potato go to...

Seriously, that is both brilliant and hilarious.

Lucy's mom

Well, to start, this was hilarious - I like Jason's admittedly misguided soft heart.

I was like you in that I got so tired of escaping rodents I insisted we get real traps. My then-husband said fine but if you want to kill them that way you have to dispose of them when they get whacked in the traps.

Needless to say it only took one brutally murdered little mouse to move me back to the not-so-reliable humane traps. I still can't get the image out of my head.

Mary Stewart

Delurking for a moment. Today while outside walking the dog, I happened to glance at my house and see a chipmunk sitting in my children's bedroom window! INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!!! What the hell! I don't handle these things well and screamed for my neighbor to help. After tearing apart the room (I wish I would have cleaned that closet) he finally caught him and let him lose. The cat was absolutely no help and neither was the dog. Remember when animals used to earn their keep, now I think they are opening the door for the little critters.
Happy mouse hunting,


It's like a messed up episode of Tom and Jerry....


That is the sweetest, funniest, most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. MOAR PLEEZ.


My husband humanely caught a mouse in our house once, and let it outside in our back alley. Guess what was back in our house two days later? I like the sticky traps.

Bulk sms software

Excellent write-up on providing value to readers before asking for anything. I am quite interested in this topic & i hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts.


It is so frustrating when the cat won't so much as twitch a whisker!

But of course the Storch family mouse would know to sniff the cork first, before sampling the goods inside the bowl.


In my line of work, I've trapped and released (and some, not released) over 100 mice, so please take my advice for humane traps and purchase yourself one of these:

Lay it out in the evening with a small dab of peanut butter on the trigger and go to bed.

And in the morning you will have a mouse in the trap and then you will have to decide how you want to dispose of it.

Hint: if you want to set it free but worry about touching it, lay the trap on the ground and pull the pin out, and the trap will unfold by itself.

Kelli Wilson

This is quite possibly the funniest thing I have EVAH seen on the internets:)

My daddy (in Alabama) decided to eradicate armadillos one year. He would go out dressed like Elmer Fudd, shoot the armadillos and then bring the dead little creature back and put it next to the barn ----in a neat little line of dead armadillos --he got up to 16 before Mama made him bury them (the smell, you know). He's a preacher. It was a bit disturbing.

Bachelor Girl

Yeah, dude. This post made me want to come LIVE with you.


I spat water on my computer at the POSSESSED MIXING BOWL image. Thanks!


I'm late to the party, but a giant sucker for tiny furry creatures. I'm also a very successful mouse-trapper. Witness two different cutey patooties here: and

THIS works, seriously, and you can make it from stuff you have around your house: Use peanut butter though, they like that better than cheese.

Cynthia McIntyre

LOVE IT! I had to send this link to my friends!

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