Payday loans
RedShirts 2 Ad Banner for Kickstarter

Of Mice and Men

March 5th, 2009 by skippy

Many years ago, I got to spend about six months living in tents in the Kosovo region.  Now, there are many many reasons why living in a large communal tent for six months isn’t much fun.  And one of the more annoying reasons is vermin.

See, our camp was located in what used to be a great big field.  And in the great big field there lived a great many mice.  Resourceful mice, with a taste for MRE’s, and a rather impressive set of rappelling gear, based on the places that they were able to get into.

At one point we had some candy stuck an large decorative tin can, on top of a television, on top of a plastic storage bin.  So this is a good four feet off of the ground, with every surface made of smooth plastic or metal.  And mice still got in.  I figure they were lowering themselves down from the roof, with some elaborate pulley system, like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

Because of this problem, killing mice soon became a past time adopted by many of my fellow soldiers.  It quickly turned into a contest to see who get get the most with one trap, or who could make their own trap, and in one case, who could be the first to kill one with an entrenching tool.  I was now living with a detachment of big game hunters.

To dispose of the dead mice, we buried them next to our tent.  Soon little tiny grave markers began to appear.  One guy made jokes about getting a barbie sized American flag to drape over the bodies. Which coincidentally is the origin of rule #102.

One of the other issues with our living arrangement, that was not tent-based, was that periodically we would have to respond to some sort of emergency.  Occasionally these emergencies would happen really really late.

And so it was not that unusual when I was roughly shaken awake in the middle of the night.

“Schwarz, wake up.” Hissed Sgt Batpoop.

“Huh-wha! Flarg?” I responded with amazing coherency all things considered.  I began to sit up, and something furry and cold bounced off of my nose.

“Check it out man.  I got two, with only one trap.”

As I woke up I could make out two small furry shapes dangling in front of my face.

“Sergent,” I asked with deliberate slowness, “Did you wake me up at…” I checked my watch, “3:45 in the morning, to show me dead mice?”  I tried very hard to not sound like I was talking to a frighteningly crazy person.  I doubt I succeeded.

In the dim light I could see SGT Batpoop thinking about my question.  I could actually see the point where he realized that this was not normal behavior.

“No.  Of course not Specialist.  Now go back to sleep.”

“‘Okay.” And then I lay awake, dreaming about how bad it was gonna be if SGT Batpoop flipped out in a tent filled with automatic weapons.

The next day my detachment went out and conducted our whole “hearts and minds” business.  SGT Batpoop did not join us, but that wasn’t noteworthy.  In an effort to make sure that we didn’t burn out, our Commander set up a rotation so that every day a different soldier would get day off.  And it just happened to be SGT Batpoop’s turn.

At the end of the day, we got back to our camp and something was amiss.  The good SGT was over by his cot, looking sulky and pissed off, and one of the NCO’s that worked in our camp was looking a bit apprehensive.  It took a while for the news to filter down to my level.

SGT Batpoop had an entire day to himself.  And two dead mice.  And so he decided that a constructive use of his time would be to make two little tiny crucifixes.  And then nail the mice up to them.  He then place these in our mouse graveyard, converting it into some sort of perverse rodent Golgotha.  A Captain from another Company saw this and was, to put it mildly, displeased by the new display.

SGT Batpoop was ordered to take it down, and wound up having to speak to several people about why he thought his “Jesus Mice” were an appropriate idea in the first place.

Eventually he was sent back to the states for medical reasons.  I don’t know for sure if they were related to the mice incident, but it does seem possible.

Congratulations to Squid Vicious for suggesting this post.

Subscribe to Comments for Skippy's List

«Previous Story:
Next Story: »

21 Responses to “Of Mice and Men”

  1. Albaholly Says:

    Awesome!! I have known a few wackos in my time but that takes the cake…


  2. SKD Says:

    Was SGT Batpoop Italian? It very well could have been his way of terrifying the other mice into submission


    Speed reply on March 6th, 2009 8:26 am:

    Better yet, line the road with them ala Spartacus. That’ll teach the little varmints.


  3. GraveOne Says:

    never could have guess the story… wow 2 dead mice with one trap… must a been a good one….
    nice story :D


    steelcobra reply on March 6th, 2009 9:42 pm:

    Heh, that’s nothing: http://www.motivationalposter.us/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/teamwork-400×351.jpg

    Captcha: Sinnickson or (?)


    GraveOne reply on March 9th, 2009 8:08 am:

    hahahaha bricks were shat!!!!!!!!

    Captcha; swearing involves… could exploit but meh


  4. Raven Prometheus Says:

    Our problem in Iraq was rats and flies. We lived just outside of a garbage dump (which was also, coincidentally, our demo range….). Curious at the time, I did a little itrawebz search and I discovered that a full grown rat can fit through any hole that your thumb could. Rats, and mice, can actually compress their rib cages to near flat, and squeeze through just about anywhere. Even under doors. Not sure of their climbing abilities, though, although I’m sure it’s extreme, as per your story.


    Minty reply on March 6th, 2009 12:23 pm:

    Ah, rodents. Amazing creatures, how they can squeeze themselves through such tiny little places, climb anywhere, and jump amazing heights. Like, up to four feet off the ground, at which point they no doubt use their clever little paws to figure out how to open canisters.

    Unless it was a screw top. Then, I just can’t figure that one out at all.


  5. M578Jockey Says:

    I have watched a mouse run up a chrome plated steel pipe, turn around and run down it.

    “Always look on the bright side of Life”

    Captcha: 1966 Yeoman – Rand???


  6. Phantom Says:

    Well, the band has two unofficial mascots. One is named Fred and one is named Tim. They are both mice. One lives in the production room and one in the band room. We found them over band camp. They’re smart little rodents, too.

    –This totally unrelated comment was brought to you by Phantom.


    Dave in NC reply on March 6th, 2009 10:52 pm:

    The closest things to “band camp” mascots my band ever got were roaches. Which we kinda doused in kerosene. And set on fire.
    On a TOTALLY unrelated note, if you make flaming cockroaches, don’t let one escape. It will always find the hallway and end with the room sentenced to fire ant extermination duty on the practice field (guess what our method was when they stopped watching us).


    Billy reply on March 7th, 2009 11:07 am:

    Fire ants burned by a flaming cockroach? you do see the irony in that situation, right?


    bdrlen reply on February 18th, 2010 1:11 pm:

    That’s a full on 45% less crazy than some things I have seen. We had kill patches on a board in our tent for the mice, with different symbols for them being trapped, speared or stomped.

    On a related note a little something that came down from KAF while I was on tour in Afghanistan.

    “It is strictly forbidden to capture baby vipers and keep them in water bottles in your bed space”

    It was quickly followed up by:

    “It is strictly forbidden to buy any type of poisonous biting or stinging insect from the Afghans. The construction of miniature octagonal plexiglass fighting rings is likewise forbidden”

  7. Billy Says:

    I wonder if things would have gone better if the crosses were placed upside down, you know, to show the evil of the mice. Actually, I think that is almost a worse idea….


    nate the great reply on March 8th, 2009 12:18 pm:

    Siant Peter insisted on being crucified upside-down because he didn’t feel worthy of dying as Jesus did

    captcha: Grose swamp – the swamp was so gross, the cartographer couldn’t spell right after inhaling the fumes!


  8. Stitch Says:

    Right now in my head there’s a chorus of mice singing Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life in their squeaky little voices.


  9. Anna Says:

    At the bookshop we had voles, we never did much with them, very fast little creatures, but the cat liked to catch them every-so-often. We didn’t always find the bodies quickly so there were occasional screams from customers. For so reason the bodies were usually left in the romance section, the ladies who shop there have very good lungs.


    Moonsword reply on March 10th, 2009 1:25 pm:

    And people think cats have no sense of humor.


  10. jim Says:

    Honestly, In context, the jesus mice seems to be a reasonable escalation in the mouse graveyard.


    Ix reply on March 24th, 2009 5:44 pm:

    Up until you realize that this guy was also waking people up at 4 in the morning to show them the dead mice he’d killed with his traps.

    And the fact that Skippy almost certainly has a reason for calling the guy Sgt. Batpoop.


    Adieu reply on December 5th, 2009 8:06 pm:

    Sounds more like Generic Bored Dumbass to me, unless he’d had a string of more disturbing behaviours to make Skippy & even the Army suspect that he wasn’t a good idea around automatic weapons.

    captcha: exalts cratic – maybe the good SGT got his head screwed up by trying to understand one too many cryptic captchas?


Leave a Reply