Of Mice and Men
Posted: 20 September 2008 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Reported by Peter Freden.

I don’t recall the initiators, but several of us participated in various parts of this endeavor. It seemed that every fall the site, the half tin can that it was, would offer warm refuge for the tiny critters of the Eckstein forest area. It seemed, too, that the equipment racks offered both warmth and at times something to nibble on, not to mention the frequent crumbs lying hither and yon between trick changes. And, as furry little creatures do, they hump their brains out to ensure the continuance of their piece of the cosmos.

Now, I don’t recall which year it took place but my best guess is the ‘69-‘70 period, the invasion was paramount. It seem that everywhere one looked, there sat another field mouse. And, knowing that we were finally, truly under siege, we opted to fight back.

Traditional mouse traps failed to quell the invasion. Tougher more drastic measures were needed to retain our dominance in the food chain. So, one of the electro-techy types fashioned the new mouse trap of the era. When time permitted, this denizen of the copper wire, stripped away all insulation from several yards and fashioned the first beehive, escape-proof mouse trap. It was very dome shaped with a descending opening at the top. It didn’t take much peanut butter, cheese, potatoes, fried egg or, for the matter any food whatsoever to attract a visitor. And, once inside, doom was evident.

The unsuspecting little critters were snared, and then one of our kinder hearts thought it would be appropriate to attach a field phone to the cage. Now, when the tiny fury things would climb onto the bared copper wire, the field phone would crank and the mouse would get rigid and zapped. Sometimes it would take many minutes for the mouse to regain its composure, fall off the wires and somewhat function.

Cruel you say? Very much so, and this continued for nigh on a week or more before the guilt settled in. Rethinking the “game” involved eliminating the electrocution portion. We did however, decide that it would be a better, more humane thing to continue to catch the mice. Only now we would tag each catch with a spray painted dot. Each trick had it’s own color.

Now, as time passed, and work continued too, we found that some mice just didn’t have the wherewithal to play a great game. It was decided that should a mouse receive three separate colors, IT WAS TOO DUMB TO PLAY THE GAME. Elimination was then the course of action. There were also some rather strange mice seen from time to time. We conjectured that it had something to do with whatever was in the paint. One critter was deemed “the hunchback.” End of this fine tale you say? No!

Now, when the game had been started, with paint, some members of our merry pranksters were away on leave. One in particular, who shall remain U/I was, as usual, partying very hearty. He actually returned to recuperate, I think.

His first day back in ops was a rather dreary Sunday with little to do yet interrupted he was by a multicolored mouse at the side of the Zoomie pos. Blink he did and after several, he even questioned himself although very quietly. Finally after many sightings, he turned to his partner, who had been participating in the “game,” to ask if there was really a multicolored mouse there.

The mouse being a long standing player took his/her exit. The position partner, of course, did not see a mouse nor did he spill the paint on the game. I think it took this U/I op (Dr. Egnarts) at least three days to figure out we had been painting mice. Now my fellow Rimbachians, this is truly a tale OF MICE AND MEN.

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6913th Security Squadron USAF
Rimbach, West Germany
1974-1975

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