When I was in high school, a traveling magician came to perform at my church. I can’t remember if he had some evangelical message that tied in with his magic show, or if he was simply a man trying to make a living turning tricks in front of anyone who would watch – but regardless, there he was, right between the American flag and the Christian flag, onstage at First Presbyterian in Montrose, Colorado.
At one point, he requested a volunteer to come up onstage for one of his acts. Thinking that I might have the chance to get sawed in half, I quickly shot up my hand. And since I was the pastor’s daughter, yes, OF COURSE I was the chosen one.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to have the chance to pick a card any card, or be the recipient of the dove that he pulled out of a top hat. The magician presented a mousetrap, locked and loaded, and then demonstrated how its spring-rigged action could snap a pencil in half. And then he told me to stick my fingers in it.
So there I was, in front of God’s holy people, being admonished to trust a crazy traveling magic man with my extremities. But I couldn’t back out. So I stuck my fingers in the trap. And with a wave of his wand or his scarf or whatever it is that he did, with a resounding thwack, the mousetrap came snapping shut.
I still have no idea how – but it didn’t touch my fingers. I was standing there, right beside him, terrified that I was going to wind up with nubbin digits – and I still cannot explain how that mousetrap was able to clack shut without catching me. But in any case, I screamed a scream that if you listen closely, you can still hear echoing from the year 1998.
Suffice it to say that I have been terrified of mousetraps ever since.
Fast forward to last night. I was at the gym when I got Becca’s text saying that there was a mouse in our laundry room, and would I pick up some traps on my way home?
Sure I would. And I’d get some black widow spray, too – because you guys, it’s the END TIMES at our house. We are being overrun by demons.
At home in the kitchen, I carefully read the instructions and baited a mousetrap with peanut butter. Visions of severed fingers dancing through my mind, I nervously pulled back the spring-loaded wire. It locked into place. I smiled, proud that I didn’t need a man or a parent or a magician to do it for me. Holding my crowning glory of a baited trap, I walked toward the laundry room.
And right there in my hand, it SNAPPED SHUT, just grazing the side of my finger and catapulting the blob of peanut butter onto the kitchen wall. Once again, I screamed like the end was nigh.
Judging by the current state of pests at our house, it just might be.