I should mention two things upfront — the mouse doesn't do well in this story, and although I am a very big supporter of the Millennial demographic (for all kinds of reasons), I experienced a situation that epitomized why there are so many detractors.
I only find myself a bit player in this little drama for no other reason then I happened to have a couple of mousetraps under the sink — and really, only because I answered the phone. The voice on the other end of the phone told me that a mutual neighbour was upset that there was a mouse in her place, and wondered if I had any ideas how to "get rid of it". Moments later a knock came to the door and I was handing my mousetraps over with the suggestion that cheese works well.
"I heard peanut butter" was the response.
It wasn't long after that I received another slightly agitated call saying that they've seen the mouse and could I come over and help set the traps. Not having any energy to look for my cape I arrived shortly there after to find two people who were definitely not fans of mice (I should mention that I make no judgement here because I'm not a fan of spiders — we all have our things). Asking where the traps were, I was directed to a table that had my two traps and a jar of peanut butter; organic peanut butter to be exact. Looking at the runny, but tasty spread, I asked if she had any cheese.
Ten minutes later I was back with some cheese (and still without that cape) and asked if she knew how to set a mouse trap. I was told that she used to live in the country, was familiar with mice, and knew how to set a mousetrap — but she asked if I could do it and remind her how the setup's done (fair enough). A couple of minutes later two mouse traps are locked and loaded, and placed strategically along the floor boards; I even left some extra cheese because mice can be "tricky". As we parted company I wished her luck and mentioned to be patient... end of story.
A day later I received a frantic call asking if I could I please come over. Not even bothering to look for that cape I went over to be greeted by panic; they'd seen the mouse on the kitchen counter... and the cat is under the bed, and wouldn't come out. As I looked over at her boyfriend (who was holding a broom for some reason) I couldn't help but ask, "Cat? Where are the traps?" They explained that the night before they brought in a cat to catch the mouse and they removed the traps so the cat wouldn't step on them. The cat turned out not to be much of a "mouser" and spent most of it's time under the bed — mouse 1, cat 0, people 0.
After some discussion (which included their ability to set up a mouse trap and their request for me to do it), the traps were reset and put back into position. The owner of the cat was called and then it was suggested they should let the place settle down. Again we parted company, I wished them luck, and suggested they be patient. What happened next I only found out through that mutual neighbour — supposedly, thirty minutes after I left the mouse was dead and a cheer of victory erupted.
So what does this story actually have to do with Millennials (other than the people with the mouse trouble were in their mid to late twenties), and why does this epitomize what detractors have been offering up for more than a decade? Well let me offer some thoughts...
- Why does your mouse problem becomes everyone else's?
- Although I appreciate and respect we can't know how to do everything, you don't get to say, "I know how to do it" (with great conviction by the way) and then ask someone else to show you how to do it. Someone is fooling someone, and I know I'm not being fooled.
- Sure I appreciate the desire to celebrate, but let's be candid, you really don't have much to celebrate about when you're just "participating".
- Maybe a "Thank you" will eventually find it's way to me but I can't help think the lack of any acknowledgement is the result of a hardwired expectation that you are entitled to someone looking after you, and your problems
- When you borrow someone's mousetrap, there is a certain expectation you will fucking return it — I suppose it's another variation of the above.
As I mentioned at the outset I love this generation, and believe their potential will possibly change the world like no other... but for now, I'm shaking my head a little and will leave these two to their own devices when it comes to future mouse issues.
PS — And as for that poor mouse (who I might add, probably found it's way into the house because someone left the door open), I hope there is a lesson learned with it's sacrifice. I hope it reminds people not to be so self-centred because there is a very big world out there just trying to make it's way and your paths will cross — or at the very least, a simple reminder to keep your door closed because it's warm inside.