I love my car. Before finishing my doctoral degree, I purchased a new manual gear silver Volkswagon Turbodiesel Gulf. I drove it right off the dealer lot fully aware of the immediate depreciation and still completely ecstatic with my first major purchase. It goes further than 50 miles on one gallon of diesel. What's not to love about that? My rationale was that the debt I assumed would push me whole-heartedly into the next phase of my career. Ahem. It is paid off now, but the lien was longer lived than my postdoctoral position. It is a wonderful car that I plan to drive for at least another decade or three. Of course, if I didn't intend to keep my car forever then I might take better care of it. The back seats lay flat and the hatchback allows me to move just about anything. I've hauled garbage to the landfill, furniture, lumber, roofing, fencing, goats for breeding, live sheep to slaughter, hay and grain. Beyond that my toddler does the most amount of damage to the interior. There is a persistent six inch layer of toys, empty food wrappers, crafts from storytime at the library, and other miscelaneous kiddy crap.
So, today before heading out to the pediatrician's office for a baby checkup, we discovered that a mouse has been living in my beloved car. My daughter began to climb into her seat until she noticed that the padding had been chewed in a most identifiable way. Apparently, her car seat was full of tasty crumbs and Mr. Mouse had relieved himself quite severely and frequently all over it. Upon closer observation, he had done this throughout my entire car, discovering empty donut bags at regular intervals. For a phase of my toddler's development a bakery donut bribe was the only way I could do the grocery shopping without losing my mind. So after my daughter's immunizations, I enjoyed a beautiful day of sunshine and 60 degree weather by cleaning my car and setting a mouse trap baited with peanut butter within its trunk.
I suspect this stow away caught his ride on the recyclables that I drove to the landfill last Saturday, giving him a week to do his damage unoticed. We really should get out more!