Mice love toasters. A handy appliance otherwise, when it comes to mice their singular drawback becomes evident due to the necessity of their design. There it innocuously sits, a couple or more slots in the top with a cavernous interior where the right-sized rodent species can freely enter and exit at will, and once in these cute little vermin feel not only safe, but since the bottom of the device is full of bread crumbs, they can feed to their hearts content in presumed safety. That is, until the owner of the device slips in slices of bread and pushes down the handle.
Panicked but helpless, the mouse finds itself trapped under the part of the toaster that the bread rests on. Within short seconds 117 volts of alternating current are surging through the heating coils, raising the temperature by hundreds of degrees within a half a minute, thus toasting not only the bread but the mouse as well, who, like the bread, never makes a sound. For the appliance owner, the first hint that something is not quite right is the smell of burning hair, then flesh, and then the whole of the mouse at once. Alarmed at the oddity of the peculiar smell in their otherwise predictably tranquil surroundings, their eyes dart around the room hoping to locate the source of the fetid odor until they spot a column of smoke emanating from the top of the toaster, and it isn’t caused by burning bread.
You just toasted a mouse, in the house, in your toaster.
When this happens you not only go buy a new toaster, you declare all out war. Irritation and inconvenience is one thing, but when you discover that unbeknownst to you that treasured appliance was serving a dual-purpose role for an invasive species, the gloves come off. Knowing that for weeks, maybe even months on end that your toaster had actually been full of mouse droppings that you unwittingly heated and cooled repeatedly as you prepared meals for far more critters than you ever imagined, well, you’re probably getting close to the same feelings I had when it happened to me. Shock, anger, revulsion, expletives. Then comes all out war.
Some vermin just need killing.