Two or three summers ago, we had problems with mice in our house. We have a live trap, sometimes it works. When there are not too many mice, it is quite all right.
I usually get the task to empty it, which is not much of a big deal. I take it to a sports field that is half a block away. After opening the trap, the mouse jumps out. The first two times, crows snatched up the mouse pretty quickly. So now I usually stay around for a while, and the mouse manages to disappear in the gras.
This time, while I was waiting, a man came by, walking his dog. He asked, so I explained, yes, it’s a mouse trap.
He became really angry. i was shocked, because to me it was all really harmless. He asked whether I knew that dogs use the field. He asked if he should call the police. I said yes, since he was pretty intimidating in his anger. Of course, he didn’t. I didn’t know what he was so angry about, I was just glad when he finally left.
Funny thing, and I did notice something odd during this confrontation, when I returned home with the trap, I thought to check it, and actually, yes, the mouse had returned to the trap.
I took it back right away (Mr. Angry wasn’t around anymore).
Later, thinking this over, the only explanation I came up with was that I never mentioned to him that it was a live trap; he may have thought it is a glue trap, or some kind of poison trap. I guess, in his mind, he would not like his dog to sniffle into one of those. So, at the time, using one of those was quite outside of my horizon. At the same time I think a live trap was completely outside of his horizon. Hence the dispute.
The live trap didn’t work well enough. After a few months we got an exterminator to help.
He was a nice man, and we had a friendly conversation about mice and this and that, so at the end I thought I’d ask him a question that I had been wondering about, especially with the saying in mind, “building a better mouse trap”: What would he think a mouse trap designed by Steve Jobs would look like?
He said, “Oh, the guy who does Microsoft?”
Well, no, that’s not who I meant. I think that would be quite a horrible trap. Spreading virusses comes to mind.
Quite a while later, I told an acquaintance about the exterminator and the Steve Jobs disconnect. She was super excited about the idea of a mouse trap designed by Steve Jobs himself. She said, it would be so nice and elegant, you would want to put one in every room of your home.