If I hadn’t had low tire pressure, I would never have known.
My car had been veering left ever so slightly for a little while (read: a month), but it’d been too cold to get out of the car at the gas station to check my air pressure (because you can’t keep your mittens on for that) and add air. So when a nice day came along, I seized the opportunity and pulled into the BP next to the free air.
Side note: I love that the pressurized air is free. Just one of the many things to be grateful for in life. Free pressurized air.
When I opened my glove box, I found the shreds of a granola bar wrapper, a plastic bag with a giant hole, melted candles, flakes of a auto repair report.
The melted candles gave me a way out to think that possibly they’d melted in the summer to cause the damage, but in the back of my mind I could see tiny little claws ripping the contents of my glove box to shreds.
I made a Snapchat video showing the evidence, citing the melted candles as the likely culprits.
Some friends just won’t let you get away with being naive.
My friend Jenna sent me a Snap back with a skeptical face and the caption, “I think you have a mouse.”
Uh-uh. No mice here. My car is a rodent-free zone. Why would a mouse even want to be in my glove box? There’s not way it could’ve gotten in there (except like through the engine area, which is totally possible). Mice are dirty, and my car is well-kept and clean. Why would it come into my car?
After that, I couldn’t live in denial.
We were walking together, and I brought it up. “I think you were right about the mouse.”
“That really wasn’t the first thing to cross your mind?”
“Well…” It might have been. I have been known to believe the best in a situation only to find out that I’ve been blind. “I mean, I thought of it, but then I saw the melted candles…”
It sounded lame even to me as I said it.
A month after this realization, I finally got around to cleaning my car out. I couldn’t deny it any longer. There was a mouse in there at some point. I think it may have been quite some time ago, since there wasn’t much recent evidence, and I hadn’t heard it. Likely when my car was living under a pile of snow and I was at school some little mouse decided to take refuge in there.
Such is my story. Such is my shame.
But yesterday afforded the perfect opportunity to do a deep clean. Now that the issue was exposed (and I’d had a month to prepare myself), I re-opened the glove box and SCOURED that thing. All the shreds (and other things that I’d rather not talk about) went straight into a garbage bag, and I disinfected my registration and my tire gauge and anything else you could disinfect in there. I clean that glove box like it’d never been cleaned before.
And I didn’t stop there. The exposure of that nasty secret inspired me to get the vacuum and the steamer. I got my seats and car mats cleaner than they’ve been in probably ten years.
Today my car smells good, and my dad even noticed how nice the carpet looks. There is nothing nasty in the glove box, and I’ve got dryer sheets in there, per Jenna’s advice that mice don’t like those.
Sometimes it takes a friend who takes no nonsense to get us to really do a deep clean. Sometimes it takes a mouse to create a mess to remind us that the rest of the car wasn’t actually as clean as it could’ve been. Then we pull our resources and cleaning tools and clean house (or vehicle).
While I hope that no mouse ever ventures near my car again, it was a nice reality check.
I’m never leaving granola bars in my glove box again.