Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Bad News, Good News



Interesting things tend to happen when I'm about to go on a trip. Fortunately nobody I know seems to have decided to die on me this time (cross my fingers and knock on wood). But I did have a (somewhat) traumatic experience.

Every so often, I've thought to myself, "I know I bought that book, and I don't remember selling it or giving it away. So where is it?" Well, this week, I found out where it was. In a box in my parents' garage.

Good news -- it wasn't where the washer-hose flood was.
Bad news -- it had been a temporary nest for mice.

So not only did I have books that were moused along the edges, I also had books which had provided a latrine for mouse byproducts. If that wasn't bad enough, several books contained, or had been stained by, their stash of poison peanuts. (Thus the temporary nature of the nest. Fortunately, the mice had the consideration to die elsewhere.)

In the end, it turned out that most of the books were only lightly soiled. I simply cleaned off the bits of spine which had happened to receive bombs from above, and then deodorized every book. (I'll do this again before I reshelve them -- maybe several times, depending on how the odor returns. But it must have happened several years back, so there wasn't much stink except when I cleaned things off.) Only the top layer of books were dead losses, and most of them were easily replaceable. But the third book of a Carole Nelson Douglas series, Dickson's Young Bleys and The Chantry Guild, and Drake's Old Nathan had to be sent to the dump. A Fish Dinner in Memison's front right corner did become a Mouse Dinner in Beavercreek, but was surprisingly clean for all that and remains readable. The Eddison book next to it was also moused. But on the whole, I was lucky. I blame myself for forgetting to retrieve them.

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