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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mouse mischief

While the codger was in the field a couple weeks ago the redhead was being a dutiful wife cruising around town in our 20 year old Honda and running errands.

When I got home however she reported somewhat emphatically that she was finished with the Honda.

The story unfolded that our beloved Accord had "gone Nascar".

On her way home it revved mightily and bolted like a race horse

She managed to get it into neutral and pulled over with the engine roaring.

Fortunately a number of gentlemen stopped to offer help, and one of them de-jammed the throttle.

"I'm not getting in that thing anymore", she said.

I started the car up expecting a wild horse ride, but it purred like a kitten, and no amount of foot play could get the throttle to jam.

But my assurances didn't change the redhead's mind, so I took the car to our mechanic and explained the problem.

A day later he handed me a plastic bag filled with acorns and stuffing from the car seats, along with a rodent-chewed air filter.

In all likelihood, he said, some mouse debris had temporarily jammed the throttle.

The redhead still wants nothing to do with it.


Trailblazer said...

Clever critters, they are!

Do you have to worry much about Hantavirus in your neck of the woods, Codger?

Mr. Smiley said...

I can understand all of this.
That's why I leave the bonnet (that's what they call the hood here) of my car open and have a light on a cord illuminating the engine each night.

It seems our local Melomys, which is a cute little rat, loves warm engines. It spends most of its time dragging leaves into the air con circular fan. It accumulates so much leaf matter that is stops the fan from operating and voila, no air con. Each time the mechanics have to just about dissemble the engine to get to the fan. Each time it cost about $175. So for the last couple of years the light seems to have done the trick and keep them out.

I have a pix of the 1 kg bag of leaf litter and should have done a bog on this, I guess.

[I've been in your car and I think the Redhead is right. It's about time!]

Camera Trap Codger said...

Yes hantavirus is known from the area, but it looks like brother Dave has hit upon a solution. Thanks for the input, Mr Smiley.