The last month or so, during an unusually hot August, my car’s air conditioning has been acting funny. It still gets cold, but when I turn the fan up, it makes a horrible rattling noise.
And there’s a smell, kind of like a wet dog.
It wasn’t urgent enough to act on right away, as I don’t drive a lot (a tank of gas typically lasts 3-4 weeks) and besides, my first car didn’t have AC, so I can suck it up and sweat a bit.
But I had to make some repairs to the emissions system (thanks, State of Illinois!) and was at the mechanic’s anyway, so I had them take a look at it. I dropped the car off, walked home, and buried myself in work.
A couple hours later, the mechanic called with a diagnosis. “Miss, you have a nicotine-addicted rodent living in your garage,” he said with a bit of a chuckle. Apparently, mice living in my garage had been building a nest in the car’s blower vent, using the cigarette butts left over from my ex’s habit.
“You’re lucky,” the mechanic continued, “we occasionally find dead mice in these vents. And that REALLY stinks.”
Two hundred bucks later, the problem was fixed, replaced with the faint hint of citrus. The mechanic advised me to put down traps and mothballs to curb the mouse problem.
I knew about the mice in the garage. I’ve seen them darting by late at night, startled by the headlights, and they ate through most of a bag of grass seed. But for the most part, I’ve left them alone, reasoning that if they’re looking for shelter, I’d rather cede the garage to them than let them find their way into the house.
Apparently I was wrong. I let them live, and how did they thank me? By burrowing in my car?
It’s on, mice. You’ve been warned.