My Junk Drawer

My buddy Stan and I were watching television when my wife wandered into the living room with a strange look on her face.

“Something is making noise in the junk drawer,” she announced.

“Which junk drawer?” I asked.

We have several.  They have become like the tar pit of household.  Things fall in but few come out.

“The one in the filing cabinet,” she said.

Neither of us was willing to get up.

“What kind of noise,” asked Stan without taking his eyes off the television.

“It sounds like a mouse,” she said.

He nodded in agreement, as if to confirm the possibility of a rodent, then turned his gaze toward me. My wife was also staring at me.

Why me?

Why is it my job to take care of mice?

We have close to a dozen outside cats.  Why aren’t they doing their job?  We have two inside cats also.  The same could be asked of them. In addition, we have one fully liberated wife who is just as capable of mouse combat as I. And let us not forget, Stan, the buddy who drinks my beer, eats my food and who could for just once earn his keep.

But no, they look to me.

Even the cats, half asleep at my feet, squinted expectantly in my direction.

So I got up and trudged into the home office to slide open the junk drawer and rummage through it, half expecting a mouse to leap out.


As I returned to the living room, she restated her initial question, “Well?”

“Well?” Stan echoed.

“I neither saw nor heard a mouse,” I proclaimed.

“Well, I definitely heard one,” she said.

“Maybe not,” Stan suggested.

We both looked at him.

“There could be something in the junk drawer that doesn’t belong there,” he said, “and wants to get back to where it belongs.”

Stan gets like this. He is a master mechanic, a machine-whisperer, a man who shares an almost mystical relationship with inanimate objects and every once in a while his dream world collides with our reality.

“He could be onto something,” my wife suggested.


It is not so much a question as a protest – but it is a useless protest because whenever my wife and Stan get on the same track, my fate is sealed.

So I trudged back into the home office and reopened the junk drawer. It was as its name suggested, full of junk. There were tools in there and kitchen utensils. There were office supplies and things whose name and purpose baffle me.

But it wouldn’t hurt to have a few less things in there.

So I returned the tools to the shed. I put the kitchen utensils back in the kitchen and the office things back in the desk where they belonged and by doing so, I hoped to reveal whatever was making the noise.

As I worked, my wife came to look over my shoulder. Soon she spotted a set of well used mouse traps. “That’s gross!,” she said, “put them where they belong.”

“And where would that be?”

Her look was incredulous. “Wherever they need to be set,” she said.

So I set traps. I put one under the sink in the kitchen, one between the desk and the filing cabinet and one in the hall closet. Then as I finally ease back onto the couch to enjoy the remainder of my movie and by now warm glass of beer…


Startled, she asked “What was that?”

To which Stan replied, “It is the happy sound of something being where it belongs.”

Now it is my turn to glare at him because my wife was glaring at me. He could darn well dispose of the mouse.  It is now his job – because I decided that at my house the beer isn’t free.


Author: Almost Iowa

41 thoughts on “My Junk Drawer”

  1. One thing is for sure. You and Stan were not watching sports. Otherwise your wife would be toast. They is no way she would get your attention during an NFL game, etc. Could it be that you were gandering Luke and Laura? Curious how the romance would go.

  2. If they just didn’t insist on leaving their tiny little droppings behind. Had a plumber in last year working under our sink. He was a big fellow who insisted on showing his behind. Suddenly he shot out from under the sink, banging his head and cussing. “Mouse droppings!” he shouted. “I hate mouse droppings!” I looked. They were insect droppings. “Oh,” he said. And went back to work, big brave fellow that he was. –Curt

  3. Lol! Been there! I asked my husband to check out a noise in the bedroom wall just last week… we still haven’t found out what is causing it though!

  4. We have the occasional mouse in our basement, and it is definitely my husband’s job to remove them. When I was young, I kept mice as pets, so killing them isn’t an option for me. But I don’t want wild mice in my house, because I’m a clean freak. So what I do when I spot one in our basement is go tell my husband, then go find something else to do to take my mind of the whole thing so I don’t feel either queasy or guilty. If I ever spot one when he’s out of town, obviously I’m checking into the nearest hotel until he returns.

    1. I don’t mind killing things. I don’t mind gruesome things either. However, I always feel a pang of guilt about slaying mice. I suppose that shot of empathy is a healthy thing.

      1. It is, but so is the ability to dispose of unwanted critters. Thank goodness people have different strengths…. (or my basement would have a thriving mouse colony).

    1. I am sitting here in the kitchen with my laptop resting on the island. A few feet away, a couple of the outside cats have their noses pressed against the screen of the front door. “You owe us for the story,” they seem to say.

      I ask, how does one incur a debt for not doing one’s job?

  5. My husband and I wrote our own wedding vows, and I added a clause at the last minute about him vowing to take care of all vermin in our home. This is something I’m surprised more couples don’t address in their vows. “Love, honor, and kill all mice” sets a nice romantic tone, don’t you think?

    1. I put a line in the wedding vows about not having to clean the cat litter box – because they are HER cats. The negotiations held the wedding up for over an hour and had the left side of the church threatening the right side of the church and the right side of the church hurling insults back. Finally, the priest said something about “an eternity in hell” and I had to weigh that against the stink of her two cats. I caved in, she grinned like she knew I would all along and the families made peace and promised not to get into fights in the parking lot at the reception.

      It’s an Almost Iowa thing.

    1. True, the junk drawer has spawned many a tale, mostly along the lines of:

      Sure, I looked – but it is not there.
      Of course I looked thoroughly.
      I swear I put it back in there.
      Oh, THAT junk drawer.
      Okay, I’ll clean it……..later.

  6. I think cabinet designers should start adding junk drawer features. I’m pretty sure there are people who don’t own much in the way of cutlery or servingware, but everybody has a junk drawer.

    You might want to institute a cover-charge – $5 or one dead mouse.

    1. Dan, you have something there. Think of the after-market products, like Rhino car floor mats for indestructable shelf liners. How about for an ad line? You toss it, we’ll take it.

  7. I have one junk drawer in the kitchen that I share with hubby. It has things and small tools I need or can’t get rid of but when I am looking for them I can never find. Mouse traps are necessary things, but I saw somewhere on the packaging that they are only to be set and cleared by the male members of the household. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

    1. My wife keeps a set of tools in the junk drawer. I keep tools there too – but I am always misplacing mine, so she bought a set of pink tools. I admit it, I am too macho to touch them, which works perfectly for her because that means I am macho enough to deal with mice, snakes, frogs and the occasional skunk in the garage.

    1. I did that last week. Our gray long haired cat sheds in clumps. I picked up what I thought was a knot of Kelso’s hair and it squirmed. Luckly I did not get bit. So I tossed it to the outdoor cats and spent the remainder of the morning dealing with guilt issues.

    1. I wish the mouse had found its way into the trash cart without taking a tour of the house – but the big question is: Why do people keep cats? Yes cats, I am asking you.

      1. Hahaha! You’re asking because I’m a cat owner. I love their independence, their lap-size, and their helpless purrs when you pick them up and snuggle them. Also, because they randomly go crazy and chase invisible assassins!

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