Life in the Mousetrap Factory

One of my first jobs was in a mousetrap factory where we built “Can’t Miss” mousetraps.  I sat in front of a bin, a monstrosity in itself, filled with the wooden 2”x4” bases that all the mechanical killing equipment was attached to.  Each day I sat at my chair with the saw dust smell filling my nose and the sounds of the oily machine as it pulled each plank in, one at a time, and slammed in two staples and the “tail” of the trap.  Eight hours a day I sat and shoved traps into the machine and eight hours a day the traps were spit into a bucket with two staples and a tail.  A small mouse could have easily loaded this empty frame of a trap onto it’s back.  By sliding  it’s arms through the two staples this little fellow would have a bit of armor to fight off any foe that may approach.

There were two of us that stapled the mousetraps on my shift and side by side we had identical work stations with identical bins with the same number of traps in our bins.  To keep things interesting we would have contests each day to see who could staple and tail the most traps in a single shift.  Invariably she would beat me, but I always gave her a good run.  On our record day, we slid and stapled and tailed 45,000 mousetraps.  That’s 46.875 mousetraps a minute each.  Where did all those mousetraps go?  Just think, 45,000 mousetraps each day, five days a week, 56 weeks a year, where two shifts of trap crafters spewed out 25,200,000 traps from this one trap factory each year.  That’s a lot of dead mice.

It has been many years since my life at the mousetrap factory.  I heard that they are still open and still making mousetraps.  My sister found an old trap from the day and sent it to me.  I proudly hang it from my office wall where I gaze upon it knowing that I was a part of this great cause to bring about the reduction of the mouse population.  This one tiny trap has never been a part of the violence that brings fear to every mouse in the United States, but it has been a part of one day that one crafter put two staples and a tail on it.

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