The other night, my wife and 17-year-old daughter had just come back from my brother’s house, which is just down the street from us. The look on their faces were as though they had both eaten lemon peel. And they were hugging themselves as though they had been exposed to some kind of invisible force that makes you cringe. I was baffled, as they go to my brother’s house to use his exercise machines that he keeps in his garage. He has a treadmill and a stair-stepper, both of which my girls religiously have been using to get their daily workout. I had to ask what happened. Apparently, my brother had set up a mouse trap in his garage.

The trap worked, but my brother wasn’t home to remove the deceased mouse, which was in full view of anyone working out on the exercise machines. So my wife and daughter were under duress, keeping a watchful eye on the mouse for any kind of movement or possible escape from the trap. Plus, who’s to say there wasn’t another mouse or two running around?

So by the time they came home, they were having a post-traumatic stress episode. I laughed at them, saying they were blowing the whole incident out of proportion. I think my laughing upset them, as they stormed out of the room to shower and get the vision of the mouse out of their heads.

I kept poking fun at my wife all the way up to the time we went to bed. At around 2:30 a.m., we heard my mom get up and walk around the living room. Apparently she was dreaming and thought she heard someone ring the doorbell. I walked her back to her bed, turned off all the lights and made my way back to my room. Midway back, I put my foot down and stepped on something furry, and it was too small to be our dog Buddy. Like a jolt, I realized I might have just stepped on a mouse. I must have had a vertical jump that surpassed that of LeBron James, and while I did not scream, I unleashed a tirade of profanities that would have embarrassed Snoop Dogg.

My wife came running out, flipping on the light. I looked down and saw that I had just stepped on one of Buddy’s chew toys. Before a single word could leave her mouth, I stated, “Say anything and I’ll go get the mouse from my brother’s house and put it under your side of the bed!”