Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Small critters!

"Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door" -anon.

I was fossickinig around for something else this morning and found a copy of my Grandfather's 1936 patent for "Improvement in spring¬actuated animal traps." Patent No 100,692.

My Grandfather invented the better mousetrap!

Sadly, it seems that someone must have invented the better mouse as the path to his door was very weedy indeed.

But it got me thinking about how superficially we deal with many other people in our lives. My grandfather died when I was four so I remember very little of him. However he must have had a big influence; my four earliest memories all involve him. It is easy to remember him as "my grandfather, the plumber" and yet there was obviously much more to him than that.

We stereotype people - salespeople, bank clerks, policemen, aunts, uncles, politicans, students, women in high heels and men in suits - all get pigeon-holed on the flimsiest of evidence. We tend to forget that all people have a story to tell, that in their own way they live rich and full lives, lives full of triumphs and disasters, loves, regrets and dramas.

And mousetraps.


My Grandfather and me, circa 1955.


  1. We remember they all have stories - our bookstores are full of the evidence, our movies are their stories in action. We just make them fictional is all, and pretend only our own stories are real...

    Look at you! What a cute little tyke!

  2. Couldn't agree with you more. Often times when I'm in the train heading somewhere I look at the people sitting across me and wonder what their story is.

    Everybody has a story to tell...

  3. eeek! mousetrap! we're celebrating the rat year this coming lunar new year (thursday)! :)

  4. How wonderful to have a photograph like this one.
    I labelled my maternal grandfather the Steam Engine Driver.
    By the way, coincidentally, I was re-reading Richard Dawkins' reference to a mousetrap last night.

  5. Wow..inventing and experiments run in your family! He must have been a great man in his life!

    Whoa..we get to see you naked..ha ha ha!

  6. Aww, what a cute kid you were! By the way, over here, we'd call that a "redneck swimming pool"...haha. I remember when I was little, my grandmother (a very artsy creative type) had an old bathtub like that sunk in a hole in the ground and had goldfish swimming in it. :-)

  7. Ah Grandfathers. They can have profound affects on small children.

    Very cute little man you were!

  8. AWwww, how sweeet. I love it.

  9. What a sweet photo!
    Looking at old photos, it seems somehow odd that those people were living conscious beings at the centre of their own worlds...

  10. Great picture & post!!
    I could use some of those traps, the mice have taken up residence here it seems, now that we no longer have a cat. i might be in the market for one cause those mouse traps are gross (even the new fangled ones. ugh!!


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