Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Newsflash: Corner reader suckered

Derbyshire reports this letter:

Derb---Thought you might like this, as it combines two of your favorite
topics: Home Depot and political correctness. My girlfriend and I own an old
house outside Philadelphia, and so are frequent visitors to the local Home Depot
store. Yesterday she went there looking for some of those glue mouse traps to
take care of our occasional unwanted visitors. However, she was puzzled by the
ones for sale: the package said it would trap spiders, scorpions, grasshoppers
etc--but no mention of mice or anything in the rodent family.

As luck would have it, the delivery guy from the glue trap
happened to be there to replenish the stock. She asked him
where the proper mouse traps were. He said that the one she held was intended
for mice, but that 'the animal rights people' had objected, so the company
decided to remove any mention of mice from the product! He assured my girlfriend
that the traps would work wonderfully for catching mice. Crazy, no? My reaction
was, what happens when PETA begins advocating for scorpions and

Well...checking out the Home Depot website, I find, at least, a "Mouse and Insect Glue Trap (Pkg. of 2)" from the standup, take-no-prisoners Victor company. (The site does not seem to have what we'd call permalinks, since all the urls generated have some session-id stuff; but it's there for the searching.) Sounds like the reader's girlfriend bought a product based on a salesman's assurance that it's useful for something it's not. (And if the salesman's right, she bought a product from a company that can't stand up to PETA. And if they can't stand up to PETA, how are they going to stand up to a mouse?)

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