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Of Mice and...Me

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 8:44 PM

The ghost of Topo Gigio, the little mouse who used to ask Ed Sullivan to kiss him good night, is stalking me.  My husband has accused me of murdering him, but I swear to all readers of this blog that I am completely innocent of the crime.

It began when I was washing the plaster off the bathroom floor of the house that we’ve been building for the last nine years.  Okay, so we’re slow, but we’re not in debt for it…yet.  I had swept the floor, vacuumed it – plaster dust is stubborn stuff - and was fishing around for a bucket that I could use when I remembered the two buckets of water that we moved out of the bathroom into a corner once we had turned on the shutoff valve for the plumbing upstairs.  The buckets of water were for pouring in the back of the toilet so that we could flush it.  I feel compelled to give you all this background detail as evidence that I’m not an altogether namby-pamby-New-York-City-born-and-bred gal who can’t rough it.  I can do without many comforts when the need arises.

I sauntered over to the buckets where a gruesome sight awaited in me.  In the bucket was a rather large, perhaps bloated, dead mouse floating with splayed legs and a pathetic expression frozen there in his last seconds of life.  I yelled.  My husband, who was working outside, immediately responded with a “What’s the matter?”  To his credit, it was not, “What’s the matter now?”

“There’s a dead mouse floating in one of the water buckets.”  I rushed out to the porch, “Could you deal with it?”  There it was, the line of what I won’t do and what he can do.  When it comes to dead mice and emptying out the kitty litter box along with most of what the dogs and cats upchuck and…well, you know…my long-suffering husband crosses the line of what I have great difficulty doing and does it. 

When he’s not home, I have cleaned up the dog messes, etc., but anything to do with rodents, alive (the squealing presents that Shadow the Cat bring home) or dead, these jobs become his jobs.  I won’t say the man’s job – the feminist in me is humiliated at admitting this in public – but it’s my husband’s job.  I am one female who does not or cannot bring herself to the task of cleaning up dead mice. 

Although he was willing to clean up little “Topo Gigio’s” remains, he was definitely not willing to let me off the hook.  When the mouse was disposed of, my husband gave me the all clear to come back in the house with a big grin and his best mouse voice, “Eddeee, why did you kill me?  All I wanted to do was marry Suzee the leetle mouse from Chez Helene?”

This is my alibi.  Topo and Suzie are long gone, buried in the annals of television history.  I’m not going to take the fall.  I don’t know who this mouse was, but suicide can be the only answer.  This mouse was in the midst of an existential crisis, lost between being and nothingness, and he apparently made the wrong choice. It was written all over his face.

 I don’t know what happened in the field that forced him to invade my house and dive into my bucket, but you can’t hold me responsible.  Remember, I don’t deal with mice so you’re going to have to look further a field.  Yes, I said it, further, a field.


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