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Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Bittersweet Smell of Victory

Let me preface this story by saying that I got home late from work and didn't really want to write a blog or anything else, but she made me do it. That's how bad things almost happen at our house. Even now, there is something, some residual haunting in our otherwise happy home from the last time I was trying to mind my own business, right before she made me do something that I didn't want to do. It almost always ends badly. I really don't know why she would ask me to do anything at all.
It all started a few months ago, as the weather was only just beginning to turn cold. I saw a mouse run through the bathroom, from beneath the basement door. We do live in the country, so it was a country mouse (far friendlier and less intrusive than city mice with their pollution, and bad driving, and fancy coffees that don't taste anything at all like real coffee and cost eight bucks). Anyhow, it was a nice enough looking mouse, so I resolved, quietly, to let it pass and forget about it.
It all might have been settled then and there, except the mouse (being a country mouse and friendlier than most) decided to make his way through the bathroom again a few days later...when she was in there. Suddenly, the issue of the little mouse in our little house grew quite large.
She said that she saw a mouse in the bathroom. I replied (most foolishly) that I had saw the same mouse only a few days earlier. I even offered to explain to her my theory on country mice and the possibility of peaceful co-existence.
She countered that if we had both witnessed a mouse in the bathroom a few days apart, that odds were that we had more than one mouse, to which I countered her counter by attempting to create a positive spin on what multiple mice might look like.
To which, she again countered my counter to her counter by painting her image of multiple mice in a slightly less positive light. No, she declared. Country home or not, they may have a quiet corner of the basement if they must, but with the flagrant disregard of the formerly agreed upon borders, and the crossing into the upstairs territory, they had violated a trust, and must be obliterated.
It was then that I was sent off to war. I must admit that it was not a war that I wished to fight, and considered placing myself among the conscientious objectors (like those who have left the nation bound for Canada in times of drafts), but conscientious objection at our house leads to things far less appealing than Canada, so I marched off to war (the local hardware store), like a good soldier.
I bought everything that I could get my hands on that man had created to destroy his mammal brethren with. If there was a way to kill a mouse, I put it in my cart and brought it home with me. After all, this was war.
I set traps in every corner and behind every nook and cranny. And when my thumbs were sore from having the little spring flip up on them, I threw poison like grenades all over the basement, and on every ledge where tiny little feet could walk. I bought the biggest damned bag of mouse poison that money could buy, and I threw those succulent little squares of death behind every box in the basement. Then, I waited.
Like a great white hunter, I stalked my prey and in a few short days the traps ceased to snap, having sprung on...well...a small handful of mice. So, really, there were more than two...but less than ten. We had a few, but weren't exactly being overrun, I'd say. But again, that is my opinion, and, very few opinions hold much merit at my house (mine not being amongst them).
But regardless of the number of mice, the fact remained that I had killed them, one and all, and all were dead. The war, with all of it's ugliness and horrors (I don't like to talk about it), was finally over. I could lay down my arms, remove most of the traps (since none of them upstairs ever caught anything anyhow), and return for my hero's welcome. I was prepared to receive my kiss and possibly a ticker tape parade too, and then it happened...
"What," she asked as I prepared to receive my victory kiss, "is that smell?"
"You mean, that smell?" I replied, puckering and leaning in closer, still waiting for my kiss.

"No," she replied, "THAT smell!" Which I thought was a bit over-reactive, because the scent of a poison killed decaying mouse corpse is, while slightly less aromatic than a bouquet of flowers, not anything like a morgue, for God's sake (unless you were actually a mouse, then it would probably smell exactly like a morgue to you, but only a mouse morgue which, while still somewhat macabre, would have to be at least sort of cute, because it's a mouse morgue after all).
Fast forward a few months, and I still haven't received my victory kiss. Not only that, every time there is the slightest hint of an aroma coming from the basement (I try not to ever go down there anymore, not because I am afraid, but I don't like to open the door because it lets more of the smell up), but every time there is even the hint of anything in the air, instead of a kiss, I get the old stink eye! As if it's my fault that there are little blocks of mouse poison in places that won't be discovered until archeologists sift through the remnants of our civilization with a toothbrush, and just when you think it is finally gone, some new mouse straggles in from the cold of winter and bellies up to the basement bar, ordering a chunk of blue green goodness, eating his fill, and hiding behind some wall while he digests his food.
Does she remember that it was her idea to kill all the mice? Noooo. It's my fault, as if me sitting in the easy chair eating cheezy poofs and watching reruns of the Andy Griffith show was going to cause the house to smell bad (which is precisely what I would have been doing if she hadn't started her whole assault on nature in the first place, using me like some fighter drone to do her dirty work for her). It's reminiscent of the whole weed eater =good, weed killer=bad fiasco from which the lawn has yet to recover, and is precisely the reason why she shouldn't have ever asked me to stay up later than I wanted to writing something. It's just a really bad idea...and like I said, almost always ends badly.

Thanks for Reading!

Buzz

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