Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004
Is it Friday yet?
Okay, I know it's really only Wednesday, but today I came thisclose to coming home sick and am hoping that this is a short week, because I'm just exhausted. Dangerspouse remarked to me (in an off-Diaryland message) that I live in a Cuisinart. He's wrong. I live in a cheap imitation Cuisinart wannabe that breaks down regularly, because while it slices, dices, shreds and whips around here, it never does so in a way that's reliable or expected. I am supposed to have Friday off. I think. But given the way it normally goes, I'll probably get called in for something before the day's out.
I managed to write two more abbreviated segments to the Neverending Story last night, the epic I've been writing for 18 years now, the one I started when I was still trudging twenty miles through the snow... er, wait. That's the line I give my kids to fashion a perfect guilt trip. (Doesn't work on them, either, but I had to give it a shot.)
The part about the neverending story is true, though it's not been made into a movie, at least not yet. I've got a very limited few readers who have commented (through thoughtfully-concealed snickers) that the imagery I write would make a good movie. No worries; I'm not conceited enough to think my drivel will hit the big screen, though I do hope someday to finally FINISH the durned thing and churn out a printed, fleshed-out copy that can make the rounds. I hope to collect a rejection letter from all of the major publishing houses, you know. I've always wanted to collect something unique and I believe that would qualify.
On a somewhat different note, and inspired by poolagirl's most recent entry, I am waxing nostalgic tonight. It reminded me of two memorable experiences with rodents.
One was relatively mundane, when Youngest Daughter and her then-paramour decided that I should be their designated rat-sitter. Her boyfriend at the time kept several species of snakes, one pit bull, and an assortment of rats.
Most of the boyfriend's rats were modestly sized and remained in their cages without incident, but this particular male was huge; and apparently rats react to fat in much the same way as humans do. The skinny rats attacked Fat Albert and beat the living crap out of him. The kids decided that either they'd feed the now-very-tattered rat to one of the bigger snakes, or they'd have to remove him to another abode.
As I already indicated, they decided on another abode. Mine.
I never learned to like the thing but I fed and watered the creature until finally I think they decided to go ahead and make him a snake snack, after all. I most assuredly did not mourn, particularly since immediately afterward, the rat was replaced by a pet tarantula. But my subject du jour for the evening is rodents, not arachnids, so the spider tale will have to wait for another entry.
There is another, more interesting rodent history to relate. Back in the dark ages when my children were small - Youngest Son was no more than a few months old, 00 was maybe age 2 or thereabouts, and Youngest Daughter wasn't a glimmer in anyone's eye yet - we lived in a modest apartment across from Phoenix Country Club. While the area's pretty run-down now, it wasn't too bad at the time, except virtually all of the apartment complexes had mice, and ours was no exception.
We'd hear the little four-legged gremlins in the kitchen at night, night after night, scampering over the tile floors with their un-manicured feet. (If it's 2am and you have to work the next morning, mouse claws on tile echo like thunder.) These were apparently some pretty smart mice, because they regularly absconded with the bait, tripping the traps we set, but were never caught nor scared away.
This had gone on for a few months when the kids and I were watching television one night and all of a sudden a mouse ran across the faded gold living room carpet. Not a big deal; no one was afraid of the mouse, but it was cause for excitement among the shorter members of the family. Sir Rodent simply scampered across the room, disappearing somewhere on the other side, and we couldn't spot him again nor see where he found his escape.
A couple of nights later we were watching television and TWO mice ran across the floor, but this time these two rodents decided to stop and do a Chip-n-Dale routine in my living room floor. The mice were playing leap-frog for a good five minutes while the kids and I sat there watching, our jaws slack with amazement. Again, no one frightened, just surprised. Heck, the kids were thrilled; and let's face it, two real-life rodents were probably more entertaining and vastly more intelligent (especially in terms of dialogue) than a 1980-something sitcom, anyway.
This recurred for several nights. The mice seemed oblivious to their audience and the lights; or if anything, they seemed to get some kind of thrill from the childish squeals of laughter.
Okay, enter the mom-grinch. I did get a cat a few days later, on principle, and that ended the glory days of the mouse-capades. The kids were fine with that resolution, because I wouldn't let them pet the mice (much to their disappointment, I might add,) and they had my okay to pet the feline. Everybody was happy.
Except maybe the mice.
Before I forget, the latest quiz, lifted from several Diaryland buddies (see my profile, this one's making the rounds!)