Monday, May 23, 2011
By page 30, the cats were distracting me. Jumping around, being weird. Then I noticed Axol sniffing something in the middle of the rug. Jezebel was all jumpy and hyper. What was on the rug? A hairball, I thought, how gross, that will have to wait until later, after I learn more about the Jellyby's and their weird obsession with writing letters to Africa.
But then my inner voice told me to look closer because the hairball had eyes. It was not a hairball, it was a mouse, possibly still breathing, laying on its side.
So what does a young girl do when a dead-ish mouse is a mere 2 feet away? She yells. A lot. Loudly. And hides under the blanket. And then yells some more, until the son wakes up and comes in all sleepy eyed asking what the hell is going on in here. "A roach?" he asks innocently. "I don't yell at roaches," I said. What does he take me for?
I see that this event is a sign that this boy needs to become a man immediately and deal with the mouse, a lesson for the future of being a man in a big city with mice and other creepy crawlies, but he sees it as a disgusting punishment that will scar his psyche forever. This, I think, is what he needs to learn before going to college. It will help him slice open the brains of lab rats, pin frogs to a slide and attract girls looking for a protector.
I direct him to get a soup pot and put it over the mouse, which he does, reluctantly, wondering what his reaction will be if the mouse moves as he approaches it. I stopped myself from reprimanding him for using the good soup pot, which will now have to be boiled to within an inch of its life. I am a good mother.
In the meantime, I continue to shout at nobody, just because it feels cathartic. While I'm shouting, I'm speed dialing the husband, who is surely and famously an expert in all things dead and non-human. He will know what to do. He will rush home quickly. But his phone is off. I shout pathetically at the voicemail. And dial about a hundred more times to no avail. I want to smack his outgoing message really hard, until it makes his non-answering ass cry like a baby. Such threats provide no result.
About 10 minutes into this agony, he walked in from getting a much needed haircut, which I admired for a split second before directing his attention to the pot and its contents. Mr. Nature Boy wondered if (hoped?) it was perhaps a baby rat and scooped it up with a piece of cardboard, squishing its thing little legs with a sad sigh, said, "oh it is exceptionally cute," confirmed it was definitely dead, confirmed it was a mouse and not a rat, took it to the roof and tossed it overboard into the sea of filth that is the rear alley. Bon voyage little dead mouse.