Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Worst Sound In The World

The very worst sound in the world is pkshhhh! That is the sound of a dead mouse skull crushing under your own bare feet after your cat has left it in the bathroom as a present.

When I lived with Todd he kept mice in cages. His plan was to cross-breed them in such a way he would eventually end up with a tiny lion; a mouse with a mane and specific coloring. It was like living with Mengele, assuming it took an hour and
a half for him to do his hair.

We had a cat. Somehow Todd refused to see this as counter-productive to his research efforts.

Our place smelled like mouse pee. But I hardly think I'm the only one who has put up with some weird shit in order to do a hottie. Cages and cages of mice in every nook and cranny. He had names for them all and I was supposed to remember each
and every one. There was Grandma, the matriarch of the clan, the first mouse Todd ever owned. There was Gerald, named after the Barrett-era Pink Floyd song 'Bike': "I've got a mouse and he doesn't have a house/I don't know why I call him Gerald." Those were the only two with which I could keep up, given that mice squirt out babies like the money shot in a porn flick; although perhaps with less embarrassing accessories.

The cat spent all its free time perched on top of the cages, staring down through mesh screening like it could cause them to convulse into shock through sheer will. Apparently this worked, as Grandma the Mouse came down with a neurological disorder that caused her to wildy spin about, much to the cat's and my amusement, but not Todd's.

Centuries ago, the Japanese bred mice and confined them into teency-tiny, mouse-sized cages and kept them there until maturity to produce the phenomena known as 'waltzing mice.' What would happen, after a lifetime of total immobility, was that when the adult mice were released they would spin and whirl about. The poor creatures were sold as novelty items to Victorian England. "Oh look Mummy! The mouse is dancing!" They didn't last long and would soon die. "Oh! He's gone to sleep. Can we get another?"

But a brain tumor or even an ear infection can cause this behavior to occur in rodents. Grandma apparently had the mouse equivalent of spinal meningitis, and while tragic in humans I found it goddamn funny while watching it happen to a mouse. She made strange faces, twitchy neck movements, and danced like nobody's business. I could stare at her for hours, as long as Todd wasn't home.

The cat, of course, was masterminding her plan to find a workaround for the lock system on the cages. She needen't have bothered. The mice were working on the very same escape strategy and turned out to be smarter than the cat given that they actually came up with a workable plan. Unfortunately,
once freed, they were loose in the apartment and at the mercy of the cat, who showed none whatsoever. The first mouse to make it over the wall was gutted and laid to rest on the tiles of the bathroom floor.

I need to pee when I first wake up. I walked in and heard the most horrible sound, as I've said, a human being can be expected to endure. Pkshhhh! I stepped on a mouse head and when the skull popped open some brains shot all over my bare foot. I, gagging, wiped said foot all over the towels.

I picked up what was left of the mouse and flushed it; a burial at sea.

Todd was right behind me, although unlike me his first response upon arising is to make sure his skin still looks pretty and fresh. He elbowed his way into the bathroom and washed his face, then dried it with the same towels I'd just used to clean the mouse brains off my stinky feet.

"You shit!" he screamed!

"What?" I asked, feigning ignorance.

"You used this towel as a cum rag!"

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