I do not like mice with ice, cleared of lice, or shaken twice

The first month we were in our new place here in Texas, I had the pleasure of being unemployed (and I do mean pleasure, because, I’ll admit it, if it weren’t for that whole needing-money thing? I’d be a damn lazy fool for the rest of my days). The first week, I talked up how busy I was unpacking everything by myself, since Monk had started work less than two days after we arrived. The second week, I talked up how busy I was painting the TEXTURED walls of the house all by my lonesome (never. again). The third week, I looked at our bank balance, freaked out and started applying anywhere and everywhere.

It was in this third week that I discovered how cowardly I actually am, and how that cowardice can manifest itself in a single crazy act that will forever condemn me in the eyes of those that know this story. Nevertheless:

I swear, I had always been, under normal circumstances, a lover of all things furry. And then I strolled into the kitchen one afternoon, enjoying the slap-slap sound of my slacker bare feet on the cold tile, saw the mound of (my) dirty dishes near the sink and decided it would be too much effort to wash by hand, and why shouldn’t I try out the dishwasher (first time we’ve had a place with a working one, after all). Dishes in my left hand, dishwasher opening with my right, and “hang on a minute, what’s that dark thing hanging off the top rack and dropping down to the bottom of the holy fucking shit that’s a damn mouse! A mouse! In my house!” And, with a shriek meant to encompass all of the above (and without venturing further into hysteria-induced Seuss-isms), I slammed the dishwasher shut, shot the lock across, and my cowardice-crazed devil-possessed right hand continued on to click the setting to HEAVY WASH.

I should also mention that my calm-in-the-face-of-chaos, possibly-stoned-out-of-its-mind-cuz-who-can-really-remain-that-calm left hand was still steadily holding the stack of plates over the tile floor. I believe this is the same hand that, during various tumbles down frat house stairs or icy front steps in college, never spilled a drop of beer or lost its hold on a cigarette. What a champ!

Anyway. After the shaking and the freaking out and the calling of Monk at work to drop some F-bombs regarding this newly-purchased rodent-infested shanty we had tied around our necks, I worked up the courage to unlock the now silent dishwasher and peek inside. The mouse was gone, y’all. Not a whisker (or water-logged corpse being checked out by mouse officers in CSI rain slickers) in sight. So let’s all agree that he escaped before the tidal wave hit. And that I am not a murderer, exactly, just driven to violence when I have the ever-lovin’ crap startled out of me. Remind me to tell you about slapping the shit out of my best friend in 5th grade when she jumped out at me from behind my bedroom door. Oh, I guess I just did.

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