Of Mice... and Men?

Copyright © 2000 Walt Zientek

Okay, first ya gotta get a historical perspective on all this. About 500 million years ago,
people had this primordial thing in their brains that made the men "hunters" and the
women "gatherers". The men took off every morning to wrestle down a mastodon or a
saber-toothed tiger and the women gathered up a few roots and berries while they
mostly complained about their men, drank coffee and wished Victoria's Secret would
get invented.

Well, in my family tree, some distant relative with an underdeveloped "hunting gland",
decided that this tiger-wrestling thing was a losing proposition and he volunteered
instead, to "guard" the women. It seems he had some other, more "highly" developed
glands, that were suited for better things.

From that point on, about the only things the men in this family have hunted have been
some clean underwear to wear to work, a tie to wear to the bowling banquet and a place
to find some peace and quiet.

(Segue now to the present day)

"I think there's a MOUSE in the kitchen!" I hear my wife say in a stage whisper.

I pretend I don't hear. Of course, that never works.

She tiptoes out to the living room with a look of terror on her face.

"Go see!" she commands as she gets up on the sofa and pulls her feet securely under

"SIGH!" I exclaim as I make my way.

My two, good-for-nothing cats are acting like something is under the cabinets.

"Go earn your keep!" I tell them as I open the cupboard doors.

They rush in and I go back to the TV. But not for long.

"SIGH!" I exclaim even louder as I am chased back into the hunt. Seems the wife doesn't
CARE about my illustrious family history. Apparently, that "gathering gland" is still active
in her line, as is her expectation about a "man's" job. SIGH.

Well, the cats are having a ball, knocking stuff over and squeezing in behind the
dishwasher and chasing each other. All the commotion finally wakes the dogs and they
stumble into the kitchen.

"Aha!" I think. One 100 pound lab, with a natural hunting instinct and one French
Bulldog with a noble, "ratting" history.

They make a beeline to the far right cupboard. The one where the food is kept. And the
treats. And the chew bones.

"Get the mouse!" I command in my strongest voice.

The lab runs to the toybox and the Frenchie grabs a pig ear. So much for all the help.

"Did you catch it?" I hear from the other room.

"Catch it?" I think. I'm supposed to "catch" it? Four natural hunters won't "catch it",
but I am supposed to. SIGH.

A trip to the hardware store yields enough traps to endanger the entire species. Peanut
butter, hard cheese, soft cheese; a regular rodent buffet is prepared. Several fingers are
damaged but still I press on. I make enough noise placing the traps to scare the mice
back out into the winter cold. Always hopeful.

I begin to feel that primitive gland growing in my brain.

Soon, I am mapping out my traplines. I begin to think like a mouse. I start to desire
"camo" clothing. I am really getting into this.

I must be giving off pheromones like crazy, because the wife is sure looking at me
differently as the "hunter" emerges from beneath the cabinets.

"SNAP!" I hear. "SNAP!" again. Success! The mighty hunter has prevailed and the world
settles into its correct balance. I head back to the TV.

Apparently, the "gathering" gland excludes "gathering" up the dead mice and I am sent
back under the sink. Yuck.

With much chest-puffing and self-confident smirking, I present the vanquished quarry.

"Ahhhhhh!" is all I hear as she runs screaming from the room.

"You "squished" the poor little things! she says.

My smirk disappears.

"You killed them," she whimpers sadly.

My chest deflates.

"Go WASH your hands!" she orders.

I feel my "gland" shrivel. SIGH.

Back to Caleb's Corner

Last modified: 8-19-2000

Page Copyright © 2000 Walt Zientek <WZW@aol.com>