Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Round the Bend With a Redoubtable Rodent

Yesterday, my baby sister has the day off, so we plan to get together in the morning to catch up on things. Since I'm heading in that direction anyway, I decide it's a nice opportunity to take the yard waste to our city's local composting center. You should see the massive amount of organic waste that's turned into compost over there. It's a gardener's paradise. Mountains and mountains of gorgeous, dark, rich compost. You think I exaggerate. But I do not. One day I'll take pictures. You will see.

Anyway. So I stuff the car's trunk with a few bags of yard waste, and the remaining bag I cram in the back seat. I'm all set and ready to go.

Into the car I get. The radio is tuned in to CBC radio's hottest daytime radio show called "Q". It's a very entertaining, very informative, non-gossipy show that I listen to for my regular art and pop culture fix. On today's show, Jian (pronounced Gee-On) the host, is interviewing A.J. Jacobs author-journalist of the new health adventure book Drop-Dead Healthy: One Man's Quest for Bodily Perfection. According to A.J.'s research, sitting for long periods is absolutely terrible for you. He rectifies this by spending several hours a day slowly walking on a treadmill whilst simultaneously working at his laptop which is somehow jerryrigged to the top of the treadmill. Intriguing.

I'm temporarily distracted by sounds coming from the back seat. But it's just branches settling against the sides of the paper yard waste bag.

Author guy on the radio goes on by affirming that refined sugar and flour are pretty much the devil incarnate... Probably true. Moreover, he suggests there's nothing quite like trying new things to boost one's feelings of well-being. I concur there. I think new experiences are key to keeping one interested and vital.

That's when I see it. Out of the corner of my eye. A furry scurrying scampering beast scooting about the passenger side. Aaaaaaaack!  Eeeeeeep! Heeeeeeelp! Expletive. Expletive. There's a HUGE MOUSE in the cccccaaaaar! I have to GET OUT of heeeere! I MUST stop this car NOOWW! Oh! Oh. Oh. BLAAAASSST.

Without signalling, I immediately veer off to the side of the road, jam on the brakes, and bust out of that car forthwith. I open all the doors and begin shooing and shouting at the inside of the car in an attempt to compel the beast out... After a few moments, I stop. I don't see the mouse in there anywhere... Where d'it go?... Is it still in the car?... Is it gone?... How am I supposed to know?.. Eep... Maybe it hightailed it out of there... Maybe not though... I simply DO NOT KNOW.

I could walk home. It's only minutes away... I decide to be brave. I decide to risk it all and go back in.  I can't just abandon the car here. Mouse or no mouse, I must get in the car and drive to the composting center. Steel yourself Michele. You can do this... You don't WANT to do this but you CAN do this!

Luckily it's a very short drive. But I'm stamping my free foot and shouting loudly the whole way. One cannot be too careful. I reach the composting center physically unscathed. Once parked, I fall out of the car again. Now I'm politely begging a city worker to help me remove the rodent that's in my car. He smiles. I want to hit him but refrain. He agrees to help me and sets to work, stooping to check under the seats. He finds nothing... He says: "I think it's gone Ma'am"... Unconvinced, I ask for a long stick. I take the stick and start madly poking at the dark voids in the car. Nothing. I resign myself to the fact that I will have to get back in the car. And most probably there is a giant mouse hiding under my very seat ready to skitter up my pant leg at any moment. I shudder at the thought. "Can I keep the stick?" I plead before climbing in. "Sure," says the worker.

I get in. I drive to my sister's house, visit for a while, and drive all the way back home with my stick in hand.

I make it home in one piece.

The whole ordeal has me exhausted and it's barely lunchtime. I begin to question A.J.'s assertion that new experiences are a boon to well-being. I think it depends on the new experience in question. It really really really depends.

♥M

41 comments:

  1. Oh, my gosh, I would've freaked out for sure! Some "new experiences" are not all that great!

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  2. Oh my, Michele, I have been laughing out loud reading about the mouse experience. Maybe the little creature was more afraid to see you...!?
    I’m not afraid of mice at all, but I wonder what if.. I found one in my car...!
    Great story, lovely drawings!

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    1. I think it was the surprise of it being there that scared me the most... and the climbing up the leg possibility... that scared me too. :)

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  3. YIKES!! Sounds quite traumatic. Lucky you didn't have an accident!!

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  4. You are a great storyteller. I would have been freaking out too. Not an experience I would want to have.

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    1. And one I never want to repeat thank you very much! :)

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  5. Ah-ha!!!! :-D
    Very good illustrations and funny story! You're always a nice surprise!
    I agree with you, it depends on the experiences...

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  6. Oh my gosh! You are one brave girl. Not sure that I would have been able to climb back into the car! Great illustrations too!

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    1. Thanks Happy Valley! I didn't feel brave when I got back in. I was crazy-scared! Silly, eh?

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  7. Ugh!!! I wouldn't have been a happy camper either!

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  8. Quelle histoire !!! J'adore votre illustration !!!
    Je vous informe que vous avez gagné mon jeu sur mon blog, merci de me laisser sur ma messagerie l'adresse d'envoi.
    Nadia

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    1. Une belle surprise! Merci Nadia! Je te contacterai bientôt!

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  9. i am SQUIRMING in my chair...
    mice are one thing when you can see them and you are using all of your senses.
    but a mouse in your car,
    while you're driving,
    focused on the road,
    hoping it doesn't crAWL down the back of your shiRRRRRRRRt!!!!!!
    or up your PAAAAAAAAANT LEG!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    this is really too much.
    so glad you made it.
    so glad you have this audience
    who can writhe at the tail... i mean tale : )

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  10. p.s.
    your illustrations are outstanding.
    art therapy, if ever i did see.
    sell prints of the illustrations and use the money to buy a little trailer to hitch to the back of your car for lugging yard waste {aka mouse houses} ♥

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    1. A trailer eh? Now there's an idea... :)

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  11. Michele, you were brave to get into the car and get it done with the ordeal. However, I agree with catie that you should buy a trailer and avoid having uninvited passengers inside the car with you :)

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    1. Honestly, who did that mouse think he was anyway, hitching a ride unannounced?... The nerve of him (or her). :)

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    2. ha ha ha!!! :)

      I am guessing that "he" thought "he" was "your" "royal guest" that afternoon! :-P

      I think that's why "he" suddenly disappeared when he saw a stick in your hands instead of cheese! ha ha ha!!! :)

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  12. Very funny!! I am so glad that I am not the only one to panic over mice!!

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  13. Mice don't belong in cars.... what a great story you have told though.... and I love your illustrations....
    Hugz

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  14. What a laugh!!! So sorry for your mouse adventure, anyway!!! ;-))
    xx Alessandra

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  15. Thanks for the laugh, Michele :) I had a bad feeling as soon as I saw your first drawing.

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  16. Well, it certainly was an adventure!!! Lol!!! I love your illustrations!! So cute!!! Glad you arrived home safely!!

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  17. I needed a laugh!!

    thank you!

    thats an awesome story.

    Sorry that you freaked out. I always freak when i get a bee in the car

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  18. Sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. Your story made me LOL! Glad you made it home safely.

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  19. Oh this story made me laugh so hard. It reminds me of the time there was a fellow furry creature in my bedroom. It was in the garbage sack, when my dad came in to shoo it out, it launched itself through the wrapping paper tube toward him, like a tiny gray cannonball. I will never forget the sight of my dad, in his nightclothes hopping about the room as the bitty mouse scampered about under his feet. The story is hilarious in hindsight, but in the midst of such trials, there is not much laughter to be found. :)

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  20. Ah ha ha ha ha! Michele, what a fun departure from your usual posts. Life is funny, isn't it? I really enjoyed your writing in this, and the illustrations suit it so well.

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  21. Wait. Ariane is your sister? Whaaaaattt?

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  22. What???? Oh, my goodness, I would hae freaked. I don't know that I could have gotten back in the car! Wow! I LOVE the illustration that you did, too! we have a camper that mice love to join us in. And I hate having them in there! They never come in with us, but I hear them in the walls, etc.. The rest of the family can sleep as the mice play, but not me. Ahhhh!! I want to print this and hng it in the camper! :)

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  23. Almost fell off the chair laughing, sorry Michelle! Though Im sure the initial shock must have been an experience ...er..yes!
    Your SO talented and capeable and you freak out over a mouse?
    Come on gal, you probably scared the crap out of HIM lol
    Youd hauled him in a bag and shoved him in a noisy car, then force fed radio station chat into his weeny ears.....what kind of experience have you given him/her? (lol)
    AND what if 'she' had babies left at home......?
    Sorry.......lol am sure it was a character building experience snd its obviously provided you with some great drawing already!
    That would look good as an embroidery too..
    An old boyfriend had at least one that lived in his car one winter and he could never find the little thing. He just found mouse droppings on a regular basis and had nibbled wiring and no lights from time to time.
    Mind you he never cleaned his car out, so it was a tip inside and his mum was convinced the mouse left once he'd cleaned it thoroughly to sell it!
    I just hope you brought the little guy/gal back home to his home territory lol

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    1. OMG! I feel for you I have been face to face with a few mice in my time and I always scream uncontrollably! Yesterday we were trying to get a chipmunk out of our garage (I love chipmunks) and when it turned and came in my direction I let out a very loud scream and scared it further into our garage!

      I hope he is out of your car. You could always leave a test piece of cheese or cracker and see if it gets nibbled on? Good luck!

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  24. A friend of mine rented a car and a white mouse crawled out on the passenger seat while she was driving. They claim that they clean those cars. Get out the vacuum cleaner, Michele. And if you decide to sell these illustrations, I will buy copies.

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  25. Dear Mouse, I hope Michele didn't scare you too much. She means well, really she does! See the lovely illustrations of you she drew... I hope you and Michele both recovered from your mutual ordeal, and that you found your way home safely, just as Michele did! Godspede.

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  26. I like that you feel better with a big stick...I think I'd be carrying that in the car for the next little while.

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  27. Oh, what is it about mice that makes them so creepy?

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  28. Oh my what a very entertaining tale Michele! I know I would've reacted the very same way as you did. I detest rodents of all sizes and to be near one in a confined space would make me feel uncomfortable to say the least.

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  29. ha! poor little guy probably had a heart attack and croaked in a corner! reminds me of a time a banana-sized roach creeped across my windshield while i drove well over the speed limit on the highway. luckily, it was in the day that my then-boyfriend aerosol deodorant... so we drowned him!

    thanks for the giggle!

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