Monday, April 26, 2010

Of Mice and Wrenches

 It started with a little rustling sound. I was sitting at the dining-room table, with an eye-opening cup of joe and the morning tabloid, when I heard a muffled rattle from the wine cabinet in the corner of the room. A half-hour later, I hear it again and mention it to Kim.

"It's like there's a mouse in there," I say, and describe the noises I've heard.

"No," she says, "it's just a truck going by that rattles the glassware."

Later in the morning, I'm at work in the den, when I hear it again--the rustle, the rattle, and this time the arresting sound of glasses tipping over. I come out to investigate, turn the corner and pinwheel to a sliding stop. There I stand, eye to beady eye with a furry brown mouse. He's crouched among the cabernet glasses, staring me down, his nose twitching menacingly. I do what any red-blooded man would do. I shriek like a little girl, tear back to the den, slam the door, and call Kim to tell her she has to come home right away because there's a mouse in the house.

Now, this might seem to indicate a woeful lack of testosterone on my part. Not so fast. Here's where the story takes a turn that almost makes it relevant to the theme of this blog and at the same time restores a measure of manhood to my self-image. While sequestered in the den awaiting rescue, I flipped nervously through the Encarta World English Dictionary on my book stand and happened to spot this entry:

What is depicted here, as any handyman worth his over-exposed butt crack knows, is an adjustable crescent wrench, or so I have always believed. Indeed, a quick query to the Google gods confirms that a monkey wrench looks like this:

Granted, I have not actually used either instrument--at least not successfully--but I think I deserve at least a couple of manly man points for my display of tool-spotting acumen.

As for the mouse situation, the little rodent made its way into a drawer of my nightstand, as I discovered with sphincter-tightening alarm during the night, and Kim eventually repatriated the vicious little beast to the great outdoors. On Sunday, however, Caesar, our homicidal cat, inexplicably lunged at a cabinet in Abby's room, which led me (or rather, led Abby, who investigated while I cowered outside her door) to discover another twitchy-nosed interloper.

I'm moving to a hotel until this situation is resolved.