By Gary Mosher
I’ve never thought of myself as a brave man, but it’s nice to know if you’ll be able to handle yourself in a dangerous situation. One morning on my drive to work such an occasion occurred. I was cruising down the road and singing off-key to the radio when I suddenly had the gut wrenching feeling that I wasn’t alone. I could sense the presence of evil even before I saw the black, beady eyes and the long, fang-like teeth that would have chilled the blood of a navy seal.
I swerved the car like a madman, not caring about my own well-being or the safety of others as I tried to disgorge from my car this demonic creature from the depths of hell. But the brute held on! Clinging to my wiper blades like a trapeze artist was a mouse. And I’m not talking Mickey Mouse here, this mouse was mean, evil and cunning. I could see it in his eyes.
Once I’d gotten over my initial panic I knew I had nothing to fear. I had the superior mind. Besides, he was on the outside while I was safe, entombed within a metal fortress. I locked the doors and prepared to do battle.
If I couldn’t shake him off, perhaps I could flood him out. My fingers wrapped around the control to the window washer and I chuckled softly to myself, knowing that this mouse had met his match. I plunged the button down and water cascaded over him in a furious waterfall while I laughed the laugh of the victorious.
But then the creature lifted first one leg and then the other, and I swear he slowly washed under each armpit. Then, with a final twist of his tail, which I knew in rodent language had to be an obscene gesture, he slithered under the hood and out of sight.
My morning at work passed slowly as I waited for lunch to arrive so I could continue my bout with the creature. Armed with an ice scrapper and an umbrella, I popped the hood and prepared to do battle. The cowardly beast had fled. In his haste he had left behind a scattering of acorn shells, leaves and pine needles. I took great pleasure in brushing his meager possessions off of my engine and onto the cold, dark pavement. This rodent hotel was closed. We both knew who had the superior mind – until I got home that night and cast a final glance at the battlefield, that space between the hood and windshield where the wipers come to rest. There, staring up at me with demonic lust, were those black, beady eyes.
We both knew he was looking for a fight. For him, it would be revenge; for me, vindication. Showing absolutely no concern for my own safety, I grabbed my weapons of choice, my trusty ice scrapper and umbrella, threw open the hood and prepared to confront the monstrous beast.
Oh, how that ninja mouse led me on a merry chase! Jumping and scrambling from engine part to engine part, the cowardly fiend was afraid to stand still and fight me like a man. Meanwhile, I followed always a second behind, banging from air filter to carburetor, my weapons a blur of angry motion. I worked myself up into a frenzy and couldn’t have banged any faster had I been playing a drum solo in a rock concert. In desperation, the beast dove down a small crevice and disappeared into the bowels of my car.
A lesser man might have gloated over his victory, but I had a more important task before me. In a total disregard for the Geneva Convention’s ban on chemical warfare, I forced mothballs into every crack and opening I could find. I crammed five pieces down the crevice into which the coward had fled.
It’s been two days now and there has been no further sign of the evil beast. He has met his match and instinct has taken him to haunt a new location. I was free of the rodent, the only reminder the pungent smell of mothballs every time I turned on the heater. I didn’t mind, it was the smell of victory.
This morning the little boy who lives next door came by to visit. He was sad. It seems that a couple of days ago his pet gerbil got loose and ran away.