So last night, James and I were disrobing for bed. James was down to a T-shirt and boxers, and I was struggling with the age-old question of whether or not to wear socks to bed, since my feet were cold.

James had just sent his boxers southward when he froze, and made a terrible “AWWWWWWwwwwwwhhhh…” of dismay.

Now, when someone removes their underwear and then breaks into a moan of despair, I automatically assume something has prolapsed, or collapsed, or whatever maladies afflict all the squishy little non-user-serviceable parts of the male anatomy. I froze with a sock in my hand. “What? WHAT?!”

James reapplied his underwear and let out another “Owwwwhhhhh…” And sighed, heavily.

I leapt to my single-sock-clad feet and came over, anticipating a trip to the emergency room or a hernia or something. However, to my mingled relief and mild dismay, James was fine. He was, however, gazing at a dead mouse (hence the dismay.)

“AWWWWWwwwwwhhh…” I said.

Athena had apparently dispatched the furry invader at some point while we were oblivious. We praised her for being a ferocious Mousebane. However, we still had to deal with the body. James wanted to flush it. I refused on the grounds that One Does Not Flush Mice. “You flush FISH!” he said. “Mice aren’t fish!” “Some fish are bigger than mice…you flush them…well, maybe not something the size of a carp…” “You don’t flush MICE!”

I suggested we just wing it off the deck into the darkness of the woods and let nature take its course. (I was still wandering around in a lone sock, and pretty much just wanted to get to bed.) James was aghast at this notion. One does not fling corpses willy-nilly off the deck! At least, not in a well-organized household! My arguments that A) it’s 40-degrees out and the mouse would keep for awhile, and B) maybe an owl would eat it and C) had he perhaps noted that I was wearing one sock and was tired, damnit? fell on deaf ears.

At last we compromised, as one might expect, with Burial At Can, wherein the rodent hero was sent off to his rodent Valhalla in a double-bagg’d wrap as white as the wing of a swan, emblazoned with the ancient runes of Hefty, and laid to rest in a forest green plastic cairn, there to dwell until the Valkyries of Public Service come and escort him to the Promised Land. I said a few words. The words were “Well, at least she left it on the floor, not the pillow,” but it’s the thought that counts.

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