Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Act 1: In Which Our Hero Makes His Appearance. A few days ago, Marie and I were grocery shopping in Safeway when we saw a stuffed mouse, all dressed up for Christmas, incongruously standing behind the bananas in the produce department. The thing was tall (standing on the floor, it came up to my kneecap) and it was a steal for $9.74.
As you see in the photo, this was a fine, jaunty mouse, looking more like Topo Gigio than Mickey the Mouse. He had little reindeer woven into its winter coat, which was trimmed in fur. A pair of gloves, a scarf, and a perky Santa hat completed his ensemble. Though the mouse probably originated in the mind of a Chinese entrepreneur and then sewn together by the dexterous hands of Chinese maidens, the little rodent looked like something that might have come straight out of a quaint little shop in Santa Claus, Indiana. Those Chinese know us.
Act II: In Which the Villain Arrives on the Scene. Bob the dog thinks that anything that comes into the house that looks like a dog toy is his. So he sat under it for hours, looking up and whimpering for us to take it down and give it to him.
We knew that if we let him have the mouse, Bob would destroy it within minutes. This was our Christmas decoration. So we resisted. But after hours of listening to Bob’s pathetic moaning, we couldn’t take it any longer, so we drove back to Safeway and bought another mouse, this one just for Bob.
(You probably also think we’re pampering our dog, that we’re canine enablers! But that couldn’t possibly be true. You see, there is a precise correlation between owners who spoil their dogs and owners who give their dogs cutesy nicknames. We would never do that. We don’t even call Bob our fur baby — though we’re sorely tempted.)
Act III: In Which Bob’s Normally Suppressed Canine Instincts Come Alive. When we got home with the mouse, Bob jumped up and down, pawed the rug, and circled three times in a frenzy. We asked forgiveness of the mouse and then threw him into the den with the Bobster.
Bob pounced on that mouse like a lion on a gazelle. Within minutes, the mouse was on his back being eviscerated. The poor thing still has a smile on his face. Those Chinese seamstresses would have cried if they could see what you see below.
After an hour or so, here’s Mr. Bob with the scattered remains of the mouse’s cotton entrails. Bob seems to have a “Did I do OK?” look on his face.
Act IV: Mouse Resurrection. To the right, here’s what the poor mouse looked like after we had stuffed most of his innards back in. Parts of him have gone missing. He is now sans eyes, sans ears, and sans arms. His tail has been dismembered.
Marie will gather up the parts and resurrect the mouse by sewing the poor thing together. His resurrected form, seen to the left, however, is missing his eyes, one arm, one leg, one ear, half his suit, and a tail. We don’t know where those parts went to. Marie probably thought it futile to sew the tail back on.
Mr. Bob will play with the mouse for a while, listlessly tearing off an appendage every now and then (which Marie dutifully sews back on), but the thrill is largely gone. The mouse will slowly sink down to the bottom of the toy box and spend his remaining days a pathetic and forgotten thing.
Act V: Denouement. Before the mouse came into the house, Bob had destroyed toys galore. We thought we had learned our lesson — no more dog toys unless they’re made of indestructible rubber. But the Bobber made such a pathetic picture as he sat there longing for the mouse that we folded like a cheap lawn chair. We’ll probably fold again in the future. We’re eminently foldable when it comes to the Bobster.Published in