Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Fricassee

Appetizer
How old were you when you got your first credit card?

Eighteen. My pre-university travels, to be more precise. It was supposed to be for emergencies, and it was, if you count really really wanting to skydive an emergency. Which I did. I spent the first installment of my student loan on paying it off, but I think it was worth it. Other things I put on my credit card: diving on the Great Barrier Reef for a week; hiking up the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand; surfing lessons in Byron Bay. I don't regret whipping out the plastic for those experiences, they were incredible and I would do it all again, like that. (Um, I just clicked my fingers.)

Now, though, I don't have a credit card, because I find it difficult enough managing my money (and by 'managing my money' I mean 'not spending an entire month's pay in two weeks') as it is, let alone having to cope with credit card bills. Money sucks.

Soup
When was the last time you felt out of place?

I can't actually remember. I have tried to think and I honestly cannot recall a time recently that I have felt genuinely out of place. Perhaps this is because the question implies that I have some sort of designated 'place', and if I do then I don't know where the hell that would be. Perhaps in bed. Perhaps with Hugh Jackman.

Salad
Did you have a curfew when you were a teenager? If so, what time did you have to be home?

It depended where I was going, and how old I was. By the time I was eighteen I didn't have a curfew, and I'm not sure I did when I was seventeen. I'm sure there was a point when I had to be home by a certain time, but I can't remember the specifics. Anyway I was always led astray by one of my naughty sisters, so it was never my fault.

Main Course
Name a person from history with whom you feel you have something in common.

I honestly don't know. I mean, there are obviously people with whom I have things in common, but nobody leaps to mind if I try to think of someone I feel particular affiliation with.

Dessert
When you read a newspaper, which section do you go for first?

The news bits at the front, and then the rest of it. I never read the sports section or the finance bit.


*****************************************************

You'll be wondering about my ongoing battle with The Mouse In The House.

Well.

My Mum is terrified of mice. Terrified to the point of standing on chairs and screaming. There has been the odd mouse-related episode at my parents' house over the years, and no matter how many times my Dad has tried to reason with my Mum, she remains absolutely petrified and scared rigid by a mousely presence. He has tried The Perspective Technique ("it's probably way more scared of you than you are of it"), The Relax Technique ("it's just one little mouse, don't worry about it"), The New Pet Technique ("but he chose us! To be his new parents! It's quite sweet, really"). He has tried everything, but my mother's terror is steadfast.

Now, I've always been of the second school of thought. What's the worst it can do? It's only a mouse! Mice are little and sometimes sweet. Except when they manoeuvre drawing pins into step-able on positions in one's bedroom. And really that's only a few clever ones, who've been educated in the art of feet hurtery. The minority, as most can't afford that sort of an education (unless they keep all their money in off-shore, Swiss cheese bank accounts) (sorry). As a general rule though, mice do not scare me. Wasps shake me to my very core, but that's understandable seeing as wasps are the incarnation of evil.

Yesterday evening David and I were in the kitchen of the flat. I had eaten my dinner of tinned tomatoes and kidney beans (Sainsbury's Basics range: a meal for under 50p!) and was in the doorway. David was opening his drawer to get a can of soup.

as he opened the door a mouse leapt out like leapt really far and jumped and it was small and black and whippy and was squeaking like this squeeeeeeeeak squeeeeeak squeak squeak and it leapt onto a tray with high sides and couldn't get out of the tray and was doing circuits round and round and racing racing squeeeeeeeeaking and whipping scraping the wood with tiny claws whip whipping with its tail and then it LEAPT off the tray and whipped under the fridge and was gone.

I have never, never EVER screamed so much in my whole entire life. From the moment the drawer opened I screamed so much that it shook my entire body. In complete and abject shock and horror I screeeeeeeamed to match the squeeeeeeeaking, feeling like my skin wanted to go one way and the rest of me another. As soon as it disappeared I ran into the lounge and jumped up onto a chair and stayed there. I felt like it was ON me and whipping over my feet and scraping me with its claws.

So, yeah, it turns out I am pretty much quite scared of mice.

Thinking about it makes me feel sick. Like in 1984 with Winston and the rats. Oh God. I feel like they're in my hair.

David stood and surveyed the mouse-based scene with distaste and annoyance. After I sprinted to the lounge to clutch at my petticoats and demand smelling salts, David quietly shut the kitchen door and got on with disinfecting his drawer.

I am, I thought balefully, such a girl.

I spoke to my Mum later on and she told me that, when she was growing up her mother was terrified of mice. To the extent that their house in Surrey had been specially selected for its sturdy flooring and lack of possible mouse entrance points. My Mum had never experienced a mouse before she was about twenty-seven, and had previously always regarded her mother's phobia with exasperation. When she experienced the mouse it scared the living bejesus (my words, not hers) out of her, and she developed her own phobia. I am honoured that now it has been passed onto me, in the manner of a lovely, rodent-related heirloom.

I managed to calm down, and we have spoken to the landlord, because there are only so many smelling salts in this world and I am having trouble moving round the flat whilst standing only on chairs.

Later on that evening Lizzie came round, who is giving Bec beauty treatments in exchange for singing lessons, and I had my eyelashes tinted. Lizzie is a scary Hungarian who is very blunt and outspoken ("David! You esmoke? Ees bad for eskeeen!"), but very lovely. She tried to wax Bec's arms but Bec escaped, so Lizzie had to satisfy herself with facials, body wraps and other waxings. So I had my eyelashed dyed. Also my eyebrows tinted. Which, yes, I know, is strange. I have really dark hair and lighter eyebrows, unless I colour them in. So she tinted them for me, and now I think I look like Groucho Marx/Frida Kahlo, and nobody else can see a difference. This morning I have approached three people and, invading their personal space somewhat, have demanded that they notice something different about my face. Apart from "nearer than is usually considered acceptable", nobody could see any different. When I told them they sort of said "Oh, yeah, I suppose. Actually, no. I can't see any difference." This is probably because I usually colour them in with a little brush. My eyebrows, not the people. You knew that, though. I digress.

I think they make me look like a man, though. So when I leap up on chairs, my needlepoint to my chest and my bonnet slightly lopsided from fright, I will look like a drag queen. Which leads me to concede that perhaps the mice would be more scared of me than I am of them.

Have a fun weekend, everybody. I am off to get a cat, or failing that a mouse-eating magical pony.

10 Comments:

Blogger Mouldy said...

You've been tagged!

12:56 pm

 
Blogger Jonathan said...

Best thing I have read in a long time: "After I sprinted to the lounge to clutch at my petticoats and demand smelling salts..." Great image.

1:33 pm

 
Anonymous e. said...

I'm not scared of mice, either. I've even had them as pets. But when just shows up out of no where quite unexpectedly.. well, yes, scream and flail about. It's the only logical solution.

My mouse hasn't returned. Get a cat, even a pansy one will apparently keep mice away.

3:17 pm

 
Anonymous number1hypocrite said...

My cat gets confused by mice. Doesn't have the slightest clue as to what to do with it.

So if you do get a cat, make sure it's educated in mouse catchery.

12:07 am

 
Blogger Miss Devylish said...

Ok.. please tell me what the landlord said cuz here, that wouldn't fly w/ me. In one of the last places I rented, we had mice. I told the landlord there'd been this tiny mouse w/ a huge tail in the kitchen under the sink. He goes, '5 inches? Um.. that's not a mouse. That'd be a rat'. Yes, I felt just wonderful after that.. And do you know what he brought us?? Traps. Not poison (they can eat it then go die in the walls and the house would smell awful for months) or cages.. just traps, which he rigged w/ peanut butter and a bit of a granola bar. When those things snapped.. let me just say, my roommate was freaked out by the sound. Guess who had to dispose of them?? Oh yes, yours truly. But girl, trust me on this.. if you have one, you probably have a lot more. We killed at least 8 or so w/ traps.. found 2 more dead behind the water heater, another had to have died between floors (basement and main) and tho they are cute, remember, they do bring in disease. Even too much mouse poo carries it.. so please get them to take care of your cute abode!

Good luck!!

1:49 am

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once had to act as an amanuensis for a university student for his exam. We got stuck in this nasty basement room and at some point, we both looked up and saw this tiny mouse crawling up the cord to a TV. I was stupified: it was amazing to watch--or so I thought. Next minute, the guy leaps up and refuses to continue while that mouse was in the room. we spent the next hour with the examinations office finding another room to work in.

but for me, spiders. They scare the nuts offa me.

7:20 am

 
Blogger Anne said...

That was so funny..I never thought that I was afraid of mice. I knew when I lived at my parents they caught them sometimes under the cabinets but I never really thought that I was scared. Then one night in my very first apartment I was sitting on the couch eating ice cream out of the carton when I saw a little bitty one creep along beside the dishwasher. I dont know what happened..I just FREAKED! I ran outside in my pajamas with no shoes and spent the night at my moms. I think its just that they are so fast and the tail is so long..Im getting the creepies just thinking about them!

4:54 pm

 
Anonymous ammogirl said...

Perhaps you SHOULD color the people in with a little brush. I think then they would notice.

How do you like your eyelash tint? Is it fabulous? Would you recommend it? Does it completely preclude the need for mascara?

3:09 am

 
Blogger Rigmor said...

Yuk. I can't cope with mice either. And our landlord said "uhm, get a cat." And i said "I am really allergic to cats. I am actually allergic to mice too." And the landlord said
"there were never a problem when I lived there with my cat" and I said "maybe that's because you aren't allergic to it" and he said "Maybe". And did nothing.

And well. I am a girl. And I don't like mice. And so we moved. (Makes me wonder what I'd do in the future if I ever bought a place of my own and THEN there were mice).

7:35 am

 
Anonymous Adrian said...

I'm noticing that magic pony is not so much an idle statement, but a recurring theme.

Is this a latent unfulfilled childhood desire.

If I would say "you know there is no such thing as magic ponies right" would I get in uber trouble, and stropped at?

Have you tried magic goats?

9:37 am

 

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