Friday, December 10, 2010

Screaming is fun!

It's been a while since we decorated our tree "fully", with all the ornaments collected over the years. Jacqueline reminded me that we were down on Long Island last year, and so we didn't do the whole house decorating. She's right. Last night, with help from both the girls, we put up our pre-lit Christmas tree (aren't they great?) and decided that it was too cold and dark to go retrieve all the ornaments from the second floor of the garage. Jerry brought the boxes in this morning and Jackie and I began to decorate the tree. The second box, which was cardboard, was a little disappointing because apparently it had been home to a mouse (mice?) and the shredded papers and mouse poo was clear on some of the ornaments. Some we were able to salvage, some not. Thankfully, the ornaments that were important were usually glass and thus not damaged by mice. It was a skeeve producing activity, not a glorious holiday memory in the making. Once, Jackie screamed and backed up fearfully, but it was only some shredded paper. We were reminded of the year we lived in Sea Cliff. At the time I was a single parent living in a two bedroom apartment with two girls and a boy. Hence, my sleeping arrangement was a foam roll-out sofa on the floor. Now, before you go feeling sorry for me, I can tell you that that particular apartment had a fireplace in the living room, where my bed was, and so every night I went to sleep with a beautiful fire at my feet. It was theurapeutic and soothing. But I digress. One night I awoke to feel something on my neck, and half asleep brushed it away. The edge of the blanket perhaps? I got up in the morning and ran into town (most likely to 7-11 for a french vanilla) and as I pulled into the driveway I could hear blood curdling screams coming from inside the house. As soon as I heard those screams, I knew what it was that had "fluttered" across my neck the night before. I ran into the house to find Jackie (15 at the time) standing on her bed in her baby doll pajamas, unlaced workboots on her feet (her brother's perhaps?) with a tennis racket in one hand, a fly fishing rod in the other. She was mouse hunting. I went back out to the hardware store and purchased as much mouse eradification paraphanalia I could find, and came home to join her. We placed traps carefully around the house, secured the mouse into one room, and within hours we had caught him. He was stuck to one of those paper glue traps that seem so humane when you're buying them, not so much when you're taking a half dead, partially stuck and terrified mouse, to the garbage. Good times. As we continued to decorate the tree, we were lulled into a peaceful and secure feeling when out of the box jumped a mouse. A live, FAST, mouse. Jacqueline (with her blood curdling scream that brought back so many happy memories) flew, her feet barely touching the ground, into the hallway. She had seen him go, and she had seen where he went. I, who have lived in the country for some time now, was picking up her vibes and was now sitting in the living room chair with my feet off the floor. We decided we needed to get him OUT of the house. Propping open the front door, we found Jerry on the porch with the offending box of ornaments, picking through to make sure this was not a family situation. We believed the mouse was under the hutch and went after him with a broom to push him out. And out he came. FAST. They are incredibly fast. And I PROCEEDED TO JUMP ONTO THE COUCH IN THE LIVING ROOM, KNOCKING DOWN A DINING ROOM CHAIR AND END TABLE IN THE PROCESS. The mouse went straight for the outdoors, as any sane animal would do when faced with two screaming lunatics. I was screaming as loud as Jackie ever had, me, who lives in the country and is faced with mini-mice quite often. We catch them, move them on, and forget about it. But this screaming Long Island mall-queen opened up that dormant but inherant mall-queen in me, and I was loud. It was incredibly exhilarating! I had fun. Knowing that the mouse is gone is making this a happy memory. Those glorious Christmas memories that we always remember. Merry Christmas Jackie and Jerry. That was fun.

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