passions

Of Mice and Me

Considering that I’m musophobic (musophobia being a fancy word for “fear of mice”), I don’t know why I feel compelled to blog about mice. But perhaps, in the heat of finishing my thesis and policy analysis within the week, the surge of adrenalin plus increased caffeine consumption caused this compulsion to write anything that comes randomly to my mind.

*****

When I was working with the HR group of Jollibee, I remember how a requisition slip addressed to Procurement perplexed our HR assistant with: “2 mice.” After a couple of seconds trying to figure it out–because HR people do try to understand what you really need–we came to the conclusion that the person was indeed requesting for a computer mouse in plural sense. Of course, “mice” is the plural of “mouse,” but we rarely refer to the computer mouse in the plural sense, hence, “2 mice” sounded funny. If you ask me, I would be content filling out a requisition slip with: computer mouse – 2 units.

*****

During my boyfriend’s last visit, he found having a resident mouse in his room rather strange. We bought glue pads at Handyman, and placed one along the mouse’s regular path. After all, he’s a behavioral researcher who uses observation, frequency monitoring, and time to his advantage. We were watching CSI when he got the hit. I can’t forget the look on his face when he saw the tiny, curious creature trying to figure out what kind of mess it had gotten itself into and fighting hard for all it was worth to get out of that mess. My boyfriend said, “You know, Schelli, he’s just a little guy who’s found his niche in this room. I feel awful.”

We spent the next couple of minutes (Oh it was a re-run episode, anyway) prying the mouse off the glue pad very, very carefully. Bo wasn’t satisfied after we did manage to succeed. “This little guy has no chance of surviving out there with his fur covered in glue,” he muttered. He placed the little fellow (No way was I going to touch it even with gloves) at the terrace. I was already looking forward to re-identifying John Doe’s killer when I saw Bo staring outside the window. “Okay, let’s get it out to the woody part,” I succumbed, “It might get the glue off its back when it brushes against fresh leaves.” That would be quite unlikely, I know, but I had to give Bo a reason to believe that the mouse would indeed live happily ever after. Since the gate was locked, we used a long stick to prod the mouse toward some shrubs, which, we hope, would lead it toward the woods.

The end. The moral of the story? My boyfriend is a compassionate man, and I’m a CSI junkie, the musophobic kind.

*****

The same boyfriend happens to be Bulgarian. As the only Bulgarian I know is “Obicham te,” and the only Cyrillic I can read is my first name, we decided to engage in Twenty Questions, except it was more like Twenty Translations. As you may have already guessed, we got around to: English word: mouse. I said, “Filipino: bubuwit.” Bo retorted, “Female: mishka; male: mishok.”

Wow. This knowledge shouldn’t have surprised me, especially from a country where a nod means “no,” and shaking your head means “yes.” So, I wondered, if I see a mouse scampering about in Bulgaria, how would I know if I am to call it a “mishka” or a “mishok”? Well, I found out later from another source (I’m tempted to say “ayon sa aking bubuwit,” but that’s overdoing my mouse theme) that “mishka” is “its cute name.” So, mishok is the generic noun, same as “man” in “No man is an island” includes women. (Hmmm, the feminist in me is raising her eyebrow, but that’s not the topic of this entry.)

*****

Now, the tension has been released. And on the way to completing this entry, I realized how much I miss Bo right now. He would make valuable comments on my thesis, not to mention how he would boss me around with, “How many pages did you write today, sweetie?” and “Sweetie, that doesn’t sit well with your framework.” Save for the “sweetie” thing, I would most likely sulk and snap at him, “You’re brilliant. I know. Now, leave my mediocre self alone.” I take comfort in the fact that we will have more time to argue later and that he always manages to make things all right.

Now, if I can just get this annoyingly repetitive tune out of my head. Oh Mickey, you’re so fine…

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