Of Mice and Men and Women


Back when I was a college student, I was dating one of the most glamorous women I had ever seen. I invited her to my childhood home one evening as a prelude to a dance we were attending.

When the appointed evening arrived, I picked her up in my battered old Chrysler, already somewhat embarrassed about the age and condition of the car. She didn’t seem to mind, at least it was a car – a bit of a luxury on campus in those days.

We chatted quietly on the drive to my parent’s rather modest house in the suburbs and once there, we entered via the front door – an event usually reserved for visiting dignitaries and potentates –tradesmen and all others, use the kitchen door– p-l-e-a-s-e!

When I removed her fur coat (it looked like Mink, no less), I was rather surprised and delighted by my date’s gorgeous (and revealing) aqua dress.

My father appeared to be equally delighted, my mother far less so.

In any case, we soon adjourned to the living room. My date, my mother, and I occupied the couch. While my father took up residence in a nearby chair, his eyes were not all that far away from the aqua outfit.

The conversation was a bit awkward at first, but it gradually warmed up as we got the usual generalities about “How’s school going?” “Where are you living on campus?” etc. out of the way.

But then the evening, which had been progressing rather nicely, took a disastrous turn for the worse.

With absolutely no warning whatsoever, a small grey mouse appeared on the back of the sofa. Like an incoming Cruise missile, it made a beeline for the neckline of my date’s dress.

My date gasped. My father gawked. My mother grimaced. I was speechless.

However, the mouse appeared nonplussed and after a brief examination of the exposed flesh, jumped off my date, raced across the living room floor, climbed the fire screen and to paraphrase The Night Before Christmas, “up the chimney it rose.”

The silence that followed was deafening.

Finally, in a feeble attempt at explanation and perhaps humor, I offered, “Oh, that was just little Edgar. He comes by from time to time.”

Not my best explanation, but all I could come up with at the time.

As you might imagine, it didn’t fly.

The Mink was quickly reinstalled on my date’s lovely shoulders. The ride back to the campus was even colder than the weather outside.

(photo courtesy of Vasilly Koval/Dreamstime.com)