Marriage is a wonderful part of life. Jerry is truly my knight in shining armor, and in all the time we’ve been together, the newness hasn’t worn off. We communicate well and we’re always learning new things about each other. I remember once Jerry left the toilet seat up and I came home after working second shift. Not wanting to wake him up, I slipped into the bathroom without turning on the light and fell right in! After screaming hysterically and punching Jerry awake, he asked, “You fell in? I didn’t know you’d fit in there!” So he learned that my butt isn’t as big as it looks and our sofa was not comfortable for sleeping. Ah, the things you learn when you’re part of a couple!
When we moved to North Carolina, we quickly found ‘the perfect house’ and settled into our domestic routine. The previous owners left some stuff behind, but the strangest things they left were a hermit crab and a fan-tail goldfish. Growing up, I always had dogs or cats as pets, so I wasn’t sure about our new pets, but I tried to make them as comfortable as possible. By week one, I had christened the goldfish ‘Sir Shitzalot’ and tried to decide what to do with the hermit crab, whom Jenda named Mr. Krabs.
After some research, I learned that hermit is a misnomer, because according to information on the web, they are really social creatures. They are also higher maintenance and more expensive to care for than those broads from ‘Sex and the City.’ I went out and spent a fortune on an expensive crabitat, special food, and a new friend. I settled them into their new digs and let them meet and greet.
Imagine my horror the next morning to discover that the new crab was dead! He was face down in the water dish, lifeless and limp, while Mr. Krabs skittered around in an agitated state. Jenda came into the room at that moment. “Mommy, what’s wrong with the new crab?”
Damn! Think fast! Well Jenda, I said earnestly, he’s sleeping. Don’t wake him up. He needs his rest, okay? I hustled her off to daycare and went back to the pet store to buy an identical hermit crab. Jerry was quick to point out that I must have overfilled the water dish, causing the crab to drown as he went to get a drink. Hello…pack your bags, you’re going on a guilt trip! I spent the rest of the day horrified at the thought that I killed the poor creature and equally horrified at how much I had spent on crab crap in the last two days. I introduced the new crab into the mix before Jenda got home, so she never noticed the difference.
Hell’s Bells! I woke up the next morning and the newest new crab was dead! There was NO WAY Jerry could blame this on me, because I had emptied out some of the water, but there was number two, dead at the watering hole. And then a horrible thought occurred to me. Our original hermit, Mr. Krabs, was a serial killer! I wasn’t the one who killed the crab, he was killed by one of his own! Then to top off everything, Sir Shitzalot died, so I told Jenda the crabs and the fish became fast friends and went on a road trip of sorts and that they’d drop us a line when they had time. Then, I gave Mr. Krabs a very wide berth!
I hate to say that I was happy when Mr. Krabs finally kicked the bucket, because jubilant is probably a better word. I made Jerry bury him in the yard, which was quickly turning into hermit crab cemetery, and decided to live pet-free for awhile. Then one day, I came home to find Jerry waiting for me in the garage with what can only be described as ‘guilty husband face.’ I jumped out of the car prepared for a smackdown. I asked, WTF?!
Let me tell you, I know I talk a lot, but it’s social stuff. With Jerry, when you ask him what time it is, he’ll tell you how they make the watch. So I had to hear about how the Bradford Pear trees are blooming and the wind is scattering their white petals everywhere. Okay, I’m with you. Then he said, “I was sitting on the front porch and I noticed that one of the petals was larger than the others, and blowing in the opposite direction.”
‘Well I went to take a closer look, and I saw that it was a little white mouse. He seemed so sad, so I took off my shoe, and caught him under it.”
Well, if he wasn’t sad before, the smell from your shoe did it. And I assume after breathing in your shoe fumes, he died…?
“No. I lifted up my shoe to get a closer look, and he ran up the leg of my pants.”
“So I shook around and wiggled my legs like crazy, because I could feel his little feet skittering over my, um, y’know, buhdoobies. Then I ran in the garage and yanked my pants down, and had to pull my undies down to be able to grab him.”
I can’t help it, y’all. I pictured Billy Idol. Sing along with me….
‘I’m a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho, a-dancin’ with myself…I got a rat in my pants, I want the world to dance, so I’m a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho, a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho, a-dancin’ with myself, I’m naked in the street, my balls are covered with feet and I’m a-dancin’ with myself, oh ho ho…’
So when you came into the garage to, er, take care of business, did you close the garage door?
“Heck no! I had a mouse running around on my manly manhood. I had to do what I had to do!”
Well, now I guess the neighbors know I didn’t marry you for your money.
‘Look, Myrtle, what’s that fool doin’ over there?’‘
I dunno, Mavis, but it shore reminds me of my late husband Billy Mack!’
So I’ve buried a few hermit crabs, flushed a goldfish, and have endured the admiring glances of the neighborhood women at my husband. I now have a pet mouse, Ratatouille, who I believe escaped from a testing facility since he runs on his wheely-thingy for hours on end and has an inordinate fondness for Cheez-Its. But he hasn’t killed anyone, and outside of one escape from his mouse house, hasn’t caused any problems. In fact, it’s safe to say that the mouse is pretty low-maintenance. So he can stay.
But if any of you see my husband dancing alone, in the street, with only one shoe on, don't assume he's happy to see you. There probably IS a mouse in his pants.