The T-Dog takes on dead mouse

May 09, 2001

The T-Dog takes on dead mouse

I realized a lifelong ambition on the street the other day. I got called "dog." This happened when I was walking up Antietam Street across from the new courthouse.

About that time a brother strolled by and said to me "Hey, what's goin on dog?" Unless you are as chronically white as I am, you probably have trouble understanding how much this can possibly mean to a fellow.

To be called "dog" is sort of like being admitted into a fraternity; it is a sense of belonging. Well, the T-Dog wasn't about to let this opportunity slip past. After the initial shock at this friendly overture, I quickly tried to formulate a suitable response like "This man must be messin? Got to be runnin cold down upside his head" or "Hey Holme, I'd like to hang, but I gots to represent at the company Chamber of Commerce mixer wit they breakfast bar treats and shrimp cocktail."


But I lost the opportunity. Where I should have said "That's some fly shirt yo, I bet you be attractin women wit a quickness" all I could stammer out was "Well gee whiz, well you have a nice day, too."

Pathetic. "Gee whiz" is not essentially what you would call street language. Fortunately, he was kind and we ended up having a nice chat.

But then, I've never been able to communicate much with anybody, except the poor cat Bubba who gave up the ghost after two years of life with me, which beat any time a woman was ever able to handle by about 18 months and change.

The reason I bring this up is because of mice. Bubba wasn't much on catching mice - he appeared to be above it. He tried it once on my friend's woodpile, but after hauling up the fifth one he seemed to tire of the experiment and from then on never harmed a creature to whom he had not been introduced.

But he was golden at keeping mice out of my flat, mainly, I reckon, because his snoring was sort of terrifying. No mouse could ever bear that sound. But now that he's gone off to that great catbox in the sky there's nothing to prohibit the furry little intruders from entering my place, which is exactly what one of them did recently.

Predictably, he did what most things do in my company.

He died.

At least I suspect that he did. And I suspect it was a mouse, not having made any actual eye contact or personal acquaintance. It could have been a moose, my house is sort of a wreck and all.

But he is leaving his evidence wafting all through the house. Just safe to say, if the police ever come around searching for a corpse they will book me on probable cause. Well, the T-Dog did what any man would do, faced with a similar situation.

Did I search out the carcass? Are you nuts? Of course not, I simply went to the closest store that sold air freshener and bought the place out. Like when you hear a funny noise and you respond to it by turning up the radio. It's the same idea.

It didn't work though. All I wound up with was a home that smelled like lemon-scented rotting mouse. Now there's only one of two places the mouse could be and the first is under the bed and I'll be hanged if I'm going to look there.

Even the cleaning lady refuses, telling me that she has some standards that she just won't break.

The second place is in the kitchen cabinets, where I understand many people keep food-like items. If the mouse is there, small wonder he died. I'm the reason Mueller's had to start putting an expiration date on pasta.

So to date no luck. And I don't care to have luck. That's why the good Lord invented hotel rooms.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist

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