My 11-year old son and I were
watching football on television when we heard the scream. It came from the
bedroom and there was no doubt it was a female. No man could make a sound
This was serious. We looked at
each other, knowing there was a woman in trouble, calling for her men to
save her. And with the 49ers comfortably ahead by 20 in the 4th,
there was no reason not to rush to her aid.
With only a slight glance over our
shoulder to make certain nothing exciting was happening on the screen, we
rushed down the hall to the bedroom, where my wife was standing on the
bed, and still screaming.
"Are you all right?" I
asked. "Whatís the matter?"
Her men had arrived. Everything
was going to be OK. She stopped screaming and caught her breath. And then
she pointed towards the closet.
"A rat," she gasped.
"It ran right by me and went into the closet. It was huge."
My son and I looked at each other
and shared the common bond of manhood, which decreed that women are, for
the most part, wimps. A rat. Hah, hah, hah. It was probably a little mouse
that crawled into some hole, never to be seen again.
It was at this point that my wife
determined that the rat she had just seen was nothing compared to the
six-foot rodent standing next to the bed.
"It was a rat," she
said, rather coldly. "And if youíre such a big, strong man, why donít
you go in the closet and get it."
Hah, hah, hah. A challenge from
the little woman. I snorted a little snort to show my disdain, and then
manfully headed for the closet to begin my hunt, knowing that mice can
squeeze through tiny cracks in the wall. There was no way this mouse was
still in the closet.
I confidently brushed aside the
hanging clothes from one side of the closet as my wife and son watched,
and then nonchalantly pushed back the clothes on the other side. Thatís
when a rat the size of a Great Dane came scurrying by my bare feet.
The scream was kind of instantaneous, but once I let it go, I felt a
little better. And my sonís scream would have made any female proud.
All three of us were now standing
on the bed. No way this rat was going to chew off our feet. "Where
did it go?" I asked, a lot less confidently than before.
My wife, who had a better view,
paused to enjoy the moment. "It went under the bed."
Our manhood clearly exposed as a
fraud, my son and I looked at each other and bonded as Men of the New
Nevertheless, despite my new
sensitivity, I was elected to see if the rodent remained under the bed. I
jumped down and sprinted safely to the closet, where I put on a pair of
leather shoes that I was pretty certain the rat couldnít chew through.
Then I once again assured everyone that I was certain it had gone back
into some hole and I would find nothing.
I lifted the skirt (the bedís
skirt, wise guy) and truly expected to see nothing. Thatís why I was a
little surprised to see beady rat eyes staring at me as it poised in a
perpendicular position on the mattress, obviously ready to strike.
This scream did not exactly bolster the confidence of my wife and son, but
it sure scared the hell out of the rat. Instead of chewing off my ears, it
jumped off the mattress and headed for a door my wife had earlier opened
which conveniently led to a second-floor deck, where it graciously
performed a suicide leap to get away once and for all from these screaming
humans. We never looked, but weíd like to assume the rat was squished.
Our hunt was over. Once again, we
men had come to the rescue of a distressed female. My son and I puffed up
our chests and marched back to the television. We had a football game to