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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Denial of Masculinity and Vets with shovels

So, my roommate and I have had this problem of medium size rats roaming our neighbors garage and tragically venturing into our backyard. I say tragically because the rats always end up caught by our dogs. (a lab, a rottweiler and my border collie)
So the evening is usually going well, we'll be watching TV or cooking dinner and the dogs will come tromping into the living room with a toy in their mouth. Then to our surprise they will drop a huge rat right in front of us. Of course, I will usually scream from shock and surprise, my roommate will go running into another room and I am left with the unsavory task of disposing of said rat. They are usually dead.
So we've gotten into a routine about the whole thing (though its only happened twice) until last night, when somedog threw a wrench in the works.
Last night started out wonderful. We went to Target, got a Christmas tree, set it all up and decorated it. She goes to let the dogs in and I hear a screech of terror break the calm evening. Being the big strong man that I am (ok, I'll wait for the laughing to stop.... ) I rush to her aid assuming that it is some large bear or methed up crackhead attacking her. (I'm sure you're wondering where I live that we worry about both bears AND methed up crackheads) When I arrive at the scene of the crime she has the dogs inside and is panting with excitement. "What is it?" I asked, with a manly tenor to my voice. "Its a rat! The dogs caught, its outside, its still squeaking!" I'm thinking, no way is it still squeaking and go out to dispose of another rat carcass. To my surprise the thing is still twitching. I hate mice, rats, anything with that ugly as tail. (hamsters are cool, no tail) I grab a shovel, raise it over my head unceremoniusly to bring down upon the the tiny twitching body. Then, like a killer who decides at the last minute he can't kill his best friend, I stop. The shovel falls dramatically from my hands and I turn to my roommate and declare "I can't kill it!" She's a vet, she kills animals all day long (only the sick ones that can't be cured, I'm sure) I figure this is right up her alley. After a brief discussion, both of us determinedly refusing to look at the twitching body, she grabs the shovel and walks over and, in an action that would make Robespierre proud, takes care of business. But no over the head smashing like I was going to do (which would probably have splashed blood everywhere) she discretely severs the spinal cord and hands me back the shovel.
Obviously she was much better suited to that task than I. Now that the mouse/rat was dead, my role was clear again and I promptly scooped it up and disposed of it in a ceremony reminiscant of Hitler's (dumped into the refuse bin).
So, the night calmed down, my masculinity was determined, and the dogs all got another notch on their collars.

"O' Liberty! how they have played with you."
-Madame Jeane Roland de La Platiere's last words, one of many moderate girondist's beheaded under the reign of terror led by Robespierre during the French Revolution. (I always like when the footnote is longer than the quote)

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