tirsdag, oktober 03, 2006

My Own Private Hitchcock Film

It isn't the night and shadows and the mean things waiting therein--such as grues--that keep me from throwing things in the dumpster at night. It's the fear that something ghastly will be discovered the next morning and some insomniac forever lingering at the curtains (Christopher!) will say they saw me throwing away something suspicious in the middle of the night. A human head perhaps? It's the fear that my neighbors might suddenly take an accusatory interest in me.

But they'd be right.

Tonight I woke at 3:20. I sat up. I listened to the apartment. Something was amiss. I went to the kitchen. I listened to the darkness. I waited. And then I heard it: the crinkle of a plastic bag.


I flipped on the light and looked about wildly for a weapon that I didn't mind sullying with mouse hair or blood or connective tissue. Eight-inch Wusthof chef's knife? No way. Cheap, 14-year-old, four-inch paring knife with the broken handle? Too close range. And then I saw it: the head of Paul Mayasich on a stick.

Mayasich and the Benderheads have had a long-term, weekly gig at the Minnesota Music Cafe. Mayasich is a kickass guitarist and singer. His head on a stick--a ruler, really--had been a thing my buddy Keith proposed to the band one night. Keith gave me this item. The photo of Mayasich has him screaming joyously while his hair billows from his head like the hair of Sideshow Bob.

Mayasich's hair is like that. All the time. He has the sort of thinning curly hair that looks like maybe he'd been the target of numerous swirlies as a teenager, only instead of dunking his head in a toilet the bullies had stuck his melon in a cotton candy machine.

So I wield the Mayasich head but realize quickly that his face's draft is slowing me down. I tear off his face. (Sorry, Paul.) Now I've got my power stick.

The mouse has crawled into a bag I'd left a banana peel in. This wasn't a trap, just a way to store the banana peel on my way up from my car. But the mouse went for it. (Do mice eat bananas?) To my fortune, I'd lazily left the bag on the counter.

Ruler raised and fearing the mouse might jump out and touch me, I open the garbage can and drop the mouse in. Thank god the foot pedal works! My face is twitching. I've got a case of the autumn sniffles. I'm in my boxer shorts. And I'm holding a ready-to-strike ruler over my head.

Oh, and my blinds into the kitchen are open. If my neighbors in the too-close-for-comfort building next door were awake, well, I'm going to have to kill them now. Witnesses.

Some time passed after I'd tied off the garbage bag and set it on the kitchen floor. I knew I needed to take the thing out of the apartment, but I started thinking about how creepy I probably look taking trash out in the middle of the night.

Also, I'd yet to believe I, like Klondike Cat, had captured my mouse. I wanted proof.

I waited. I waited to hear him shift. I waited until I saw a bit of a shadow against the bag, a flutter in the plastic. This took about ten minutes, and when it happened, I made a few crinkled-nose, timid swats with my headless ruler.

If a motion can be falsetto, that was it.

Hastily, I quadruple-bagged the thing (using plastic grocery bags, not garbage bags). Once I was satisfied my jail could hold, I dressed and took my prisoner to the dumpster.

The drop of that bag into the empty dumpster in the middle of the night was satisfyingly savage. If only it had been just a bit more like a Japanese gong, though.

I probably grew an evil chest hair in that moment to act as a doppleganger to my other one.
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