Pet Product News Editorial Blog:
August 10, 2011
A Failure in Diplomacy
By Elizabeth Creith
"Here's your change," I said to the young man buying a mouse.
"What's the mouse for?" asked the teenage girl behind him. She tossed her head to flick her hair out of her eyes.
"To feed my snake," the young man said.
"Aaaawwwwwwwwwwww!" Her voice rose in pitch and volume. "Poor little thing!"
I tried to keep my mouth shut, honestly I did. Then she added, "But mice are so cu-u-u-ute!"
And my brain-to-mouth connection short-circuited.
"Don't give me that!" I said, pointing at her.
Her mouth fell open. Everybody stopped moving; even the young man who had paid for his mouse paused, his hand hovering over the box.
"They're stupid, vicious, filthy, disgusting, disease-ridden little vermin! Cute? What's that got to do with it? Have you ever seen two male mice fight to the death? Or a male mouse kill a female, or kill babies and eat them? Have you ever seen a female mouse kill and eat another's babies, or kill another female? Roving gangs of baby mice kill and eat adults? No? Well, I've seen those cute little mice do all of that! Vicious little buggers! I've seen a mouse eat the face off another one when there was lots of other food around. They have babies every four weeks. We'd be up to our asses in mice if it wasn't for things that ate them. Don't give me cute! Everything has to eat something. What did you eat for dinner last night?"
"Yeah, and what was in them?"
"I don't see you crying over the cow. And you at least have a choice about whether or not to eat meat. Snakes don't. But the mice are small and furry and cute, so you get all sentimental on me over the little brutes! If you had mice in your house, you'd sure as shooting set traps for them. If they get into your food, they don't politely eat what they need.
They piss all over it, so you have to throw it out! You can get hanta virus from dried mouse droppings—that'll screw up your whole life! Oh, no, but they're cute and tiny and furry, so none of that matters! Gimme a break! That cute little mouse in the box would as soon bite you as look at you, and if he doesn't bite you, he'll piss on you. So don't give me 'aww' over the poor little mice, okay? Just don't!"
She nodded. The 10 seconds of silence that followed gave my brain time to catch up to my mouth, and my stomach time to sink all the way to my feet. Then the young man spoke.
"That was awesome!" he said. "Like, totally awesome! You should totally put it on YouTube!"
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