The Hive

I'm just another dude with too much time on his hands. It really doesn't have anything to do with ants.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


So I'm rereading my book, which is something I do when I'm working up the inspiration to do something new. This used to be a grueling task, torturous even, what with all the botched sentiments and clumsy sentences, but these days, after it's all been rewritten at least twice and in some cases as many as four or five times, I honestly like it more than I dislike it. I'm even surprised now and then by something I've written, like in this bit from a scene where someone's trying to convince the narrator to kill his wife for money:

"Ten before, forty on completion." Kiev laid his palms out on the desk like a straight flush and tilted his head forward until he was able to watch me over the lenses of his glasses. "What does your license have to say about that?"
"Nothing relevant, I'm sure." It was one thing to poke that kind of figure around the old mental abacus; it was another to hear it out loud, to know that such an offer existed. I supposed it would be similar to finding definitive proof of Bigfoot, if Bigfoot were made of solid gold.

Heh! "...if Bigfoot were made of solid gold"!

It all comes from the revisions, though, that's what I've learned. Cause basically with each revision, you're cutting out the worst, most egregious stuff and replacing it with stuff that comes with all the experience you've gained since you originally wrote it. End result is a significant improvement with each rewrite.

Mouse War update

Well, it appears I haven't added anything in a while. I blame working in shipping during the holidays; I only had two days off between December 1 and Christmas Eve, and also the media.

So the other night I shot a mouse with a pellet gun. I've been embarking on a de-mousifying project ever since my roommate moved out about three weeks ago, but still hadn't gotten around to a few parts of it, like starting. Heh, I'll be here all week folks. Seriously though, there was still some trash and unprotected food lying around, and thus it was no surprise when I heard a mouse rustling around in an old Jack in the Box bag a couple nights ago.

My roommate still hasn't moved out all his stuff, and among his various remaining possessions is a pellet gun. Not a BB gun, but a pellet rifle: the kind that is essentially like a .17 caliber air-powered rifle, one that will shoot halfway through a roll of toilet paper (what I was practicing on when I was figuring out how to use it) or knock holes in the wall (what my roommate shot one night when it seemed like the thing to do). Well, I grabbed that thing, stealthed my way into position, and to make a long story short, shot that mouse.

Which, and I am sure this is no exaggeration, was almost as distressing for me as for the mouse. The first shot only winged it--it was deep inside the bag and blessedly ill-lit, but I could still hear it twitching around, forcing me to load up another shot and offer it a coup de grace. Or should I say coup de GROSS! The stupid thing practically exploded, various frown-inducing reddish globs bursting across the inside of the bag's magical paper containment field, the only silver lining to an otherwise horrendous experience. Well really there were two silver linings: the mouse's numerous bits stayed completely inside the bag, and also it provided the necessary motivation to immediately take out every piece of trash I could find. Once that odious task was up I went back to watching About Schmidt, but the spectre of all that miniature carnage threw a serious damper over the rest of my evening. Also I had a nice little realization I'd die in like three hours if I were ever lost in the wilderness, because if I feel bad about killing a mouse there's no way I'll be able to bash in my sherpa guide's head and eat him as the situation demands.

Cut to yesterday. I come home from work laden with breakfast foods, which the enlightened will recognize as the finest of all foods. I haven't eaten all day and am seriously enthused about cooking up some homphables when I open the fridge to put away the eggs and milk only to realize there is a mouse inside my fridge.

Judging by the horror movie-esque scene of gnawed butter, cracked eggs, and shredded cardboard, it'd been there a while, too. With the benefit of hindsight, I'm guessing it snuck in there before I left town for New Year's weekend (our fridge door closes right up against the wall, so sometimes it doesn't shut all the way and I don't notice till later), but at the time, I was completely aghast, thinking a) there must be a hole into the fridge and b) there is no WAY I can shoot a mouse in the place I keep the stuff I eat, despite my loud promises to "fucking murder [its] stupid ass" mere moments before. So, utterly helpless even with my giant monkey brain and murderous technology, I just shouted more obscenities at it and pulled drawers out of the fridge till it jumped out the front and scuttled behind the fridge.

After cool consideration, though, I've realized any mercy I may have shown these mice after the gruesome shooting of Tuesday night is right out the window. I am going to fucking punish those little vermin. Not so much because a few pieces of food were ruined. I don't really care about that. But because there is mouse shit ALL OVER THE FRIDGE! Is this civilization? Didn't storing food in places mice are free to defecate get stamped out, like smallpox and chamber pots. Because I thought it did. I thought indignities like that were behind us. It is the 21st century.

Admittedly, the fridge did need cleaning. But it just needed a little garbage-tossing and scrubbing where old roommate-food had gone bad. This is going to require taking literally everything out of it, spraying the fridge with some kind of serious disinfectant (preferably a flamethrower), then going through the Seinfeldian process of determining what needs to be tossed even if there are no obvious signs of contamination and what is worth dying of hantavirus to continue to eat. Box of roommate's girlfriend's chai cider? Gone. Same with old pizza boxes, 2-liter bottles, leftover curry, well-aged fruit, etc. But the jars of Schooner Bay mustard, the delicious stone-ground stuff from Maine? Literally the best mustard I have ever tasted, high in the running for best condiment all-time? I can't replace that with $0.79 and a trip to the store. So I am afraid that will continue to have to be used on my sandwiches, risk of incurable hepatitis or not.

Good God, I don't even want to think about the whole thing. It's one of those domestic disasters where I immediately knew the only solution was to seal up my fresh-bought bacon in a big ol' ice tea jar, close the door, then wait till Friday, when I can buy some Captain Morgan's and get seriously drunk. Pirates probably brawled with rats all the time for rock-hard bread and shriveled limes, so I'm pretty sure a set of gloves, a bottle of bleach, and a serious dose of Vitamin Rum will be enough to see me through this.

All right, enough thinking about this trash, it's time to go write a marvellously artful short story. But first: The Office and My Name is Earl!