I’m sure you’re like me, and you recently had a meat nap interrupted by a mouse.
Lest you think I am just stringing together random words, let me explain.
I was asked to judge a barbecue contest. And I think we can all agree the single greatest question anyone can be asked is, “Would you like to come eat a whole bunch of barbecue?”
For this particular event, I was a judge in the “Wild Card” category. Sure, the judges of ribs and Boston butts had a noble calling. But the Wild Card judges? Fearless warriors ready to taste the unknown.
Container after container was brought to us. Wings. Bacon-wrapped shrimp. Lamb. Salmon. Some sort of bird that we all agreed was either a quail, a Cornish hen or a very small chicken. We ate. And we ate. And we ate some more. At the end of our judging, I certainly felt the only real loser in the competition was my dignity.
Once the ribs and butt judges were done, we did the admirable thing as judges and helped test some of the leftovers. More meat. Much more meat…
So by the time I got home, I told my family that I had consumed more meat than a lion does in a lifetime, and it would probably be a good idea if I took a little nap. A meat nap.
A baseball game was on, and as anyone knows, a baseball game provides the perfect backdrop to an afternoon nap, as you can duck out for a few innings and not really missing anything from the storyline.
So there I was, deep asleep in meat-inspired slumber, when the door burst open. It was my daughter. “MOUSE!!!!”
I kept my eyes shut, hoping this was just a meat-induced bad dream, and I would be able to keep sleeping.
I conceded that there must, in fact, be a mouse in the house. “Go get your brother,” I said. “He’ll get it.”
She left, and I returned to meat sleep. But just a few moments later, she was back, with her brother. “Dad,” he said. “How am I supposed to get it?”
Oh, kids and their questions.
I resigned that I would have to get up and actually contribute to the burgeoning household crisis. And this is how I helped: I pulled down the attic stairs. “Parker,” I said, “there is a squirrel trap up in the attic. Go get it and set it.” And then I went back to resume my meat nap.
Alas, this would be short lived. Apparently, the 10-year-old needs to be told how to set a live mammal trap. Can these kids do anything on their own!?!?!
Once the trap was set in the hallway, I tried one last time to go to the sweet, sweet slumber of my meat nap. By that point, though, my wife had heard the commotion. Uh-oh.
We had this conversation:
HER: What are you doing!?!?!
ME: Well, not taking a nap, currently.
HER: There’s a mouse in the house!
ME: I know. Parker set a trap.
HER: Well why did you keep sleeping when there was a mouse in the house?
ME: Technically, we were all pretty much carrying on about our business with a mouse in the house. It’s just now that everyone is aware of the mouse.
HER: <Blank stare that screamed, “I regret so much.”>
So the trap is set, and hopefully our furry little friend will be attracted to the peanut butter treat and be boxed in soon. I will dutifully take him to a safe locale and release him, and I will encourage him not to return to our home. And, should he not get the message that I am serious about that, I will remind him that if he does, he could be a Wild Card next year.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.