Yesterday, my baby sister has the day off, so we plan to get together in the morning to catch up on things. Since I’m heading in that direction anyway, I decide it’s a nice opportunity to take the yard waste to our city’s local composting center. You should see the massive amount of organic waste that’s turned into compost over there. It’s a gardener’s paradise. Mountains and mountains of gorgeous, dark, rich compost. You think I exaggerate. But I do not. One day I’ll take pictures. You will see.
Anyway. So I stuff the car’s trunk with a few bags of yard waste, and the remaining bag I cram in the back seat. I’m all set and ready to go.
Into the car I get. The radio is tuned in to CBC radio’s hottest daytime radio show called “Q“. It’s a very entertaining, very informative, non-gossipy show that I listen to for my regular art and pop culture fix. On today’s show, Jian (pronounced Gee-On) the host, is interviewing A.J. Jacobs author-journalist of the new health adventure book Drop-Dead Healthy: One Man’s Quest for Bodily Perfection. According to A.J.’s research, sitting for long periods is absolutely terrible for you. He rectifies this by spending several hours a day slowly walking on a treadmill whilst simultaneously working at his laptop which is somehow jerryrigged to the top of the treadmill. Intriguing.
I’m temporarily distracted by sounds coming from the back seat. But it’s just branches settling against the sides of the paper yard waste bag.
Author guy on the radio goes on by affirming that refined sugar and flour are pretty much the devil incarnate… Probably true. Moreover, he suggests there’s nothing quite like trying new things to boost one’s feelings of well-being. I concur there. I think new experiences are key to keeping one interested and vital.
That’s when I see it. Out of the corner of my eye. A furry scurrying scampering beast scooting about the passenger side. Aaaaaaaack! Eeeeeeep! Heeeeeeelp! Expletive. Expletive. There’s a HUGE MOUSE in the cccccaaaaar! I have to GET OUT of heeeere! I MUST stop this car NOOWW! Oh! Oh. Oh. BLAAAASSST.
Without signalling, I immediately veer off to the side of the road, jam on the brakes, and bust out of that car forthwith. I open all the doors and begin shooing and shouting at the inside of the car in an attempt to compel the beast out… After a few moments, I stop. I don’t see the mouse in there anywhere… Where d’it go?… Is it still in the car?… Is it gone?… How am I supposed to know?.. Eep… Maybe it hightailed it out of there… Maybe not though… I simply DO NOT KNOW.
I could walk home. It’s only minutes away… I decide to be brave. I decide to risk it all and go back in. I can’t just abandon the car here. Mouse or no mouse, I must get in the car and drive to the composting center. Steel yourself Michele. You can do this… You don’t WANT to do this but you CAN do this!
Luckily it’s a very short drive. But I’m stamping my free foot and shouting loudly the whole way. One cannot be too careful. I reach the composting center physically unscathed. Once parked, I fall out of the car again. Now I’m politely begging a city worker to help me remove the rodent that’s in my car. He smiles. I want to hit him but refrain. He agrees to help me and sets to work, stooping to check under the seats. He finds nothing… He says: “I think it’s gone Ma’am”… Unconvinced, I ask for a long stick. I take the stick and start madly poking at the dark voids in the car. Nothing. I resign myself to the fact that I will have to get back in the car. And most probably there is a giant mouse hiding under my very seat ready to skitter up my pant leg at any moment. I shudder at the thought. “Can I keep the stick?” I plead before climbing in. “Sure,” says the worker.
I get in. I drive to my sister’s house, visit for a while, and drive all the way back home with my stick in hand.
I make it home in one piece.
The whole ordeal has me exhausted and it’s barely lunchtime. I begin to question A.J.’s assertion that new experiences are a boon to well-being. I think it depends on the new experience in question. It really really really depends.