Thursday, August 11, 2005

From: Snook (The Elder) at Home

I had the following exchange with the diminutive Mr. Parry today. In re. the cat.

“Look here,” he said, “Get rid of that damned cat! It’s terrifying!”

“What do you mean?” I said.

“Look what it’s done to my shirt!”

“Well, we’ll just make you another one. There’s no shortage of Werther’s Original candy wrappers around here, as you’ll notice. Just let me find the scissors and the scotch tape.”

“That’s not the point. It was trying to eat me.”

“Well why don’t you just scurry under the fridge or stove the way the other mice do? It’s what I’d do if I was a mouse."

“I am not a mouse! For the millionth time. I’m a man who’s been shrunken to the size of a mouse!”

“But I think it’s the size that makes you one. If mice weren’t so small they’d be rats or cats or badgers. Or bears. And consider this syllogism: All mice are small; John Parry is small; John Parry, therefore, is a mouse. Pretty damning stuff, you must admit. No: you’re definitely a mouse!”

“Very amusing,” he said stonily. “Damning also to the contents of your underpants. And what you keep between your ears.”

“Touché.” I said, and frowned. “Surely, though, it’s more of a badger. The former thing you mention, I mean ... A small one, no doubt. The runt of the litter. But a badger nonetheless.”

He said nothing.


“Listen,” he said, and I got the distinct impression he meant it. “Either you get rid of the cat, or it eats me, you bastard! Is that what you want?”

I pondered.

“I was the best man at your wedding, for God’s sake!”

“There is that.”

“We were at school together!”

“Hmm,” I said. “Yeeees ...”