Remember Mighty Mouse, the muscular mouse who flew through comic book pages righting wrongs, fighting evil and other superhero stuff?
He was one ripped rodent back in the days before anyone spoke of steroids.
On the cusp of the new year,Mighty Mouse flew through my mind the moment I read an online news story titled “Building a Better Mouse” or words to that effect.
I couldn’t help it, Mighty Mouse zoomed through my noggin streeling an orange speed-trail resembling the blasting afterburners of a rocket ship.
Of course, the story wasn’t about Mighty Mouse, yesteryear's fictitious cartoon hero. It was about present day scientists, mad or otherwise, friggin’ around with the genetic composition of the descendants of Bobby Burns’ “Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie," the meadow vole whose nest Burns split asunder with his plough.
“Harry, my mousey love,” says dearest duck who often stands like a …well, like an angel, I s’pose, at my shoulder while I scribble. “Sounds like you’re feeling the lingering effects of your consumption of New Year’s herbal tea.”
“Why, my duck,” say I, “because I speak of mighty mice?”
“I’ll put the kettle on,” says dearest duck, departing my shoulder with a pat-pat-pat.
Think about those scientists, molecular biologists or whatever. Seems they get tickled to death while fiddling with genomes, whatever they are. They love to reeve needles into lab mice and squirt ‘em full of chemicals and toxins and viruses. And if the results are pleasing the boy-oes in white jackets piddle in their pants with excitement.
Alright. Don’t get me wrong, some of what those lab-bound geniuses achieve is positive, for humans anyway. Treatments and cures for human ailments are developed, albeit at the mice’s [meece’s] expense.
But no odds about mice if their sacrifices benefit mankind, eh b’ys?
Anyway, it isn’t what happens to those medical [?] mice that concerns me. It’s the “what if?” factor that causes midnight tremors.
What if something goes wrong with an experiment and …?
Mind that Internet story I mentioned earlier?
Scientists are attempting to create a mightier mouse, one whose genetic make-up will be more fitting for figuring out ways to combat diseases that ravish humans.
What if something goes whoopsie?
I don’t know what it might be, but in a comic book there’d be a thunder storm threaded with plenty of lightning, a stray bolt of which would zap the lab and transform those innocent victims of laboratory experiments into…
…into Monstrous Mighty Mice that would promptly wreck proverbial havoc on their tormentors and then proceed to stomp humankind back into the primordial muck.
“Yes, my duck, I know. I’m being silly.”
I’m not worried about the advent of Mighty Mice bent on eradicating mankind from the planet.
But what if?
A couple of years ago, unbeknownst to us, a newlywed pair of mice moved into our basement and set up mouse-keeping [!] inside the walls. There, as randy rodents are wont to do, they did the necessary and produced off-spring, off-spring, off-spring.
We remained unaware of the mice in residence until one chilly morning dearest duck sought extra-warm unmentionables in a bottom bureau drawer. Mr. Mouse scurried from the folded flannel dainties straight up Dearest’s goose-pimpled arm.
I tailed some traps baited with yummy Kraft peanut butter.
I checked my trap line only to discover every single trigger was licked clean of peanut bait. I suspected baby mice were too light weight to spring the traps and adults far too crafty [Krafty?].
Eventually, our cupboards as bare a Mrs. Hubbard’s, the young mice moved out of our walls and, I s’pose, the old ones tottered off to occupy the nearest mousey boneyard.
I never did trap a mouse.
But what if?
What if the newlywed couple that occupied our rent-free walls had escaped from some lab, their needle holes still draining serum?
Rather than slipping silently through a crack in the concrete, I fear the young male — mostly to impress his brand new bride, I’m sure — would have booted in our basement door, boldly occupied our basement den and demanded that we serve him and his honey Kraft Extra-Creamy on a toasted bun.
Mere mortal I, any attempt to evict the Mighty Mice might have been crippling.
Even Might Mouse, superhero of renown, would have met challenging opposition had he tried to save the day.
Thank you for reading.
— Harold Walters lives Happily Ever After in Dunville, in the only Canadian province with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org