Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dead Mice Inspire Blogs

Dead mice inspire blogs? Of course they do, in the Townes household!

I should have known that something like a dead animal carcass would end up being what motivated me to blog for the first time since July.

It was going to have to be something especially weird or gross, as I've been sucked deep into the bowels of the public education system since August 18th. I've managed to stay afloat thus far, gasping in breaths of air between never-ending paper grading and the profound, emotional baggage* you take home from the lives and minds of 75 eighth graders each day.

*Let it be clarified that profound, emotional baggage from an 8th grader includes things like discovering the joys of very public displays of flatulence, crying because you found a piece of cardboard in your pizza at lunch, or getting in a fight because a classmate made fun of "the shape of your head." (I'm still shaking my head at that one).

Back to the dead mice!

Today, I went outside to let the doodles do their biz in the backyard. On my way back in, I noticed all three doods sniffing and licking a spot on the brick wall of our house.

Upon further investigation of the doodle interest spot, I found this:

My first reaction was to become a little nauseous, for two reasons.

Reason 1) Do you notice the little trail of blood/innards dripping down the wall below the mouse? Yup, I did too.

Reason 2) My dogs had just been LICKING this. BARF. How do you rectify that situation? And how much time has to pass before I can feel safe that the dead mouse splatter is no longer a lurking threat in Ginger's mouth the next time she ninja licks me?!

Obviously, it's a dead mouse. This poor little rodent up and got himself killed in an electrical socket outside our house.

The question in my mind was, "How did he die?"

Soo....he crammed his head and half of his body under this outlet and....electrocuted himself to death?

He crammed himself into a too-small crevice, couldn't get free, and died of thirst and hunger?

He was crushed by the pressure of trying to force himself between an outlet and a brick wall?

I couldn't come up with a conclusive decision of how I thought he met his end, but I had to ruminate over it because it seemed like such an awkward and precarious position in which to die--half hanging out of an electrical socket with a trail of your own guts dripping down the wall beneath you? That's a bad way to go, even for a mouse.

As soon as I got my pictures snapped, Steve went into full-on mouse carcass disposal mode. He donned a rubber glove covered even further by a ziploc bag for extra protection.

Great success! Steve pried the mouse body loose with very little resistance from the aforementioned deceased. He then proceeded to completely saturate the spot on the wall with Clorox spray.

The dogs were sad. If they lick the wall again, they'll be in no danger of contracting any dead-mouse-germs, but they will most likely die of Clorox bleach poisoning. Steve gets a little spray-happy when it comes to Clorox and Weed-B-Gone.

Switching gears, I'd love to entertain y'all with tales and foibles from my 8th grade classroom, but I'm not sure I'd know where to start. Saying that there's never a dull moment would be a gross understatement.

8th graders are kind of like gremlins. They are the happiest, most adorable creatures on Earth one minute. The next minute? Bam! They've been fed after midnight and you are the worst person on the planet in their eyes. They are running around your classroom and throwing paper and crying and spitting in the trash can and biting each other and farting really, really loud and rolling around on the floor laughing and then farting again.

I honestly cannot believe how often my class has been interrupted due to students making massive productions out of farting. Shouldn't a 13-year-old boy (or girl, for that matter) have grown out of that stage? Apparently not.

They think you're weird and pretty and lame and cool and mean and rude and funny all in one 90 minute class period. One minute, they're making some profound connection between world events and classic literature, and the next, they can't even tell you the difference between a verb and a noun.

In short, teaching eighth grade is.......interesting.

All I can do is keep smiling and hope that the next dead rodent comes around sooner rather than later.

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