Friday, July 31, 2009

Trashcans, skunks, and mice

I follow a blog called Joansie's last entry dealt with the foils of management and office wastepaper baskets. I had a good chuckle and then was reminded of a few wastepaper baskets and trash can stories of my own. The first one happened when the children were small.

Both the children's father and I were working and thus had a come-to-the-home babysitter, named Mrs. Howard. Mrs. Howard was not a well educated woman, but she had a good heart and educational over stimulation of children was not in vogue as yet. Children were still allowed to play away summer vacations. One thing, Mrs. Howard had, however, was wisdom. One day, as she went outside, she heard a commotion in the trash can which stood by the back door. The story is told that she opened up the trash can, found a mama skunk and her babies trying to get out. She gently put the lid back on, called the three kids, showed them the skunk family, and then gently carried the trash can to the edge of the woods and put it on it's side so the mama skunk and babies could get out. All this was done without the skunk spraying anyone. Do you think mama skunk could tell that Mrs. Howard had no ill will towards them? Unfortunately, this was before the time of digital cameras and obsessive picture taking, so no photos exist of the event, only the memory of three excited children when we came home.

The second story happened at work. At that time, I worked as an executive secretary for a subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox. I had just been promoted and the vice president for which I was working had a reputation of being slightly unreasonable. He had gone through eight secretaries in 6 months. By that time we had made peace which each other in front of a terrified sales manager, in other words he learned quickly that this German was not going to cave in and started listening to me. "Anyhow", this man who terrified grown men, came out of his office one day with his waste paper basket in his hands, babbling over and over again, "Renate, what do I do with this?" I finally told him sternly, "I can't tell what to do with 'this' until you tell me what 'this' is. So this 6'2" man came around my desk and finally showed me the contents of his waste basket: a wee field mouse. I suggested to him, he may want to take the basket outside and lay it on its side so the wee mouse could get away. Problem solved.

As an aside, I know some folks get freaked out by these little critters, but I live in the country and mice come into the house during the winter and keep our two cats in shape. It's a good thing I don't freak easily as you can see by this photo. Unfortunately, the photo is not very good, but then getting a picture of a mouse hanging for dear life onto the living room curtain rod is not an easy thing. Particularly, since one of the cats tried to climb up the curtain.

That's the top of the lace curtain with the mouse peeking over it.

I'm slowly progressing on my shawl. I already have 540 stitches on the needle and the yarn is cobweb weight. I'm also halfway done with the second sock of the "Broken Dreams" socks.

So knit on merrily.

1 comment:

  1. I chuckled as I read your adventures. Unfortunately, unlike yourself, I'm afraid of mice and actually slept in the car one night because one was in the house.

    Had a crazy chipmunk get inside my ceramic bird feeder. He now could not claw his way out so I took a broomstick, gently removed the feeder from the hanger and set it on the ground sideways so the critter could get away.