Kill The Mouse
How many times have you made a situation worse by dragging it out?
You want a certain outcome, you know it is going to happen eventually, but you don’t want to be the bad guy, or the bad girl.
You want to break up with him, but you don’t want to be mean, so you drag it out. You justify it to yourself because you aren’t being really mean (say, a 9 out of 10), you are being less mean (a 5 out of 10), but for a longer period of time. Hoping he gets tired of your consistent “5” and breaks up with you. Whew! Not the bad guy!
Makes sense, right?
You want to say no, but you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and end up making it worse.
You don’t want to do the job, but you don’t want to be mean, so you do it, but you do a s****y job. At least you did it, right?
There are so many times in our lives, (and let’s be blunt), because we are pussies, that we make a situation worse by not getting it over with, saying no, saying yes, or walking away.
What the hell does this have to do with a mouse?
Kill The Mouse
We had a rat in our attic, garage, basically everywhere he wanted to go.
Why is it called Kill The Mouse if I had a rat? It’s called marketing. If I called it Kill The Rat I couldn’t use Mickey’s recognizable face. Click bait.
But no mouse, a rat.
We had been leaving poising out for him for months. I even bought a shock box. Basically, you put food at one end, and as it goes in the box to get it, ZAP!! Fried mouse, er, rat.
I wanted this thing dead. I could hear it in the attic, it was getting in to the dog food in the garage, and leaving little rat turds all over the place.
Death to the rat!!!
This is what we want, right? An opportunity to reach our desired outcome. I had been leaving booby-traps for months, hoping to kill this rat in a horrible manner, poison or electrocution, but this would be quicker, faster, and more effective.
I saw him in my driveway in the middle of the day this past weekend.
I could have easily killed it.
He was moving a little slow, and during the day, so you know something was wrong with him.
I had a shovel sitting right there. All I had to do was pick it up and smash that little bastard. Bada-boombada-bing. No more rat.
Here is my chance.
What I have been waiting for.
But do I really want to smash a little rat with a shovel in my driveway? Crush his little brain? Squirt blood all over the place?
Eh. Not really.
Trust me, I felt like such a pussy (being blunt, remember?) during this whole thought process.
What did I do instead of smashing it? I chased him across the street.
I am the girl that is mean instead of just breaking up with the dude.
I am the passive aggressive employee that smiles and makes it look they are going to do it, but they don’t.
Bu I justified it, just like we all do.
No more rat? No more problems. And I didn’t have to kill it.
But he came back.
In fact, the little shit walked right by me.
He basically said, “I know you aren’t going to do shit, so let’s stop the charade. I am going to chill over here by the washing machine, and you keep working out.”
How dare he?
In my garage? Right by me?
This means war!!
What Did I Do?
What any red-blooded American would do in a situation where you want one outcome but are too pussy to pull the trigger, I dragged it out.
I got a flashlight, called for my wife and daughter to come look at the rat, and named him Micelangelo.
I still wanted him to die, but I didn’t want to be the bad guy (directly).
How was I “not” the bad guy?
I put peanut butter on poison and watched little Micelangelo eat it. This poison disrupts the rats neurological function. Basically, I am giving this rat fast moving MS.
Reflecting on it as I was doing it, I was willing to torture this poor thing, but not put it out of its misery quickly, and humanely.
This allowed me to not be the bad guy.
You may not be dealing with a rat, but what are you making worse by trying to make yourself feel better, or keep your hands “clean”?
Over the next 48 hours, I would check and see if Micelangelo was still in the garage. My daughter wanted to see him, she thought he was cute. We called him by his name. My wife said I adopted a damn rat. She’s wrong, I wanted to kill him, I was just doing it in a round-a-bout way. Passive aggressive. The pussy way.
I was doing laundry Monday night when Micelangelo came out to say hi. He was headed in the direction of the washing machine. I didn’t want to smash him, but I didn’t want to hang out with him either, so I tried to chase him the other direction. He hid behind a box. I thought if I shifted the box he would move, but he didn’t. I thought it would scare him, but it didn’t.
So I went to bed.
In the morning I came out to get some dog food (and check on Micelangelo). I had my flashlight, I looked around, and found him in the same spot I had left him in the night before.
I shifted the box and he didn’t move.
I took a different angle so I could see him clearly.
He was still breathing, still alive, but barely.
I guess when I was moving the box I trapped his head between the corner of the box and the wall.
I basically trapped him for 12 hours by the neck.
Micelangelo’s time of death was roughly 930am, Tuesday, November 22. RIP little buddy.
The “Easy” Way Out
He was going to die. It was a matter of time.
You were going to break up with him, it was a matter of time.
You were going to get out of that job, it was a matter of time.
What we do when we avoid the inevitable is make it worse for the other person involved. This person (or mouse) we are trying to avoid inflicting an intense, singular pain on, we end up dragging the pain out over time, deliberately, tortuously, inhumanely.
To make them feel better?
Or to make us feel better?
We know it’s the latter, if we are honest.
Instead of “biting the bullet,” “pulling the trigger,” or whatever other cliché you want to use, I made it much worse for little Micelangelo.
Instead of smacking him with a shovel and making it quick and painless, I inflicted more pain. Being poisoned, trapped, and being held by the neck overnight, dying slowly and probably painfully.
I made it worse for him, but easier on me (other than feeling bad for the little guy after I realized what I did).
What is your mouse?
What is your rat?
What are you dragging out? Making worse? Treating someone or something inhumanely?
Get it over with.
If you really care about their feelings, make it quick and painless.
Kill the mouse.