“OMG, Am I seein’ Mycean mice, Ian?”

     My next-door neighbor, gruff as usual, wet-blanketed my excitement with a spiritless “No, and you don’t have to say it three times, I heard you.”
He’d left his garage door up, in a moment of reckless abandon, and was dicking with what I’d always assumed was a chest freezer. A quick glance inside revealed a mini-world far from the frozen steaks I’d thought of; a floor of snow, mazes, ferris wheels, little faux-alpine houses.
And mice….
“They’re Nepalese Snow-blinds. if you have to know.” Ian decided to share some small secret, for whatever reason.
    With the lid propped open just a tad, a cast-off sandal, Ian was smoothing the snow on the floor of the freezer. The three shaggy White Nepalese looked for all the world like miniature yaks, and I had to supress a yuk, but what quickly caught my eye was the other mice, some a yellow-buff colour, and some, standard ‘mousey’ grey, huddling lethargically in one corner.
“This is your job, right?” 
I’d known that Ian worked for some Institute.
“A job’s something they pay you to do, no?” Ian muttered distractedly. “Ok, maybe after I publish the paper they’ll give me a couple ‘Atta-Boys’.”
I’d had time meanwhile to get a better grasp of the project; first of all:  three whites, albeit with a grey stripe on the side of their heads, which made them look like they were holding their noses aloft.
“Them are the Nepalese, right?” I asked Ian.
“Yeah, Snow-blinds.” he told me, warming up a bit.
“Funny, I always thought it was ‘snob-lined’.” I admitted. (Hey, who died and made me a mouse-expert?)
“And the others?”
“Well, in addition, there are, as you can see, three ‘blonde’ mice. They do OK in the cold, oddly enough.”
“And the other three dead-beats there in the corner?” I asked Ian, but I kinda knew the answer.
“Three bland mice, to put it nicely.” he said.
My next question was…
“Your next question is probably, you know, WTF are you working on?” Ian sounded like he was ready to tell all.
“OK, WTF?”
“Well, I’m doing the maze twice a day, time-trials, blind vs. blonde vs. bland. Recording data. That’s what we do.”
“Doesn’t a peer-reviewed study require double-blind?” I asked him, maybe still a bit miffed about his initial attitude.
“You have any idea how hard it is to find blind vet-techs these days? I mean twenty years ago they were lined up to the end of the block. Stories of candidates who actually blinded themselves to get a job. Nowadays you’re lucky to find someone remotely qualified who even wears glasses.”
“I’ll just have to fudge the article a little, I guess.” Ian revealed, looking out the door carefully. The exigencies of publish-or-perish.
“Better close the lid, the snow might melt.” I told him, feeling helpful.
“No problem, I got more, back there in the other freezer. Saved it from last winter, you remember that storm?”
“Well, you could always buy more.. from somewhere?” I suggested, thinking of, you know, year-round ski-slopes.
“Are you kidding? My snow-mice know my snow!” Ian sounded almost fatherly.
“And now who’s repeating himself?” I laughed. “I heard you the first time. And good luck with your vowels… I mean, your mice.”


31 thoughts on ““OMG, Am I seein’ Mycean mice, Ian?”

  1. murisopsis

    As a somewhat sighted Vet Tech that specializes in mice – blond, blind, and bland, I’m saddened that he is not willing to allow a partially blind study. I’d qualify if I took off my glasses. But I refuse to work for a chicken thief or is this a different neighbor??

  2. Kellsbella

    We all know what happened to the blind mice; it was quite tragic. (Everyone knows that farmer’s wives with carving knives = disaster)The bland mice were snake food, and the blond mice just had fun, baby. Yeah, they hooked up with Stuart Little. (I won’t go into the sordid details of their tryst in the frigid atmosphere.) When Ian discovers the thaw, you’ll know who to call….Where the hello have you been, mon petit? 

  3. jsolberg

    @murisopsis – So sweet to see you read it; if this wasn’t inspired by your inspiration I don’t know who else to blame! And yes, this neighbor is of course a suspect. But he’s hypothetical, a literary fiction, which may sway the judge.Yeah, the story’s kinda what would happen with JS getting a research job with you guys. You’d probably offer some protection, till they start moaning about Val’s Vowels being over-budget.

  4. twoberry

    I came across Lundi Gras in a crossword puzzle just tother day.  The Q was Lundi __ and the A was GRAS.  I hope BLENDing that observation with this comment is not a BLUNDer.Mardi Mice sounds almost like Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats and Little Lambs Eat Ivy, a Kid’ll Eat Ivy, Too, Wouldn’t You?Mardi Might and Mighty Mouse and Little Mice Eat Ivy …… gotta work on that one.

  5. chromepoet

    Bland, blonde, blind mice evoke images of constituents, second and third generation descendents of Scandinavian loggers, who, presumably to preserve self-subjectification as serfs and thralls, opted to perpetuate a perpetual prosperity and power in authority of the second and third generation progeny of German lumber barons, slippery copper miners and other masters of exploitation they have known.but I digress into that deep dark hole known as politics.Forgive or forget. Preferably the later.

  6. gnostic1

    The idea of a miniature mouse ice-world in a freezer, a la model train lay outs, is great! I see a court house (Blind Just Ice) and some whiskered and tailed snow angels.Remember  “Snowblind Friend”?

  7. jsolberg

    @gnostic1 – Yeah, it does evoke Alice…when she’s 10 cm. tall.Just listened to that 70s hit you mention. A feeling of recognition, but mixed reviews on the haircuts. We were younger then, and hadn’t yet figured out what to do with hair.

  8. MelFamy

    tree-lined mice, tree-lined mice see how they run”We’ve got two mice, why don’t you stay?” Bob Seger”Did you say Mice seeing things?” “No, I said, ‘Am I seeing things?’ Yah, mice in my Yam ice cream, I see, I might scream”.I looked in the bowl, then checked the container in the fridge. “They’re gone, must’ve been my singing”, I joked.”Well, I never heard any mice singing.”

  9. Lakakalo

    Solberg, you tower above the competing beasts like a giraffe in a circus parade, except for the 40 foot whooping crane.Thoroughly amusing bit, though it does make me wonder about all those blind taste tests soft drink companies sometimes perform to prove their superiority. 0_O

  10. jsolberg

    @Lakakalo – Yeah, they are all compromised by the quite natural preference among the blind for soft drinks with powerful aroma. Makes it easier to locate on the table ‘in the dark’.And I owe you some comments, buddy, just that my wifi is beastly un-count-on-able here.


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