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Published February 18, 2011

It's true: there's nothing cuter and more endearing than the sight of a young mouse couple in a tiny roadster, speeding across your kitchen floor, their cable-knit scarves blowing in the breeze.

Why is this? Any other rodent in a mechanized vehicle – say, a squirrel on a motorcycle, or a gopher in a speedboat – seems silly, at best.  They fail to elicit the same sense of mystery and wonder, and appreciation for the esprit de corps that small mammals undoubtedly share. Surely, surely, these mice are on a harrowing and convivial adventure through strange lands, looking for a magical amulet or secret something-or-other that might save a friendly raccoon or unlock a clock tower.

 

You grin as they race across the linoleum in a serpentine fashion, usually on two wheels, barely negotiating a tight turn around the cat's water dish. 

 

“Hello, Percy! Hello, Miss Timbletop!” you say, waving from your chair at the breakfast table.

 

Percy (driving) waves back, somewhat startled. Miss Timbletop spins around, one hand on her straw cloche. She looks for all the world like a young Jane Seymour.

 

“Hello, Chester Wilcox! We have to get to the shrew's castle in the Kingdom of Kal-Ra,” Miss Timbletop cries.

 

“Time is of the essence!” Percy screams, and then screams again, hysterically, as the front wheels of his Morgan Aero glance off a stray loafer and send the car corkscrewing through the air and into the side of your trash compactor. There is a terrible – albeit tiny – smashing noise, like a fluorescent tube exploding.

 

You race to the crash scene, but the cat has gotten there first. In fact, he's already disemboweled Percy. Miss Timbletop is sprawled half-in, half-out of the wreckage, slipping in and out of consciousness. “Tell The Professor to check the third scroll, the one in Raccoon McMunster's medicine chest,” she whispers.

 

“I don't know who those people are,” you say, scooping up the car and the dead mice in a dustpan. You take them to the back yard and throw them over the fence.

 

Truth is, you did the right thing. Despite the intriguing back story, two mice in a roadster can spread disease almost 10 times faster than two mice on foot. Despite their colorful fashions, a mouse dressed in a heavy wool sweater cannot clean itself properly, and will be a veritable salt shaker of germs. Despite their apparent consideration for other species, mice are generally considered one of the most self-centered creatures in the animal kingdom.

 

Remember: mice are notoriously bad drivers. A simple wave will usually cause a crash, at which time they will be killed on impact, or shortly thereafter (their old British convertibles are brittle!), or you can simply chop them in half with a shovel.

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