Rodents are on my mind. Not literally, although if they were, that would mean my brain was cheese. And if I had a cheese brain, it would surely be Swiss: not very sharp and full of holes. That in turn would give new meaning to the term “Cheesehead,” which refers to a fan of the Green Bay Packers. Which reminds me: We are the World Champions!
Did I mention that I had caffeine this morning?
Okay, back to rodents. I had two epiphanies this week related to them.
First, a confession. Up until now, I have been unable to describe myself in one word. In interviews and team-building exercises, I shyly stutter and stammer something about being slightly silly, but sentient. (I tend to alliterate when I’m nervous or upset.) But on Thursday, the word I’ve been searching for my entire life was revealed to me; it is “mouseburger.” Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that no one cared enough to tell me about it. It’s been around since at least 1971. But then, I’m used to that sort of thing. That’s what happens when you are “a drab, timid, or unexceptional woman.”
If I had to describe myself with a song, it would be Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable,” except that I would have to remove the prefix –un and replace it with the word “so.” Ironically, no one usually remembers Irving Gordon, the man who wrote the song.
As proof of my forgettability, I offer the following. A number of times, I have been introduced to someone (let’s call him Nat and let’s say he has an incredible silky baritone voice and should really be a singer, but he’s not because he’s at the kind of gathering I attend). We chat a bit, say goodbye, and then I run into him later at another gathering. On being re-introduced, Nat will invariably say, “Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met.”
Okay, maybe that’s happened to you once or twice. But don’t start feeling smug yet. When my children were in high school, I met a woman I’ll call Lethe. The school was small, so we’re not talking about thousands of parents. We met at a school concert and talked a bit. The next time I saw her, someone asked her if she knew me. No, she didn’t believe we had ever met. Then it happened again. And again. Yes, three meetings after the initial introduction. She seemed to remember everyone but me. So, don’t try to tell me you are more forgettable. I am drabber, more timid, and more unexceptional than you. So there. I win. Mouseburgers don’t usually win, so this totally makes my day.
This makes me want to rename my blog “Mouseburger” with the tagline “The tale of a mousy woman.”
The second epiphany came while listening to a story on NPR about rats working to free a fellow rat trapped in a cage. You can read or listen to it here. When a rat hears a caged rat in distress, it tries to help it get out. I know what you are thinking. Yes, Lassie could have been played by a rat. “Jimmy, help Lassie out of that rat trap, I think he’s trying to tell you something.”
Rats are sympathetic or empathetic – no one knows for sure because no one can clearly define the difference between the two. So, are they going to rise up in solidarity, form unions, and bring down this great nation of ours while corporations are left with nothing but boxes and boxes of greenbacks to dry their tears? I think not. Read the following and you’ll understand why.
Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mates; they will do so even when there’s a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.
Rats are all heart and no brain. World domination belongs to those of us who know the value of chocolate. In other words, Blogmate, suppose you are trapped in your blog and you can’t get out. So you whine about it. I will try to help you. Why? Because I am a sentient being with empathy and/or sympathy for other whining sentient beings. But, I will not share my chocolate. Why? Because I’m not a rat.
It’s been a good week. I can now describe myself in one word, and more importantly, I can explain why I cannot share my chocolate with you.