Al Batt: Weasels ripped my flesh

Published 7:27 am Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Weasels didn’t really rip my flesh.

“Weasels Ripped my Flesh” was the name of a Mothers of Invention record album taken from the cover headline of a 1956 issue of Man’s Life magazine.

I’m writing about only one weasel and it didn’t rip my flesh.

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Every family has its own economy. My father was a dairy farmer. He believed that if we eliminated margarine, the world would be a butter place. It was hard to argue with that. We did without margarine at my boyhood home. The rest of us do what we can or what we need to do to save a few bucks. We get by. We get by without buying. Some people don’t have cable or satellite TV. Others do without such delicacies as Spam. I think that’s sad, but that’s just me. I had a neighbor who hated buying shoes and wore his so long they were no longer recognizable as footwear. The soles of his shoes got so thin that he could stand on the lawn and feel the grass growing. There are folks who refuse to own a car that was manufactured in this century. There are smokers who hand roll their cigarettes to save money over factory-made heaters. Yet others deprive themselves of the joy of owning a snow shovel by wintering in Arizona. Some people don’t even have their own weasel. That’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

Do you know where your family’s weasel is? A weasel is a small, carnivorous mammal of the family Mustelidae that is mostly brown with white or yellowish underparts that turn white in winter. When white, they’re called ermine. An interesting aside, in the Rorschach test, all the inkblots are of weasels that hadn’t showered recently.

Back to my own personal weasel.

It was late at night or early in the morning, depending on how you judge such things. I was in bed while my wife was in the kitchen tending to Facebook duties.

I dreamed about buying a lottery ticket and not winning. It was a reality dream.

We work for two house cats. They know that they’re in charge because we save their poop in a box.

A cat doesn’t eat because it’s hungry. It eats to keep from getting hungry. A cat has nine lives. It spends five lives napping, one life giving itself a spit bath, one life eating and two lives turning up its nose at food.

My wife let a cat into the breezeway, the part of our abode connecting house and garage. The cat revealed its desire by attempting to touch the doorknob with a paw.

The breezeway is where there be dragons. Dragons come in all shapes and forms.

My wife opened the door to let the cat in. The cat didn’t come alone. It carried an ermine in her mouth. That’s more than doing light mouse work. The weasel had somehow found its way into both the breezeway and the cat’s mouth.

My wife took it poorly. I was awakened by my wife’s cry. It might have been, “Yikes!” but it might not have been.

Confused by my wife’s reaction, the cat spit out its prey. Everyone froze as if they were staring at a red light, except the weasel. It was good at weaseling out of things. Another definition of weasel is to escape from or evade a situation or obligation.

As the famed basketball sportscaster Dick Vitale would have said, “Are you kidding me? It was a frenetic frenzy!”

The weasel ran into my office, where it assumed a cloak of invisibility. We’ve all done that unintentionally, usually while seated in some sort of waiting room or restaurant.

Most experiences have a rose, a thorn and a bud. The rose is the positive, the thorn is the problem and the bud is the potential. The rose was that the weasel was lovely. The thorn was that it was in our house. The bud was the hope that the weasel would leave.

I set a live trap in my office, but had no luck. I called the manufacturer to complain. They checked the trap’s serial number and told me that it was a toaster. Apparently, that was the problem. That’s the trouble with this world. No one wants to accept any responsibility.

My wife said there were two weasels in my office. Another definition of a weasel is a cunning, sneaky person. In other words, a husband.

The next morning, the county assessor, who’d measured the deck that had replaced our failing one, came into my office.

He didn’t see the weasel.

At least I won’t be paying weasel taxes.