Bitch on the Blog

May 18, 2010

Dragging my feet

Filed under: Philosophy — bitchontheblog @ 13:37
Tags: , , ,

Sometime back in April (25th –  to be precise) over at Magpie’s blog  we discussed the swimming prowess and restistance of fleas to death by alocohol poisoning. Laboratory animals were mentioned, Magpie showing himself singularly unmoved by the plight of any.  A view which,  no doubt, he shares with many other teachers.

And this is one of the reasons why I love Bike Hike Babe, and I quote her comment:

I caught a mouse by its foot in a mouse trap. I set him loose.”

At first the statement sounds simple and factual. It isn’t [simple]: Jean-Paul Sartre would have gladly limped to his grave if only he could have come up with something as profound. For the sake of my own thought process (and it won’t work otherwise – so please do not disillusion me, BHB) I assume that BHB (or, more likely, her husband) laid the trap – purposely setting out to fight the cheese robbers. However, like in a Hollywood movie, the mouse (played by Tom Hanks) then did NOT have its neck snapped, merely his foot clamped. Along comes the good fairy (that’s BHB during a full moon) and foils her household’s initial plan. Think about it. Aesop (him of the fables) couldn’t do better.

Somewhere under the wandering stars there will now be a homeless mouse with a bandage walking across an American prairie, supported by a crutch, tears in its eyes remembering that lovely smiling silver haired lady who gave it reprieve. Mice’s attention span being short let’s hope it won’t forget all about her when happening onto the next bit of cheese. That’s where Sartre comes into the equation.




  1. My girls had mice & rats as pets. They’re really cute. Like Mickey Mouse is cute. They’re more socially acceptable when they are, say, black & white.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — May 18, 2010 @ 13:45 | Reply

    • Well, Bike Hike Babe, my son was allowed any pet. Luckily, like his mother he does not like snakes, lizards and anything with a long naked tail (rats). So no problems there.

      A friend and neighbour used to keep guinea pigs which I stupidly offered to look after whenever she and her family went on holiday. I was very good to those four considering how boring they are. I diligently put them out of their cage into the open air pen onto my lawn every day (never mind the poo outfall of all those vegetables they are munching); fed them all the best that the kitchen could spare (Don’t give them cucumber: It stimulates their bladders.) Luckily guinea pigs have a relatively short life span – though longer than desirable when feeding them the finest of the finest. The day I found myself with my hair caught underneath the hedge after one of them had made a dash for freedom was the day I swore I’d never look after anyone else’s pets again. And yes, I did retrieve the blasted animal, all smiling when the neighbours returned.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 18, 2010 @ 14:31 | Reply

  2. I am not sentimental about animals when it comes to their suffering but I would have suggested that the student immerse him/herself every day….

    I had to think about what I had said back then… I’m not sentimental..that doesn’t mean I don’t care nor that I am not moved…. I’m not sentimental about human suffering either…. Suffering and death are not things to be sentimental about. I do abhor the infliction of suffering on other animals however, even fleas. 😉

    About Guinea Pigs…My father used to tell us never to pick them up by their tails or their eyes would fall out!

    It’s amazing how many people, adults and children both, say, “Ah! Really? Poor things.”

    Comment by magpie11 — May 18, 2010 @ 17:21 | Reply

    • My mother raised guinea pigs for a while when we needed extra money. We used to go around to supermarkets and get their discarded produce and sort through it to retrieve the non-rotten stuff. She ended up getting cheated by the person who talked her into doing all that work.

      The experience was a net plus for me though. The person had a daughter going to U. C. Berkeley. I loved that school and it was my ambition to go there…until I was offered a scholarship to Stanford. I couldn’t resist the chance to be able to live on campus instead of commuting every day.

      Comment by Cheerful Monk — May 18, 2010 @ 22:03 | Reply

      • Stanford, Jean, really? Worse fate can befall one.

        A touching vignette about your mother raising guinea pigs to make ends meet. Terrible subject you touch on: Supermarkets discarding food because of some arbitrary “sell by” date. I did a three months undercover job a few years ago to find out more about what’s really going on. (On a side note: I also discovered that working in these place is soul destroying, downright slavery). What is so shocking that food halls do not allow their underpaid employees to help themselves to discarded produce which is perfectly fit for human consumption; these same places also make sure that the ‘downs and outs’ can no longer access the backyard of their local supermarket.

        Jean, I’ll better stop before revving up on social comment on waste, waste and more waste. It’s shameful.


        Comment by Ursula — May 19, 2010 @ 04:08 | Reply

        • The produce we collected was not all fit for human, or guinea pig, consumption. I still remember sorting out the slimy lettuce. 🙂 I also remember buying day-old bread, cakes, etc. from outlet stores. Those products weren’t thrown away, they were sold for a reasonable price. We were happy to get them.

          Our local supermarket gladly gives away discarded produce and post-dated items to local charities. I wrote an article once about a woman who collected it regularly and took it down to the valley for distribution.

          I don’t know what happens in other communities.

          Comment by Cheerful Monk — May 19, 2010 @ 19:38 | Reply

          • I volunteered at Food Bank until it folded. The rent was too high, caused by the huge walk-in freezer. My job was to scrub the mud off the floors each week after people came to buy outdated & overstocked food from the grocery store.

            There was always 20 to 50 loaves of white bread, sweet rolls etc. left. I brought it all home, opened the packages, & tossed it off the canyon for the ravens & animals. We got a big population of those big black birds. My health food daughter thought I was doing them a disservice.

            Comment by bikehikebabe — May 19, 2010 @ 20:12 | Reply

    • Magpie, I think I remarked about my affinity with your father before. He must have had a daring sense of humoUr. What I’d like to know: Did ANY of you put his theory to the test? And what did you do with the eyes?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — May 19, 2010 @ 04:18 | Reply

      • If they tried to put it to the test, of course, they would have learned something about guinea pig anatomy.

        Which leads us to the philosophical question, “Why do some animals have tails and others don’t?”

        Comment by Cheerful Monk — May 19, 2010 @ 21:54 | Reply

  3. I saw a bunch of milk at Safeway (our supermarket) whose due date was to expire the next day. A clerk said it would be reduced in price tomorrow. I came back “tomorrow” & it had been put in the dumpsters behind the store. I went back there to get it. I wanted to make cottage cheese. I saw it, but before I could retrieve it, the police came through there. I left suddenly.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — May 19, 2010 @ 14:31 | Reply

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