I love “Once upon a time”. This one is from my book, Staying Happy Healthy And Hot. Stories rule. Especially true ones like this. Once upon a time… 4:18 AM last night to be specific. I was asleep…in the middle of a dream that seemed to have something to do with Catherine Zeta Jones. I didn’t even notice my Lady Wonder Wench getting out of bed and going for a potty break. But just as Catherine Zeta was smiling seductively and introducing me to her twin sister in my dream…Lady Wonder Wench cut loose with a shriek that must have cracked windows all the way to Greg’s house down the block.

Without even waiting for instructions from my brain, my legs did about a quarter of a mile in 1.2 seconds…because I was lying on my side… but in the process, somehow one foot hit the floor…which, of course, caused me to run right into Mr. Wall. That woke me up enough to realize that Wonder Wench had either seen an asteroid the size of Asia hurtling directly toward us, The New York Mets had blown another pennant race, or there was a mouse loose somewhere within our zip code.

The bathroom door slammed, and a pink streak flashed into the bedroom and up onto a chair. It was pretty obvious that Ms. Wench was considering climbing up to an even safer position on top of her dresser. Now, as a Louie-Louie Generation guy…I’ve been around long enough to know that trying to calm a woman down with words while she is trying to climb up on her dresser is not only not going to work… it’s like trying to put out a kitchen fire with a can of gasoline. It was obviously time for action. I was going to have to go head to jaws with the mouse. Mano-a-mouso. Me against Mickey. And it wasn’t going to be a catch and release…Ms. Wench was calling for a scalp. Mickey had to go down.

So I quickly slipped on my slippers and pulled on some shorts to protect my most vulnerable parts from possible retaliation on the part of the mouse…grabbed my baseball glove from the top of the closet…and went on the attack.

I opened the bathroom door just a crack, so he couldn’t come running out… and up my leg…and there he was…about two inches long… probably weighing in at three or four ounces…trying to hide behind the bathroom scale…two malevolent red eyes gleaming…fangs bared…tail thrashing back and forth in anticipation of the battle. My plan was to distract him by talking to him, while my baseball glove hand sneaked around behind him for the grab.

Things were going well. I was bent down just a couple of feet from the snarling monster…my baseball glove just inches away from a catch… when he suddenly jumped…vertically…right up into the air…a good two feet…right at my face…as if he were on the attack. I did a quick retreat and tripped over the spare toilet paper holder and landed on my fanny. The mouse countered by jumping behind the wicker laundry basket. I slowly and carefully pulled the basket away from the wall. I could see him…lurking… looking up at me.

He was obviously way too fast for me to catch him or to hit him. So this morning, I got some mouse poison and a couple of traps, and I put them around the house. And, sure enough, right after lunch I went down to the computer room…and there he was. Motionless. Sprawled out on the carpet. Dead. I guess I should have felt victorious. But I couldn’t help think of the contrast here. He’s about three ounces by three inches. I’m about five ten and 180 pounds. And he battled me to at least a draw. I couldn’t beat him when it was just Mano-a-Mouso. I had to bring in a cowardly weapon of mouse destruction to do the job.

I know…I didn’t have much choice…if I was going to pry my Lady Wonder Wench off the dresser, I had to go mano a mouso. But I kept thinking about when I was a kid…how much fun I had with the story about “hickory dickory dock… The mouse ran up the clock”…and how I always told our kids the story about “the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse”…and a long time ago…television sets had rabbit ears…but they also had those mouse ears that Annette Funicello wore on her head… and everybody sang…M I C…See you again tomorrow…K E Y…Why? because we like you…M – O – U – S – E. Good night, Mr. Mouse. You did good. You didn’t beat me, but I didn’t beat you either. Your mamma would be proud. You did good.

Dick’s Details Quiz – All the answers are in the podcast at

1- At which hour of the day do people laugh the least?

2- Why should you pour leftover cola down your toilet?

3- How could an ordinary smart guy have stopped King Kong?


3- Right – Mickey Mouse Himself.

2- Right – Road Runner.

1- Right – Elmer Fudd.

0- Right – Boris/Natasha

I have a favor to ask of you. If you like this blog and or the PodCast that goes with it, I’d appreciate it if you’d tell a couple of friends, and ask them to pass it along. Nothing like getting a good group of people together…all the time… when you’re doing a “Once upon a time.” Please let me know when you do this at because I’d like to thank you for your help.

Now here’s the end of the Mano a Mouse-o story. When I found the little guy…dead…in the basement, I was about to toss the corpus delecti into the trash. But my Lady Wonder Wench said, “No. Let’s bury him out of respect for the good fight he put up.” So we did.

That’s the kind of thing I love about my Lady.


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