Mighty Mouse

The Compass - - OPINION -

Re­mem­ber Mighty Mouse, the mus­cu­lar mouse who flew through comic book pages right­ing wrongs, fight­ing evil and other su­per­hero stuff ?

He was one ripped ro­dent back in the days be­fore any­one spoke of steroids.

On the cusp of t h e n ew year,Mighty Mouse flew through my mind the mo­ment I read an online news story ti­tled “Build­ing a Bet­ter Mouse” or words to that ef­fect.

I couldn’t help it, Mighty Mouse zoomed through my nog­gin streel­ing an orange speed-trail re­sem­bling the blast­ing af­ter­burn­ers of a rocket ship.

Of course, the story wasn’t about Mighty Mouse, yes­ter­year’s fic­ti­tious car­toon hero. It was about present day sci­en­tists, mad or oth­er­wise, frig­gin’ around with the ge­netic com­po­si­tion of the de­scen­dants of Bobby Burns’ “Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,” the meadow vole whose nest Burns split asun­der with his plough.

“Harry, my mousey love,” says dear­est duck who of­ten stands like a …well, like an an­gel, I s’pose, at my shoul­der whi le I scrib­ble. “Sounds like you’re feel­ing the lin­ger­ing ef­fects of your con­sump­tion of New Year’s herbal tea.”

“Why, my duck,” say I, “be­cause I speak of mighty mice?”

“I’ll put the ket­tle on,” says dear­est duck, de­part­ing my shoul­der with a pat-pat-pat.

Think about those sci­en­tists, molec­u­lar bi­ol­o­gists or what­ever. Seems they get tick­led to death while fid­dling with genomes, what­ever they are. They love to reeve nee­dles into lab mice and squirt ‘ em full of chem­i­cals and tox­ins and viruses. And if the re­sults are pleas­ing the boy-oes in white jack­ets pid­dle in their pants with ex­cite­ment. “Harry!” Al­right. Don’t get me wrong, some of what those lab- bound ge­niuses achieve is pos­i­tive, for hu­mans any­way. Treat­ments and cures for hu­man ail­ments are de­vel­oped, al­beit at the mice’s [meece’s] ex­pense.

But no odds about mice if their sac­ri­fices ben­e­fit mankind, eh b’ys?

Any­way, it isn’t what hap­pens to those med­i­cal [?] mice that con­cerns me. It’s the “what if ?” fac­tor that causes mid­night tremors.

What if some­thing goes wrong with an ex­per­i­ment and …?

Mind that In­ter­net story I men­tioned ear­lier?

Sci­en­tists are at­tempt­ing to cre­ate a might­ier mouse, one whose ge­netic make-up will be more fit­ting for fig­ur­ing out ways to com­bat dis­eases that rav­ish hu­mans.

What if some­thing goes whoop­sie?

I don’t know what it might be, but in a comic book there’d be a thun­der storm threaded with plenty of light­ning, a stray bolt of which would zap the lab and trans­form those in­no­cent vic­tims of lab­o­ra­tory ex­per­i­ments into…

…into Mon­strous Mighty Mice that would promptly wreck prover­bial havoc on their tor­men­tors and then pro­ceed to stomp hu­mankind back into the pri­mor­dial muck.

“Harry!”

LET­TER TO THE ED­I­TOR

“Yes, my duck, I know. I’m be­ing silly.”

I ’ m not wor­ried about the ad­vent of Mighty Mice bent on erad­i­cat­ing mankind from the planet. Truly. But what if? A cou­ple of years ago, un­be­knownst to us, a new­ly­wed pair of mice moved into our base­ment and set up mouse-keep­ing [!] in­side the walls. There, as randy ro­dents are wont to do, they did the nec­es­sary and pro­duced off-spring, off-spring, off-spring.

We re­mained un­aware of the mice in res­i­dence un­til one chilly morn­ing dear­est duck sought ex­trawarm un­men­tion­ables in a bot­tom bureau drawer. Mr. Mouse scur­ried from the folded flan­nel dain­ties straight up Dear­est’s goose-pim­pled arm. “Eek!” I tailed some traps baited with yummy Kraft peanut but­ter.

I checked my trap line only to dis­cover ev­ery sin­gle trig­ger was licked clean of peanut bait. I sus­pected baby mice were too light weight to spring the traps and adults far too crafty [Krafty?].

Even­tu­ally, our cup­boards as bare a Mrs. Hub­bard’s, the young mice moved out of our walls and, I s’pose, the old ones tot­tered off to oc­cupy the near­est mousey bone­yard. I never did trap a mouse. But what if? What if the new­ly­wed cou­ple that oc­cu­pied our rent-free walls had es­caped from some lab, their nee­dle holes still drain­ing serum?

Rather than slip­ping silently through a crack in the con­crete, I fear the young male — mostly to im­press his brand new bride, I’m sure — would have booted in our base­ment door, boldly oc­cu­pied our base­ment den and de­manded that we serve him and his honey Kraft Ex­tra-Creamy on a toasted bun.

Mere mor­tal I, any at­tempt to evict the Mighty Mice might have been crip­pling.

Even Might Mouse, su­per­hero of renown, would have met chal­leng­ing op­po­si­tion had he tried to save the day.

Thank you for read­ing. Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville, in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. How cool is that? Reach him at gh­wal­ters663@gmail.com

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