A Cookout, A Mouse, and the Art of Noise – A “College Week” Post

In honor of students returning to school, I decided deem this week “College Week” and  write blogs about my time as an undergrad at Georgia Southern U. (Go Eagles). Given my recollection, these little numbers should be equal parts humorous and embarrassing (for me anyway). Hope you enjoy! -Skrap


Spring semester on our campus in Statesboro was the best ever. In south Georgia winter is about 27 days long which meant that Spring seemed to start sooner and when it warmed up the girls started to put away the winter wardrobes and wear less…always a good thing. My roommates and I decided that we were going to celebrate the warm weather with a cookout. It wasn’t going to be a huge party because our apartment couldn’t accommodate anything larger than a get-together; it was just going to be the four of us and our respective girlfriends (or the girl we did girlfriend stuff with) and a couple of our buddies. It was great, we had meat cooking on the grill, we had fruit infused with alcohol chilling in the fridge, we had baked beans going on the stove, and we had beers in the cooler and girls with long legs in short shorts on the way. Outstanding.

By 3pm everyone had arrived at the scene all scattered in the living room on the couch, the love seat and oversized chair that came with the furnished apartment, a couple more people that showed up sat at the kitchen table. Everyone had a Styrofoam plate full of food, music was up loud, there was a basketball game on, and my girl, we’ll call her “Kat” was looking particularly good in a low cut shirt that showed off her incredible set of, ummm, mammary glands…anyway. The day wore on; the sun, and alcohol levels in the bottles, got lower and things became a little mellower. My roommate had put some VHS tape in the VCR that was about 2 hours of mountains and waterfalls, sunsets and other relaxing type stuff accompanied by this new age Yanni-type music; we killed the volume on that though because the Dr. Dre and Super Cat tapes that had been playing all day had been replaced by a cassette (that yours truly made **fistbump**) featuring Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, and Babyface and most importantly The Art of Noise’s Moments in Love, but not just any version of Moments in Love, this tape had the seemingly 15 minute ultra long version that my roommates and I appropriately christened, “The Deal Closer”. And I had it on both sides!

So there we all sit; Me and Kat are on couch cuddled up, my other roommate (we’ll call him ‘Couchy’) and his lady are on the other end of the couch making out pretty hard, my third roommate (we’ll call him ‘Thirsty’) was sitting in the oversized chair with his girl in his lap trading smooches with small talk and my fourth roommate (we’ll call him ‘Bookworm’) had long since retired to his room with his girl to “study”, based on the sounds from behind his closed door they were taking a class on rhythmic pounding.

It was about 7:30pm; dark outside for early March, there was a single low watt lamp on in the corner of the apartment which allowed you to see just a little but not enough…

Then Moments in Love hit on the tape. Go time…

I took a quick peek to my left to see what was happening in the room, namely in the oversized chair where Thirsty had his ridiculously fine girlfriend in a pretty intense game of tongue wrestling. My girlfriend, noting my nosiness grabbed my chin to turn my face back to hers and I really wish she hadn’t done that because I wouldn’t have seen what I thought I saw. There was a picture of snow capped mountain on the television screen which cast just enough bright light in the room for me to catch a quick glimpse of something on the floor, my facial expression quickly changed eliciting a “what’s wrong” from Kat but after focusing my eyes on that spot on the floor again, I only saw the carpet. I responded in my best Barry White, “Nothing, baby”, then went in for a big kiss. The snowcapped mountain on the screen changed to a waterfall which darkened the room a little bit but left just enough light in the room to catch something dart across the floor in my peripheral vision, I kissed Kat but left my left eye open because I KNOW I’m not crazy and I saw something for real that time. (Skrap’s Note: Do any of you know how hard it is to kiss effectively with one eye open? It’s near impossible!) Turns out unfortunately that I did see something, unbeknownst to all in the apartment but me there was a mouse sitting right in the middle of the room, right in front of the TV looking like it had paused from its makeout treachery to enjoy the graceful swan making its way across a still lake on the screen.

Now look, I don’t know nothing ‘bout no mouse that wasn’t on a Tom and Jerry cartoon so I was a little shocked to see one out in the open without a cat behind him singing “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby”. My first instinct is to panic because I want that thing out the house, but panicking messes up the party so I fight that urge, meanwhile the mouse scampers about 3 feet the right which puts him about 18 inches away from Kat’s right foot. I gasp and she pulls away from our kiss slightly, her lips curling into a smile as she’s thinking that her kiss is taking my breath away; rather, I’m fretting that this mouse is aiming to nibble on one of her toes. She closed her eyes and tried to pull me in for another but a hint of resistance to come hither caused her to open her eyes to see me looking down at the carpet again. “What’s the matter with you”, she asked, “What’s down there?”

A beautiful picture of a mountain cutting through a clear blue sky on the TV brightened the room just as Kat sat up to look to the floor. Her eyes widened…she froze…she gasped, I could almost see the scream rising up from her belly, up through her esophagus, to her throat and into her mouth where I quickly muffled the scream by placing my hand over it.

“Damn, kid, let her go ahead and scream. Don’t try to keep her quiet!” Couchy, on the other end of the couch, had paused from whatever he was doing with his girl and her unbuttoned shirt to make a funny as he saw me still with my hand over Kat’s mouth as she continued to muffle-scream. Thirsty and his girl didn’t break their kiss but they giggled anyway. Everyone was having so much fun groping, I’d be the ultimate buzz kill if I shared what I – and now Kat – knew about the goings on so I decided to keep quiet and try to calm Kat. With my right hand still over her mouth, which probably still smelled like BBQ sauce now that I think of it, I reached with my left hand to lift her legs across my lap on the couch. She’s breathing heavy, eyes still wide with legitimate fear – fear like seeing The Exorcist for the first time, fear. The mouse still sat there on the carpet about 2 feet away minding its own business and then Thirsty had to go do something stupid, like get thirsty. He got up from the oversized chair which was about 7 feet to my (and the mouse’s) left and announced, “Hey, excuse the lights, people, need some water” then he hit the light switch and saw the mouse, all fuzzy and brown thinking its mousey little thoughts, sitting on the carpet…

We men are supposed to be able to keep our cool, it’s what gives us our edge under pressure but, oh no, not Thirsty:

“Oh sh*t, a mouse, Homie! A mouse!” Chaos ensues.

His girl screams and jumps up on the chair nearly tipping it over,  Couchy’s girl jumps onto the couch and screams, Kat is now completely in my lap wrapped tightly around me with her face in the couch cushions screaming until all three are a blood curdling chorus of screamers, and not in the good “Screams of Passion” way that 80s group The Family sang about. The screams and the thumping of furniture nearly turned over by women jumping on it sent the mouse to running, and run it did. Across the living room, under the couch, under the coffee table, through a Styrofoam plate full of bones that someone didn’t throw away and finally, all tuckered out, he stopped smack dab in the middle of the room in front of the TV. All was still, the women froze, their screams reduced to whimpers now that the mouse track meet through the room was over. That’s when Bookworm and his girl came out of his room, him shirtless and her disheveled, and after seeing Thirsty’s girl standing on a chair whimpering, Couchy’s girl standing on the couch with her shirt unbuttoned with her hands over her mouth and my girl squeezing me like a famished boa constrictor with her face hidden in sofa pillows with a gorgeous seaside sunset presented on the TV screen their obvious question was, “What the f*ck is going on here?” Simultaneously, we all pointed at the spot in the floor in front of the TV where the mouse sat.

Bookworm: Dude, where that come from?

Me: No idea.

Bookworm: What we gon’ do?

Me: No idea.

Bookworm: He gotta get outta here, man! That’s a mouse.

Couchy: We know.

…a few seconds pass and then Bookworm perked up…

Bookworm: Yo! Our neighbor has that pet cat, call her and tell her to bring the cat over!

Thirsty: You really want a real life Tom and Jerry going on in here? No, we gotta get it.

We had just bought the BBQ grill for the party the day before and the box it came in was sitting in the corner of the room nearest Thirsty who still was frozen to the light switch. Bookworm suggested that we cover the mouse with the box then slide the box out the front door; it was the best, wait, only idea that we had at the time so we went with it. Thirsty slid along the wall slowly so as not to alert the mouse who still sat listening to Moments in Love in front of the TV and grabbed the box, each side about 3 feet long and I’m guessing 3.5 feet deep.

Thirsty: Now what?

Bookworm: Gotta cover him with the box.

Thirsty: Me?

Couchy: You’re the one with the box.

Thirsty: I ain’t doing that. No way.

Bookworm: Come on man, it’s a mouse.

Thirsty’s Girl: (still standing on the chair) SOMEBODY get that mouse before I have a stroke.

Thirsty couldn’t very well let his girl think he was less than a man, especially since they were rounding third base at the point of interruption. Any appearances that he was a weakling would hinder the prospects of naked and horizontal later. Stealthily, he stalked the mouse walking slowly towards it with the box in hand. We all held our breath as he was 4 feet…3 feet…2 feet away, then lifted the box over his head and lunged at the mouse as he brought the box down to the carpet

…but the mouse ran…and the women screamed…and Kat squeezed me tighter to the point of suffocation…and Couchy’s girl’s boobs bounced as she jumped and screamed on the couch…and Thirsty flailed again and again with the box but couldn’t trap him…Bookworm screamed for us to close the doors leading to the hallway so the mouse couldn’t get to our rooms…our brainy graduate student neighbor beat on our adjoining wall like he always did when we made too much noise…the mouse got trapped in the corner of the room and finally Thirsty was able to throw the box over the mouse….all while Moments in Love was reaching its climax at about the 8 minute mark.

Thirsty sweating and out of breath, “There, he’s under the box; f*ck ALL of you if you think I’m the one that’s going to slide him out the door.” Then he helped his ultra fine girlfriend down from the chair where they disappeared into his room and closed the door, the light from under the door disappearing due to a towel that he stuffed underneath just in case. Couchy, against his girl’s wishes, went and slid the box to the front door and slid the box down the front step and slammed the door shut, then we all ran to the window, 6 sets of eyes peering through the blinds to see the mouse, brown and fuzzy – and likely traumatized – scurry off the porch down the sidewalk and finally disappearing into the grass down the way.

Everyone was off the furniture now. Bookworm and his girl, apparently unfazed, went back to “studying”. Couchy’s girl made him wash his hands for about 15 minutes before he did anything else. Kat finally let me go and took a normal sized breath before running to my room and slamming the door closed.

And I never made out to Moments in Love again.

~thanks for reading

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