Yesterday I was personally responsible for the deaths of seven mice. All this within the space of five minutes. Three others had near death experiences – shaking and gasping for air. I have realized that mice tend to get the death shakes, which signals the beginning of the end. In the past, I would see their paws quivering and teeth chattering and I would desperately attempt to warm them back to life in my hands. “Baby, baby, baby, baby!!” When mice die, their back forms a strange hump, almost the shape of the side of a muscial instrument. The red eyes of white strain mice turn black. The mice urinate for the last time.
I think that this genocide in particular was caused by dirty tubes leading to the smoking cubicles in Feng’s hood. The tar from the cigarettes can come out of the tubes in a bubble – quickly and quietly suffocating the mouse. Many times mice just receive too much smoke and need some fresh air and water to recuperate completely. It’s a dangerous and discouraging life, as a lab mouse – death either by smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisioning (the usual way to sacrifice mice). Some mice actually have a great life – the obese males who don’t smoke and are only there to breed. If the female doesn’t get pregnant quickly, she is replaced with a younger female. He gets the “mad hook-up” as JB would say.
I don’t want you to get the wrong impression – once the mice become addicted to the smoke, they crave it and run into the smoking cubicles. If mothers do not receive their smoke daily, they will eat their pups (this happened last week when i didn’t come to work because my flight was delayed).
We here in Boston just danced to Aquarius and Beck and now we are watching the Office together. It’s been a grand evening with Tuggy – buttery nipples, hymns, chiropractoric actions.
My new work hymn:
Every day the Lord himself is near me
with a special mercy for each hour;
all my cares he fain would bear and cheer me,
he whose anme is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of his child and treasure
is a charge that on himself he laid;
“As your days, your strength shall be in measure,”
this the pledge to me he made.