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Pique'n Yer Interest

The mouse

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So, because I'm a man, she asks me, "Will you come by and get rid of the mouse?

"Um, sure. Of course."

"Are you sure?" she says. I've already forgotten her name. I actually never knew it.

"I hope you don't mind. My roommate is, like, totally freaking out over it."

"Sure. No big deal."

"And my boyfriend would do it but I'm not seeing him tonight."

"Right. Not a problem."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

So we leave her friend Gabby alone at the table with our wine and my personal items: journal, map, wallet, etc. Not a good idea since I've known these people all of 20 minutes. I consider myself a decent judge of character except when alcohol's involved. I've been burned before.

Like the time in Brussels when an Arab fellow wrapped his leg around mine and engaged me in an amusing little gig. Up and down we'd go, legs intertwined, hips thrusting forward in circles right in the middle of some plaza. This didn't seem weird to me. I took it as Eastern hospitality. After the third time, I was really into it, and then he ran off suddenly and I noticed that my wallet was missing...

But I'm not thinking about any of this. We're walking down Queen St. West and the Girl With No Name keeps thanking me, over and over. "This is so nice of you, oh my gawd!" and so on. This is my first visit to Toronto and wonder if all the women here are this relentlessly gracious. I know she's just being nice but there's only so much gratitude one man can accept in three minutes, especially when I haven't done anything yet.

She unlocks the door to her apartment - maybe three doors from the bar. It's a discreet number sandwiched between two boutiques. Her flat is spacious, the type of suite that costs people their children's eyeballs in Manhattan.

"Nice place," I say.

"I know! Isn't it fun ? The dead mouse is in her room."

And indeed it is, lying still in the corner on one of those glue traps, the flimsy platter types that toddlers sometime mistake as playtime toys, and wail like genocide victims when pulled from their chests.

This particular trap had attracted lint and what looked like human hair. I crouch down to pick up the dead mouse's final resting disc but the mouse starts squirming and squeaking.

I jump back and point. "Ah! It's still alive! Look! See!"

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