Transcribe your podcast

Hey, guys, it's Mike Rowe, and this is the way I heard it, the only podcast for The Curious Mind with a short attention span.


This is episode number 169 that it's called a mouse in the house.


A mouse in the house. Ever had one? A house that is with a mouse in it.


Not pleasant. Not a good feeling. The mouse in the house phenomenon usually rears its ugly head when you're in bed trying to fall asleep and you hear that scratching behind the walls where maybe in the ceiling, the floor, they'll go anywhere, these mice.


And of course they do become mice. A mouse in the house will become mice because, you know, they they breed with other mice. I mean, what else would they breed with? Right. But the problem gets exponential very quickly. They get the walls and then they get in your head and then something has to be done.


This all came rushing back to me and a flood of unpleasant memories on Labor Day as I sat at my kitchen table looking for inspiration and finding it in a line of ants, ants that had let themselves in through some unknown gateway and made a beeline, or in this case, an ant line toward Freddie's food supply. It's a very, very invasive feeling. I mean, for such a tiny little creature, these things can also really get in your head.


I killed as many as I could. I put down traps. I spread poison all over the place. I think I've got a handle on it.


But that that feeling, that feeling you get when you know there's a mouse in your house or ants in your pants or on your kitchen floor, it's a feeling most people understand. It was simply exacerbated for me on Labor Day because as some of you may know, it was 100 degrees in Northern California on Labor Day.


I know it was hotter in other places, but I'm going to whine and complain briefly, as I do from time to time. As many of you know, I don't have air conditioning.


I'm not looking for sympathy. Obviously, if I wanted air conditioning, I could get it. I just haven't done it yet.


And I paid the price on Labor Day, sitting there looking for inspiration as the sweat rolled down the small of my back and I spied a line of ants invading my home even as I glanced out the window to behold.


Not the fog, not the fog wafting slowly across the bay, but a thick plume of smoke, acrid smoke filling, the air blowing in my general direction, courtesy of a dozen wildfires burning out of control in Northern California. It all just felt in that second. It felt as though I was beset, as Hamlet said, by a sea of troubles, a plague of troubles, ants, excessive heat, wildfires and the umbrella of the coronavirus over my head.


But, of course, of course, it's not just me, it's you, too. Right? Maybe you're in Iowa beset by a plague of wind. Or maybe you're in the Gulf, beset by a plague of rain. Plenty of plagues going around, it seems. Lots of things terrorizing us large and small. And it's a feeling. It's a feeling I know others share. And so that's the feeling that I wanted to capture in the story you're about to hear.


But what came out instead? Well, I wound up. I wound up thinking like a mouse, I wound up wondering what it was like not to have a mouse in the house, but to be a mouse in the house. Hope you like it. It's made possible by my dear friend Monica Starks, who I have never met. Monica runs a company called G.S. Group, a construction consulting company up there and in the Great Lakes area. And she did not have a mouse in the house, but she was playing a game of cat and mouse, sort of.


She was trying to fill a position, a pivotal position.


Doesn't say exactly what. But if you're if you're looking for a pivotal position in a company like Jig's group, then you're looking for somebody with an enormous brain and a lot of experience and finding that exact right person in this day and age, what with all the plagues, with all the fires, with all the heat and the rain and the wind and the corona, I mean, you need every advantage you can. So Monica, being brilliant, went to zip recruiter Dotcom cigarroa.


She post the job and listen to this. She found Lamont Jenkins, the candidate she was looking for. She didn't just find the guy. She found it within five minutes.


They can't make this stuff up.


Within five minutes of posting the job, Monica Starks found the candidate she was looking for. Surprise, surprise. Four out of five employers who post on ZIP recruiter get a quality candidate within the first day. You will, too, probably.


I don't know if you got one within the first five minutes, but the odds are good. Within the first day, you'll find what you're looking for. See for yourself how recruiter makes hiring faster and easier. Try it now for free. That's right. For free. It's a recruiter. Dotcom legro zip recruiter dot com slash r o w e.


Look, full disclosure, I don't know Lamont Jenkins. I don't know Monica Starks. I just know she went to zip recruiter Dotcom cigarroa. And I know that I've gone there myself and hired more than a few people. Give them a try.


Zip recruiter Dotcom Legro is the way I heard it. It's a mouse in the house.


12, 15 a.m., an old man sits in a dark house sipping tea and watching cartoons, he ought to be in bed with his wife, a beautiful woman half his age. But he's restless and can't sleep. So he does what he always does. When the insomnia drives him from his bed, he makes a cup of tea and spends a little quality time with his favorite cat and mouse. So far, it's been a rough evening for Tom. In this episode alone, the poor cat has been shot, stabbed, drowned, poisoned, electrocuted, decapitated, eviscerated, driven into the ground with the telephone pole and smashed in the face with a shovel twice.


The old man delights in the cats. Every misfortune brought about by his nemesis, the ever resourceful mouse called Jerry. He admires the mouse immensely smaller and weaker than his adversary. Jerry nevertheless prevails in almost every encounter, humiliating the big cat. Time and time again, the old man can't help but giggle when Jerry crushes Tom's head in a window, severs his fingers in a door, stuffs his tail into a hot waffle iron, drops a refrigerator onto his head, and then ties him to a rocket that explodes in space.


The old man likes the explosions, best of all.


In the next room, his young wife is worried about her husband, he's not easing into his early retirement with grace.


Once the CEO of a global corporation, he now seems adrift, anxious.


He's impatient with the children, short with the staff, and no longer desirous of her womanly charms.


She doesn't know how to help him or what to say, so she lives there alone, listening to a man twice her age, chortle and golfball at the antics of a clever mouse and the hapless cat who just can't seem to catch him. Twelve 20 a.m. Tom is preparing to lie down for a nap in a hammock, but Jerry is already there snoozing away. The old man watches rapt.


There's room for two, but he knows the cat will never share that hammock with the mouse.


No way.


The battle begins when Tom unhooks one side of the hammock from the tree and lowers it into a pond. Jerry, still sleeping, slides off the end and into the water where he nearly drowns. It's funny stuff, but Jerry isn't laughing. He will not be bullied, so he waits for Tom to settle into the hammock with a glass of lemonade.


Then he attacks with lightning speed, flipping the hammock upside down, sending the unsuspecting cat face first into the ground. With such force, the glass goes through his mouth and out the back of his head. The old man laughs and applauds. There's no blood, of course, which is disappointing. But the violence is beautifully executed, wildly imaginative and perfectly choreographed with a symphonic score that accentuates the action. This was part of the attraction, obviously, the old man had an eye for art and the artistry of Tom and Jerry was simply unparalleled, but mostly he just appreciated a good game of cat and mouse and nobody played it better than these two.


Twelve twenty five am, Jerry is running as fast as he can from a cat with a drinking glass stuck in his skull, he's about to be cornered when he spies a lawnmower over by the barn. He sprints towards it as the violins swell and the timpanist pound with an angry cat hot on his heels. In a twinkling, the mouse fires up the mower and pushes it toward Tom.


It's an ingenious counter move that sends the terrified cat running backwards across the lawn and into the hammock, which spins him around several times, trapping him like a fly in a spider web. What happens next is not the most violent thing the old man has ever seen, but it's right up there, Tom is completely helpless when Jerry pushes the lawnmower over his tail. Slowly, the cat is sucked into the whirling blades along with the hammock. In moments, everything is sliced to ribbons and the remains of poor Tom are transformed into a strand of accordion style, cat shaped figures stretched between two trees where there used to be a hammock.


Twelve twenty nine am, the old man who wasn't really as old as he looked, is laughing so hard at the cat's demise he doesn't hear the other cats, the ones creeping along the cement walk two floors below him. Nor does he hear them enter his home and slowly climb his steps.


Personally, I like to think the last thing he ever heard was the sound of Porky Pig saying, that's all folks, it's possible, you know, because even though Tom and Jerry was a Santa Barbara production and the old man's favorite, the CIA also discovered lots of Looney Tunes on his computer, along with the collection of Mr. Bean skits, a series of videos on how to crochet and the contacts of a few other mass murderers who enjoyed killing innocent Americans.


It's true, crochet videos probably for amale, the loyal wife who took a bullet in the leg that night trying to save her husband's life, the worthless life of a mouse on the lam who could no longer outfox the big cats who had come to settle the score.


May 2nd, 2011, Zero Dark Thirty. The time in Abbottabad when the cat's of SEAL Team six dropped in to exterminate a rodent. Called Osama bin Laden. Anyway, that's the way I heard it.