Thursday, January 31, 2013

750 Words (Actually, 880) Unedited

This is going to be a quick 750 words.  Actually, I'm not even sure I HAVE 750 words of anything meaningful or anything I want to discuss, anyway.  I guess if I wanted to get myself riled up about politics and idiots, I could.  There's always plenty of both.  But I don't.  I'd rather talk about something un-riling.  There's something to write about--my love for making up new words.  Except the only other one I can think of is "forgivingless" which I used in a rat poem that started out addressing Viet Nam themes but ended in a general statement on death.  In the end, I caved and used "unforgiving," but somehow I feel like I sold myself out artistically--not that I was trying to sell the poem or anything because it's not one I would have submitted.  I worked on that damn poem for years before I finally put it to rest (hahaha!) and considered it done, but ironically, I couldn't get there without the help of a Viet Nam vet and very talented writer in our church writers' group.  That's the way writing works sometimes--you have to figure out what you are really trying to say, and if you're not doing it right, it will show in the final product.  That feeling "something is missing here" won't subside or leave you alone until you fix it or leave it. Well, that poem, I left alone for a few years after beating it to death draft after draft (OMG, the puns are just pouring out in this post, aren't they???) and finally did come out with something that made more sense and flowed.  The poem was originally called "The White Rat," but I think it ended up being something like "Eating the Baby Rats."  I say "I think" because I can never remember what I write (never mind what I say), and I've got time restraints tonight, so I'm not going to bother to look it up.  If you really care, check out my poetry at Weaker than Water (KatherineGotthardtPoetry on wordpress) and search "rat."  I don't think I've got more than one rodent poem.

Here's a funny rodent story.  I used to own white rats.  Yeah, bought a couple at the local pet store because the apartment I was living in at the time didn't allow pets like dogs and cats, but apparently, rats were okay.  Go figure.  Anyway, it turns out I had a male and a female and before long, two rats became eight and eight sixteen and so on and I thought it was all quite interesting until one day I walked into my living room and there was Mom or Dad or sis or bro eating one of its cagemates.  (That became the inspiration for the poem I referred to above.)  It really grossed me out and became apparent (heh heh...get it?) that the situation would worsen if I didn't do something about it.  So I started by trying to separate the men from the women, but having never been good at biology, you can guess what happened.  So I took the babies to the pet store and said, look, you guys gave me a male and a female and I can't keep dozens of rats and besides, they are eating their young.  The guy said the store couldn't take any of the rats.  They could take mice to feed to snakes, but rats, no.  So back home I went, not looking forward to making a decision about what to do.  I mean really.  What DO you do?  Call the local animal shelter and say, "I've got a self-inflicted rat problem.  Can you take care of it?  No, not an infestation, really.  I bought them and they er, did it like bunnies except they aren't bunnies.  They aren't the kind that carry bubonic plague or anything, so can you help?" 

Well, assuming that wasn't an option either, I did what any moral person might.  First, I considered letting them loose in the place where I used to work to get back at this bitch I had for a boss.  But after some thought, I decided against this.  So in the end, I thought it would be best to let mother nature take care of the problem because in nature, these poor things would have been eaten by snakes (not pet store snakes, though, because I guess they only like gourmet rats) and birds.  So I took the females (or as many as I could determine were females) and brought them out to the woods way behind the house and left them in a field, all the while apologizing profusely.  The males? Okay, I admit it.  I dropped them in the woods close to my ex-place of employment.  There was no way the things would make it even remotely close to the building, but I got a good giggle out of it every time I passed that place again.  Just imagining that lady with a rat under her desk cracked me up.  And really, imagining it was all I needed to get past the fact that she really was a bitch.
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Disclaimer: this happened years and years ago, so the statue of limitations has run out--just in case anyone wants to try to prosecute. 
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