Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sweet Ms. Cherry

Ms. Cherry was always a nice lady. When I met her, she was in charge of the Parking Office at the University. Her deceased husband had been a big shot on campus, had even had a building named after him. But she never put on any airs like some of the other widows and connected superfluities who considered themselves major domos of their territory on the campus.

I remember there was all that long history of rats in the ceiling of the Parking Office. One of my first experiences (there or anywhere) was being able to hear the rats overhead and moving some tiles to get a good look overhead. And then discovering one rat that leaned down to look me in the face just as I shifted the tile! He was so close! I jumped, even though I was standing on a ladder! I put the tile back in place for a minute. I remember later reaching up above the ceiling to remove one dead rat at a time, over and over. Then tearing the place to pieces and getting rid of all the dead bodies and all of the piss-stained insulation. God, it was awful, and the ladies in the office below, of course, had to be temporarily relocated from all that stink and falling insulation and tiles.

Before that worse-case scenario, I recall the incident where Paul, the Grounds Superintendent went over to the Parking Office one day when I wasn’t there and he couldn’t find the dead mouse stinking from behind the fridge. Ms. Cherry was so sweet and amazed at how quickly I located and removed it, but she was clearly perturbed about Paul not finding it the day before. I told her, “Well, we all have our fields of expertise” or something to that effect. She smiled, but probably figured I was just covering up for Paul being a little incompetent. Not really, I just dealt with it all the time. At any rate, I’d gotten on her good side with that one, and that couldn’t hurt. Maybe that's why she didn't lambast and kill me when we had the terrible roof rat problem descibed above!

Years after I left the campus, I happened to catch a glimpse of Ms. Cherry on the TV as a political supporter of somebody or other. It was just a moment or two, but I was happy to have seen her. She wasn’t “an old friend”, but she was an old Something—maybe just a nice old lady, but that counts for much in this world. I’ve known a few old people who’d just as happily club you and me and the baby seals to death. As far as I’m concerned, those old people can kill their own damn rats! Here's hoping that pleasant Ms. Cherry, wherever she is, has no rodents of any kind in her life!


  1. I loved it...great little concise and complete.

    So now we know from whence the rat comes in reality.

  2. Can this be a soft underbelly, I see? Shame on you, your hard-ass image is slipping.. delightfully.

  3. I always had a hard-on for sweet old ladies; it's just that only recently was I old enough to not be called a pervert for it!


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