I went to visit my parent's today. While I was there my father was taking the tarp off the "pond," that they have in the backyard, and getting it ready for the season. It isn't so much of a pond as it is an above ground, kidney shaped tub with a fountain; which may or may not work. The pond has an old frog statue in it, and they usually fill it with plants that bob around in the water. Every year my father uncovers the pond and complains that some woodland creature has chewed though his tarp. He then proceeds to find said woodland creature, living inside the pond.
I was outside on the deck talking to my mother and watching their dog pee on all of the tarps and supplies that my father was working with. As we conversed about business and other things, I noticed my father was taking out the shop vac to clean the pond. He began vacuuming and stopped suddenly. I saw him make a face, and then stare at the vacuum. From where I was sitting I could see him and I could swear that he was talking to the shop vac. He began to remove the hose and shake it furiously. After watching him for a few minutes, he started taking the vacuum apart.
I was not even listening to my mother anymore. I was completely engrossed in what was going on over by the pond. I couldn't take it anymore and finally stood up and asked him what he was doing. He looked up at me with the most flabbergasted look on his face and informed me that he'd just sucked up a mouse with the shop vac. I asked if it's a dead mouse and he told me matter factly that it was most certainly a live mouse and that was why he was trying to get it out of his machine.
By this point my mother and I had stopped talking and were playing the role of useless spectators. My father flipped over the vacuum and emptied the canister into a trash bag. We saw leaves and cobwebs and dust come out. All of a sudden a tiny mouse popped out of the debris. For some reason, up until I saw the mouse, it was possible that I thought my father was being dramatic and making it all up. But there it was. A tiny mouse, in all of its vacuumed up glory.
The mouse started to head toward the dog. My father called out to my mother and asked her to hand him a snow shovel, from the storage cabinet on the deck. He grabbed it from my mother and hurried back to the spot where the trash bag was. I assumed that he was going to clean up any of the remaining mess on the lawn made by the shop vac. Nope. My father was about to attempt to shoo a mouse, away from a dog, with a snow shovel.
There was something almost mesmerizing about seeing a 6ft tall, 240lb man, with a snow shovel, in May, chasing a tiny mouse through a yard. I wanted to go inside and grab my phone, so I could record it, but I honestly could not look away. The mouse would stop and change course, and my father would stop and follow in the new direction of the mouse. After many twists and turns, the mouse finally headed towards the fence, out of the yard and into the field.
On the way home from my parent's house, I reflected on what I had just witnessed. In a dazed attempt to try to fully understand what had just happened. People always say I'm the only one that witnesses these strange events. They always tell that they've never met anyone quite like me. Today, I got the feeling that that "something,"was totally genetic. And weirdness- like mental illness, not only runs in my family but also skips, saunters, and hums a tune, while pulling a wagon. Or in this case, pushing a shovel.
Today my father sucked up a mouse with a shop vac, and proceeded to shoo it into a field, with a snow shovel. This is who I am. This is my family. These are real things that I witness. They really do happen. You might call it stupid or weird, but around here we call it "Thursday."