When the Cat’s Away, The Mice will Play… or take a nap in your sink

The Great Cheerwine Mystery

So what I think is most interesting is what is happening when you’re not around. Allegedly, nature abhors a vacuum, right? So you have this house that’s just there empty of all the energy you throw into it when you’re home and then you’re gone for 2 months and all the energy just drains out of it and what happens then?

Weird stuff, I’m telling you.

Once when I was out of town for a week when I lived in New Orleans, I came back and found that someone had broken into my house every night while I was gone and had only stolen one thing in all that time: a gun that someone had given me right before I left. I hadn’t wanted the gun, said, “DO NOT LEAVE THAT HERE!” but he said I needed it for protection. As soon as he left I hid it up in a hole in the ceiling of the closet in the back room. No one in the world knew about that hole.

When I came back, the house was open (my neighbor Danny came and closed it up every morning after someone came in every night) and nothing of note was taken except that gun. (And I never got broken into again after that.)

Another time, in that same house, a few years later, I came back and found a dead mouse in the bathroom sink. But wait—the mouse was covered up with a paper towel, only his little head sticking out, as if he were asleep in his little bed. He was so cute. But no one else had a key to the house and it was locked up tight. So how did that mouse cover himself up like that and then die on his back like a little storybook character? I never found out and I still wonder to this very day.

And now!

I came back from New Orleans this time and in my laundry room, on the dryer was a spray of Cheerwine. Or blood, but I’m thinking it’s Cheerwine; it’s kind of translucent. (I did not taste it, and I probably won’t.) BUT! There is no source of the Cheerwine. I don’t see an exploded can or bottle or even a puddle of Cheerwine on the shelf above it. So what is up with that?

These are better than the Car Talk puzzler because they have no answer! But I always do wonder what’s going on inside my house when I’m not there and for good reason! But it’s always interesting to open up the door and see what I’m going to find there.


Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”  nanparati@aol.com

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