Return of the Vermin III: Blood and Volts

     Remember the expensive electric mousetrap I recently purchased…?

     Well, turns out that it works after all!  I moved it to a new location and it’s caught a mouse every night for the last three nights.  No blood or gore, either.  When I open the trap to throw the bodies away, the little victim just looks like it’s taking a snooze. 

    When I turn it on, it makes a very ominous humming noise for a few seconds while it powers up.  This has made me wonder whether the mice are being dispatched painlessly.  I had no way of knowing, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s less painful than being stuck to a glue board and bashed with a skillet by yours truly. 

    Anyway, I had one of my 4 AM early-bird wakeups this morning.    When I knew that I couldn’t fall back asleep, I decided to read my Kindle in bed (Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace.  Overrated, but I must admit that his sendup of the Adult Video Awards in Las Vegas is very funny).   

     Then I heard it: the humming, crackling sound of electricity.  It was unmistakable. 

      Then: the pathetic squeak of a mouse (why did God give them such strange, tiny, heart-rending voices?  To what end?  Do they have little mousy conversations with each other?  They sound so wretched and forlorn.).

      The sound of electricity took on a sizzling aspect.  It lasted quite a while.  It had to last at least ten seconds.  

     I’d like to believe that the mouse lost consciousness instantaneously.   Having read Blood and Volts: Edison, Tesla, & the Electric Chair, however, I am skeptical. 



     Blood and Volts is a very odd little book…a mix of true crime, history, and social theory.  It’s about the development and early use of the electric chair in American jurisprudence.  It is chock-full of interesting trivia and descriptions of terrible violence.  I learned a lot from reading it…like what electricity is, and what an immoral asshole Thomas Edison was, and why the electric chair was a very bad idea.  

     The first couple dozen people executed via the Chair were basically cooked alive.  It was very gruesome.  If I was in their position, I’d beg to be dispatched via hanging or a firing squad.  Even being drowned in a bucket would be preferable. 

      Nikola Tesla was truly brilliant.  I enjoyed reading and learning about him.  He might even get Imaginary Boyfriend status.  I wish I could tour his workshop. I wish I could take him out to dinner. Actually, forget dinner–I’d like to buy him a thicker skin and a little common sense.  Maybe he could have avoided getting so screwed.  And then we would all be enjoying free electricity today!

      One last thing: The other night, I stopped by 7-11 to buy Diet Pepsi.  I was standing in line by the hot-food display and found myself reading–really reading–the ad for pepperoni pizza (I’ve probably eaten this pizza 3 or 4 times).

      It’s not pepperoni pizza.  It looks like pepperoni pizza, but it’s not.

      It’s meat pizza.  MEAT pizza.

      I almost hurled right there in the cashier’s line.  I still can’t think of it without gagging.  I mean, I know pepperoni is not the most wholesome food on earth…but “meat?”  Meat from what?  


4 thoughts on “Return of the Vermin III: Blood and Volts”

  1. Dear Miss Margo,

    My favorite part of the Edison/electrocution story is that Edison wanted being ‘electrocuted’ to be called being ‘Westinghoused,’ so great was his hatred of George Westinghouse. I know this is in poor taste, but here is a link to the video of poor Topsy the elephant getting juiced by alternating current. I think that Topsy had killed a trainer, making the pachyderm a dangerous animal, or maybe a true revolutionary, depending on your politics, I suppose.

    John

    PS: A meat pizza sounds pretty good to me. I guess the manufacturer chose not to adhere to the standards of the National Pepperoni Council, or whatever. But, I would have to be in the grip of a spasm of serious self-loathing to buy hot food at a 7-11.

  2. Hi Rick:

    Yeah, “meat indeed”–grossout, right? What KIND of meat? Is it, like, SPAM, or what?

    I have always wondered…if SPAM was a real animal, what would that animal look like?

    Hi John!

    Oh yeah, I’ve seen that video of the elephant. First time I saw it was in the movie “Mr. Death: the Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter” (sp?), which was a very weird film about a very weird man. Great movie. And good on Topsy, that’s what I say! If I was a captive elephant, I’d kill humans just on basic principle.

    I did not know that bit about Edison and Westinghouse, but it does not surprise me in the least. He was notoriously bad-tempered.

    Re: hot food at 7-11: you have a point. lol

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