Little Miss Sensitive

I really need to learn how to monitor what comes out of my mouth.

In most people, it seems like the pathway between their brain and their mouth is a small, narrow tube with several filters and checkpoints along the way.

I was not born with a small, narrow tube.

I was not born with filters or checkpoints.

I have a gigantic, 8-lane highway with no speed limit. Thoughts zoom past each other at hundreds of miles per hour, all jostling and crowding each other in an attempt to come out of my mouth first.

I am known for many things.

Tact and delicacy are not among them.

The other day I was having dinner with a couple of friends.

Actually, since I might as well be honest, I called up my friends and basically begged them to invite me to dinner. Even though they already had dinner plans with several couples I’ve never met, they still invited me over.

How dumb of them. They ought to know better by now.

I managed to keep my foot out of my mouth for most of the evening. I made bland, polite conversation with people, and laughed in all the right places.

That is, until dinner.

As the table conversation ebbed and flowed, eventually the topic turned to the pets. After a few funny stories, the conversation took a more depressing turn. Apparently, one of the couples at the table have a beloved pet rabbit. Apparently, this rabbit is one o fthose house-trained bunnies that runs around and has the use of the entire house and does his business in a litter box. And apparently, their pet bunny is the rabbit version of Houdini.

Unfortunately, no matter how they tried to keep him in the house, Mr. Nibbles kept escaping. The couple would leave for work and every day,without fail, they come home to find their beloved pet rabbit grazing in their front yard. After a couple of weeks of sleuthing, they finally found the bunny’s escape route.

High-fiving each other, they plugged the hole up tightly, and all was well.

That is, until about a week later, when they came home to find the bunny, YET AGAIN, laying on their lawn. Unfortunately, Mr. Nibbles wasn’t doing so well. They’re not sure what happened (car? Cat? Jump from a high window?), but somehow the Mr. Nibbles had become partially paralyzed. Although he seemed to be in no discomfort, Mr. Nibbles’ back end no longer works. He drags himself around the house with his little bunny paws, back end trailing uselessly behind him.

At this point in the story, everyone grew very somber. How sad. Poor Mr. Nibbles.

Except for me.

“If he’s paralyzed, how is he using the bathroom?” I asked in a chipper, your-poor-paralyzed-bunny-doesn’t-bother-me tone of voice. “How is he able to make it into the litter box if he can only drag himself by his front legs?”

Mr. Owner answered sadly, “He can’t make it. Poor Mr. Nibbles tries, but he can’t make it over the edge. It’s sad. We have to bathe him daily now.”

The entire table made sad noises, murmuring sympathy. Poor, poor, poor Mr. Nibbles. Poor Mr. Nibbles owners.

Except for me.

“So he’s got no bladder control? He’s just going whenever he feels like it, all over your house now? You guys aren’t keeping him in a cage? Rabbit pee is really hard to get out.” I shook my head somberly, taking a big bite of food. Poor, poor Mr. Carpet.

Mr. Owner’s mouth tightened slightly. “He can’t help himself. He’s paralyzed. We have to carry him to food and water, or he’d die.” He heaved a big sigh, and pushed his food away. Obviously Mr. Nibbles’ predicament was ruining his appetite. He reached over and grabbed his wife’s hand in a show of support. “We did some research, and we’re thinking of building him a little cart.”

From around the table, there was a general murmuring of positive support.

“We think it’s really going to help. We’ve done the research, and all we would need to do is build a tiny little sling for his back end. With the wheels, Mr. Nibbles could pull himself around the house, just like the old days.” He and his wife shared a quavering smile.

The murmuring around the table grew in volume. Oh, yes. Yes. What a wonderful idea. How heartwarming. You know, someone had even seen a documentary about a poor, paralyzed Chihuahua who had lived many, happy years with a wheelchair sling of his very own. How sweet. How caring. What a lovely idea. What a lucky rabbit, Mr. Nibbles was.

And somewhere, in the middle of all that positive affirmation, my brain vomited out another random thought. Obediently, my mouth began to flap.

“You know, if you did that, you could probably find him a home on Craigslist. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would want a paralyzed rabbit with a cart. It’s got that whole tug-at-the-heartstrings aspect to it. Just take some cute photos of him wheeling himself around and you’d have tons of people calling. Heck, you could even sell him for a decent chunk of money, recoup the cart costs and get yourselves a healthy rabbit.”

From around the table there was a stunned silence, which gave me a disastrous few seconds to think up the real clincher:

“Heh. Just make sure you don’t sell him to any homes that have cats. Heh-heh. Meals on Wheels. Heh. Heh.”

I looked up from the steak I’d been cutting to find myself on the receiving end of 8 identical stares of disgust.

Oh. Hmmm. Maybe I should have kept that last part to myself?

Stupid brain. Stupid mouth. Stupid lack of tact. This is why I don’t leave the house anymore. I can’t be trusted in polite society.


15 thoughts on “Little Miss Sensitive

  1. Ha! I defeated you at last and did NOT spray buttered toast on the keyboard.

    …um, because I'm reading this at the reference desk. And now all the patrons are staring at me. Because I did one of those “barking” laughs, followed by one of those “strangulation” sounds.

    Your fault if I lose my job, Becky.


  2. Um yeah, but seriously, WHY THE FUCK do that to a rabbit? I bet if he could, he'd be trying to commit bunny suicide. I mean, I get that it's a loved pet, but quality of life you know?

    Maybe I'm just a heartless bitch though.

    Meals on wheels is pretty funny. He could even wheel himself into the oven for me. What?! I like rabbits. They're incredibly tasty. Alive though, the little bastards make me sneeze.

    Can I steal your verbal diarrhoea picture? Please?


  3. Becky, if you ever make it to Atlanta, you are welcome to come to dinner at our house. We're twisted enough to think and say some of the same things here.

    Honestly, I believe it would have been kinder to pink juice the poor rabbit. Now he'll just keep trying to escape and get stuck half in and half out of his rabbit hole or worse!


  4. I'm with Veronica – my verbal diarrhea would have included a statement about how they should have euth'd that bunny. I hate when people put their own emotions before the animal's well-being. It's not heartless, V, it's humane.

    And rabbit IS awfully tasty. You shoulda seen the face on the cashier when I bought my last one (uh, not live, butchered, but whole). I went on about how yummy they are and how I planned to prepare it. Then she told me she has rabbits as pets. Oh.

    Also reminds me of the time my dog accidentally got into rat poison someone had put out at their cottage but failed to mention to me. At the vet, another client, who was there with her pet rat (and I knew it) asked me why my dog had to have charcoal stuffed down her throat and 6 weeks of vitamin K. I replied, “rat poison” to which she ran off crying. Oops?


  5. I am with Veronica. Mr. Nibbleswould have gone to bunny heaven. Wonder if he is thrilled dragging himself around. I would have had a hard time NOT saying anything like that.


  6. I am shuddering at the idea of a freaking RABBIT in the house, let alone a paralyzed one. They poop ALL THE TIME. How can you litter box train that? I can barely get my CATS to go in the litter box!

    Yummmmm… rabbit stew…. I'll bet his hind legs are soooo tender….


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