Of Mice and Policemen

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And speaking of mice...

Oh? We weren't?

Well, we are now, aren't we? And besides, since it's clear that you haven't been paying attention, I did talk about mice earlier this week over here and here.

(And all this ongoing mouse-talk is clearly Eve's and Emily's fault for sending me a gorgeous book on the making of Stuart Little.)

In April 2002, when I was still filled with youthful optimism and trying to write for a living (as opposed to now being just old and still attempting to write for a living), an interesting story happened to cross my path here in Baltimore which inspired me to write another sequel to that animated film "An American Tail."

Here, especially for your Thursday/Friday torture pleasure is a copy of the article I wrote.

Late last week, the Baltimore City Police Department called a press conference to say that they’ve noticed some tampering with the evidence at City Police Headquarters. More specifically, there were tiny holes in the bags of confiscated marijuana.

An inside job, perhaps?

After an intensive investigation (have you noticed that the police are always intensely investigating matters?), they finally discovered the culprits: rats and mice.

Apparently, recent renovations on the downtown building housing Police Headquarters drove the rats and mice out of the woodwork and straight into the evidence room.

This story is tinged with irony.

In Baltimore City, 60 000 people (about one out of ten) are addicted to illegal drugs, and Baltimore also leads the nation in per capita heroin use.

Drugs are also the main factor behind eight out of every ten homicides in the city.

Now, I don’t know the city’s rodent count, but one can safely assume that they by far outnumber the humans. I just think that the police force have enough problems with the city’s human population without having to deal with rodents getting hooked on gateway drugs too.

The story also broke just days after several city and community leaders announced the latest collective campaign to curb the intertwined drug use and violence in the city. The campaign, called Baltimore Believe, is a series of television commercials (actually more like mini movies) designed to, I assume, put people off drugs by (hopefully) scaring them into sobriety.

I have no idea what they’re going to do about the dope head rodents scurrying about as high as kites – their red beady eyes even redder than usual – but I can just fathom the repercussions if nothing is done about it.

For one, can you imagine the sequel to the animated film "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West"?

The film could be called "An American Tail: Fievel Goes To Baltimore" or "Oh, Rats! Of Mice and Policemen" followed by another instalment called "Fievel Goes To Rehab".

It will be like an animated version of "Trainspotting" meets "James Bond" meets "Moulin Rouge" (same kind of artistic flair and happening, upbeat soundtrack as the latter), and the plot will be riveting.

Our hero, young Fievel Mousekewitz, now a handsome mouse-man, returns to the East Coast where he falls under the bad influence of the city rats of Baltimore. (The rats: always the enemy.) Only, Fievel lacks a bit in street smarts. So, naïve fellow that he is, he doesn’t have any inkling that the rats aren’t so well intentioned, but are really quite awful and mean.

The plot thickens. Fievel’s beloved mother falls gravely ill, and the rats arrive on the scene under the pretence that they want to be of assistance. They say that they know of a special herb that can cure her. (After longingly eyeing the marijuana stashed in the evidence room through the air conditioning vents and daydreaming of becoming the wealthiest drug trafficking rats in the world.) They will tell Fievel where it is and let him have some for his mom and other unwell mice, on one condition: he needs to help them get to it.

The rats explain that the human police are fully aware that these herbs hold special medicinal value for rodents, but that they want to withhold it from them in an attempt to cruelly wipe out the city’s rodent population (Including, of course, Fievel & Co.). Thus they trick our Fievel into helping them break in at City Police Headquarters (because he is smaller and can squeeze through the vents more easily).

Before long, they’re all in there having their own private party with space cakes, and due to the strange "medicinal effects" of these herbs, Fievel’s sick mother is soon all but forgotten…

Right about then (and right on cue, if you ask me!), Fievel’s love interest, a pretty young mouse girl named Michelle, shows up looking for him. (Trust a woman to save the day!) She has bad news to tell Fievel: some Johns Hopkins medical students who had mistaken her for a potential lab rat have captured his ailing mother. (What can we say? These city kids can’t always tell their rodents apart, no matter how clever they are otherwise.)

Due to her illness-induced weakness, Michelle says, Mother Mouse couldn’t get away fast enough, so now they have to go and rescue her from certain death at the med school laboratory.

It doesn’t take long for Michelle to detect that Fievel (who for some reason and despite the bad news she has just broken, can’t seem to stop giggling hysterically) isn’t at the top of his game.

She sniffs and inspects the bags of herbs, gives Fievel and the rats (who, at this time, are talking non-stop) a suspicious once over and quickly puts two and two together.

Realising that she can’t squeal on the rats without having Fievel busted too, she manages to tie up all the rats (by very industriously using their own tails for the purpose), who, in their current states, don’t even seem to notice what is happening. (There were those who did feel quite flattered by the physical closeness of such a pretty young thing – even if she IS a mouse – which in itself nearly led to a few misunderstandings.)

Her patience worn thin by now, Michelle (who at the best of times can be rather spirited!) drags Fievel out of Police Headquarters by his large pink ear, in the process managing to sober him up considerably.

By securing the help of the strongest mice, Michelle and a very sheepish Fievel are off to Johns Hopkins where they effortlessly sneak into the lab and rescue his mother (who is now miraculously feeling much better thanks to new medicine that was tested on her by the unwitting medical students.).

On the way out, Michelle has Fievel committed to the hospital’s rehab centre, which is where the next film "Fievel Goes To Rehab" will take off. Before he goes, Fievel apologises profusely for his drug use, declares his undying love to her and proposes marriage. She says she will see about that after his month in rehab, but if the lingering kiss they share is any indication, it looks promising that she will accept.

In the mean time, the human police officers find the rats fast asleep in the evidence room, arrest them all and donate them to Johns Hopkins where they will serve the rest of their days as lab rats.

The End.


I would worry, were I a resident of your fair city, about being confronted by a large with the munchies.

Otherwise, loved the story. Very creative.

Damn. I note that I left out the key word "rat" between "large" and "with" above. Sorry.

Lessa said:

BWAHAHAHAH! Oh my. That's got to be the best story ever. I can't get the vision of a very lazy eyed Fival crooning to his love, rolled fatty in his hand... "Sooooooooooome wheeeeeeeeeeeeere ooooooooooooout theeeeeeeeeere... if LOVE can SEEEEEEEEEEEE us THRRRRRRRROUGH....... Theeeeeeeen we'll be toGEEEEEEEETHerrrrr somewhere out there... out where dreaaaaaams come truuuuuuuue!" and then collapsing into fits of giggles as he's curb stomped by all the bad boy ratties.

martha said:

wow, just wow....

Gretchen said:

Now, that's what I call entertainment!

mice said:

not all mice are bad.

redsaid said:

Oh, Mice-ster! Of COURSE I like YOU! (Unless you've grown a slimy tail since I've last seen a picture of you... because slimy tails are where I usually draw the line between affection and terror.)

kellen said:

*claps* bravo bravo! very original plot. i nominate you for this year's original screenplay writing oscar.

pylorns said:

um.. your site went down the other day...

miked said:

Fievel gets stoned? Who would have thought? Creative story... it was worth the read :)

pylorns said:

ack! still not fixed!

martha said:

the comments aren't working on the test category post...but you probably know that.

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
Or you can stalk her send her some love via e-mail at: redsaid[AT]gmail[DOT]com

The Wish List (Because yes, she really does need more how-to books. Honestly!)


  • martha : the comments aren't working on the test category post...but you probably know that.... [go]
  • pylorns : ack! still not fixed!... [go]
  • miked : Fievel gets stoned? Who would have thought? Creative story... it was worth the read :)... [go]
  • pylorns : um.. your site went down the other day...... [go]
  • kellen : *claps* bravo bravo! very original plot. i nominate you for this year's original screenplay writin... [go]
  • redsaid : Oh, Mice-ster! Of COURSE I like YOU! (Unless you've grown a slimy tail since I've last seen a pictur... [go]
  • mice : not all mice are bad.... [go]
  • Gretchen : Now, that's what I call entertainment!... [go]
  • martha : wow, just wow....... [go]
  • Lessa : BWAHAHAHAH! Oh my. That's got to be the best story ever. I can't get the vision of a very lazy eyed ... [go]
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