Two Days of Television and Vermin in North Carolina
I woke up to several droppings and liquidy grossness inches from my face on the pull-out couch. Further investigation showed a few pellets down the side of the mattress and on the floor as well.
Mom: “It’s something, but not sure it’s a mouse.”
I didn’t want to think it was a mouse either, but realistically, what were the alternatives? Cockroaches? Bat? (Maybe I’m now a vampire?)
A friend texted me, “Are you sure it wasn’t there when you went to sleep and you just didn’t notice it?”
I said I was positive, but then wasn’t sure. On further consideration, that it had been there before me was likely. The droppings were between the cover and fitted sheets, and I hadn’t even turned down that side of the bed.
Horrific as it seemed, I had crawled into bed with feces.
We spent all day laundering the bedsheets. I had to convince my mother that we needed to clean everything that had come in contact with the bed. (I’m a little surprised she didn’t tell me just to brush the poo away and “not worry about it.”) I spent some time furiously vacuuming the area. My parents could have gotten a Science Foundation grant to study all of the ecosystems and life forms that were living in and around the couch.
“Do you think I need to wash everything?” I asked, gesturing to the multiple Vera Bradley bags holding my belongings that had been scattered around the seating area.
“No. I’d be the first to tell you.”
“I don’t think you would.”
Later, a ladybug fell out of my shoe. These are supposed to be good luck, I know, but it just seemed like one more bug/rodent in my life.
That night, we watched The Interview. Before crawling under the newly laundered sheets, I examined all around the bed for anything sentient besides me and prepared myself for nightmares about mice droppings and North Korea.
The next evening, I suggested watching Black Mirror on the strength of recommendations from friends. I didn’t know anything about it and a cursory sweep of the show’s wikipedia page didn’t give much away, except that it was about technology. I didn’t investigate further.
First episode: pig sex.
That is, a man having intercourse with a pig.
My mother was horrified. I wasn’t thrilled.
Next, we tried to watch The Killing, which starts with a rape. That was off within 30 seconds.
My mother wanted something less disturbing. She suggested Breaking Bad, which she had already seen in its entirety. (I had only seen one season.)
A drug dealer was beaten literally to death in the first act. I remarked that I was glad we were now watching family-friendly entertainment.
“Killing — I don’t mind killing. Killing and drugs are ok.” She paused. “The drugs make it easier to swallow,” she explained. Then one of the murderous drug lords came on the screen and she began saying his lines with him like she was singing along with White Christmas.
Another drug dealer viciously beat a crony, and I shook my head. She said, “Ok, I agree. This show had some episodes that were pretty gruesome and dark too. But not pig sex.”
“I’m just pointing out that this isn’t exactly wholesome.”
“You’re right. But you’re used to this. You live in D.C.”
I grew restless. Honestly, I don’t get all the fuss over Breaking Bad. You’d think it was Gilmore Girls or something.
We watched a couple of other things on offer at Netflix, all forgettable. I said we could go back to Breaking Bad. “Maybe they’ll liven it up with some pig sex.”
Instead, we both went to bed.