Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Tale of the Stoneware Jug

My friends and family often tell me that the weirdest things happen to me and I should write a book chronicling them someday.  It is for this reason that I present to you the second installment of Bethany's Tales....The Tale of the Stoneware Jug!
A few years ago I was on a quest to find the perfect stoneware jug for my room.  I have always liked old stoneware items but hadn't realized how expensive they could be.  You can imagine my excitement when I found a jug that was not 5" tall for less than $50.  The jug I bought came from a local antique store's back room that has a dirt floor and innumerable items crammed on shelves.  Charming or claustrophobic, you be the judge.  I paid for my jug and made my way back to my apartment to show my roommate, Katy, my cool find.  The jug looks really similar to this one.

Katy was on her way out the door but also thought that my jug was perfect.  Coming from a dirt floor room it needed a little washing off so I filled the sink with soapy water and let the jug sit for several minutes.  I came back to rinse out the jug and as I dumped the water out I noticed something was somewhat blocking the opening.  I shook it around, trying to knock the blockage loose assuming it was just some dirt-turned-mud but it was pretty stubborn.  I grabbed something to try and loosen whatever this thing was.  A few curious clods fell out and upon inspection I decided this must be some old man's ancient spitter and this was the world's oldest wad of dip.  Gross. 

By this time I was fully committed to releasing whatever nastiness my poor jug was afflicted with and forged on.  I tried to take a closer look and saw that the blockage was not tobacco but appeared to have antennas of some form or fashion and thought "Oh sick, this is the world's largest roach.  I am going to throw up."  I wanted the roach corpse out of my jug so I gave it one good pry and something flung out of the jug's opening and into the sink.

It was a dead mouse.  I threw down the jug (don't worry it didn't break) and I screamed like a dead human was laying in my sink and ran straight out the front door.  I know what you must be thinking..."Why did you run out the door?  The mouse was dead, it wasn't coming after you," but I was not expecting a dead mouse to come flying forth from my stoneware jug and was traumatized.  Plus I had a plan.  So...I ran out the front door and began banging on my neighbor, Will's, door.  Will answered and I told him I needed help with something.  After explaining the situation he took a deep breath, collected himself and grabbed his gloves.  They were something like I would imagine him to wear on a ski trip.  So Will and his North Face gloves accompanied me to my apartment where I gave him a plastic sack to grab the nasty thing and he took it to the back door to throw it over the fence out....where he let go of the mouse a little too soon and it fell onto the back step.  I screamed, then laughed.  On the second try mousey found his final resting place on the other side of the fence.

My best guess is that the poor mouse fell into the jug's opening and then couldn't get out.  Kind of sad...but still disgusting.

So what have we learned here friends?  Let's review:
  1. If you buy a stoneware jug from an antique store with a dirt floor back room, splurge on the one with the cork.  It will cost more but will most likely be critter-free.
  2. If you wind up with a dead animal/bug in an antique purchase, wash that thing in bleach and scalding hot water.  You don't want diseases.
  3. If you ever need to dispose of a mouse carcass on a ski trip, your North Face gloves will do just fine. 

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