Booze & Drugs
The Mouse In The Stash
by Jeff Laymon
I was visiting friends in Sioux City Iowa, must have been
1970. I had just finished high school the year before and was only then
becoming exposed to this mysterious substance. The place we were visiting was
rented by AFOAF who was going to (for the first time in my young life) SELL me
some marijuana! I was nervous, I was scared, I was in WAY over my head. Here I
was, practically a baby, 40 miles away from home in a much larger city than my
small town (5,200 people) seated in a room with others older than I who it was
clear to me, were out of school (dropouts) and probably from the rough side of
It was a large living room, dimly lit. My first joint had
gone down rather badly; I was coughing a lot. I think I got stoned, I'm not
sure. It was pretty quiet in the room when all of a sudden we heard this
high-pitched SQUEAK!!!!! SQUEAK!!!! SQUEAK!!! sound from one of the
back rooms. I looked around the room and to my distorted amazement were six
pair of eyes, all bugged-out like Volkswagens. Six mouths with jaws-a-drooping.
Six stoned mother-fuckers all looking toward the source of that most weird
They had an old hard-wood floor, no rugs in the hallway. I
swear, in our drug-induced state of hyper-awareness we could actually hear the
sound of those tiny little toe nails as this beast scurried down the hall,
exclaiming to all of us SQUEEAK!!!! SQUEEAAK !!!! SQUEEEAAAAK!!!!!
He seemed to be getting even more excited. Can you imagine what his little
mouse heart rate was? How would you do CPR on a mouse? Can you imagine how fast
you'd have to count one-and-two-and-three-and so on and so on. Anyway, he comes
out from the hallway, rounds the corner (almost falls over) runs right out in
the middle of the living room floor, surrounded by six brains, all working
overtime by now - all thinking RABIES!
No one moved. The mouse sat there for an instant then
started flying around in a circle, like a dog chasing his tail. Then, all of a
sudden, he lets out this tremendous SQUEAK jumps up the air, falls down and
dies, right out there in the middle of the floor. No shit we all saw it, no one
was on acid (at least I wasn't). It took about five seconds or so to register,
then there was such a clammering of "Wow," "Farout, "Hey man, look what
happened to the mouse. Hey man that was far, fucking out!"
We all talked that way back then.
The guy who rented the apartment told me several months
later that he had discovered that the mouse had gotten into his stash, didn't
know when to say when, and had paid for his over-indulgence with his little
It was a few years later, I was in the Navy learning how to
be a medic to go overseas and save Marines. We were being taught CPR when I
harkened back to the sight of that little, still warm body prostrate on the
floor of that apartment in Sioux City Iowa. Could I have brought him back? And
if I had tried, and jumped off my place on the couch, gone over, bent way over
with my lips almost to the floor, and began doing mouth-to-mouth on the mouse,
what would have happened to my friends? Would not the sight of this clearly
impossible sight, be enough to permanently damage them? I think so. I shudder
to think what would have happened if one or two of them HAD been on acid!
They'd have died right there, I'm sure.