Friend 4 and I went to the mouse races last night.
I'll just give you the WikiSummary: "An individual mouse trainer organizes the event using his own animals and invites spectators to make bets, with the proceeds often going to some specific cause" (in this case Pattonville School District). And, I had no idea, but "Mouse racing has received criticism from animal rights groups since the 1940s." They fear the screaming crowd stresses the mice.
Mouse races today are more low-key. For one thing, the track is shorter and away from the crowd.
I had my iPhone and I wasn't shy about using it. I was all investigative photojournalist from the beginning to end. Here is your Mouse Race Photo Spread.
1) Mice at rest before a race:
2) Mice are loaded in to the gates and begin scrabbling:
3) Gates are released and some mice sit, some mice look out on the crowd, and one mouse runs to the other side, is declared winner, goes through a hole covered by a tin can lid, and drops into the tupperware.
The long pole at the bottom of the above photo is attached to a feather duster, used to encourage the more attention-hungry mice back to the front gate.
See that mouse above? How cute is he? Too cute to be a mouse, Family #4 decided. We debated if it was a gerbil, mouse, or small rat. Father #4 declared if he had been suckered in to a Mouse Race where there were no mice he would demand a full refund. I decided to find out, because after a few minutes with Family #4, my natural shyness had evaporated.
I went up to ask, and saw this damning evidence:
5 GERB? I had to ask the Mouse Wrangler.
"Are these real mice?"
"Then why does this box say 'Gerb?'"
"Oh, that doesn't mean anything."
"Are you sure they aren't gerbils?"
"Yeah, they're gerbils." He folded immediately. "Mice are too small, and they're too nervous."
Even if he had denied it, I noticed this morning the second photo, reversed, spells it all out.
Hmph. Should just call 'em "Rodent Races" and cover everything.
Gerbils make stinky cages.
Posted by: Sherri | April 24, 2010 at 09:06 PM
This is the kind of hard hitting investigative journalism we need more of. Imagine trying to pass gerbils off as mice. It's a scandal.
I'm glad you were there.
Posted by: Hattie | April 24, 2010 at 11:12 PM
Sherri- Gary kept a gerbil, who eventually climbed up Gary's body and hurled itself from Gary's shoulder. And I'm sure it was stinky. But Gary loved it.
Hattie - You know, technical father was an actual investigative journalist. That's where I get it.
Posted by: TheQueen | April 25, 2010 at 12:37 AM
I'm still amused that you can't tell the difference between sister 3.2 and sister 3.3. You'll get another chance at trivia next week.
Posted by: Caroline | April 26, 2010 at 08:12 PM
Oops. 4.2 and 4.3. You'd think I could remember my own number.
Posted by: Caroline | April 26, 2010 at 08:15 PM
Caroline - I think I have them straight now. It's just I imagined them with each other's faces.
Posted by: TheQueen | April 26, 2010 at 10:56 PM