This story was several years ago, and I’d like to tell you that I learned from the experience but Nikki would tell you otherwise. I still have a bad habit of assuming that I know what is going on, and that others are exaggerating.
Nikki called me at work one day to tell me that there was something alive in our stove vent. I (being a man and knowing these things) explained to her that it was probably just a little mouse and everything would be fine. She wasn’t satisfied with that, and was certain that whatever beast was in there was most certainly larger than a mouse. I left work grabbing my cape on my way out the door, off to save the day.
First thing I did when I got home was give the vent a little knock. The noise that I was answered with was NOT a mouse. I immediately started thinking, badger, lynx, wolverine, wolf, possibly a rogue bear. We were living in Alaska at the time, so all of these were plausible.
I called the building manager and explained the situation. He calmly tried to put my mind at ease, by explaining that it was probably just a mouse (apparently we read the same how to be a man book as I did). He came over and quickly retracted his original theory. Now convinced that is was the cat from the upstairs neighbor, he pulled back the vent. I instinctively stepped back, thinking there was no reason for both of us to be mauled by the bear. He pulled it back just enough for a squirrel to pop it’s head out. He quickly closed the vent and we went to plan B.
Plan B started with me repairing a fishing net with a shoe string and opening the sliding glass door. I held the net, nerves of steel, muscles taught ready to spring into action. He pulled the vent back and the squirrel-bear hybrid creature flew out of the vent missing my throat my mere inches. Dazed and confused it sat under the kitchen table trying to get it’s bearings. I leaped (this would later be described as panicked flailing by Nikki) at it, and it took off out the open door, never to be seen again.
Moral of this story – Women know what they’re talking about, men don’t know everything, and you can’t catch a squirrel-bear in a fishing net.