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The Mouse That Roared

Having just told the toilet story for the umpteenth time now, and having included a tale of one of Mr Knaus’s nuclear meltdowns, I think this is a good place to shimmy in a few older tales of his capacity for revenge. I have, heretofore, avoided going in to much detail about him as my concern is that he will one day stumble upon this blog, read as far as his name, then come and burn down my house. As the rest of readership is safely tucked away in different parts of the country, with buffer zones of hundreds and thousands of miles, I am likely the closest and therefore the most convenient target. To be clear, given the opportunity to save myself I would happily turn over all of your addresses to put myself in the clear.

            I first had the pleasure of pissing off Knaus back in our freshman year in the Schoellkopf dorm where we shared a small cramped room. We had divided the room evenly, stopping short of putting down a masking tape Brady-Bunch style boundary marker. My side was set up conventionally with the bed against the wall, desk acting as a barrier against Knaus’s side, and wardrobe against the door wall. Knaus went unconventional by moving the wardrobe opposite my bed, taking the doors off, and sticking the head of his bed inside. He would sleep this way, his head cradled between the hanging shirts and slacks, dreaming dark and terrible dreams. The room garbage was positioned exactly on the line so that each of us would bear equal burden of lost real estate.

            One fine Monday evening while doing a rare clean up of my desk, crumpled up a paper towel and tossed it casually toward the garbage. It hit the rim and bounced unfavorably to the floor, mostly on Knaus’s side of the room. At the time he was hunched over some project on his desk, but heard the distinct thud of a damp paper towel hitting linoleum and was able to ascertain, without looking up, that it was closer to him than me. “You better pick that up Wolf” To me, this sounded like a threat, and I had a firm policy against negotiating with terrorists. “Yeah, I think I’m just going to leave it there” His response was a repeat, although with more a distinctive edge to his voice. “You know, I just don’t think it’s in the cards. Too busy looking at this jar of dead chameleons”. 

            Deadlocked, this went on for some time, Knaus never looking up from what would later be revealed to be a diorama, constructed of art putty and red ink, of ‘animal divorce court’, or the bloody remains thereof. Young and foolish, this would not have changed my stance anyway. “You have ten seconds to pick that up Wolf, or I’m going to get you, even if you do.” My reply was cocky. “Well, feel free to count fast!” Count he did, slowly and methodically, never pausing from his artistic endeavor. When he finished, he added, “OK Wolf. I’m going to get you. I’m not going to tell you how, but you will be sorry.” He kept up this mantra for some time and its effect finally got to me. Creeped out, I snagged the paper towel and dumped it in to the basket. “There, you see, it’s off your side of the room. God!” This mattered not at all to Knaus.

            For the remainder of the evening he felt the need to repeat the fact that he was going to get me, even after the mood turned more jovial. He paused from it long enough to show me the bloody construction on his desk; proud as a Georgia peach of his work. That night, with the lights out and lying in bed, I felt an uneasiness creep over me. Turning, I could see by the faint glow of the blinking Christmas lights, the eyes of Knaus boring a hole though the darkness, affixed on my face. He had swapped positions, lying prone on his belly, feet on his pillow, and watching intently from the foot of the bed. “Oh yes, I’m going to get you Wolf” As you can imagine, I did not sleep easy that night.

            The next day was a Tuesday, the most hated of all days that semester. I had class until 5:00 PM, followed by a shift in the dish room in the now defunct Norton cafeteria on the north campus. I arrived back at the dorm, wet, weary and cold at 8:00 that night. As I made my way down the hall, people emerged from their rooms and began to giggle, following me down to my room. This could not mean good things. “What did you do to him that he would go that far? That dude is insane!” Now I was really worried. By ‘get me’, I had assumed he would put shaving cream in my shoes or draw a curly moustache on me one night as I slept. The reaction of the other residents, however, made me suspect I was off by several orders of magnitude.

            With hands a shakin’, I turned the key in the lock and swung open the door, fully expecting to be hit in the face with a spring loaded pie, boxing glove, or beaker of acid. I took a moment as I could not at first comprehend what I was looking at. While Knaus’s side of the room remained unchanged, it appeared as though a singularity had manifested in the exact geographic center of my side of the room with a pull radius as such as to leave out all of his possessions. Sitting there, in one uninterrupted configuration, was every single item I had in the room, though none of it in the same shape as when I had left in the morning. My mouth was agape and I felt my knees go weak. The laughter from my hall mates mocked me as they drifted away one by one, afraid I would ask for help. “Man, he worked on that thing all day! Said he called in sick to work and skipped his classes too. You really must have pissed him off!”

            What Knaus had done was reduce every single thing on my side of the room to lowest level part and screwed it back together into the monstrosity before me. Everything. The furniture, my stereo, hotpot, my books, clothes, the posters on my wall, food from the fridge, the fridge itself, and perched upon the top like a little white surrender flag, the offending paper towel. Affixed to the set of shelves (Knaus’s, of course) was a note reading ‘I told you. Don’t try to get me back for this either as this was just a sample. And these are yours too ↓’ A lumpy package sat below the note. I unwrapped it and found inside each individual bulb from my Christmas lights, minus the special ones that make them go blink. Well over 1000 and he had taken each and every one out. I honestly didn’t know whether to be mad or afraid. I had to give him credit; for shock value alone, it was probably one of the best practical jokes I had been part of, although regrettably on the wrong end.

            Knaus came in later on and helped me to put everything back together again, but stopped short of giving back the blinker lights that honestly probably added to the insanity of his actions. Less than a month later he stuck it to me again by presenting me with a gift of three mice – one male and two females. By April they had become 50 mice. By mid-April they had become 50 mice who chewed their way out of the cage one weekend necessitating a round up of epic proportions that panicked the locals something fierce.

            Freshman year he managed to get me one more time; perhaps not for the paper towel, but then again, perhaps so. Anyone who has spent considerable time with Knaus can attest to the fact that the application of his numerous hair ointments, crèmes and shellacs is no small feat and is quite and an undertaking that he considers both essential each time he leaves and a process not to be rushed. This being so, one cold and snowy morning in March, I felt comfortable leaving the room in just a short towel to go across the hall to shower as Knaus was snoring lightly on his side of the room. Less than 10 minutes later, my shower complete, I came back to the room. It was locked. Chuckling at my own stupidity as I had thought I left it open, I banged on the door to have Knaus come let me in. No one answered. I pounded some more, shouted, and resorted to hurling accusations though the wood at his childishness for not letting me in. Silence. Shirtless and betowled, I felt the first stirring of fear slink in.

            It was a late Sunday morning and many of my hall mates were out, but I managed to find one at home. I phoned our room figuring he would pick up, not knowing it was me. After 25 rings, I hung up. Was it possible that Knaus somehow got up, got dressed and ready in that little time I was in the shower? He was asleep for chissakes! I decided to jump the chain of command and call his parents. Getting his dad on the line, I was informed that he had called Paul himself just 15 minutes prior. It seems Knaus forgot to set his alarm, Work-n-Gear called Paul senior as Knaus never changed his contact number, and told him to get his butt in ASAP. Threatened by the loss of a job he would hold for the next 10 years, he was up and out in record time. Crap. He really wasn’t in there. I got the Work-n-Gear number from his dad and called there. Oh yes, Paul had arrived. My heart leapt in gratitude! Oh no though, we sent him out on a deliver to another branch. Should be back in a few hours. Son of a bitch! I slammed the phone down in fury.

            Thinking furiously, I remembered that I had another angle at my disposal. We had RAs, right? And they had keys, right? I hauled ass over to his room only to find him out. Bastard was never around anyway. My only other option was Imani, a strong, proud, no-nonsense Masai warrior of a woman who ran the building from the first floor. She inspired great terror in all residents, but if she had keys, it was worth the risk of trespassing in her domain. I made my way down the unheated stairwell, my nipples growing hard enough to poke an eye out and my boys exiting stage left and up. The towel had now dried enough to require constant holding to keep it from drifting off. Naturally on my way down I was so fortunate enough to encounter not one, but two groups of the opposite sex who took great enjoyment of my predicament.

            Red faced and rock nippled, I knocked on Imani’s door. Fortunately, she was home, but did not appear at all amused at my presence or attire. I was not granted entry and felt one ill considered word away from being maced. Explaining my predicament, I begged for the mercy and the use of a master key to unlock my door. Unmoved and not sharing my sense of urgency, she volunteered that the master key was over at Goodyear and if I was in a rush, I could make my way over to go get it. While storm of the century it was not, the bluster and snow were enough to keep me rooted to the spot to further plea my case. Compromise was reached in her agreement to go over when convenient to and retrieve it for me in a rare gesture of magnanimity. My uncovered form perhaps inspired her.

            Making my way back up the stairs, I naturally encountered one of the same groups of women I met on the way down, who not having had their fill of laughter previously, certainly made up for it this time. Finding the kindly hall mate gone, I was sat against the door for over 2 hours waiting for Imani to come to my rescue, which she did, but not before all manner of hecklers, casual observers and lookie-lous came by to witness the wonder of the towel boy. Later on, Knaus denied all intention, but the gleam in his eye as I told my sad tale said otherwise.

            By the time we had moved to Goodyear, I had learned well enough not to cross Knaus. When showing the taste preference of an 11 year old girl in painting a unicorn with rainbows shooting from its horn on our room door, I kept silent, though certain the floor would think Holley Hobby had moved in. When he went to sleep each night with the same Nine Inch Nails CD blaring and on continuous repeat, I grinned and bore it, as I did with the constant barrage of Transvision Vamp all day. When the adorable poster of a kitten hanging on to a clothesline with the caption ‘Just Hang In There!’ was hung and I felt like I was living with a spinster aunt, hang in there I did. I was roommate of the year by anyone’s standard. Or just wuss, but nevertheless.

            During that year we both discovered a fascination with fire, often expressed through such actions as alighting paper airplane and throwing them at each other, and finally cumulating in the toilet debacle. One Friday afternoon, bored and lacking in worthwhile pursuits, was lead by the devil to idle ones. I decided to melt a quantity of sugar to see if I could make one large crystal. As my own desk was covered with papers, I decided to utilize Knaus’s, which he was somewhat fastidious about. The experiment proved a failure, but not before I managed to spill burnt liquid sugar on his desk. A proper clean up seemed to difficult, so I cleverly covered the evidence with a piece of loose-leaf.

            Later that day I had an Irish Club meeting and had brought Aaron along. Our plan was to go back to the room and partake in some movies and drink the beer we had purchased from the Unity Mart the day prior. Beer days were especially interesting and deserve their own tale. In any case, I had 9 left in the twelve pack I had bought. We came in to the room and I found a note from Knaus on my desk. “I see you have been burning sugar on my desk when I specifically told you not to. I have hidden all of your GABs” What was a GAB? I decided not to worry too much about it until Aaron and I set up our movie and I opened the fridge for a cold one. GAB stood for ‘Golden Anniversary Beer’. His masterstroke was devastating.

            Aaron was kind enough to help me search, but once again, he had gone over the top. We were able to locate 3 of the 9 in a span of about 2 hours. One inside the vacuum cleaner, and inside the bag. One installed into the lighting in the bathroom. One hung by a fishing line outside the window. Ransacking both rooms, we failed to come up with missing sixer still out there. Our relaxing evening ruined though frustration, we sat there until Knaus came home. It took considerable begging and I believe some bribery before he agreed to reveal the rest. I can’t remember where they all were, but I recall one required disassembly of the sink plumbing and another use of a map thought he bushes outside the building. In the end, one of them was never found, hidden by such a cruel and devilish mind capable of thwarting even itself.



11 Responses

  1. Is it possible that Knaus “hid” the last one in his stomach?

  2. revenge is a dish best served with that anti-tank weapon I got from that “antique dealer”

    almost got it working too.


  3. About time you showed up tough guy!

  4. We flushed him out! Welcome brother! Finally! It is our fondest hope to receive your return shots.

    Just to be sure it’s really you, what was the name of the rat you had in our room freshman year? I don’t expect anyone else will know that.

  5. PROOF!

    damnit, this thing will not work. I’m gonna kill that “antiques dealer” for this.

    Funny, the so called Mighty (delusional) Wolf should be speaking about a rat and naming names.

    Hmmm… ah, proof. Oh, you’ll get your proof, my pretty. And my little dog, too! Yes, proof might just be what you got coming to you. Oh, Wolf, be careful what you ask for.

    And a Mighty (delusional) Wolf BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA to top it off. Oh, yes… proof is coming.

    And by-the-by my simple minded mangy friend, re the jolly old joes, it was my bag I convinced you was locked in the library and you blamed the whole thing on sean repeatedly. But… I’ll get you that proof you whiney little rock-climbin, camel spider chasin’, convincing jeff of your psychic powers, idiotic shoulder dislocating, blinkey light loving, kraut speaking, great dismal swamp wandering, revenge deserving prankster snot. I’ll have your proof once I dispose of this thorazine and sneak out of the assylum.

  6. Sucks to be the Mighty (delusional) Wolf! It’s like Rasputin has arisen yet again.

  7. Holy goobers, it is him! I couldn’t be more surprised if someone shot me in the ass with rock salt, which happens more often then you would think. Much of material could be attributed to chance or a very observant reader, or a joint effort by the others, but you have me on the bag and the swamp.

    I’ll have you know my little dog has these age bumps that ooze when you touch them, so please get her first in the hopes you will be considerably grossed out enough to call it an afternoon.

    Disposal of thorazine in an improper manner is like a serious offense; even more than disposing of charcoal starter in a toilet which is something I have never been present for, so it looks like the worm has turned my friend! The tazelworm that is. Only the one true Knaus would get that reference.

    I hereby call a vote that Monseuir Knaus be granted write access to this blog that he be allowed to return fire from the main pages and not the comments like some greasy schnook.

    Oh, and his name was Spike you heartless bastard. He gave his life, his honor, and his freedom to ensure that you had a conversation piece at eye level capable of keeping visitors in the doorway and out of the damn room. And. You. Couldn’t. Even. Remember. His. Name. Sorry, I just like periods; that wasn’t meant to sound dramatic or anything.

    Welcome back!!!

  8. ABout time we heard from you, you bastard. Where has your rigid plastic haired ass been hiding? We tried to get in touch with you for the final Madisons but couldn’t.

  9. Here’s your damn proof.


    I added my real e-mail in the reply.
    Nice to know you guys aren’t dead yet. My work is not yet complete.

    Dan – I already sai, ain’t been hiding, its this assylum thing. They won’t get me back there this time.

  10. Your proof is accepted! I have also tried to email you though find it likely that your inbox has restricted access. I will throw myself to the wolves so to speak and publish my own: bonsaimew@gmail.com

    I await the slings and arrow already cocked and aimed at my person; armored in naught but tar, feathers, and a BBQ toasted almond.

    Death already came for me and walked away with a purple nurple. That business back in January 2001 only made me harder to kill.

  11. FYI, Mr. Death has not replied to my invite email to grant him access to writing for the blog.

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