Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Alpha Move: Dispose Of A Body

If there is one sure fact that determines the worth of a man to his woman, it's his facility with handling dead bodies.  Allow me to elaborate.

It's nearly Spring time, and as happens every year at stately Ironwood Manor, the Ironwood cat (name withheld to protect his privacy) sharpens up his claws and begins to harvest Nature's Bounty in the form of a thousand creatures waking up from a long winter's nap.

Of course, the cat is well-fed at home, and he doesn't believe in catch-and-release (not on purpose, anyway), so I have to put his hunting prowess in the realm of pure instinctive sport.  He's good, too -- he took four critters in one day last week, just to prove he could.  And the two baby snakes he got were definitely a challenge to his prowess.

Being both male and proud of his accomplishments, he sought to share and brag at the same time by presenting his hard-won prizes to his family.  Why we wouldn't be interested in crunching mouse skulls or dining on the innards of voles escapes him -- he just wants the credit, he doesn't really care if we eat it.  Thank goodness.  I'd hate to hurt his feelings.

However our mighty feline's abilities have left Mrs. Ironwood with some unpleasant moments, particularly when she steps out onto our back porch and sees all the little corpses lined up for her inspection.


In all fairness, thanks to her four years as a lab biologist working on an Alzheimer's vaccine, Mrs. Ironwood is actually responsible for far, far more mousicides than the cat.  I often joke with her that the afterlife might be a little harsh for her, as she faces each of the thousands of rodents she's sacrificed on the altar of science.  But despite her impressive knowledge of mouse brains and an admirable clinical approach, apparently its different if you didn't snip their heads off yourself.  

Especially if you have the misfortune to step on one with bare feet.

So now my day often begins with Rodent Corpse Removal, and I revel in the masculinity of it.  No matter how much money a woman makes or how beautiful she is, no matter how many degrees she has or books she's written, in the vast majority of cases all it takes to make her descend into the madness of terror is a warm, fuzzy little corpse, recently slain.  If I take my time getting back to the porch, then I assume that just makes my eventual arrival all the more welcome.

Corpse Removal is an Alpha job, if you do it right.  Instead of sweeping up the body in a bag and getting rid of it as quietly as possible, I make a point of both praising the cat (which irritates Mrs. Ironwood, who feels he should be able to overcome 100,000 years of evolution and content himself with Friskies - yes, she's a biologist) and assessing the species, size, and age of his trophies before I dispose of them.  Yes, that makes Mrs. Ironwood a little upset, but my apparent fascination (and her expressed disgust) at the corpses emphasizes not only that I'm in charge of the task, but that I really don't mind.

The truth is, I do mind.  I'm more squeamish than she is by far, about a lot of things.  I was a Liberal Arts major for a reason, and it wasn't the exciting job prospects.  It was (in part) to avoid icky things like decapitated mice, animal dissections, and the smell of formaldehyde.  

But when I got married and committed to being a husband, the corpse-and-trash-removal aspect of my marriage, while not explicitly stated in the vows, was strongly implied.  At first I tried to argue the case -- Blue Pill days -- but I eventually just shut up and did it.  So now I try to think about other things more pleasant and less squishy as I have the cat "bring out the dead".   I wrap them in a grocery bag and casually dump them into the outside trash.  And I always make a point of shaking my head at Mrs. Ironwood's girly reaction, even if I'm feeling nauseated myself.

Why?  Because corpse disposal is my job, like it or not, and while I know she's capable, it's a masculine service I can perform for her and instantly become her hero.  The same runs true (to a lessor extent) with spiders, bugs, and flying insects like moths and mosquitoes. Even though she can handle it, I do it instead. Part of the Red Pill is acknowledging that there are some tasks that are just naturally going to fall to the menfolk, despite how unfair and sexist it might be, and that's Okay.  Further, after she revealed to me dumping a dude once because he freaked out after accidentally touching a dead squirrel on a date, I realized that she had little respect for a man who couldn't handle his business when it came to the recently departed.

I know a DLV warning when I see it.  After that, if the bodies started turning up, I handled it.  Still do.  And while I'm secretly throwing up inside my head, I'm bravely dealing with the critter carnage like I was picking daisies.  

So throw her an Alpha Move, next time the Grim Reaper (Rodent Division) shows up.  Handle the bodies, wash your hands, get on with your day . . . and your woman will find you far more enticing than if you make her do it.  Promise.

Yes, because I'm the man.  I'm the Captain.  And a Captain should never require his crew to do something that he, himself, isn't willing to do.  By getting rid of the dead critters (without whining about it, even if I want to) I establish myself as stoically capable -- and incredibly useful to my wife.  She never fails to thank me, kiss me, and curse at the cat.

If the cat cares about what she says about him, he hasn't shown any sign.  Indeed, the more she shrieks, it seems, the higher the body count.


  1. We don't have a cat but we have lots of creatures and any disposal of dead creatures - or removal of live creatures is my husbands job. I will do it if he is not around - but if he is home it is all him.

  2. Yep... Lizards, gophers and mice out here :)

    Add to that, being the one to hold/comfort/love your pet when the time comes to put the family member down.

    New first rule for a pet owner; if you can't hold your pet when it come time for the vet to put it down, you are not ready to be a pet owner..

    RIP - Maynard 3/1995 - 3/2012


  3. Gophers, skunks, oppossums, big lizards, etc.
    Got to trap them here, keep them out of my garden. Yes my garden, I'm the man. Killed them once upon a time, but too much hassle with the killing and the disposal. Especially if it was a skunk. Also especially if trash day wasn't until the following week. Now I just resettle them in the mountains a few miles from here. I do take great pleasure in smoke bombing the gophers though...