What we know

Oh we know a lot all right. I sat around this weekend with my family and occasionally our chats would head in the direction of the obscure or randomly interesting, so we kept the google-finger at the ready to look up the answers to all sorts of important questions that would allow us to prove each other wrong. Ah the sweet feeling of winning an intellectual family smack down. Really, is there anything better than that?

Sure enough, Google guided us to all the answers that the collective “we” have stuffed into the box. And just when I thought that “we” knew everything, and that Google could point us to any answer, I happened upon the 2013 Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize.

Now the Ig Nobel Prize is given “For achievements that first make people laugh then make them think.” I urge you to check out the wonderful work the winners did to further science, and make the world a better place for all of mankind. You can find the site here… http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/


While the Ig Nobel Prize winners answered some long-standing questions, including whether people who are not drunk, but think they are drunk, also think they are more attractive (they do, we do, I mean I do), or whether some people could run across the surface of a pond if the pond was on the moon. Oh, and they were on the moon too. (Some people could. I couldn’t.) Some questions were left unanswered or at a minimum, with some holes.

Yup, before you go thinking there is nothing left to study, nothing that is not known and available on Google, I point you to the award winners in the Probability Prize,  Bert Tolkamp, Marie Haskell, Fritha Langford, David Roberts, and Colin Morgan, “who made two related discoveries: First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and Second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again.”

So go ahead, I dare ya. Type into Google, how soon will a cow lie down after it stands up? Apparently we don’t know everything about cows and I hope no one in my family reads this because I can use this in an upcoming smack down. (It’s unlikely any of us will know more about how and when cows lie down, because the full research study costs $31.50, and that’s a few burgers.)

And then I started to wonder about other things we might not know, even after some research has been done.


Let’s say I have this friend. I’ll respect her request for anonymity, but it’s possible that her name kinda rhymes with Pizza. I like Pizza. But I’ll call her Risa. Risa

So Risa lives in the country. Kind of. More like suburban wherever, in a nice house with trees and gardens and neighbors and what not. And it’s cold where she lives so things that walk around outside want to come in her house (mice) and things that are in her house (cat) want to stay in. And Risa does not want things to come in her house so she is happy to have a cat. Let’s call the cat Fitzy. (Again the name has been change to protect the cat.)


One Tough Mouse – Kinda looks like a cat here. I’m just starting to work on animals.

So Fitzy is on patrol one night after Risa is all snuggled in her big bed, cozy and warm and snoozing away. And Fitzy senses something is amiss and gets all cat-like, crunched down and whiskers wiggling around. She smells an intruder. And Fitzy was right. There was indeed a mouse in the house.

Now this part is a written reenactment as some of the story was lost in the chaos that ensued, but like Telly Savalas in Kojak, I have interviewed the witnesses (not Fitzy) and can report the following chain of events…

  • Fitzy caught site of the little mouse in the dark.
  • Fitzy pounced on the mouse and may have batted it around a bit.
  • Risa woke up and heard the commotion and saw Fitzy in full attack mode.
  • Fitzy grabbed the mouse and proudly hopped up on the bed to deliver the prize.
  • The Mouse (and he was one tough mouse) scurried away as Risa did a panic infused double back flip off the bed in the dark, screaming like a scalded umm, cat. Or mouse.
  • Fitzy lost interest and went back to doing what cats do. Which is nothing. Unless there’s a mouse around.

The Next day Lisa likely did a half-hearted double-check just to make sure all was fine and the were no signs of Mousey. All clear.

Here’s where things get a little foggy. It’s unclear how much time went by between the great Mouse Caper and when Risa washed her sheets. After intense interrogation, it’s clear it was more than one week. It could have been as long as two weeks.


Note: All art on this site is available for purchase.

So into the wash everything goes, and then into the dryer. And Risa Has one of those big honkin washer dryer setups so she can do all her sheets in one load. And she pulls everything out of the dryer and walks over to the bed to put the sheets back on. And who falls out right onto the bed but Mousey. (And no, he is not super mouse. He had expired, regrettably. I forgot to ask whether any life saving efforts were made.)

You can imagine the trauma as Risa started to piece together the chain of events in her mind. She hadn’t changed the sheets since Fitzy first caught the little guy, and now two weeks later, he’s falling out of the dryer. Where had he been?

I think you know. Worse yet, I think Risa knows.

So if you type the question, can a mouse survive a full wash and dry cycle, the answer is no. Likely not even with a little mousey scuba tank and mousey flippers.

But, if you type in the question, can a mouse survive in a nice warm bed with only occasional disturbance from some toes or the TV playing before being tossed into the washing machine, we think the answer is yes. For up to two weeks. But we don’t know for sure.

More research needs to be done.

For some reason Risa’s feet have been cold lately.

One more of these and I’m starting a blog that follows the life of Lisa. I mean Risa.

observationally yours




One thought on “What we know

  1. Ummm, so what does Risa have against poor little innocent mice??? And btw, I think you must be channeling your love of cats since even the mouse looks like a feline:-)

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