44. Become terrified by a mouse.

You’re on your way into the kitchen, drooling in anticipation over the bowl of Cap’n Crunch you will soon be devouring. “Crunchitize me, Cap’n!” you yell at no one in particular. Your cat cocks its head and gives you an odd look. You don’t care. You’re too focused on obtaining part of a complete breakfast.

You round the corner, and right away you feel that something is off. You’re not quite sure what it is. Did someone move the table? Was that pan on the counter yesterday? Did the paper towel rack slip down an inch? Is that disgusting mouse scurrying across the floor wearing a tiny hat?

Upon closer inspection, no, but the very fact that an insidious vermin exists there in the first place is enough to send you into hysterics. You spastically dance around the kitchen, completely clueless as to how to rectify this situation. You think that maybe things will improve if you hop up onto the counter and yell instructions at the inch-long monster from up there. The mouse does not listen, uninspired by your supervision skills.

You frantically glance around for something with which to catch the harmless creature. You grab a pot, inch down off the counter, and sidle up to the animal with as much savanna-inspired furtiveness as you can manage. But at the last minute it darts between your legs and continues to scurry around the linoleum and into a hole, while your high-pitched screams of terror echo into its tiny ears.

Blame for all of this shifts to the cat. “YOU!” you scream at the amused feline. “This is all YOUR fault! You’re FAILING at your JOB!” The cat listens attentively to your rant, sits down in the center of the floor, and licks its crotch in rebuttal. You sigh in anguish and carefully investigate the hole in the wall into which the minuscule furball has absconded. You approach it carefully, as if the mouse may have grown to thirty times its size and will tackle you to the floor as documented in that Super Bowl Doritos commercial. Luckily, all you get is silence, a distinct sense of mockery, and, as always, a heaping pile of shame.

So if you want to suck at life, become terrified by a mouse. Its 1.2-ounce frame of pure destruction is enough to give you nightmares for weeks, and that’s a certain brand of indignity that can’t be eradicated by a piece of cheese on the end of a spring.

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