Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mouse In Da House

Has 'mouse' become one of those terms that has taken on such a new meaning that it has usurped the original meaning? My computer mouse recently died on me, and when I mentioned to a few folks that "my mouse died," the reaction was instantly "oh, there's an Apple Store at the Eaton Centre" or "is it still under warranty?" Nobody stopped to consider that I had actually owned a pet mouse who had passed on to that great brick of cheese in the sky. True, it's not like I've developed a reputation as the kind of guy who collect rodents, but still, even though mice are still a significant part of modern life, the word 'mouse' in conversation will instantly turn things towards computers, eight times out of ten. Are there other terms like this? The only one off the top of my head is 'clothesline,' which has come to mean the act of colliding with a horizontal object rather than an actual line on which one hangs clothes. I may be biased about this given that I watched a lot of pro wrestling as a kid and a guy on Survivor last week literally clotheslined himself on his camp's clothesline while running around after an escaped chicken.

Anyway, my new mouse isn't an exact copy of my old one. My former mouse was a wireless; the new one has a wire. My mouse has a tail! It was a wild couple of years living the wireless mouse experience, but now I'm ready to go back to the security of having a big ol' cord. Bluetooth's unreliability was a pain in the ass. One time at work, Bluetooth inexplicably shut off just minutes before game-time. It thankfully fired up again at the opening whistle, but just imagine --- I would've had to have used the computer's keypad. EWWWWW. What am I, Jonas Salk? Sorry, I live in the 21st century, when mice are abundant.

The only downside to having a wired mouse is that I can no longer 'name' it. With a wireless mouse, you have to give it a little name so the Bluetooth can identify it and ask you if this is the mouse that you want to connect to. My old name (Mark's Mouse) was a paean to originality, so I decided to switch it up a bit and title my new one 'Maus' in a shout-out to the legendary graphic novel. Unfortunately, since the cord does the identifying for me, no name was necessary. Sorry, Art Spiegelman. I'll have to find some other way to pay tribute to you. Plan B: have ART SPIEGELMAN tattooed across my back in bright turquoise letters.

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