Skip to main content


Kat and Mouse Feminism

By Steve Eskew

As a kid, my cousin Gaylord looked like a superhero — Mighty Mouse. I’m not kidding.

But when playmates nicknamed him “Mouse,” he didn’t cringe or cry. He took any playful mocking as a compliment.

As he grew older, his resemblance to the cartoon character lessened, but his looks remained unconventional. Even so, by then “Mouse” had become the only name he answered to. To this day “M-O-U-S-E” proudly appears on his car’s license plate.

Mouse worshipped his unwonted looks. He made his weirdness work for him. He saw himself as different but special — kinda like a superhero.

Mouse became my hero because he excelled at things in which I failed miserably. Especially art and athletics. He created sensational drawings. I couldn’t draw a stick figure.

Mouse roared as a star of football and hockey. He ran marathons and won swimming trophies. When I left high school, I fittingly willed my athletic ineptitude to my school’s future opposing teams. 

Mouse still reigns as a skilled and limber sportsman. Nowadays, I can’t begin to do somersaults; Mouse can. I can’t play hopscotch; Mouse can. I couldn’t perform a cartwheel if my life and limbs depended upon it. Mouse can, can, can.

Ah, but the day has finally arrived for which there’s something Mouse needs my expertise. He’s fallen head over heels for a genuine feminist. He’s clueless. My idol has momentarily become my protégé. 

Here’s the lifelong habit that led up to Mouse’s current cluelessness: Having developed an irresistible charm by adulthood, Mouse has melted the hearts of dozens of females. But — surprise! — all of them resembled Pearl Pureheart, Mighty Mouse’s girlfriend — a sweet, cute, curly-headed bimbo.

Though never a misogynist nor a lecherous rogue, Mouse slithered about as a rather treacherous sexual rascal. For example, one night years back he announced that he had “booked” another date with a “fox” named Roxie.

“Ooh là là! As I recall, this will be the third date,” I said.

“Right. The third date. What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Well duh, the third date is when you consummate the union,” I said with a waggish wink.

“You’re supposed to wait until the third date?

“Oh, you rat!”

“Well, I think of sex as a great ice-breaker.”

Mercifully, Mouse’s loose lifestyle has come to a screeching halt. Now he’s met a real woman who calls the shots. 

Mouse has announced that he knows he’s found “the one,” a proper, respectable, intelligent woman with style. Aptly named Katherine, she’s allowed Mouse to nickname her “Kat.” 

“Kat and Mouse? Oh, come on!,” I smirked.

“She’s no Pearl Pureheart,” Mouse said proudly. “No milquetoast mama. She’s an alluring lioness.”

It turns out she also has a wicked sense of humor. She even has a drinking cup that reads: “When God made man, She was only joking. Adam was just a rough draft.”

Mouse remembered that I had written a thesis — from a feminist perspective — then he uttered the magic words “Steven, I need your help.”

“Oh yeah? You ridiculed me as a ‘girly man’ when I wrote that thesis, just as you still do over my current inability to hop, somersault or cartwheel.”

“As Grandma would say, get over it.”

“All right, already, but now it’s your turn to man up, Mouse — First, you must unlearn a lifetime of sexist rhetoric — or else!.” 

I told him feminists want lots of things, but what they really want is equality. Furthermore:

1) If she’s ever insane enough to take up smoking, never attempt to light her cigar. 

2) If she requests, hold her purse.

3) Always assume she wants equality, not preferential treatment. Equal opportunity, equal pay. Equal, Equal, Equal. 

4) Let her do all of the driving if she wants. Let her open your car door, if she desires. Enter a restaurant preceding her, if she insists — and thank her for pulling back the chair to seat You

5) And never introduce her as “My lady.” She's no lady — she’s a woman. The nickname Kat is fine if she says it’s fine. Just never address her with mushy nicknames. Never never, never utter the words Sweetiekins, Lambikins, Passion Pie, Baby Cakes, Tootsie or Chickie. That’s punishable by decapitation.

“Tell, me? Does she adhere to the patriarchal notion that women need to shave under their arms?” I inquired.

“Yes, thank God,” Mouse said.

“Then count your blessings.”

“Yeah, but the catch is that I have to shave under my arms too. You’re right — equality.”

Equality indeed — When Mouse teased her about getting chest implants, Kat riposted: “Absolutely! I’ll do that, but first you have to undergo reduction surgery for those man boobs of yours.”

I begged Mouse in vain to pose shirtless for this piece. 

— Steve Eskew

Thank God Liberal Arts courses are so easy. Even retired businessman Steve Eskew received a pair of master’s degrees in both dramatic arts and communication studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha after he turned 50. When asked to take over a professor’s theater column at The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Steve began a career as a quasi-journalist. Narrowly by the luck of the Irish, this led to numerous publications, including theater and book reviews, profiles and Steve’s favorite genre, humor writing. Check out his new humor blog, ESKEWPADES.

Previous Post

Humor Writer of the Month: Kit Lively

Kit Lively, the managing editor and a contributor to Weekly Humorist, is our Humor Writer of the Month for October.
Read More
Next Post

Are the People in Beer Commercials Really Having that Much Fun?

Dan Demaree was a white water canoeist who got a chance to make some money at his favorite sport.
Read More