Praise The Bucket

Good afternoon, can I have a moment of your time to talk about our Lord and Saviour, The Bucket?

You don’t know about The Bucket? Well, allow me to educate you. May I come in? Can I have some orange juice? Ahh, that’s okay then, I’ll just park myself on this chair if you don’t mind.

That’s a lovely picture of you and your family.

So, The Bucket.

For a few weeks now, we’ve had an unspecified number of mice in the flat. It could be a horde of small, scuttly lodgers, or a single, incredibly persistent, drywall scratcher, single-pawedly making irritating squeaking sounds at night and covering the kitchen floor with the patter of their tiny feet.

Either way, we’ve tried various humane methods to deal with the issue, from a machine that makes a high-pitched screech that supposedly mice can hear and are frightened by, to humane traps carefully stocked with some of the more expensive grains and oats pilfered from my flatmate’s cupboard. I even waved a small PETA flag around, making it clear to the mice that I was on their side, that I wanted nothing more than to carefully remove them from their human-infested prison and release them back into the parks and bushes where their lives can flourish and be tragically extinguished by the swoop of a hungry predator. The Circle of Life, and so on.

Tragically, however, these totally reasonable measures failed to dislodge the fuzzy housebreakers, and soon their scrabbling and pattering and scratching and eating-a-hole-in-my-flatmate’s-sack-of-rice got too much to bear, and less humane options were considered.

Yet, fortunately for my fragile sense of ethical superiority, a saviour emerged from the darkest corner of that awkward bit under the stairs that has no real name but has become a de facto storage space for cardboard boxes, vacuum cleaners, and the second freezer my flatmate bought ages ago, thoroughly dissatisfied with the size of our provided freezer. In this tangled mess of discarded cleaning items and dusty floorboards, there is a mop and bucket, a pair of items that get semi-regular use in the kitchen, and so are perennially temporarily lodged in the space under the stairs that borders the kitchen, rather than being placed in the more proper, yet more awkward, room upstairs that is the residence of our heavy-duty cleaning supplies, such as laundry materials and toilet paper.

It so happened that last night, at the entirely-appropriate-to-be-still-up hour of about 1am, as my flatmate and I were chilling on the stairs, we were struck by a small scuttling sound, and a tiny mouse plopped down from the first floor and pattered across the stairs. Screams were screamed, water was spilled, and the weary realisation that our inability to deal with these mice was now becoming a tangible problem descended on our bipedal heroes.

The mouse found a spot on the stairs they seemed to like, and so sat there, staring into the gloom. Carefully, I approached, armed with no less than a colander, intending to trap the small beast inside a prison with ready-made air holes, so they could be transported away in the morning. However, my flatmate accurately pointed out that said colander was too big to fit on the stairs, and implied that my selection of it revealed my foolishness and unsuitability for the profession of humane animal control.

Saddened, but unswayed, I produced a smaller article of entrapment, a Tupperware box. However, having already broken the box in my attempts to punch an air hole in the bottom – in reality I may or may not have snapped the bottom in half and scarred it greatly – the box was largely useless, and as I swung the plastic cuboid down with mammalian clumsiness, the mouse easily dodged to the side.

This mouse, as it transpired, was also more of a daredevil than myself. While I was reduced to metaphorically filling the role of an end table, standing bearing my object – in this case the useless Tupperware box – in silence and passivity, awaiting instruction from a higher power to redirect my purpose, the mouse had leaped from the stairs altogether. Not seeing to where it jumped, I briefly panicked, pulled out a flashlight, and stared hopefully into the abyss beneath the stairs.

And there they were: in The Bucket.

The mouse’s diminutive stature – its dimensions were such that it would not be an exaggeration to call it the smallest living thing I have ever beheld with my own eyes – meant that it was unable to escape from the tall blue walls of The Bucket, and that vessel’s smoothed sides made it impossible for the mouse to gain purchase upon them and clamber out. With dimples in the base, into which could be and were poured water and food to nourish the mouse, The Bucket was a perfect humane prison for the poor creature. With the mouse provided for for the night, and the top of The Bucket sealed with air-hole-punched cling film just in case some act of God were to tip The Bucket over and offer the mouse a chance of escape, the humans went to bed, intent on releasing the mouse the following morning.

And, sure enough, the mouse was released! I carried The Bucket and its prisoner – who admittedly looked rather shaken from spending the night in its plastic belly – to a nearby park, and let the small creature free, before returning home and washing The Bucket, replacing it in its rightful place beneath the stairs, and lodging the much more familiar mop within its plastic casing.

But why am I telling you all this? Do you care for the plight of my flatmates and I, or even more so the plight of our furry guest? Do you even care for the work of The Bucket, they who are both domestic service item and humane animal trap at once, a transcendence of mortal properties to a higher plane of superior, multi-faceted being? Perhaps you don’t, and that is why you ought to hear the tale of The Bucket, and receive their teachings.


No, I didn’t just try to nick that silver plate? No, you’re being very defensive.

No, I’ll call the police.

Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

Author: JP Casey

They/them. Chaotic gender neutral. Straight Edge. Writer. Journalist. User of full stops.

12 thoughts on “Praise The Bucket”

  1. I think a part of me died at the PETA flag waving action. I know animal rights and all is a serious matter but TEH STITCHES DON’T LIE. I don’t know why I found it so funny. Maybe I’m disguising my meat-eaters’ guilt. Maybe I’m not. You’ll never know. I definitely won’t.

    “..the Bucket and receive their teachings.” Whenever I see the word teachings I have flashbacks to my RS exam.
    I wish you’d written this in July.
    I’d have quoted you, God’s honest badass Buckety truth, I would have.

    If I can bring Eastenders into a 6-marker RS question I sure as hell can introduce ton Bucket.

    1. YE FOOL

      Eh it is great to hear from you anywho :33 And thank you! Obvs animal cruelty is a very important issue to me too but I feel like if you can’t poke fun at yourself who can you poke fun at?

      Also mate my uni English lit. dissertation is on Skyrim you can put EastEnders in ANYTHING :DD

    1. I told them of its artistic and literary merits, as I’ve been doing for years :p I run a gaming magazine, pretty much everyone knows games are my life at this point :3

      1. I’m impressed, you artsy fiend!
        Z/BP/whoever I am (Zulekha if we’re really going there) wishes she could do this creative stuff!
        I’d love to tie my soap operas into maths but that’s basically impossible. Oh well. You win some you lose some.

        1. Aww Whoever can do whatever she likes :3 She’s already better at maths than I’ll ever be and I hear that is very creative and off-the-wall at high levels. Hey, where there’s a will, there’s a way :3

          1. Stahp PLEEZE. My maths has gone downhill. At work some kids failed their tests and when I went over it with them I wanted nothing more than a giant snowball to bust down the door and flatten me when I failed to actually help them. Some kid asked me this infinity based questions – convergence divergence shizzle – and I made the answer up. I don’t think I’ll actually end up in the teaching profession. I’d sack me.

            *prays to the Bucket*

  2. (I’m laughing. I have to.)
    I feel understood.
    And yes, Year 8 maths sucks. Too many shapes involved. It’s too in yer face.

    But there is that weird satisfaction which kind of dribbles through (what an icky way to put it – I nearly put wet in there but too much). I mean I could never do retail. Those people are strong. Despite the difficulty I really like my job.

  3. I visited UCL yesterday at the open day and HOLY MOTHER OF EUCLID whoa. I mean the requirements for Maths are high af but I MET SOME BADASS AMAZING PEOPLE AND ARGH OMG UNI IS SO GROWN UP.

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