I was going to poke fun at the Tea Partyers and their Senate candidates. The “you betchas” who don’t believe in big government but want to control it. The family value folks who ditch their wives when they have cancer, or, using our tax dollars, fly off to Argentina to cheat on their family-value wives.

I was about to poke fun at Christine O’Donnell, the Republican Party nominee for the Senate in Delaware. She’s pro-life and against Obama health care and thinks women who are the victims of rape and incest should give birth. Because she’s not a feminist, she thinks women shouldn’t serve in the military. Because she believes in marriage, she believes that gays and lesbians shouldn’t marry. Because she believes in limited government, she’s against Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance for middle income folks but loves giving the super rich a whole bunch of tax breaks.

I wasn’t going to poke fun at those positions because they’re not funny.

But I was going to poke fun at her because she believes co-ed dorms are the work of the devil. And because she adamantly opposes masturbation.

You see Christine, who founded, SALT, The Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth, told MTV: “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust!”

But the fact is we had no dorms at City College. So as an erstwhile political commentator I have to abstain on the issue of Lucifer’s crafty plans for lower education. Turns out Adam and Eve went to a snazzier school than I did.

And, in the spirit of you never know, my attorney advises me not to comment on the soon to be illegal act of self-gratification. Plus, I’ve never been married like Newt Gingrich or Mark Sanford so what, really, could I know about adultery.

Anyway, my snotty attitude turned around when I had a chance to hear what Christine had to say about stem cell research. Christine’s very concerned with the moral issues of stem cell research.

You know it’s not so easy to poke fun at someone or something when you have a personal stake in the matter. And my conversion began in earnest the other night when I was watching MSNBC. They showed a 2007 clip of Christine telling Bill O’Reilly that “American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

In my defense, I have to say I really truly didn’t know anything about this. Now Keith Olberman wasn’t really thinking about me – or the millions of Americans just like me who are deeply affected by this. He was just making fun of Christine.

But this issue – of mice and men – really hits home. And if you ask me today none of this is a laughing matter.

If only I had seen this interview sooner, I wouldn’t have innocent blood on my hands. If only I had heard Christine, I wouldn’t be walking around quilt-stricken. Because – because of me – there are three fully functioning human brains that will never, ever have the chance to find a cure for cancer. Or build the ships that will take us to the furthest stars.

Because in the last three days, I have executed three, count them, three, mice in my kitchen.

A part of me wants to blame Google for making it so darn easy to find the best mouse-trap. Or Amazon.com for making it so darn easy to purchase my Kness SNAP-E Mousetraps, really, truly a mousetrap for the ages. Or Skippy for making the perfect peanut butter.

But I know the responsibility is mine.

Clearly, my heart had hardened. I succumbed to anger, to rage. These mice had taunted me. They’d appear then disappear in an instant. They resisted any effort I made to paper-train them. They laughed at my pathetic attempts to convince them to move downstairs to my neighbor’s apartment, which by the way is larger and has its own porch.

Who knew they were only playing chess with me? And beating me.

It’s hard to admit when the Devil gets his way with you. We all like to believe we walk the path of righteousness. We – and actually I mean me – well, I am far too arrogant.

The mice annoyed me and I struck back without ever thinking they were thinking mice. Smart mice. Mice smarter than me.

So Christine, I owe you one. You have humbled me. And I am eternally grateful.

Let others poke fun at you for using campaign funds to pay your rent, for railing against bilingual ballots and evolution, for praising God while dating a witch. Not me. I’ve learned my lesson.

If only I had a heart and used a Have A Heart Trap. And saved my SNAP-E for a godless, big government, immigrant-loving liberal Democrat.

God works in micesterious ways.

The Berkshire Record, Thursday September 23, 2010. © Mickey Friedman. All rights reserved.