Mourners turned out en masse yesterday for the funeral of the mouse that was discovered mashed up inside a loaf of bread.
The service, lead by local chaplain Dave Phelps, was attended by up to 250 workers at the Premier Foods factory in Oxfordshire and the mouse’s coffin , an empty box of Swan Vestas, was borne by lead foreman Colin Wilkinson. Musical accompaniment was provided in the form of mouse-related tracks , with the Pet Shop Boys featuring heavily together with “Run to You” by Bryan Adams.
Addressing the mourners, Phelps said: ‘Although the Bible is unclear as to the status which rodents occupy in the afterlife I’m pretty sure that, aside from ransacking the odd loaf, he – was it a he? - lead a good life and will be rewarded in eternity with a never-ending supply of peanut butter. They seem to like that for some reason.’
And last night Phelps’ claims were backed up by some of Britain’s leading intellectuals.
Philosopher, Mary Warnock, said: ‘Anyone who did Biology at A level knows that mice are sentient beings and if we think of consciousness as a kind of field which our brains merely tap into then yeah – why not? I doubt it applies to gerbils though. Nasty little fuckers . I got one lodged in the hoover once. Thirty quid to get it repaired and that didn’t include the call out fee.’
Warnock meanwhile refuses to be drawn further into the rodent debate after an outburst earlier last year in which she described hamsters as ‘utterly depraved‘ and wallowing in a cesspit of their own making.
Phelps though left those struggling to come to terms with the mouse’s departure in no doubt:
‘Yeah mice are dead cute. Unlike rats which are evil sewer-dwellers and burn in everlasting torment, mice are rewarded in paradise for their meekness, agility and their ability to compress their bodies into a gap the size of a thimble.
‘I imagine it’s a bit like human heaven except there’s loads of sawdust and crumbs lying around with the centrepiece being a huge golden wheel occupied by his waiting friends, many of whom were gassed the last time Rentokil visited the premises in early March . ’
‘Or it could be like a massive sofa from Ikea where the spirit mice have gained entry by gnawing away at the fabric, assuming they couldn’t just pass straight through and have built a ghost nest in one of the arm rests. The perverts, however, would be weeded out by St Peter, or his mouse equivalent and would exist in some kind of purgatory. I’m not sure what form that would take but it’s most likely a mouldy rolled-up bit of carpet. ’
‘And there are no cats.’
‘Cats go to hell. It says so in Corinthians. ’