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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on November 23rd, 2009, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 10, Issue 37 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 10, Issue 37

Hamster Dance

Rob has a furry new friend

By ROB KRIDER

My daughter has one of those enormous hearts that has all kinds of room in it to love all of the Earth’s different creatures. Unfortunately for her, the mom she was assigned to by the random draw of birth does not want any of the Earth’s little creatures inside “her” house. My wife, whom I love, has two simple rules of the house: no pets and no Playboys. That’s right, neither type of bunny can be in our house, whether it be a little, furry, big-eared carrot eater or Ms. January.

Even though I understand the rules of the house, my daughter still thinks she can change mom’s mind (IMPOSSIBLE!!!). My daughter spends hours trying to convince Mom that a dog would be a good idea. She swears up and down she will take care of it, pick up the poop, etc. But no matter how hard she tries, my wife won’t budge: “You can have pets when you have your own home someday.”

I was caught between my two favorite ladies. I wanted to satisfy my daughter’s need to care for a pet, but I also wanted to sleep in my wife’s bed sometimes. After years of ongoing battles between the girls, I finally stepped in and came up with what I thought was a reasonable compromise: “How about a hamster?”

My wife was obviously opposed to having a rodent in her house. But when we determined that our little girl had saved enough money from getting good grades at school to pay for a hamster and cage all by herself, how could we deny her? Mom finally relented with this caveat: “I will never touch the hamster. I will never clean its cage. I won’t have anything to do with it. In fact, if you ask me something about the hamster, I’m going to act as if I have no idea what you’re talking about, because the hamster will not exist to me.”

When our daughter realized she was finally going to get a pet after all of these years of begging, her face lit up like the sun. We immediately headed to the pet store to bring home the newest member of our family. Nope, Mom did not go with us. At the store, we picked up a cage and a little Russian dwarf hamster. Yes, we brought home a creature who happened to be a communist.

Our daughter absolutely loved her new friend, regardless of its political views. She worked hard to set the cage up just right and made sure her pal was comfortable. Once the cage was all set up, Mom walked by the room and said, “All right, I’ll acknowledge your new friend. How’s the rat?”

“It’s not a rat, Mom. He’s a Russian dwarf hamster.”

“So, it’s a midget Russian rat?”

I corrected my wife, “They prefer the term, ‘little people’ Russian rat.”

My little girl spent hours playing with her new loved one. She may have played with it a little more than it preferred, talking to it, trying to put little hats on it. She treated the thing like it was a furry Barbie. I could have sworn the hamster looked at me one day like, “C’mon, Bro. Don’t let this little girl dress me up like Ariel. I’m a hamster, not a friggin’ Disney character.”

After a few days, the newness of having a hamster wore away, and my daughter began to realize that a hamster is no dog: “All he does is eat, sleep, and poop. We can’t take him for a walk or a throw a Frisbee at him.”

 “Welcome to hamster ownership, Honey. By the way, it’s time to clean his cage.”

Because the hamster is a Russian, its internal clock is off, and it’s only awake at night here in the U.S. of A. Some people say it’s because the hamster is nocturnal, but I know the truth: The hamster is a spy. It trains endlessly, running all night, keeping the family awake with its squeaky training wheel, getting ready for the day when it can break free from its cage, stuff crucial government documents into its cheeks, and run for Mother Russia.

After a while, we started to notice the smell that was coming from our daughter’s room. It wasn’t the smell of hamster feces or urine.  It was fruitier than that. I walked into her room and saw she was dousing the hamster cage with perfume: “He stinks. I’m making him smell better.”

The hamster shot me another one of those looks:

 “C’mon Bro, you gotta do somethin’ here. I don’t have any string, or more importantly thumbs, to tie myself a noose and end my life with any sort of dignity.”

I told my daughter to stop fogging the hamster with perfume; she might poison the poor thing. My biggest fear about the new pet is the inevitable “what happens when we die” speech. Eventually, all pets die (especially when exposed to gallons of Miley Cyrus’s perfume). I don’t want to see my little girl’s heart broken by the death of her new friend. I saw it happen when my son lost his goldfish a few years ago. We handled that problem by having a small funeral in the bathroom. I guess the only real difference is: Will the hamster flush down the toilet?

Rob has already decided that if the hamster doesn’t make it, he won’t tell his wife and just replace it with a really small dog. Maybe she won’t notice??




Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

| Poll Results