Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alternative to Muskrat Love


Not every weekend in The Big Apple involves carriage rides around the park or a trip to the museum. Sometimes it's about finding the easiest way to fill the time between Breakfast and Cocktail Hour...you know... that long stretch of about Four Hours. This explains why, instead of schlepping The Spawn to The Bronx Zoo this weekend-we decided to spend two hours in PetCo. It is a veritable Animal Kingdom there-a great place to see kittens, birds, fish and of course....HAMSTERS.

In the eighties, I made the mistake of getting two hamsters for my Kindergarten classroom. We came in to class one morning to a litter of tiny, pink, hairless babies. That same day, while the children were at recess, the Daddy Hamster beheaded and devoured the entire brood. Try explaining that to twenty innocent five year olds. The Fathers were unusually cold to me that year during Parent Teacher conferences.

Last year, CBoy's teacher asked for a dwarf hamster, which we volunteered to provide. PetCo was all out of the tiny hamsters the day we went--so we decided to buy a Big Ass Hamster instead. This did not thrill Ms. Mathews, who had wanted a hamster of the dwarf variety because their temperament is known to be gentle and friendly, whereas Big Ass Hamsters can sometimes be aggressive. She expressed her trepidation as the children gathered around the glass aquarium, pushing each other and craning their necks to get a view of the new pet in their classroom. In an attempt to allay her fears, I confidently lifted the screen top of the cage and reached down to stroke the creature.

"See?" I said, running my finger over his furry back, "He's as gentle as can be."

And at that moment, Big Ass Hamster turned and bit my index finger DOWN TO THE BONE and blood splattered and splurted against the glass in the aquarium and I began to shake my hand violently to get the Big Ass Hamster to let go, and while the children screamed and blood flew everywhere I began to beat the Big Ass Hamster's head against the side of the cage to get it to release it's teeth from my finger.

When it finally let me go, it took an entire box of Sponge Bob Bandaids to contain the bleeding.

Spooky, as Big Ass Hamster came to be known, eventually outgrew his violent tendencies and settled down to classroom life-gorging himself on carrot and apple sticks and sleeping the day away. He came home with us over Christmas break, and when Sexyhusbandomine placed him in the plastic ball so he could run around, I swear I didn't kick it. Not. Even. Once.

24 comments:

kip said...

The blood was literally spurting out of her finger like a Monty Python sketch, and the whole time Lorrie kept smiling, and saying what a good hamster we bought. It was shocking and hysterical at the same time.

kwr221 said...

Wow.

Nothing quite so dramatic EVER happens in my kids' classrooms.

Wow.

Hope you were up to date on your shots.

david kramer said...

CUte little Hampster...
I have one at home that you can have if you like...
DK

Kr√ęg said...

Man, nothing beats psychologically scarring a group of children. Unless it's scarring children with accidental comedy. Thanks for the laugh.

TJ said...

The best day of my life was the day we got rid of our hampster.

Looved your story today, especially the cold fathers.

Miss Thystle said...

we have like, six hamsters buried in our front yard. I hate the wicked smelly things.

PS They were dead when we buried them. Probably.

Spatula said...

I've never seen a hamster eat its young, but my mom has. She says they hold them like a shish kebab. It was quite scarring to her.

Me, I can't even get over their nasty yellow TEETH.

PearlsOfSomething said...

My high school boyfriend's gerbil bit me. Yes, rodents certainly know how to put on a bloody show.

My hamster never bit me, but that's because I never touched him. He was content with finding new ways to chew his way out of his cage and scurry into my mother's bed.

Sorry, Mom.

JenX67 said...

as i got to the end of this post (hysterical) i could see the top of hte next post with crying-beauty-queen-lady-o. it made me imagine big A hampster biting her head off. hahahahaha. for some reason, this also reminded me of something completely unrelated, more or less - the time i was hired to do some PR work for an aging consortium. I made an entire presentation referring to "Seniors" and "older adults" as "OLD PEOPLE." When I was done the director called me to the side and said, "THEY DON'T WANT TO BE REFERRED TO AS OLD PEOPLE." Try as we may sometimes, the blood a goes to spurting. They never called me back...I was 25. Mortified. Still am. Know your audience, huh?

JenX67 said...

also, i hated that song muskrat love.

Jennifer said...

Big Ass Hamster...I am laughing so hard right now it's sick. I love your blog Lorrie...you always have the greatest stories.

Jane! said...

Dwarf hamsters are no angels, either, and they are much harder to shake off. I never thought to whack them against the glass wall, though.
We finally got a Teddybear hamster who was a total sweetie. I think my husband was very jealous of his... ahem... manparts, though. He was one equipped little rodent.

Nadine Hightower said...

Too funny!! I hope you've had a tetanus.

Debra W said...

Lorrie,

How can you manage to make my stomach feel queasy and make me laugh all at the same time? You are a crack up, girl. Some days, I don't know what I would do without you.(and all of those things that I have around my house with your name smiling at me from the bottom:))

Love,
Debbie

PS-I loved Kip's description of that day in your comments. Something tells me he is just like his momma!

Racie Lover said...

Ouch! Splurting blood all over young, impressionable children has ugly written all over it.

Years ago, when my parents were first married my father decided to go into the mink ranching business in Colorado. Apparently those little buggers are vicious, too. He had elbow-length thick leather gloves to protect him from their sharp little teeth. My mother hated them and was thrilled when they met an untimely death due to an unfortunate ranch mishap (like maybe she accidentally on purpose ran over them, but that was never proved). The fact that she benefitted from their demise by ending up with a lovely mink coat was not lost on her. But I digress.

Not Fainthearted said...

Hilarious! And. Another reason I don't like RODENTS in my house.

Megan said...

Oh my gosh, this is great! And you are a brave lady, Lorrie V. Rodents of all sorts give me the willies.

I'm pretty sure if the hamster who had bitten my finger down to the bone was tooling around my house in a little ball thingy I would have drop kicked it across the room. Twice.

Bj in Dallas said...

I am so anti hamster, anti gerbil, and WTF? we saw something called a Fancy Rat at Petco..... I'll buy that and a fancy rat trap and put a big hunk of cheese in it!! I heard hamsters eat their babies if you don't get them out of the cage right away...but then that lowers the entire population which is fine with me
guess who is NEVER going to have one of those nasty things???
but I get the bloggy box before you so I could put one in there for you for an early Xmas present

SOMETHING HAPPENED SOMEWHERE TURNING said...

Okay...that is hilarious. My wifes niece, 'From the Top of the Stairs...' sent her readers to your blog to see a video in Sept. after 9/11. I started reading your post and I could not stop laughing. I have been a fan ever since.
Because I never learned how to say NO, we have a plethora of rodents. Guinea Pigs, Hampsters and I think some gerbils. Plus cats and dogs and fish. Hell, I live in a zoo.
Thanx for the laughs.

Dee from Downunder said...

Oh dear! Thats so funny and shocking at the same time. I heard of your blog via Lex and a few others... ok, I think I am game to read a bit more...

Le @ Third on the Right said...

so is a hamster a a rat thing or a guinea pig hibred ...

I so laughed at this .... the whole class eh ... shame.

we won't be having one - I'm a dog person ... and I havn't even given in to that request ... yet.

I fancy a pet rock might work for me :) le xoxo

Le @ Third on the Right said...

BTW when are you expecting your new clothes .... blog make over doovey - we should have a coming out debutant party do across the miles :)

kwr221 said...

we have not one, but two mice here at chez romell. It's hard to say no when darling daughter, plans, and researches and saves for 5 months for the mice that she so dearly coveted.

They *are kind of cute.

We have the fatty, Buddyscotch and the dimunitive Mr. Whiskers.

ilaarijs said...

I am rodent, too!!!