Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

17 June 2011

The Legend of Sid Vicious

When my kids were little, they were constantly beating the drum for a new pet.  We had cats, dogs, birds, fish, even a freaking duck (most of which still live with me, while the kids do not), but I drew the line at rodents.
Rodents freak me out.  Their sharp little teeth, their sharp little claws, their twitching little noses... *skeeve*
My friend Terri was my boys' biggest champion.  If they wanted something, she had a tendency to give it to them.  Since she also gave her daughter everything she wanted, a lot of that spilled over into MY house.
Such was the case with a three-legged hamster.
Her daughter wanted a hamster.  Consequently, her daughter got TWO hamsters, a fluffy white teddy bear hamster and a nasty, three legged one.  The fluffy white one went into "hibernation" shortly after moving in ("hibernation" is code for "the hamster crawled into a tube and died but no one knew it for about a month because we thought it was hibernating").  The other one, whom they named Tri-Pod, spent the next two years sleeping by day and jogging on his squeaky hamster-wheel by night.
One day, Terri asked me, IN FRONT OF THE BOYS, if we would like Tri-Pod to come and live out his twilight years at MY house.  I said NO.  The boys whined.  She assured me that he would only live a little bit longer because hamsters ONLY live two years and they'd already had him longer than that.
Okay, fine.  I caved.  I agreed to bring the damn thing home to die.  Whatever.
He took up residence in a 5 gallon fish tank with a screen lid in my livingroom.  He would snarl and bare his teeth when we'd approach him, charge and try to bite the hand that was attempting to feed him, give me the finger when I'd threaten to feed him to the cat.  I changed his name to Sid Vicious because given a chance? I'm pretty sure he would have eaten us.
Sid developed a tumor on his side that made him look oddly lopsided.  I was pretty sure death was imminent.  
Several months later, the tumor disappeared, then reappeared on his other side.  Again, I was positive that death was imminent.
Several months later, the tumor disappeared.  Sid continued to sleep during the day and keep me awake all night by jogging on his stupid little hamster wheel.
I would get up, turn on the light, glare at him... and he would stop for a moment, give me a surly look, call me a nasty name, sharpen his switchblade and then continue his exercise.
I hated that stupid hamster.
Sometimes, in the dead of night, while he was jogging away, I would yell at him from my room,  "Oh good GOD!  WOULD YOU JUST DIE ALREADY!"
Two years my ass.
We had that damn hamster for about three years, after the two years he lived with Terri.  For THREE YEARS this rodent lived in a glass fish tank in my house.  THREE YEARS of his snarling, nastiness, switch-blade wielding personality.  Who the hell has a hamster that lives for five freaking years?  Good GOD, y'all!
And then?  One morning we got up... and the tank was empty.  The lid was still intact... but Sid was gone.
There was no way he could have climbed up the glass sides of the fish tank, lifted the screen lid, climbed out, replaced the lid, and gone on his merry way.  NO WAY.
But he was gone.
The boys accused me of the heinous crime of hamstercide.  I swore up and down that I had nothing to do with his disappearance. I mean,  I KNOW it looked bad... but I swear on all that is holy that I did not make three little cement hamster shoes and send him off to sleep with the fishies.  I did NOT do anything to that hamster.
I plead my case in the following ways:
A)  I was scared to death of him.
B)  You couldn't have paid me enough to pick him up.
C)  I don't touch rodents.
D)  If I was going to kill the hamster, I wouldn't have waited 3 years to do it.
E)  All of the above.
So anyway.
We searched high and low but Sid was nowhere to be found.  We never found his little carcass anywhere, never found any remnants of bones or teeth or hamster fur.  He just simply....
Sometimes, late at night, I hear the faint sounds of a squeaky hamster wheel... and I wonder....

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