I have a good friend whose daughter also asked for one thing, and one thing only, this Christmas. No, not an iTouch, that would be my daughter. Her daughter’s request is worse. She wants a hamster. Badly.
So, ahem, "Santa" dropped off a hamster, just like this little girl wants. But it arrived yesterday. (I just know my kids will find this blog some day, so play along.) So my friend, the mom, has had to hide and care for this hamster until the big reveal on Christmas morning.
Yesterday, she called me. “Oh, it’s not a rodenty little thing, it’s cute. He has a cute little nose and a nub of a tail and OH I think he likes me! Oh, you cute little hamster! I think I’m in love!”
“No, wait, he just pooped all over me. He is using me as a toilet. Not loving the hamster right now. I’ll call you later.”
So, later: “My husband is threatening to call an exterminator. He thinks the hamster looks like a mouse and said he will not lift a finger to take care of it.”
Then, today: “Holy shit! Holy shit! The hamster chewed through its wooden box (damn dumb Santa) and it ran away. It’s somewhere in this house. Oh shit. What do I do?”
Later: “We found it. Hiding in a little crawl space under the Jacuzzi. It won’t come out.”
“It won’t even move toward us if we hold food.”
“If we beg.”
“If we offer hamster cash.”
“Julie, this fucking thing is going to DIE under my bathtub.”
Then, later: “Oh, no. Oh no oh no oh no. I told my husband to get the leaf blower to get it out. He tried, but the leaf blower is gas powered, and now we’ve all been asphyxiated and had to leave the house.”
“I’m on my way to PetSmart. I need a backup hamster.”
Then, on the way to church, my cell phone rang.
“Juuuulie I just remembered there are mouse traps all over the basement. Even if she gets the backup hamster, she might see a little dead hamster the next time she comes down to play with her Polly Pockets. What do I do?”
A good friend would have come up with a plan. A good friend would have googled “hamster whisperer” and found a solution. A good friend would not have suggested letting my dog loose in her basement so the little hamster would have a heart attack when a big wet nose sniffed him out.
I did none of that. I laughed, and offered to say a little hamster prayer when I got to church.
Secretly, I called PetSmart, and asked them to relay this message to their hamsters: if you see a crazy blonde coming into the store at midnight tonight screaming about needing a Plan B, then run. Very fast. Or play dead.
‘Cause that’s how you’ll end up if she takes you home.