Note: It's better if you read the following before reading this:
Now you can read this month's column.
Courtesy warning: If you are about to eat lunch, you might want to read something else right now.
My son and I were watching Dirty Jobs on The Discovery Channel last night and, as usual, the list of jobs I don’t care to ever do has gotten a little longer. If you’ve never seen it, the show features host Mike Rowe travelling around the country performing all sorts of “dirty jobs.” Jobs like cleaning sewers, obtaining samples of various bodily fluids from animals, making charcoal, etc. Some of the jobs are just dirty while others are, quite frankly, revolting. One memorable episode had him doing some pest control where he got to assist an exterminator as he rid a house of roaches.
Apparently, that episode was so memorable that they decided to make a whole new show about it. The new show is called “Verminators” and in the premiere you got to follow the owner of a pest control service in Los Angeles around to see what’s involved in dealing with infestations of rats, roaches and bed bugs. Note: When I said “infestations” I really meant “plagues of Biblical proportion.” Seriously - it was gross. You DO NOT want this job no matter how bad the economy gets
As we watched the show, it occurred to me that it would make a great topic for this month’s column. This was fortunate since I was having a difficult time coming up with something other than the hamster brouhaha that everyone has been telling me to write about.
In case you don’t already know, last month I wrote about how we gave away all but one of the hamsters. Some hyperbole was involved in the telling of the story and that resulted in a letter to the editor being written by a concerned reader chastising me on my handling of the situation. I thought that would be the end of it but everyone I’ve talked to seems to think that I should write some silly retort in my column just to get the last word.
Well, I’m sorry to disappoint those people but I will not use this forum as a bully pulpit from which to wage some petty flame war. I really don’t see what the big deal is.
I received a few emails from readers expressing their opinions on the subject. Most were of the “I thought it was funny” genre but a few agreed with the person that wrote the letter. One, in particular, I found very inspiring so I thought I’d share it with you...
I read with interest your most recent column about the hamsters. I also read the letter to the editor that was printed the following week and I think I understand where the writer of the letter is coming from.
First of all, let me say that I can certainly see the humor in your inability to find suitable homes for the hamsters. But I also see the letter writer’s point that it might be considered a bad example to just give them away. (I also know it can be difficult to sell hamsters but did you try?)
I have to agree with the letter writer on this one. You see, several years ago I had some gerbils as pets. I have to say they gave me much pleasure and it was a joy to be able to care for them. They were so soft and furry and would always end up hiding in the strangest places! They were so funny! LOL!
Anyway, I love reading your column each month so keep up the good work. And if you ever decide that you can no longer care for the remaining hamster, I still have a soft spot for the little dears. I will be sure to keep it in a warm place and love it just as I did my gerbils so many years ago.
Maybe, that way, we can put this whole thing behind us!
\If you don't get it, click on "Richard Gere" above. That should make it clear as "mud".