Chuck’s Corner – October, 2007
Can you believe it’s Halloween already? Where does the time go? To tell the truth, it didn’t dawn on me that the year is almost over until my daughter approached me the other day and asked me if I would take her shopping. “What do you need” I asked? “A Halloween costume” she replied. “That’s nice”, I said, “What are you going to be?”
“I haven’t made up my mind yet – maybe Britney Spears or Paris Hilton” was her answer to which I replied “AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Before I could say anything, she quickly added “I’m just kidding, Daddy. I think I’ll be a princess or something like that.” “That sounds like a much better idea” I said.
My son, on the other hand has a much more pragmatic approach to choosing a Halloween costume – “And what are you going to wear for Halloween?” I asked. “We aren’t allowed to wear our costumes to school so I’ll just wear my school t-shirt and jeans” he said. “You can’t trick-or-treat in a t-shirt and jeans” I said. “All the other kids are doing it” he insisted. “You eighth graders today are so lame. At least put some fake blood on it, will you?” I said.
“What about you, Daddy? Are you going to dress up for Halloween?” my daughter asked. “Maybe” I said. “What are you going to be?” she further inquired. “Oh, I don’t know – maybe … A HAMSTER! BWAH-HAH-HAH!” I said in my spooky voice. Upon hearing this, both kids ran screaming from the room and locked themselves in their bedrooms.
You’re probably thinking to yourself “What’s so scary about a hamster?” Well, if my column last month didn’t convince you that they’re lousy pets, maybe this next part of the story will finally demonstrate what horrid little creatures they are…
As you might recall, my sister-in-law gave the kids a pair of hamsters just to annoy me. When they weren’t busy escaping from their cage, running around the house or biting me, they were “busy”. Eventually, a couple of baby hamsters showed up in the cage. “How cute!” was the general consensus. (I say “general” since I would have used another word.) In any event, we watched for a week or two as the mother made a nest in one part of the cage and nursed the babies while the father spent every waking moment running on the hamster wheel. Each day, the mother would move the nest while the father ran on the wheel.
One day, while changing the bedding, it became apparent that there was only ONE baby hamster remaining in the cage. “Where did the other one go?” asked my daughter. “Uh, oh!” I thought to myself. “Maybe it was in the bedding” suggested my wife. “Not likely” I further thought. The cleaning of the cage continued in silence.
For the next week, everything went along as usual. The remaining baby hamster was getting pretty big now and starting to grow hair. In fact, it almost LOOKED like a hamster. And then we didn’t see it for a day or two. “That’s probably not a good sign” I thought.
Later that night as I passed the hamster cage I saw what I thought was the baby hamster so I opened the lid and pushed the bedding aside only to find…well, let me put it this way: Do you remember that scene in The Godfather with the horse? It was like that only smaller. “Honey” I called to my wife, “I think it’s time to clean the hamster cage again!”
So, there you have it. Hamsters are dreadful little beasts but they would make a good Halloween costume.
Oh – it’s just occurred to me that you might not want to read this month’s column while you’re eating or if you have a weak stomach. Maybe I should have mentioned that earlier. Sorry about that.
As usual, you can send your comments, questions or suggestions to me at ChucksCorner@ComCast.net.