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Friday, February 04, 2005
The first inductee to the Alternative Canadian Walk of Fame is Hammy the Hamster*.
I never much liked Once Upon A Hamster; despite the lullaby qualities of Paul Sutherland's voice, the adventures were pretty gay. You could see the outcome of the story a mile away. The only attraction was seeing Hammy in a car, the hamster actor behind the star probably frightened to death as the car raced on the forest floor.
There's nothing quite so charming as looking into the ever-forlorn and puzzled face of a hamster, lips aquiver, large round black eyes asking you why? why? why? Unlike the golden retriever or the boston terrier, a hamster always looks as if tragedy has just struck. You try and make it all better for the critter but the tragedy was so immense nothing short of a new flood that blots out human existence could heal this rodent's soul.
Deep down, I know that the tragedy that belongs to Crenguţă** is that domesticated hamsters all come from one hamster mother - the Ur-Mother - whose brood during a ship voyage away from the Middle East supplied all bratty children (and grown men) with cute little beasts to torment.
All household hamsters stretch in a long line of short gestational periods back to the Ur-Mother, a long line of incest and rape and bestiality. So interbred are hamsters, that anomalies like the angry biting Crenguţă - who, I have to warn all visitors, is only charming until she clenches upon your outstretched finger - are the norm of the hamster world.
Would a hamster live, like Hammy, on a boat? Heavens, with the threat of torpedoes or what not, a hamster would get very wet indeed. And a hamster can never get wet. Certain death, that’s what a thorough soaking means to a hamster. They stay clean enough with their own saliva.
The problem with Hammy the Hamster is that hamsters are not cute children’s pets. They are nocturnal and fiercely independent. Worse than a cat, a hamster really only loves you for your stash of sunflower seeds. A sleeping hamster, despite its size, will not hesitate to draw blood if you wake it. (Check the hamster’s ears: crinkled ears held on the head mean a grouchy, just-woken hamster.) In extreme cases such as Crenguţă’s, a hand anywhere in her territory merits reprimand. On the other hand, hamsters don’t require walkies. Put them in a hamster ball and they take care of themselves. Sure hamsters are cute, but they are more suitable for the often absent, adult night owl. That’s why Hammy’s show “delighted insomniacs and stoners on late-night television.”
Far better than Once Upon A Hamster, would be a hamster film noir, with hamsters lashing out against everything that pisses them off (which is everything). Give us adults a film of hamster revenge fantasies, hamster vampire flicks, and hamster mad scientists, turning the tables on their human tormentors with questionable medical experiments. That’s what people want.
*Let's not forget that Anişoara's name, by her first family, was Hammy. Long live Anişoara!
**Long live Crenguţă!
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