10 September 2012

I killed a hamster. Sorry.

 I've never substantiated it myself but I've heard that you can accidentally bury your pet hamster, thinking it's dead, when really it's just hibernating. Regardless, that's not how I killed a friend's "Mr. Hamster."

Five of us, college students, lived in a cool 60's beach house on the cliffs above Del Mar, CA. One of the guys had a girlfriend who had a hamster named Mr. Hamster. Clever, no? Technically, Mr. Hamster wasn't our hamster, but he shacked up in a cage in one of our hallways. He was a fat, lonely, and possibly confused hamster. Neither the girlfriend nor the boyfriend did much more than feed it.

Though our house had no flea-hosting pets, we somehow got infested at the beginning of a summer and decided, Fuck the environment, chemicals, whatever, we're flea bombing! We'll get the biggest cans we can find.

So we planned a day when we would set off cans in the morning, close up the house, and go about our day to come home to a pest-free home in the evening. With much hoopla, we launched, jumped in our cars, and careened off down Pacific Coast Highway, free birds.


25 minutes later. 

I was humming and thinking idle thoughts, a passenger in a car driven by my roommate Cristina. We had the top down. It was the usual sunny and beautiful Southern California day. 

Suddenly... MR. HAMSTER!!!, I screamed. OMIGOD, OMIGOD, MR. HAMSTER!!

Cristina sped off the next exit and back up northbound and we were at the house in maybe 15 minutes. Whew! Then we spent 2-3 minutes freaking out about who was going to go get Mr. Hamster, then I ran in and grabbed the cage.


Mr. Hamster was breathing! He was sleeping, but still breathing. And he was always sleeping so who knew? Maybe he was just fine. . . .

But, no. Mr. Hamster died. After four days. Think he suffered? 
20 years ago and I'm still sorry, I tell ya.    

07 September 2012

Remember Silas, my dog?

He's a reactive kind of guy so I can't walk him anywhere there's even a chance we'd run into another dog. Which effectively means I can't walk him anywhere. Then I found this 1700s-1800s New England-style cemetery, and at night it's completely empty. . . .

I can't get anyone to walk here with us. It was hard even to drag Silas in there the first few times. My dog believes in ghosts? I thought he was an atheist.

Actually I've found that even atheists are afraid of cemeteries at night. What's up with that?

If you don't believe in an afterlife, then you wouldn't be afraid of ghosts. If you're afraid of live people, like maybe a homicidal maniac coincidentally hanging out in there while you are, I feel confident in assuring you that if they're homicidal then the last place they'd be is in a cemetery. Who wants to come in second? If they were there, for whatever reason, they probably wouldn't even have a knife or an axe with them. Why bother? Plus, all that's bulky.

Let's all—including my dog but not me—reach deep inside. What makes you reluctant to walk in a beautiful cemetery in moonlight and fog? Are you any more likely to do it now?

06 September 2012

You can ruin an old film plot by adding cell phones to the story.

Jimmy Stewart, Doris Day, Peter Lorre

Dr. McKenna, his wife Jo,* and son Hank
on the way to Marrakech.

The pivotal moment is when Doris Day sings Qué Será Será really loudly from the theater stage, and kidnapped son Hank reunites with her by following her voice.

Really really loudly!

It wouldn't have been the same if she'd called or texted him and said, Hank, where are you? Get down here to the theater right this minute!

* This film has one of my all-time favorite lines in it. Doris Day's friends visit and are eager to meet Hank. One exclaims brightly, "Let's hope he has your looks and the doctor's brains!"

On my personal street corner

 My first reaction:  Oh my! Okay, thanks!

Then I got to thinking . . . if they were break-ins, why lock your car? The thieves will just break in, geddit? They can only steal whatever is in it either way, but if it's unlocked they won't damage your car breaking in.

I think better:

Trust us on this.