Hamster & Commander
A mother’s unconditional love…
A natural phenomenon, not exclusive to; but very common among us primates. My mother tricked me into saying my first words. She was there to catch me after I took my first step. And like a good mother she handled the more unsavory tasks as part of the deluxe package of parenthood. My mom changed my diapers before I learned how to use a big boy toilet, she mopped up my vomit before I learned how to control my gag reflex, and she washed my little brother without cringing when I peed on him. Most mothers can swap stories and share similar experiences. Mom raised a very interesting child. Not in any sort of pre-serial killer sort of way, but I was conducive to odd behavior. My mother, God bless her, was never shy and she had her pedicurist in stitches when talking about the new ‘crazy’ thing that I did the day before. Her favorite story, that she’ll obviously never let me live down, transpired shortly after my 6th birthday.
It was a terrific birthday. I had an ice cream party, and all of my friends were there. We played games and started an ice cream fight, much to the chaperoning parents dismay.
I returned from Baskin Robbins to find one of the most memorable gifts I’ve ever received from my parents. I got a hamster! My very own pet hamster! With his own cage and running wheel. I didn’t have any other pets at the time and I was excited to have another living creature that I could boss around. I named him Chestnut. He was brindled and dappled with white fur and nougat colored splotches. My very own HAMSTER! Wow; I was the awesomest kid around. I couldn’t wait to make everyone at school want to fight me.
Chestnut wasn’t very happy when I kept him awake all day to play, but he only bit me from time to time, and I didn’t mind too much. It was normal bonding for a couple of good buddies. I trimmed his fur to make him look like he had a lion’s mane and I felt cool walking around with him sitting on my shoulder. Most times he would just sit there; tasting the air with his nose or pooping little nuggets that would roll down my back and biodegrade in the living room carpet.
I liked having the cage in my bedroom. I could keep my eye on him just before I dozed off to sleep, and play with him as soon as I hopped out of my bed in the morning, often times before even putting on any clothes.
He was a feisty little critter and soon the honeymoon stage of our friendship came to a close. Chestnut made his cage smell like rat piss, like some sort of idiot would, and he totally pooped right where he slept. I questioned his sanity. Our once playful pet-owner relationship evolved into something a bit more hostile. I would jab him with a straw and he would attack it ferociously. Or I would Chinese water torture him while he slept to see how long it would take his puny brain to register that he should move.
Our one sided battles raged on daily as I would find new ways to punish Chestnut for growing urine fused dreadlocks and not wiping his dingleberry’d ass properly.
His once crisp and earthly fresh wood shavings had turned into a gelatinous swamp. I didn’t poop and pee in my bed and I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t just designate a corner.
Though, as much as I tormented the little guy; I began to feel guilty and I pulled him out one morning after a long spell of allowing him to wallow in piss. His fur was sticky and matted. I held two pinch fulls of his fur between my index fingers and thumbs. Offended by my disgust of his physical state, Chestnut made the boldest hamster move his kind has ever seen. In perfect sequence, with one quick upper body contortion he doubled back on my finger and clamped down on it with his incisors. My nubile body, fresh from sleep, reacted in a wild hyper explosion of arms and legs, flinging the hamster end over end. Momentarily frozen, clutching my damaged appendage, I lost site of the rodent. In a split second he was out of my sight from above, free-falling past my soured mouth and squinting eyes. He clawed down my belly reaching for anything to slow his pace, biting instantaneous on the last tree branch prior to the fate of a cliff plummet. His bite on my penis happened within the twinkling of an eye. It was the reaction one would expect from under hand throwing a magnet at a refrigerator. He had an entire mouth’s full of adolescent penis and he wasn’t even Catholic. Chestnut’s jaws snapped and locked in survival mode on the aft of my shaft. His shivering legs suspended in mid air. I released my clutched thumb and blood trickled out like the mouth of a calcified fountain. I was staring deep into its eyes, motionless. Tears began to collect in the corners of my ducts before streaming down my cheeks, but I remained motionless. The pain was excruciating on my sapling and with even the slightest shift in weight it would intensify because the hamster would re-clench his jaws and take a larger skin sample. Though, I had no recollection of the first, I feared a second circumcision was imminent. The laws of the Torah do not permit EVEN the highest ordained hamsters to perform circumcisions. I needed to make my move with the quickness of a cheetah and stealth of a ninja. I squatted low like a sumo wrestler, legs shoulder length apart, feet square, and body weight evenly dispersed. Not only does hard wood flooring make sense financially when reviewing electricity savings and carpet maintenance, but it allows young boys to shuffle their feet carefully while they have a rodent dangling from their genitals.
Our eyes never parted. Chestnut was staring right through me and I could feel Satan in the pulse of his black cornea. I wished at that moment he could have read my mind and seen all of the awful things that I had planned for the final moments of his life. Penis or not, I would not allow his survival that morning. And he was to ‘not-survive’ in the worst possible way that a 6 year old could muster.
Man versus beast; a classic confrontation, only superseded by the complexities of man versus nature. When an animal squares off in a battle against a man it is reacting to instinctual drives. Rational thought and reactions are replaced by adrenaline and life defense mechanisms. Until you’re in a situation of impending death it’s impossible to predict what lengths you’d go to stay alive. Last year a man did the unthinkable when he sawed through his arm to escape certain death trapped beneath a boulder. We all cringe at the thought, as I’m sure that man would have cringed had he read the same story with a different character, in the newspaper that day.
How far would you go? Better yet, at what point would you rather succumb to inevitable death rather than face unimaginable pain and STILL potentially die. How much of the quality of your life can you forfeit before it’s no longer worth living?
It may be easier to comprehend with another example: after going to battle with a menacing beast 100 times your size you’re hurled into the air and begin to free-fall a distance of 40 times your own size. At this height your chance of surviving upon direct impact with the ground is close to nil. The preoccupied beast has unintentionally given you one final option; clutching his penis in midair to avoid the fall. Which must be done with your mouth because it will give you the best grip. You can’t think about consequences in that split second, but if you could, you might realize that the beast will be very upset that you’ve maimed his reproductive organ and will probably not take mercy on you. Or, you may not even grasp the penis flush and plummet to your death anyways. Either way, if you choose to try and save your life, you’ll probably end up dieing with the taste of dick in your mouth. Of the 999 ways to die, I hope that I can pass one of the 998 other ways. But that’s a personal choice and might not be shared by all.
My feet shuffled deliberately and my eyes were focused fanatically on my groin. I saw nothing but teeth: The glaring off-white teeth of a track proven omnivore. Chestnutâ€™s teeth are by design wood chippers or nut crunchers, not sausage slicers; but between the upper and lower mandibles of this fierce animal my epidermis was beginning to tear. A once severe bruise was slowly becoming an open wound. The teeth sunk deeper as the hamster struggled to maintain his clasp. I needed assistance from the SPCA. Most urgently I needed my mother. She could fix anything.
I made my way to the top of the flight of stairs where I could hear my mother preparing breakfast in the kitchen below.
I hoped that Chestnut would suddenly realize his actions and we could reach a silent accord that I would grant his safe return to the cage if the mauling would cease. Tears were splashing against my inner thighs. A pan of grease crackled as my mom added bacon. I misplaced the cracking of eggshells for a moment and flinched until I realized my baby carrot would make more of a snapping noise if it were to come off completely.
With a frightened whispering scream. I mouthed my mother’s name, ‘mahahaham’. She couldn’t hear past The Canola Oil Live and in Stereo. I grabbed the nearest item within arm’s distance for throwing purposes. It was a small potted plant and I didn’t hesitate in heaving it to the bottom of the stairs. It shattered, leaving a homeless plant with bare naked roots.
“Hey! My mother screamed from the kitchen. Without any response she was inclined to investigate, just as I had hoped.
When she reached the base of the stairs and looked up she clenched her chest as if to check for a seat belt. Wide-eyed she scurried up the stairs to help me. I shook my head and stop-signaled wildly; in a small crying voice alerting her that the hamster bites harder when spooked.
She snuck up closer to analyze the situation. Her hands began miming a box around my crotch. With lively carnival music and silly costumes our obscure show would’ve been Vaudeville.
TOOLS! What’s a job without tools? Incomplete, of course. Mom backed down the stairs and disappeared into the adjoining garage.
My legs were shaking. Every so often Chestnut would claw at the base of my weenie but not have enough strength to do much else.
Consistent tears nearly transitioned to silent wailing as my savior returned adorned in a welding helmet with needle nose pliers in hand. She traversed the stairway once again and settled into position less than a foot from my privates. She hasn’t come that close since.
She held the pliers to her eye level and slowly moved them closer to the hamster’s nappy head. Chestnut rapidly began chewing my pecker like a packing peanut. No longer able to maintain my composure, I screamed like a little bitch. The decibels unearthed from my vocal chords were ghastly. And then…