The Hamster of Sorrow Strikes Again

You have just gotten home, after 6 grueling years getting a degree in engineering. You are now officially qualified to have your intelligence insulted by someone who thinks they never should have stopped teaching how to use a slide rule.

Thankful for the help your parents have given you all these years, you offered to help them move to Texas, where they plan to adopt all the best suburban values, near all the biggest malls.

You are packing up a few boxes in the basement, waiting for your parents to come back from a going away party in their honor. You can picture them tearfully hugging old neighbors, and giving out their new address, Your mom telling of the shopping, and your dad talking of the fishing. You think back to the fishing trips you have made with the family, and to the time your sister got the trout stuck in her pocket. As you wander down memory lane, you are startled by a quiet squeaking noise.

<squeak><squeak><squeak><squeak><squeak>. It pauses.
<squeak><thump><squeak><thump><squeak><THUMP>. Again it pauses.

You hear the door to the basment open.

"Dad?" You say, a little fearfully. Nothing answers.
"Mom?" You say, thinking back to your derision at the horror movies where somone asks again, despite the fact that anyone SAFE would have answered the first question.

Something comes down the stairs. Very fearfully, you move a little toward the stairs, so you can see what has just landed at the bottom.

A Hamster Ball.

"Binky?" you say, struck with the stupidity of both the name of your pet, and the fact that you have just asked a hamster to positively identify itself.

You hear a voice in your head, as if inserted by telepathy.

"NOOOOO!!!" It intones. "I am NOT BINKY, Though I REMEMBER HER!"

You start, shocked that you didn't know Binky was female. Slowly your brain begins to realize that there are much more important things to think about, such as the trip to Texas, where to find a job, and the fact that a gleaming silver hamster ball is advancing on you, in a way that could only be described as menacing. It stops, and splits open of its own accord, revealing the tiny figure in a tiny shroud, holding a tiny scythe.

"THE HAMSTER OF SORROW!!!" You screech, throwing yourself against the nearest wall, a really good throw, considering you are at least 10 feet away from it.

It advances, pointing a tiny paw at you.

"YOU have told women they reminded you of your sister! YOU have used the restroom without washing your hands! YOU have warned people off of classes taught by good professors to cover your own incompetance! You have thrown out gum wrappers BEFORE you were done with the gum!!! You have even left an empty milk jug in the refrigerator, despite repeated requests to the contrary!!!!!" It stops before you and twirls its scythe once, as it says, "And for this you will have to be 'DEALT WITH'!!!"

Your fear powering you, you grab a nearby 5 iron, and swing, completing a stroke, that, had it involved a golf ball, would have been a hole in one on a par 5 dog-leg!

The wall next to the washer has a red dripping spot on it, as does the golf club.

You shudder with revulsion, and relief, knowing that you have escaped a fate worse than an institutional meal!

But you hear in the distance the squeak of the wheel, and the tinkly laughter, and you know that while you have hooked a hamster, The Hamster of Sorrow still lives, and will eventually tee up your soul!

Copyright © 1993 David Charles Todd