[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y wife, Jamie, challenged me to write something that absolutely no one would care about. I told her, “Easy, I can do that blindfolded, with my hands tied behind my back. Watch me.”
It goes like this: as a boy, I had a hamster. Bud Abbot was his name. He was a cute hamster, brown with white spots. I saved all my pennies together to get him.
He was a tough old bird. Once, Mother sucked him up in the vacuum, he survived without a scratch. But it changed him. After that, whenever Mother fired up the vacuum he’d sit in the corner of his cage sipping water, breathing heavy.
Perhaps the strangest thing to ever happen to Bud occurred one summer. When I went to restock Bud’s food bowl, there were nine baby hamsters in the cage with him. Tiny rodents, roughly the size of Lego-men. I was befuddled.
I knew Bud was talented, but how a boy-hamster managed an immaculate conception was a Holy mystery indeed. I sold the baby hamsters for two dollars a piece. That’s right, two. Which is much higher than the going rate for a rodent. “But,” I explained to my friends. “These hamsters were born of a virgin. These are messiah hamsters, a once-in-a-lifetime bargain.”
“Wait,” one friend asked me, “Why are you dressed like a priest?”
“Because I’ve set up a confessional in my treehouse. Pay a quarter, and confess your sins.”
“No, dummy. To my hamster.”
Sometimes, I think about Bud. I miss him. He was the only pet I’ve ever had that could’ve been inducted into sainthood. He was well loved, well exercised, and lived until the ripe age of two. In the end, it was constipation that finally got the best of him. One morning I found him laying on his wheel, with something stuck in his hindquarters.
Congratulations, you’ve just read something no one in their right mind would care about.
And so has Jamie.