The first time we noticed something was up with Mr. Fancypants was during the presidential debates. Usually, Mr. Fancypants (we call him “Fancy” for short) sleeps through the day. After all, that’s what hamsters do. But during the last debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Fancy perked up.
For the record, Fancy is my son’s hamster. Not that my son takes care of Fancy. That’s because hamsters are passing amusements for your children.
The first time the hamster pees in your kid’s hand, the novelty ends and you (the parent) will tend to the hamster for the rest of its life.
Anyway, Fancy woke up somewhere between Trump’s nasal sniffing and Hillary’s email server obfuscation. Fancy scurried his little haunches to the edge of the cage, sat up and began squeaking every time he saw Donald Trump.
Talk about weird. And it didn’t end there.
A few weeks later, Trump was giving a speech on television. Fancy again woke up, crawled out of his nest and slammed his little nose against the edge of the cage. He was transfixed by Trump’s speech on TV.
Of particular note was when the camera angle changed to a view from behind Trump. I guess so viewers could see the audience. Mostly, all you could see was the back of Trump’s head. Specifically, Trump’s complex combover. That view put Fancy into a kind of excited delirium.
“That does it, I’m taking Mr. Fancypants to the vet,” my wife announced.
“Maybe Fancy just wants to make America great again?” I offered.
“You’re not funny,” my wife said.
Mr. Fancypants has a hair fetish
Dr. Ivan Petrov is a serious man. He seldom cracks a smile. I remember when we brought our pug in to get his anal glands expressed.
I made a joke about how 9 out of 10 proctologists drive a Ford Probe. Dr. Petrov just stared at me. Then my wife apologized, saying, “I’m sorry, Dr. Pertrov. My husband thinks he’s funny, but he’s not.”
Since then, I’ve promised to not joke with Dr. Petrov or laugh about anything. So you can imagine how difficult it was me to keep a straight face when Dr. Pertrov examined Mr. Fancypants and said, “I think I figured out the problem. Mr. Fancypants suffers from Cricetinae trichophilia.”
“I’m sorry, Doctor, but what is Cricetinae trichophilia?” my wife asked earnestly.
“Hamster hair fetish,” Dr. Petrov said, without blinking. “Mr. Fancypants appears to have a thing for Donald Trump’s hair. He probably thinks he’s looking at a spectacular long haired, orange Syrian hamster.”
With that I burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, hyperventilating as I wheezed, “Hamster hair fetish? Are you kidding me? Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Dr. Petrov and my wife stared at me, emotionless. Then my wife turned to the doctor and said, “Are you sure it’s a hair fetish?”
Naturally, I lost it again. Like, sidesplitting laughter. My face was red. I’d given up any hope of pulling it together. But then it got worse.
“Hamsters are deep thinking, emotional creatures, but they’re not impervious to sexual dysfunction and even unexpected phobias,” Dr. Petrov said.
“Pho…pho…pho…bi…as?” I blurted out before another explosion of laughter.
“Why yes, just last week a woman brought in her Russian dwarf hamster. That hamster suffered from Cricetinae chaetophobia,” Dr. Petrov said.
My wife, focused and composed, asked, “And what kind of condition is that, Doctor?”
“Fear of hair,” Dr. Petrov answered.
With that, shrieking and laughing like a rabid hyena, I retreated down the hallway to the men’s room.
After the vet appointment my wife drove us home. I just wasn’t in any condition.
Along the way she said, “You know, when you ran to the men’s room Dr. Petrov asked if he could have a moment alone with Mr. Fancypants. So I stepped outside the exam room.”
“Say what? A ‘moment alone?’ What was that all about?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but when I stepped out, I thought I heard whispering and Fancy was squeaking.” My wife gave me a concerned look.
“God, I hope Dr. Petrov isn’t some kind of weirdo,” I said.
“No, it wasn’t like that. It felt more like he had some kind of secret business with Fancy,” my wife said.
“Do we have any bourbon at home?” I asked.
Deep state and the Russo-Hamster connection
I hate to share this, because I’m a patriotic guy and love my country, but a lot of Americans believe in some silly stuff.
Like crop circles. Are we really to conclude that aliens from another world traveled millions of light years to make circles in a corn field?
There are “mediums” and folks who “talk to the dead.” Well, that’s easy. It’s getting the dead to talk back that’s kind of hard. Ever notice it’s only the “medium” who hears them?
From unidentified flying objects (that often look like hubcaps in photos) to the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich, people believe in some crazy stuff. Crazy stuff that’s often aided and abetted by photoshop.
Oh, that Virgin Mary cheese sandwich? It sold for $28,000. You can’t make this stuff up.
My favorite are dousing rods, which are a “best seller” on Amazon for a mere $19.95. Seriously. Here’s the link.
A reviewer for the dousing rod had this to say:
“Beautifully crafted dowsing copper rods. After receiving these in the mail (super fast mailing — thank you), I started working with them that evening. The tension of the rods as they moved to criss-cross, go straight or point to one side was pretty astounding. Copper is not considered magnetic much at all and yet I could almost see an inch of magnetic tension between the two rods. As luck would have it, I was attending a Paranormal Investigation at an historic hotel in Amador County. Upon arriving at the hotel, I used the rods in my hotel room and quickly determined that there was a little boy spirit in the room. I invited him to come along with us, to play, while our group investigated the hotel until the wee hours of the night. We captured more than one EVP with a little boy’s voice! So, yes, these are quality, beautifully crafted rods — and the 99% copper metal is a big part of their power! Thank you.”
Or how about this guy, who at least admitted he’s not having much luck:
“I understand that some people can dowse and others cannot. I am not having much luck. But that is not a reflection of the rods. The rods are of good quality copper and solidly made.”
I bring all this stuff up because I used to be a sober minded, critical thinking person. But increasingly I’m thinking Mr. Fancypants is part of a conspiracy.
If you’ve been following the news lately, there’s a lot of scuttlebutt about Soviet meddling in our presidential election and “deep state” government intelligence officials who are answerable to no one.
Now, wasn’t it the Defense Intelligence Agency and US Army who purportedly did research (the Stargate Project) back in the 1970’s to examine psychic phenomena in military and domestic intelligence applications? If the US Government spent time on this stuff, maybe there’s something to it?
So, getting back to Mr. Fancypants and his hair fetish, what if that’s all a cover? What if the Soviets cracked psychokinesis and telepathic communication with animals? I mean, if we’re selling dousing rods in America, anything’s possible.
Look at popular television today. Ever heard of the television series “The Americans?” Exactly!
Forget about Donald Trump and alleged ties to the Ruskies. What if Vladimir Putin and his spies have penetrated deep into the American pet market? Specifically, the most unlikely market of all. Hamsters!
Tinkerbell and the border wall
A few months ago our neighbor Sandy asked if we’d take care of her daughter’s two hamsters, Tinkerbell and Oleksandr. Sandy was going on vacation. We said “sure” so Sandy brought the hamsters over.
“Tinkerbell is a Russian dwarf hamster and we got Oleksandr from a Ukrainian breeder,” Sandy told us.
“No problem, we’ll put them all together and they can have a hamster party until you get back,” I told Sandy. She thought that sounded great and took off for two weeks with her daughter.
Turns out the hamsters didn’t have a party at all. In fact, Mr. Fancypants immediately dug out an expanded bedding area for him and his new friend, Tinkerbell. I mentioned she’s a “Russian” dwarf hamster, right? As for poor Oleksandr? He was banished.
Mr. Fancypants built a border wall of bedding that completely cut Oleksandr off from the greater Habitrail habitat that the hamsters were living in.
It was unbelievable. It was like Mr. Fancypants was channeling Vladimir Putin and his subjugation of Ukraine. But he was also channeling Donald Trump and his whole border wall thing.
“I think we should take Mr. Fancypants back to Dr. Petrov,” my wife said.
“Really, so he can get more instructions from his KGB handler?” I answered.
“Maybe you should sleep in the guest room tonight,” my wife said.
You think you know your hamster
Sandy eventually came back from her two week vacation to who knows where. Maybe Moscow? All I know is that Mr. Fancypants and Tinkerbell got along famously and Oleksandr was “odd man out.”
I refused to let my wife take Fancy to Dr. Petrov because he just might be Fancy’s case officer. Why else did Dr. Petrov usher my wife out of his exam room to talk with Fancy alone? Very suspicious.
The other day I was cleaning out the habitrail cage. We line the bottom with old newspapers to absorb droppings. When I pulled out the newspaper under Fancy’s bedding, I found an article about Jack Barsky. You know, the former Soviet spy. What are the odds?!
Bottom line, you think you know your hamster, but you don’t. You think you know your veterinarian, but do you really?
These are uncertain times we’re living in. Hamsters may not be what they appear to be. Conspiracies continue apace. And people are apparently buying dousing rods on Amazon.
What are we Americans to do with all this uncertainty and suspicion?
Love your neighbor anyway. Keep buying cool treats for your hamsters. Go easy on the conspiracy theory chatter. Be a little less partisan with your politics. See more of the humanity in those around you.
We think we know the hamsters we own. And the people we love, work and hang out with. But maybe we can never know them completely.
Maybe it’s better that way. To keep a bit of the mystery in life.
I don’t know if hamsters really have hair fetishes and political alliances. What I do know is that a little more love in the world goes a long way. Cling to that, and I think we’ll all be okay.
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(Originally published in TheCoffeelicious.com).