Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Laws Of Nature


The other day I read a story about a hamster and a snake who- against all odds- have become close personal friends while living together in a cage at the world famous Tokyo zoo, which is in the heart of Japan. As the story goes, what happened was the people who worked at the zoo tried to feed the hamster, whom they named Gohan (which is Japanese for “meal”), to the snake last October and then- much to the surprise of the Japanese zoo-working people and also Gohan, the hilariously-named hamster- the snake decided to not eat the hamster as everyone thought would totally happen. Instead, the snake, who is named Aochan (I’m not sure what that means), just started hanging out and totally not eating the hamster, who pretty much just sat there with a look on his face that seemed to say “Holy sh*t! Holy f*cking sh*t!” Now they spend most of their time curled up together and giving the laws of nature the big F-you.

The more I think about the Japanese snake and his hilariously-named hamster friend, I can’t help but think of the time I was severely beaten by a couple of eighth graders when I was just six years-old and walking home from school one day. File under: Never saw it coming. It was the dead of winter and I was trudging the two hundred yards or so from my elementary school to my house when- next thing I know- two boys who were seven years older than me started dragging me around my neighbor’s front yard by the hood of my tan corduroy winter jacket through about a foot of snow with a thin layer of ice over eat, the kind that tends to stab into your neck if you happen to be dragged through it at that level, which I was. Next the two eighth grade giants repeatedly tossed me into a long row of bushes that divided my neighbors’ houses, the same bushes I had attempted to hurdle every day with mixed results throughout the entire previous summer. Worst of all, as the eighth graders repeatedly threw me face down into the frigid snow, I could see the snowman I had built just a few days earlier just standing there smiling his bullshit charcoal smile and letting the whole thing happen right before his bullshit charcoal eyes. F*ck you, Mr. Shivers.

Word of the beating spread pretty fast around the neighborhood and, eventually, around my entire elementary school, the principal’s office included. A few days later, I ran into my assailants and braced myself for the worst. Much to my surprise, however, they were all like “Hey, what’s up? We’re totally not going to kick your ass. Want to walk down the street with us and not die?” And once I got used to the idea of not having my ass beaten, I was thrilled with their non-violent attention. Until, of course, the day the two eighth graders invited me to play football with them and their friends. I thought it was really cool until they started passing the ball to me over and over again when I wasn’t even on their team. I knew our peaceful coexistence couldn’t last. And I’m still picking the grass from my teeth.

Getting back to the hamster and snake buddy duo, I suppose I can’t help but fear the worst. Just as eighth graders with a penchant for beating the crap out of six year-olds tend to stay that way at least until graduation, it would seem that even really friendly snakes eventually get back to being regular snakes, the kind that eat rodents that take naps next to their head. And for the hilariously-named hamster, that is totally going to f*cking suck.

Dave Hill

3 Comments:

Blogger Leighton said...

That picture makes me sick to my stomach. Maybe it is because I used to own a lot of hamsters, or because the picture of the snake alone could also make me sick to my stomach. Maybe it is the unnaturalness of it all. Or maybe it is because I used to get teased by an older kid named Chris Canullo, who thought Leighton sounded like glutton.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Laurel said...

Any animal that can swallow another cuter/furrier animal whole should just not exist...naturally, i'm rooting for the hamster...although, i must say, i have a hard time watching nature programs about lions hunting antelope because both are furry....and in my world, furry=cute...

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Billy said...

I speak a little Japanese and I think 'Aochan' translates loosely to "one who under normal circumstances will eat the Gohan given to it." I could be wrong....

4:18 PM  

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