My brother should really be in on this discussion, but since he has nothing to do with this blog other than to bust my fucking balls, I’m afraid it is I that must confess to the crime of the century. When I/we was/were about 8 years old, I/we killed my sister’s hamster and started a family feud that would survive for all eternity.
It was an accident, or so it seemed at the time. My older sister had just bought a hamster, put it in a cage with a little hamster wheel, some food, and a drip bottle. She placed the cage just out of the reach of the probing hands of two younger brothers, and had taken off to some godforsaken destination. It was 1967 or so, thus I must assume that she was heading off to some hippy bash to smoke weed, drop acid, or partake in a love-in. Who knows? The greatest side effect of this hamster abandonment is that she had left the fate of her beloved hamster in the hands of two devious young boys with nothing to do but think of devious shit to do.
This is about the time that we decided that the hamster needed to go to the waterpark, or possibly take a bath because he was stinking. I don’t remember our reasoning, but I do remember grabbing the garden hose, taking the cage outside, and thoroughly hosing down the little bastard with a steady stream of water from the 65 PSI water supply flowing out of our spigot. I don’t think that the hamster enjoyed his bath as he was blown across the lawn in a tsunami of chlorinated fluoridation. The hamster did survive the initial onslaught, but had a look of betrayal that haunts me to this day. We stuck the hamster back into his cage and returned him to his perch on my sisters dresser.
The next day is when all hell broke loose. My sister awoke to find a dead and wet hamster laying on its back with all four feet up in the bottom of the cage next to his little hamster wheel. She knew what had transpired within about 15 seconds of arriving at the scene of the crime, as she was well aware of the machinations that her younger brothers were capable of.
A slight digression is in order at this point. My sister was about 7 years older than me and about 10 years older than my brother. She had learned very early in life that she had the upper hand over both of us both physically and mentally. My brother and I had learned that two little brothers could cause way more aggravation than one younger brother, so we formed a sort of alliance against the superior fire power that my sister had. She would often just whack us in the head for no reason whatsoever in a sort of preliminary retribution for the shit that we might possibly and often did pull on her when she was not looking. There is nothing more devious than a 10 year old boy, believe me. It took decades for my brother and I to learn not to flinch when my sister walked by.
Back to the hamster story.
As punishment for our hamster murder, we were sentenced to bury the hamster in a shallow grave, perform a funeral service, and serve several months of public service cleaning up garbage along the side of the road. I am sure that my sister has forgiven us, mostly. But as any man knows, women never forget. At more than one family gathering, the hamster story has been brought up, so maybe there really is no forgiveness for past sins. Or maybe there is just no forgiveness of past sins committed on other family members.
Ever watch Family Feud? It’s kinda like that, except that it lasts for like 40 years instead of a half hour.