Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Donations to Cinnamon can be sent to me, c/o Mulletville

Somehow at the office today, we got on the topic of rodents. One co-worker knew a hamster that wouldn’t leave another hamster alone (wink, wink). Another woman once had a gerbil that liked to go for rides on her Schnauzer’s back.

All the rodent talk took me back to 1987 when my brother, Ted, was in kindergarten and I was 12. So I shouted, “I have a funny story!” and proceeded to tell the office about Cinnamon, the guinea pig I once knew.

Cinnamon belonged to Ted’s kindergarten class; each month, Cinnamon got to go home with a different kid. My parents were divorced and each weekend, much like Cinnamon, my brother and I got passed to the other parent via a commuter parking lot. So Cinnamon had a bit of a journey ahead of him when it was Ted’s turn to take him home.

Cinnamon handled the first leg of the trip—from my mother’s to the commuter parking lot and then from the lot to my father’s—with flying colors. His appetite was good; his eyes hungry for adventure. Things were looking good.

When we got to my father’s house an hour later, we let Cinnamon out of his cage so he could frolic. We took some prize-worthy shots of him riding the dust balls by the couch (yes, those same dust balls). We even got a shot of sweet ole Cinnamon navigating a maze of soda cans. After he’d filled his gut with dinner and drinks, we let him play with Ted’s Ninja Turtles and he really seemed to like them. His eyes were bright with new horizons. His whole world was opening up. We didn’t just transport Cinnamon, we challenged his mental and physical prowess.

Maybe we challenged him too much: The next morning, Cinnamon had the shakes.

My father got a nice, soft bath towel and wrapped the little guinea man up. But he still shook. Was he shaking from excitement? Joie de dust balls? I’d like to think so. Whatever the reason, Teddy had a complete meltdown so we arranged to meet my mother earlier than usual so we could get Cinnamon back to his home turf but…


The pig didn’t survive the night.

My mother, Linda, had to call Ted’s teacher at home and tell her the news. The teacher took it well; she even got on the phone with Teddy and told him that Cinnamon was old and had had a long, happy life. He was on his way to that mound of paper shavings in the sky.

After I finished my story, my co-workers were silent.

“Poor thing!” someone finally said.

“But it’s funny,” I pointed out.

“A commuter parking lot?”

“It’s funny.”

“When did your parents divorce?”

Ay. At least the experience prepared me for Junior’s first rodent field trip. Although, if we still live in Mulletville I hope the school system at least springs for something domesticated.

(It was kind of funny, right?)


Unknown said...

Um hmm, what can I say? I just don't get it. Not funny. Poor animal. Reminds me of my cousin's rabbit. That rabbit kept dying and was resurrected - Belevadeare I and II and actually I think they stopped at 2. Mini rabbits are not very hardy.

Frogs in my formula said...

Yah, not so funny. I think the kindergarten stopped letting animals take weekend field trips after that...If anyone from PETA is reading this, Cinnamon didn't suffer...

Unknown said...

Now your response? Very funny!

harrietv said...

Yeah, at least part of it were funny. But then, I have no experience with divorced parents and shared custody.

Novertheless, I can offer you a funny (maybe) story about rodents.

Frogs in my formula said...

I love the link, Harriet. Now that is a good rodent tale.

Litany said...

Nah! I like the original story v. the link. I thought it was funny about how the little guy had the time of his life and died.... guess we just have a dark sense of humor.

JenEverAfter said...

I thought the retelling of his last day of life was funny. Dying is generally not very funny. But I think your co-workers are sticks in the mud!

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