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» Accidental animal cruelty

Gerbils gerbils gerbils
For her 9th birthday my sister was taken down to the pet store and allowed to choose two gerbils. She picked a couple of young hyperactive female gerbils, both born to the same mother.

When we got home she put them in a tank and let them acclimatise to their new surroundings for a bit. Once they seemed to have accepted their fate – to live out their remaining days as a couple of celibate gerbil spinsters in a glass-sided prison – my sister was keen to play with them. We had previously kept mice and used to let them run over our hands. What we didn't know was that gerbils are more like small kangaroos than mice. So as soon as my sister picked up one of the gerbils to take it for a test-drive, it instantly lept from her hands and landed face first on the hard wooden floor below. It lay there twitching grotesquely in the afternoon sunlight.

Desperately praying that the creature was not too badly hurt and simply in an advanced state of shock, my sister gingerly scooped it off the floor and put it back in the habitat. The other gerbil was visibly petrified at the sight of its hideously contorted sister, and hid in the neon plastic hidey-house in the corner of the tank.

The next day we discovered that what had once been an injured twitching gerbil was now a dead motionless gerbil, and it was duly stuffed arse-first into a Silk Cut box and buried in the garden in a small but somber ceremony.

The story does not end there, however, because about two days passed and the other gerbil still hadn't set foot outside its little plastic house in the corner of the tank. More time passed and my sister, now deeply distressed, eventually decided to pull the roof off the neon plastic hidey-house to reveal... TA DA! another dead gerbil!

Our mother sensitively suggested that "it probably died of a broken heart".

Silk Cut. Garden. Tears.

In an effort to console my sister my mother went out and bought her yet another gerbil. The last remaining female gerbil from the same litter, incidentally. The last of the gerbil sisters lived for about six months, was named Twinkle and died when my sister forgot to refill its water bottle.
(Wed 12th Dec 2007, 0:52, More)

» Stupid Tourists

Living in Albuquerque
While I was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA last year, a lot of Americans asked where abouts in Australia I was from. But the question that really took the biscuit was:

"What language do you speak in England?"
I told the girl that if you think about it (which she clearly hadn't/couldn't) it made sense that the English would speak English.
"Oh. I thought you guys spoke French."
(Mon 11th Jul 2005, 16:41, More)

» Stupid Tourists

Another good American one
Standing in a queue with my mother at a checkout we overheard some Americans say:

"Well, of course the Americans invented all the best stuff. TV, cars and Scotch."
(Mon 11th Jul 2005, 16:46, More)