Gerbil rampage

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry

Occasionally my gerbil research affords me the opportunity to observe other interesting individuals within the herd. I’d like to introduce one notable gerbil today.

This gerbil is not my own, but I’ve been able to observe him for some time from the safety of my gerbil blind. He has most if not all of the gerbil characteristics previously identified during my research.

Additionally this gerbil is male, about 24 years old, unemployed, living with his parents, father to a baby, and heavy drinker and drug user. His plumage of choice is marijuana plants grown under the family garage. When the plants are threatened this gerbil becomes extremely territorial and aggressive.

I was able to document some extraordinary behavior on the part of this particular gerbil last Sunday.

The gerbil took his baby with him to a friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl. At the end of the game, the gerbil dropped off the baby with his mother. (The gerbil’s mother, not the baby’s mother.) The gerbil wanted babysitting services until the next day. Mom said okay (gerbil acquiescence), but he’d have to return by 7am and pick up the baby because that was when she’d be leaving to go to her full-time job.

The next morning the gerbil actually showed up on time. However, when he learned that mom didn’t actually have to leave until 8am (she had changed her plans slightly) the gerbil became enraged. Why? Because the gerbil realized he could have slept in another hour. The gerbil had been inconvenienced. The gerbil responded to his innkeeper by showing his teeth, growling, and exhibiting many other classic signs of hostility and aggression.

By this point mom had finally had enough. She informed the gerbil that the free ride gravy train days were over. It was time for the gerbil to go.

This sobered the gerbil a bit, but he was still defiant. “I can’t go,” he said.

“Why the hell not,” mom wanted to know.

Wait … for … it …

“It’s your fault,” the gerbil quipped. “You didn’t raise me right.”

Sadly, this is the true factual record of my research. It has not been embellished or exaggerated at all to increase the impact. This is exactly how it happened.

It’s too late for the gerbil parent featured here, but if you find yourself with a younger gerbil, there may still be time to avoid this inevitable fate. You may need to seriously ask yourself:

Is it time for a gerbil intervention???

11 responses

  1. Loved your latest gerbil post, though it is sad. What is personal responsibility? How do we instill it or can we? We can enable bad behavior by helping a person to continue to behave badly (calling in sick for them when they’re hungover, buy them replacement stuff that they carelessly lose, etc.), but also how far do we let people fall before — if we do — come to their rescue?


  2. Jeezus, where have you been all my blogging life? I stumbled from theycallmejane’s and have spent the morning catching up all the way back to November. Thank fully, I’m unemployable and can spare the time, because you are hilarious and just my cup of irony. (You’d never know from my inspirational nature nut mom photo-blog stye) Anyway, I’ve found you a refreshing addition to the blogs I read. Your Gerbilology is crucial sociological research, science thanks you, as do the parents of teenagers everywhere. They’re like a box of chocolates, kids, because you just never know what you’re gonna get, no matter how hard you try. I’m learning about the sheer luck and random chance of parenthood and it is scary stuff. Anyway, nice to meet you, and of course now I have to check our your blog roll too, which is going to cause me to link to even more blogs….thanks.


  3. It is sad. A very unfortunate situation. No good deed goes unpunished and all that. Clearly the acquiescence approach that requires no responsible behavior on the part of the gerbil increases the chances of poor outcomes. This is something my wife and I are currently struggling to learn.


  4. Welcome to my humble little abyss, Mel! I’m glad we found each other other. 🙂

    Unemployable? Yikes. I certainly know what it is like to feel that way.

    I’ll be stopping by to check your blog soon. I’m so excited! 🙂


  5. Seriously? This guy needs to grow up. Given, I am back at home with my parents, BUT I pay for food, help out around the house, and don’t expect my parents to do ANYTHING for me. The only reason I am there is to save some money for tuition. And to tell your parents that they didn’t raise you right? People like that seriously tick me off. Big problem with society today? No respect. None at all. It’s all about “me”.


  6. Oh my goodness. As Catherine suggested, it is so difficult to teach personal responsibility. Especially when we have a culture of blame and pointing fingers to contend with. I read recently that from school age and beyond siblings and classmates have more to do with shaping our children then their own parents. So I do hope you are not beating yourself up over this.


  7. I wasn’t planning a gerbil post so soon, but this story was just too meaty not to share!

    Jane, I also have heard something similar recently. The theory is that peers teach more than parents ever could. I believe Malcolm Gladwell wrote something very compelling about this. I’ll see if I can find it again.

    As a parent with two gerbils of my own, it ticks me off, too! But maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up too hard.


  8. Here it is:

    Judith Harris’s big idea–that peers matter much more than parents–runs counter to nearly everything that a century of psychology and psychotherapy has told us about human development. Freud put parents at the center of the child’s universe, and there they have remained ever since.



  9. […] * This gerbil inspired my series of medical marijuana cartoons and his brother was featured in my post Gerbil rampage. […]


  10. […] Pooch? Well, first and foremost he was featured in a previous post on this blog entitled “Gerbil rampage” back in February. That post featured Pooch dumping on his mother and when confronted by his […]


  11. […] codenamed on this blog as Pooch. He has also been featured in at least two previous posts including Gerbil rampage and Good news with a twist of gerbil WTF. This gerbil also had his own marijuana grow under the […]


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