Gerbilbusters II: The Keymaster

Hey little fella

This post is a follow-up to “Gerbil a go-go.

Present Day: I’m holding in my hand the gerbil‘s copy of the key to our house! I am the Keymaster. Are you the gatekeeper?

Flashback to four weeks ago…

It was a night of uncertainty. The previous day was the gerbil’s move out deadline. When we had gone to bed the gerbil had yet to pack any of his stuff or offer any indication at all he was even peripherally aware a deadline existed at all. We had no idea what might be in store.

We woke up at our normal time to find the gerbil was already gone. Had he moved out or simply switched to daytime nocturnalism mode? I set out to look for clues.

The first spore was found, naturally, in the kitchen. Some of our food had been consumed and the mess was left behind. This proved to be inconclusive, however. It wouldn’t be surprising for him to move out and leave something like that as a going away present. I continued my search.

Forensic analysis estimated the gerbil had departed within the last two hours. The only time a gerbil wakes up that early is when they are actively avoiding detection.

There was no key or note to be found. That was not a good sign.

The bathroom was a mess. None of his toiletries appeared to be missing.

In the driveway was the gerbil’s car, in exactly the same spot where it has remained for most of the last six months.

Finally a search of my wife’s “arts and crafts room” AKA The Nest solved the riddle. The gerbil’s bedding was found on the floor in the middle of the room. Stashed around the room (including inside the dresser drawers) were dirty dishes, utensils and glasses. The gerbil’s stuff (dirty clothing and gym bags of possessions) were still strewn about the room. And, a quick peek inside the closet revealed it was still crammed to the gills with his crap.

Clearly the gerbil had not moved out and had absolutely no intention of doing so. He had chosen to place our relationship in limbo yet again.

Some of the events leading to up this failed attempt at ending FENS (False Empty Nest Syndrome) have still not been discussed on this blog. Perhaps they never will. Some of the intervening events I’ve mentioned during the last four weeks. It is unclear how much, if any, of the omitted events we will choose to publish.

Back to present day…

Last night the gerbil initiated contact. He had been deep in daytime nocturnalism mode for weeks. There had been an incident and he had been scared off.Β  He still used our home as his base of operations, showering, using the internet, playing with our home electronics and what not. We’d find evidence that he had been in our home. (Dirty towels, wet floors, etc.) Daytime nocturnalism is one thing, but cleaning up after themselves is pretty much out of reach of even the most determined gerbil. This had been going on for weeks so we were quite surprised to hear from him.

The gerbil used text for his communique. This was safest for a shy gerbil afraid of actual communication.

He proffered a deal. He wanted to spend the night and borrow my bike to go to work. (His “job” is another story. Perhaps there will be a post about that.) In return he stated he would return The Key. I was skeptical but gave grudging consent to the plan. It was a long shot but sometimes I like to play the odds if the payoff is great. In this case we were talking about the Holy Grail … The Key.

We stayed up late last night watching movies. We never saw the gerbil. He was obviously still running covert. This morning, however, the telltale sounds of slamming and crashing throughout the house told us he was back. I got out of bed, saw him briefly, he squeaked a customary gerbil greeting then immediately fled out the door and rode away on my bike. I looked but didn’t see The Key left behind.

It must have been about noon when he returned. He came in and voluntarily handed over The Key.

That’s when this happened…

To be continued…

17 responses

  1. Curse you, for leaving us hanging in suspense. Love that scary gerbil. How did you do that!?

    In my case, we have intermittent FENS (is adding intermittent redundant?), but my daughter left her pets behind. The puppy is busily chewing her way through my stuff. Stuff! Who needs it anyway!


    1. I cannot tell a lie. I found the gerbil image on the internet. It was love at first sight, of course. The only thing I did was load it in ImageReady and change the animation timing to five seconds on frame one and one second for frame two. I thought this would increase the element of surprise and make the image more scary.

      Yikes! Yes, I would have to say that pets left behind would be an extreme form of gerbil spore. Not too surprising though, really. Luckily there still are some tiny gaps in the totality of our gerbil and he didn’t do something similar.

      We still have our self-imposed torment caused by two cats, brother and sister, that are quite the force to be reckoned with. Of course we did that one completely on our own. πŸ™‚


  2. It looks like congratulations are in order (I think). I’ve continued to dream about my gerbil leaving as well. And my fantasy also includes music: Celebrate by Three Dog Night. I’ve looked for the right occasion to use it ever since a friend jokingly (I think) promised to play it while dancing on my grave someday. But your choice is excellent too! πŸ™„


    1. Amazingly, that music is perfect for this situation. “Celebrate the love.” Indeed.

      Can you imagine what it is like to wake up in your own home and know with certainty that some other disgusting lifeform hasn’t invaded and is sleeping somewhere waiting for you to find him? Is he on the sofa in the living room? The floor of the arts and crafts room? Who knows! Part of the fun is finding out.

      That’s the freedom of The Key being returned. Now when I wake up I already know that gerbil lifeform is NOT here!

      Of course, we’d be foolish not to suspect that a copy has been made. After all, the gerbil gave himself close to nine extra months and could have easily made on in that amount of time. To that end we are going to maintain vigilance and see if we can detect any additional signs of spore in the coming weeks. If we do, I for one, will NOT be surprised!

      P.S. Regarding the song “Celebrate.” I’d never heard that before. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚


  3. I still always feel slightly sorry for your gerbil. It doesn’t make much sense, I know, and anyhow – this gerbil is one MESSY mothergerbil, which I can’t imagine is easy to stand. Plus, the whole FENS sounds hard to bear.

    I admire you for putting up with gerbil and for not kicking the critter out of the house yet! Can’t wait to see what happens next. Did gerbil simply make a copy of the key?


    1. That gerbil looks suspiciously familiar!?!? πŸ˜‰


      1. Yeah, he’s actually a Hamster according to the site I found him on.
        But I don’t own gerbils OR hamsters, so I don’t even know the difference.
        It doesn’t matter anyway, when you’re buried under a thousand furry bodies.


      2. I was referring to the gerbil at the top of this post! πŸ™„


      3. Yeah, I’m guilty. πŸ™‚ I tried to find the original source but failed. Someone did a GREAT job on animating that picture!


    2. Hey, thanks for the comment. Yes, I read your post about gerbils. And loved it! In fact, I was going to link to you soon.

      And yes, that’s where I found Hami, who I just know in my heart of hearts is actually a gerbil. I hope you don’t mind, but it was your post that alerted me to the Hami image. I tried to find the source of the image before I used it but I wasn’t able.


  4. OK. Here’s how it all went down with the image. πŸ™‚

    I found writerdood’s blog and found his “Day of the Gerbil” blog post. I loved it. In that post was an awesome picture. I researched for the source of the image and found several variations including one that was animated. I changed up the animation speed a bit to hopefully make it more surprising.

    So I owe writerdood for being the first place were I found the image, which, of course, I instantly fell head over heels in love with. πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks.

      If you ever want to use an image on my blog, just right click the picture and then click copy image URL or copy image address, or whatever your browser gives you. I don’t typically make my own pictures for blog entries, I just take them from the net and reference them wherever they’re located. Unless they’re copyrighted, of course. The only pictures I actually create are on my Toons page.

      I really wish it was easier to update pages.


      1. I attempt to be extremely ethical regarding my blog, including images. That’s why I proudly display the “Blog with Integrity” badge.

        For images I attempt to use only copyright free images or images where I have obtained permission. There are a few options in my arsenal. One is PicApp that provides a library of commercial images with WordPress embedding code. Another is taking a public domain or copyright-free image and photoshopping it myself. Another is taking my own darn photo. πŸ™‚

        In some cases, though, I’ll find an image like Hami that is just too damn perfect not to use. I found the image on your site then researched it in an attempt to find the original source. I wasn’t able to determine where it came from. But I figured, like you, I’d go ahead and borrow the image since it seems to be in fairly widespread use.


  5. Patience and persistence. And when he’s older, I bet he’ll return and be welcomed like the Prodigal Son. I’m not religious, but the reference seems appropriate. πŸ™‚


    1. In a religious context, would that then be part of the Book of Revelation? A sign of the end times? πŸ™‚

      LOL! I crack myself up. πŸ™‚

      We can certainly hope and pray for that outcome. At this point things seem to be on a slightly different track. But I’ve been surprised before.


  6. […] The Key was obtained from the gerbil about eight days ago. We were so happy we celebrated with some Ewok Karaoke. But then the dark times came as documented in The Gerbil Strikes […]


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