Author : Jeff McGaha

A red-haired man walks directly up to the customer service counter. He carries in his right hand a metal cage with a tiny brown hamster inside. Reaching the counter, he drops the cage thoughtlessly, jostling the small creature inside.

“Scuse me,” He says to a man in a royal blue short-sleeved collared shirt.

“Yes sir, how may I help you?”

“I’m havin’ some problems with Neo here. I thank he’s broke.”

“Ohh, that is unfortunate. What is exactly is the problem?”

“He got out de other day and attacked me cat.”

“Ohh, that is too bad. Is your cat okay?”

“Naw, he’s dead.”

“Ohh, my.”

“Yeah, hampsters ain’t suppose to attack cats. Suppose to be de other way round.”

“Ohh, yes. Most definitely. I am sorry to hear about your cat.”

“It’s okay. Been meanin’ to get a fake one anyways. I ain’t got de time to keep takin’ care of a real one anymore.”

“I completely understand, sir. I have two artificial dogs myself. I do not know why anyone would want a real animal anymore.”

“Dogs, eh? Not much fer dogs. I’m more of a cat person.”

The man in the royal blue shirt nods and reaches into the cage and grabs the hamster. The hamster growls at him.

“That is not right. Hamsters definitely do not growl. I definitely know what the problem is then.”

“So, you’ll be able to fix ‘em?”

“I believe so.”

The man in the royal blue shirt holds the hamster in his left hand and pinches the hamster’s head with his right thumb and index finger. The hamster becomes rigid and the top of his skull pops open, exposing a tiny socket. The man in the royal blue shirt pulls a small hand held device out from under the counter. There is a short cable wrapped tightly around the device. He unwinds it and plugs the end of the cable into the jack embedded in the hamster’s skull. He taps on the hand held device for a few seconds.

“Yes. It appears that the hamster has inadvertently been given canine programming rather than rodent programming. That’s an easy fix.”

He taps a few more times on the hand held device. The hamster goes limp.

“Okay, everything is fine. I have just flashed him with rodent programming. He will be up and acting normal in about 10 minutes.”

“Thank gawd. My kids woulda been real upset if anything happened to Neo.”

“Yes, sir. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Yeah, ya got any calico’s in stock?”

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