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Hamsters for the Holiday

Isn’t it funny that I checked my own web site, half expecting it to be magically updated with details of my Thanksgiving holiday? But no, providing the words here is my job. Actually, I’m thankful for that control, because I can selectively censor out all of the weekend’s less-than-banner moments that appear to be feeding into an alarming stress-induced hair loss. This year, all I want for Christmas is a wig.

And, I didn’t even try to go shopping! But I guess my holiday plight was comparable to that of a Black Friday shopper, in that I stood in a line of cars on various turnpikes in anticipation of euphoric merry-making, only to reach my destination and find out… they were all out of the proverbial mechanical hamsters.

What’s up with this Zhu Zhu frenzy, anyway? As we breakfasted this morning, I found a CNN video of toy-store crowds clamoring for the Zhu Zhu hamster. Displays of rampant American shopping go over well at my breakfast table, and Mr. Pinault and I chortled over the inanity of the consumer desperation. I must be rubbing off on my husband, because he uncharacteristically said “Crazy effing Americans.” People are lining up for squeaking, chirping, scooting robotic rodents. In some parts of the country, you know what people are lining up for? Government assistance checks. Medical care. Bread.

I guess it was too much to expect Americans to shuck off the chains of material want after a mere year-long recession. After all, the Zhu Zhu craze feels almost pious in its simplicity, and it’s cheap enough, with even the price-gouged Zhu Zhus still costing less than $45. Still, parents should perhaps forgo the Zhu Zhu and seek out this season’s real hard-to-find, gotta-have Christmas present for their tikes: the H1N1 flu shot. Merry Christmas, kids. Santa brought you inoculations!

Posted in Americana.

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