Attila The Hamster – A Brief History

atilla the hamster painting final

Attila Nuthoarder, better known to friend and historian alike as Attila the Hamster, was the king of the Hamster Empire from around 434 to 453 AD, or somewhere approximately around that time. Though largely forgotten nowadays, the Hamster Empire was a large and impressive one that at its peak stretched from the Ural River (in what is now Russia but was in Attila’s day known as “The Land of the Drunken Ones” ) to the Rhine River – in what is now Germany but was in Attila’s day known as “The Land of the Leather Pants.”

Though often thought of as a species native to Eurasia, the Hamster race is actually an antipodean one descended from the Giant Wombats of the Pleistocene epoch, and migrated en masse to Eurasia after the Australian aboriginals invented tennis. Having invented racquets almost two thousand years before they finally got round to inventing the tennis ball, the aboriginals had to resort to using the local Hamsters as balls – the very word “tennis” is, in fact, an old aboriginal word meaning “flat, furry creature.” This unfortunate situation led to great displeasure amongst the Hamsters, who saw the aboriginals as bad employers and resented being bounced all over the outback for wages that made even those of Walmart look generous, and after a couple of decades of industrial unrest they finally decided to leave for the fabled Great Northern Land inside a fleet of hollowed out dingoes. The Hamsters are thought to have arrived in Eurasia around 95 AD, and soon took full possession of the region after driving the local Scythian peoples to extinction by keeping them up all night by running around in their little wheels.

Having rid themselves of their human competition, the Hamsters were able to gorge on all that the new land had to offer and soon grew to an average male height of about 4 foot, thereby fulfilling the potential inherent in their Giant Wombat ancestry. By 429 AD, however, the Hamsters had become bored with their natural diet of fruit and grubs and, under the leadership of Attila, decided to spread out from Eurasia and into Germany in search of what they had heard was the world’s best carrot cake – mostly in the hopes of having a massive pig-out but perhaps also entertaining ideas of setting up some sort of franchise business. Although the barbaric creatures found the Germanic carrot cake to be quite good, they also thought it was a little on the dry side and there wasn’t as much as they would have liked, the Germanic tribes being much keener on chocolate-based treats which the Hamster warriors soon found out had unfortunate side effects for their species – such as causing them to drop dead. It was then that Attila and his forces turned their shiny, greedy little eyes toward Imperial Rome.

Speaking of Attila, there is not much known about the great rodent other than that he was born into a litter of 8 pups, 6 of which he ate before they could even say, “Hi there!” – the seventh he kept for the following day – and that he was a great military strategist who could beat just about anyone at World of Warcraft. It was this military genius that led to the rapid expansion of the Hamster Empire during Attila’s reign. It was he, for example, who decided to take advantage of his species’ nocturnal nature by attacking only when the enemy was sound asleep and not expecting to be attacked by Hamsters. This gave Attila and his warriors a huge advantage and led to many unexpected victories, not to mention many permanently ruined pajamas. In one famous instance, the Roman General Gaius Lombardius dreamt that he was falling off a cliff, only to wake to find that a Hamster warrior had separated the left half of his body from the right, making it difficult for him to tie his shoes.

Another major Attila innovation came in regards to looting, which Hamsters had traditionally carried out with wheelbarrows. Attila realized that this was a foolish custom and that the Hamster warriors would be better served by stuffing their huge cheek pouches with various high-value plunder, thereby leaving their cute, furry little hands free to slaughter their enemies. It is told in the ancient Roman manuscript “The Chronicles of Tacitus The Unbelievably Gullible,” that this is how the urn containing the ashes of Tacitus’ mother went missing, though most of his friends thought that his wife had traded it for a pair of pomegranates which somehow ended up being used to pelt Emperor Valentinian III in what was, without a doubt, one of the most inept assassination attempts ever in the history of the Roman empire.

Eventually, Attila’s lust for carrot cake led him to attack the city of Rome itself, whose coffers, it was rumored, overflowed with the sweetest, most luscious carrot cake in existence. In 452 AD Attila crossed the Rhine with an army of 500 thousand Hamster warriors and marched towards the great city, stopping briefly to raid the carrot cake stores of Aquileia and destroy the town so thoroughly that for decades the only sign that it had ever existed was a small pile of ashes upon which was planted a white flag bearing the words “Enough already!”

In the middle of March, not long after the sack of Aquileia, Attila and his army set up camp just outside Rome. Later that night Attila consulted his tribe’s Soothsayer, who told him that if he attacked Rome on the Ides of March a mighty empire would have its mortgage foreclosed upon. The Hamsters being a primitive and superstitious people, Attila might have been intimidated had he only known what an Ides was. As it is, he had the Soothsayer thrown off the nearest cliff – cliffs being the closest thing they had in those days to mental hospitals – and the following day launched his attack on Rome. At first all seemed to go well, with Roman soldiers falling like so many overgrown bowling pins before the ferocious swords of the Hamsters, but as Attila and his army reached the gates of the city the Romans unleashed their secret weapon – hundreds of gigantic spray bottles filled with rodent repellent. A cunning blend of garlic, olive oil, and finely ground anchovies, the mixture left Attila and his Hamster warriors covered in gunk and seriously grossed out, causing them to flee Rome, promising to never return. But Attila was not a Hamster so easily deterred, and soon after returning home he invented the hazmat suit and started secretly planning for yet another attack on Rome. It was then that disaster struck and the great warrior met the most unlikely of fates.

One night in early 453 AD, during one of his frequent house parties, Attila was unexpectedly killed when he ingested some chocolate which had been cleverly disguised as a very large hazelnut. According to witnesses present at the time, after devouring the chocolate Attila proceeded to run around in a circle while barking like a dog, then had some sort of fit during which he seemed to be hallucinating about having an argument with his dentist, then sang several verses of “Goodnight Irene,” before flipping onto his back, twitching his little legs, and dropping dead. Though never confirmed, the murder is thought to have been orchestrated by Pope Leo The Flatulent, who feared that a successful Hamster invasion of Rome would lead to disaster, mostly because the Hamsters were notorious party animals who would keep everyone up at night and poop all over the place.

According to legend, after his death Attila was taken to a mystical isle in the middle of the Rhine, where, after a fittingly fancy ceremony, he was buried in a highly ornate coffin made of gold and silver. As was customary amongst the Hamsters, several items thought to be needed in the afterlife were buried with the great leader, including his favorite weapons, a horse, several pairs of pants, his favorite wheel, and, of course, a plentiful supply of his beloved carrot cake.

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Sorority Row – String

sorority row string 11 sep 2014 final

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Three Poems

Once in while I decide that some of my thoughts are so delicately abstruse, so vaguely confounding, so esoteric, that the only possible way to express them is through poetry. It is at these times that I sit down and pen my most insightful and eloquent missives to the world. Here now, for your edification, is my three most recentest poems.

 

Death Be Not Such A Schmuck

 

Death be not such a schmuck.

Though many fear thee they are not right,

For thy ineptitude ist quite commonly a sight.

Two winters ago didst thou try to smite

My cousin Fred with a bolt from the heavens bright.

Yet didst he live! So, Death, where is thy might?

 

Thou didst unto Aunt Mary deliver a heart attack most scary!

Yet the old bird her wings continues to flap in a manner most merry,

And to squawk incessantly about her insipid canary!

O’ Death,  how sick am I of thy incompetence incendiary!

 

Father didst thou into an overheated spa cause to tumble and fall,

Delivering squeals of glee and delight unto all.

Yet from boiling cauldron wast he plucked by uncle Saul!

O’ Death, why hast thou such gall?

 

Grandma seemed destined to discard her mortal load.

Yet, while the stove thou didst explode,

Causing her to bounce off the walls like a flaming toad,

She didst not croak. O’ Death, how thy ineptness dost my ire goad!

 

So, Death, be not such a schmuck.

When delivering the final knell,

‘Tis thy appointed duty and thou must do it well.

If thou dost not, we shall all have to abide another thanksgiving hell.

Whereupon thou shalt find, o’ Death, that if smited with yon hefty dumbbell,

Thou shalt spend an eternity in intensive care, tending to many a laceration and swell!

 

 

 Toadstools

 

Late one misty night,

Very lightly, very creepily,

We take hold,

As on a week-old donut

Does mold.

 

And slowly we grow,

In dark places

Of which man does not know.

 

We feed on water, on loam,

And occasionally on a forgotten tome.

We push with all our might,

Nudging our wee noses into the light.

 

We wait stealthily.

So many of us, so many of us!

Smiling and lurking,

Till, eager and unwise, you creep into the wild,

Clutch us up and take us home, to sauté, and to greedily gulp.

Then you twist and turn, like dancing pretzels,

Till you fall in a heap, as if your heads had

Been struck by kettles.

 

We shall by the end of spring

Inherit the earth.

For our foot’s in the door,

And all your bodies, like discarded pizza,

Are moldering on the floor.

 

Big, Annoying Black Bird At The Stroke of Midnight

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, as my brain grew weak and bleary,

Sleepily decided I that to sleep I must go.

‘Neath much lethargy I arose and shuffled to the window,

Wishing to close it lest

The winter cold drift in and chill my breast.

 

Finding it mysteriously stuck, I craned out, at this enigma fearing.

Long I stood there, my head nodding, my eyes into the darkness peering.

In time, I muttered one solitary word, floated it into the night’s inky core…

“Lenore?”

For that younger sibling was fond of a prank, or two, or even more.

Fast, she once glued my bedroom door!

 

Suddenly, startling me with many a flirt and a flutter,

In swooshed a raven! A big, sleek and black nutter!

Haughtily, he didst perch on the bust of Punch just above my chamber door.

He perched, and preened his feathers, and nothing more.

Desirous of my nightly respite, and wishing to soundly snore,

Of this intruder fluttering into my sanctum I didst implore,

“O’ feathered creature, thou art not Lenore!

Hasten now, out into the night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the raven,

“Sir, thou art a bore!”  

 

Startled, or something near, was I at such eloquence to hear

From a creature wandered in from the Stygian moor!

Though the phrase in its intent was demonstrably poor,

Pilfered from some owner who on his hosts much scorn did pour.

Nonetheless, its rudeness was surely uncalled for,

So I didst utter once more,

“O’ big, annoying black bird at the stroke of midnight,

Get thee out into the Plutonian shore,

For ‘tis late at night and I wish to be awake no more!”

Imperious bird that he was, he tilted his head and gravely declared,

“Sir, thou art a bore!”

 

Imprudent was I, to attempt colloquy with my obsidian guest,

For with such as him there can be no intellectual rapport.

But even a knave may have more than one tactic in store,

So to him the remnants of my dinner I bore.

“O’ big, annoying black bird at the stroke of midnight,

Remove thyself from yon clown and of my repast thou canst have a bite!”

At me he lowered his head, his eyes burning with a disdain I could not account for.

“What troubles you, sir? Dost thou chicken abhor?”

“Oh! I do beg your pardon sir, my inattention I deplore!”

“Perhaps for you a cup of nepenthe I could pour?”

Quoth the raven,

“Sir, thou art a bore!”

 

Hesitating then no longer, I eschewed hospitality for something stronger.

I groped for a nearby censer, which was lying on the floor,

And hurled it at my grim and ghastly caller, thus declaring war.

But the ebony bird evaded the censer, and it cracked the wall, defiling my décor!  

A shoe, an umbrella and several volumes of forgotten lore,

All this I hurled at the ungainly fowl who out of my chamber refused to soar.

But all these he eluded, then fluttered back down onto the bust above my door,

And I could swear he smirked, as he uttered the words

“Sir, thou art a bore!”

 

Concluding that the musket in my closet I could no longer ignore,

I drew it forth and aimed it in his direction, then, with something of a roar,

Didst make it evident, not that I hadn’t heretofore,

That his presence I would countenance no more.

“Get thee out into the night’s Plutonian shore, thou demon-spore,

For hosting thee hast become a most unpleasant chore.

And if thou dost not, thou shalt find thyself plucked and roasted,

Like a pheasant in days of yore.”

 

Mightily didst the creature’s eyes dilate, as through him the words tore.

And as, at long last, he flew off the bust of Punch just above my chamber door,

He could be heard to utter, as he swooped out into the night’s stygian shore,

”Sheesh, all you had to do was ask! There’s no need for gore!”

And that big, annoying black bird, that at the stroke of midnight I could not ignore,

That ghastly grim and ancient visitor from the night’s Plutonian shore,

Shall, with any luck, annoy me – nevermore.

 

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