51:32:35 l0:03:22

TGI Paul

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Over The Weekend

Despite the situation with J, left as it was at the end of last week, the weekend was surprisingly good. Luckily I had a couple of distractions.

Friday evening, after work, there was a leaving 'do' for one of the girls here at The PizzaBase. I had planned on going for a 'couple' to see her off but not stay too long because of my mammoth commute.

However, by 8pm I was having such a good time, getting to know people who I never really talk to, that I decided to stay another hour. You knew this was coming right? Anyway, by 9pm I realised I was too tipsy to make it back to East London, so in the light of that (and Monday's events) I booked into a hotel and got on with enjoying myself.

Saturday morning, bright and amazingly chirpy, I made by way back on almost-empty trains, to Hackney. I was on Support Call this weekend, so I had the wireless laptop and the Blackberry phone with me too (this was another reason I didn't want to risk the journey 'three sheets to the wind!').

I don't mind doing support call weekends, especially now we've gone wireless as you can sit in bed on a sunday morning, watching the abundance of cookery programmes that seem to be on these days, and just deal with peoples issues as they call you. This weekend it would help to keep me busy too and my mind occupied.

The first time I took the IT Support equipment home, it reminded me of being in Infants School, oddly enough. I don't know about you but we had a class pet, and each weekend it was someones turn to take the pet home. Our class had a gerbil. I forget it's name. I was about the age that I am in this picture.

The whole school year passed by, and no matter how hard I stretched my hand, and pleaded "Pleeease Miss!" at the end of class every Friday, I was never picked to looked after the Gerbil.

Until the last Friday before the last half-term holiday week of the year.

Unbelievable! I had been picked to look after the lovely, fluffy, long tailed little pet ALL WEEK!!

Never so proud, I skipped off home, cage in hand. I can't exactly remember the reaction I got from my parents, but I doubt it was a good one, probably along the lines of; "Well, it's OK so long as you clean it out yourself!" (Mum), and "Bloody rat!" (Dad; never fond of any animals).

Everything went well all week with my little friend, until the Sunday; I had decided I should clean his cage out one last time before returning him to school the next morning. The Gerbil was running around my bedroom floor as I gave the cage an extra-thorough cleaning; after all, I couldn't have anyone thinking I hadn't looked after the little thing properly!

'All done!' I thought, dusting off the sawdust from my hands, ' Now I just need to get him back in the cage! No! Keep still! Come here!'

He scampered away and under the bed, I grabbed out blindly with my face squashed against the side of a suitcase. I was so worried I may lose him under there forever!

That's when *it* happened! I had definitely grabbed hold of something, but I couldn't feel the weight of the animal. I withdrew my hand to find...

A tail. A boney semi-rigid gerbil's tail. No gerbil attached. I knelt and stared in disbelief. What have I done to him?!

Panicking, I hunted the rest of him out and, seeing no blood or obvious distress, plopped him back in his cage. The following morning, I took him into school, and told the Teacher everything had been fine. My heart was pounding!
It wasn't until lunchtime that she came to me and questioned me over his amazing shrinking rear appendage. (OK, she didn't use these exact words, just work with me here!).

"He had an accident!" I blurted out, "He trapped it in the door of his cage trying to get out!"
I doubt she believed me, but no major harm was done so the case against me was dropped.

Luckily, the laptop and the BlackBerry have gone back after all of my support call weekends fully intact. With no leads missing.

FYI; incase you were worried about the Gerbil, I found this at 'The Gerbil Society' website;

Loss of Tail
As you probably know, a gerbil's tail is quite fragile and rough handling can cause the tuft to come away. Very often the bone will be left behind. Whilst it does not look very pleasant, the bone will dry out and then auto amputate after a few days and the end will heal over naturally. I have come across cases where an entire tail has been pulled off. In these cases it is better to get the gerbil examined by a Vet to check that no other damage has been caused. The gerbil will learn to adapt to the loss and will hardly notice its injury.


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