Wheel of Misfortune

Today’s post is a letter to the editor.

To the Editor:

I was insulted by your recent article that sings the praises of what you called a “Human Hamster Wheel“, portraying it as a reasonable and even groundbreaking advance over the standard office desk.

I shouldn’t need to tell you that the term “Hamster Wheel” is offensive to all Rodent Americans, as it is often used in a belittling fashion, hand-in-hand with descriptions of futile, frenetic, and strangely comic activities. But it may come as a surprise to you that we hamsters do not relish pointless work and we get no joy from the kind of running that leads to no real change in location.

Our main concern, especially in the wild, is survival.

And in the name of that cause, no motion is wasted. If you saw me hoarding seeds and nuts you would realize that I work hard. Why do you think I stuff my cheeks so full?  Saves on steps, that’s why!  I can carry more snacks back to my burrow.

But efficiency is not what you would expect if your only image of us is of a creature running nowhere on a squeaky treadmill.

Humans, on the other hand, are famous effort wasters. You  relish creating multiple systems that require a lot of activity from hopeful participants in the name of creating something meaningful but instead these bright ideas yield no tangible results.

The smug looking man in the video appears to be very satisfied with himself for being inside a rotating circle.

For hamsters, it is just the opposite. When you see us running on the inside of a metal wheel, we are enraged! And the fact that you stand around and laugh at us while we do it is infuriating.

So don’t tarnish our reputations by putting the name “Hamster” on this  endless “circle of frustration.”

It’s a human invention, pure and simple.  So why don’t you just call it “Congress”?

A. Hamster


Name something that is mis-named.  

34 thoughts on “Wheel of Misfortune”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I will have to think of misnomers — that is evading my brain at this early hour.

    However, I have much to say to Rodent-AMericans who have recently been invading my hope in preparation for October Fest. Since we added a front entry to our house, there has also been an Autumn Freeway into our house. And I loathe mice:


    See book link for the history of my loathing.

    So Rodent-Americans–We have a trap line set and you are not welcome here!


  2. Good morning. The best I can come up with this morning is places that have confusing names such as The North Shore which is more the west shore of lake Superior than it is the North shore. Also, it seems to me that West St. Paul is actually South of Sr.Paul.


    1. West St. Paul is west of the River, I believe (PJ and Linda, correct me if I’m wrong). Which is why it’s named West. St. Paul.

      And the North Shore is not misnamed. It’s perfectly correct, in my opinion. And the West End of Duluth is not the South or Southwest End, it’s West. Same goes for the East End. As far as I know, that sense of direction extends all the way up the shore, at least to the Canadian border. In Cook County, the area near Schroeder and Tofte are the “west end” of the county and Hovland and Grand Portage are the “east end.” If you visit the North Shore, you can pretend that it makes sense to you, it will make you fit in better. 🙂


      1. Okay, littlejailbird, it is probably my own poor sense of direction that has resulted in my belief that those two places are misnamed. I think it is true, as you say, that the North Shore is not misnamed. However, when I look at a map of St. Paul, there is a big section of it that is West of West St.Paul. Also, another part of St. Paul is North of West St. Paul. There is a part of St. Paul that is East of West St. Paul


        1. Okay, Linda. I think I understand the logic behind the naming of West St. Paul although it still looks to me like West St. Paul is in the middle and not in a Western position related to the position of St. Paul. I understand, according to your explanation, that the part of St Paul East of West St.Paul is not thought of as the East side of St Paul. and is just called St. Paul. Thus West St. Paul is West of St. Paul and is not in the middle between the East and West sides of St. Paul. Is that right?


  3. I’m a little short on brainpower this morning as well (Thursday is Extra Money Day at our house, a weak effort at rebranding to make it easier to get through and get to Friday and the weekend). All I can think of is Gandhi’s supposed comment when asked what he thought of modern civilization: “That would be a good idea.”


  4. Well, we are very fond indeed of The Fellowship of the Ring as rendered as a movie, but every single time the character,Elrond says, “You have but one choice.” you can count on us to shout, “then it’s not really a ‘choice’ is it?!?”

    We are equally snarky when tpt announces between shows that THEY are the ones who have brought you the time and temperature. We are fairly certain that those 2 features of our day come to us via a higher power of some sort.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Almost every cat who’s owned me has been mis-named. By me. When they’re tiny and too cute, l couldn’t help but give them names which fit them as small kittens. The problem is that, when they’re fully grown, they’re stuck with names which don’t fit adult cats. Like, for instance, “Peanut”. People also do this to their children.


  6. Maybe this isn’t a “name” actually but every time I deal with “customer service” I want to scream and call it something else. If you are persistent enough to discover the customer service phone line and call it, the inevitable answer is a taped message that says “your call is very important to us.” So this attempt at communications starts off with a damned lie (if your call were so important they would have adequate staffing at the center to answer the phones). And it usually goes downhill from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed- customer service would be more aptly called, “company firewall”- the cannon fodder employed to protect the corporate insiders from the expectations of customer pool they milk dry.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. OK. Awake and thinking now:

    Human Services–not really. One place I worked we called Inhumane Services. The pregnancy policies that they used to punish employees were profoundly inhumane–and that was not the clientele!

    Fox “News” is really a misnomer: Fox Propoganda might be more accurate; and then on to Fair and Balanced?

    And then there are the Freeways–often very expensive, often not allowing free flow of traffic. Either way, not so free at all.


    1. Very similar to Human Resources, although I think thatvis simply misleading. Not unlike Customer Service, you think HR is there to do good for the employees-mostly, it seems a department geared toward keeping the hierarchy in place and protecting the organization from the predations of employees bent on invoking labor law to their benefit.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The name Public Relations implies an office that promotes a favorable impression of the institution it serves. The U of MN PR office used to be headed by a clumsy, stupid guy named Bill Nunn. His employees had a favorite saying: “No public relations is better than Nunn.”


  9. Personally Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are horrible names for the airport. I stubbornly refuse to use these boring monikers – Lindbergh and Humphrey are just fine for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I once took youngest daughter to QuickCheck – an area in our regular clinic where you can show up without an appointment and “quick” get a “check” on some troublesome symptom (in this case, pinkeye). I thought it sounded so convenient. Well…we waited…and waited…and waited for her name to be called. Then we waited some more. We kept thinking she hadto be called any minute. Finally after a ridiculous amount of time, I asked at the desk. Oops. Whoever had checked her in at the desk had forgotten to do whatever it is that puts her in line to be called (the electronic equivalent of putting her chart out). We could have stayed there all day and never heard her name. We still get a chuckle out of the name. “QuickCheck.” To be fair, I’ve used it since then and it really was quick, but the first time, when we waited over an hour, is what sticks in my mind.


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