Image for post
Image for post

The Hamster Land Incident

Mark Tulin
Jan 7 · 2 min read

We entered Hamster Land to the throng of a hundred little squirts flying past us like hyperactive bats. I cashed in twenty dollars for a bunch of game tokens for my son and daughter. Their eyes lit up as I doled out the coins.

“Make it last,” I urged.

“Sure Dad,” my curly-haired son said while running toward the ten-foot hamster.

“Now don’t get into any trouble!” I yelled, already out of earshot.

The last time I took my son to Hamster Land, he walloped some kid in Bermuda shorts. His father was about six-foot-seven and wanted to take my head off. Whereas, my daughter rarely got into trouble. She was smart like her mother and knew how to get into mischief without being caught.

As the kids were busy spending my money, I played Words With Friends on the iPhone while munching on a slice of cardboard pizza that would eventually give me heartburn. I looked up periodically to see if my son hadn’t beheaded anyone yet.

Deep into a Scrabble game, a woman in blue culottes shouted, “A fight! A fight!”

A crowd of adults huddled in the center of the room. Oh, no! I thought. What did my son do this time?

On a closer look, I gave a sigh of relief when I found out that it wasn’t my son but two grown women having it out. One already had a clump of hair weave in her hand while the other landed a right uppercut to the jaw.

I felt a sharp tug on my pants. It was my son and daughter looking up at me as if I were the ten-foot hamster, ignoring what was going on with two pugilistic adults.

“Dad,” my son whined. “We ran out of tokens. Could we have some more?”

“What?” I gasped, annoyed that it only took them eight minutes to go through twenty bucks.

“Yeah, it wasn’t our fault. The games are a ripoff,” said my daughter. “Can you please give us another twenty and we’ll get the tokens ourselves so you don’t have to miss the fight? We promise.”

“Sure, sure,” I said, and reached into my pocket and dug out a couple of twenties that I was going to use for dinner that night.

“Dad,” my daughter said. “You know you shouldn’t watch that stuff. It’s too violent and it sends a bad message to kids.”

“Yeah, sure,” I mumbled, and went back to my seat to finish the cardboard pizza, wishing I could see the rest of the fight.

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

Sign up for The Haven's Newsletter

By The Haven

Now with More Nudity and a Patreon! Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Mark Tulin

Written by

Mark Tulin is a poet, humorist, and short story writer living in Ventura, CA. His blog is www.crowonthewire.com

The Haven

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

Mark Tulin

Written by

Mark Tulin is a poet, humorist, and short story writer living in Ventura, CA. His blog is www.crowonthewire.com

The Haven

The Haven

A Place to Be Funny Without Being a Jerk

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store