Gerbils Are Our Friends
Nov 19, 2001
Recently, I had to explain to my wife the art known as gerbiling. I
hear you laughing! Do not be fooled, my wife is very smart; she's just a
bit naive in the ways of the world.
I mean, really, I don't blame her. In biology, or sex-ed, or wherever I
first learned about the beautiful and wondrous act of human reproduction, I
don't remember gerbils ever being mentioned. In, out, sperm, egg. That was
it. Nine months later you never get a decent night's sleep, and you take
out a second mortgage on your house. Those were the rules.
So, when asked about this odd practice, I paused briefly in wonder and
amazement at how such an act was created. Who, do you suppose, was the
first gerbiler? Richard Gere? Certainly not. Personally, I blame it on
the Greeks. After all, the Ancient Greeks were well-known for strange
sexual practices, and as we all know, their servant-boys were rarely
constipated. They must be the culprits. But still can you imagine?
"Whaddya nuts, Zorba? Ya want me to put Murray where?" (In my daydreams, everyone speaks with a Bronx accent. My Robert De
Niro fixation has gone too far.)
I must explain something else about this slippery situation. My wife
adores all of God's creatures, big and, yes, small. Tact was a must.
"Well, honey, it's when people put gerbils...well, you know..."
Of course, she didn't know.
"...in their bums."
Shock and disbelief followed, followed by anger misdirected at me. Even
after several attempts to convince her I wasn't the one performing this
bizarre sex act, she was still whacking me in the shins with a ballpine
"People should respect animals more," she huffed, storming off in her
Then, I uttered the three words every married man knows so well, the
three words that smooth over every marriage's rough spots: "You're right,
All I have is a simple request to the American public, hell, the world:
Please, only place small, fuzzy creatures on a flywheel. Let them live out
their short lifespans in a nice, cozy, little cage. It's the only humane
thing to do. And if you absolutely feel the urge, please, don't tell my
wife about it.