Name my hamster before my kids call it something really crap.

It’s that time again, another hamster has gone to the eternal wheel in the sky, and has been replaced by a new rodent – an as-yet-unnamed miniature rat with a preposterously huge arse.


Im not joking - I took our first hamsters back twice because I couldnt accept that their arses could be this freaking huge

I'm not joking - I took our first hamsters back twice because I couldn't accept that their arses could be this freaking huge

And so the naming hell begins. My children wanted to call the new arrival Buttboy, but I vetoed it on the grounds that they have Bebo and MySpace pages and I didn’t want them getting the kind of ‘granny vagina’ search engine perverts that I attract visiting their sites. They’re MY readers: I need the hits, they don’t.

The naming fiasco reminds me of the Blue Peter (for those who are nonplussed, it’s a kind of gentle , hypnotically boring children’s magazine programme on the BBC that has been running for several thousand years) ‘Cookie-gate’ scandal which saw the naming of a cat cause national outrage in what became the ultimate example of purrlitical correctness gone mad.

In January 2007, children were introduced to the new Blue Peter kitten and asked to suggest names that would suit him. They sent suggestions in their thousands, and then voted for their favourite name on the show’s website.

The first choice was Cookie, the second choice was Socks. My suggestions – Hitler, Princess Diana, The Boston Strangler and Crippen – were pipped at the post, although a subsequent email from the programme’s producers promised they would be kept on file just in case the 700-year-old tortoise pops his clogs and has to be replaced and renamed in a hurry.

Despite having offered children the carrot of democracy, it was swiftly grated into the salad of deception by a streetwise production crew who pointed out that ‘cookie’ is a slang term for a lady’s hoohah (hoohah being a technical term which refers to a woman’s thingy) and that to avoid mass revulsion, the BP cat would have to be called Socks, instead.


Who you calling a pussy?

Socks/Cookie: "Who you calling a pussy?"


Now I pride myself on being able to out-swear the most foul-mouthed of troopers, but I’ve never heard the word ‘cookie’ used as anything other than a term for a cake-like biscuit. When my son asked for cookies and milk, I had no idea that he was subversively denigrating the female reproductive system by using offensive slang – obviously now that I do, I’ve locked him in the cellar with a pile of bras to burn until he learns the error of his ways.

Anyway, the Blue Peter cat was given his new name and free speech was crushed under the jack boot of adult oppression which then marched onwards to dupe young viewers again in a fake phone-in scandal which cost the BBC (in other words the licence payers) a £50,000 fine.

The show lost its editor over Cookie-gate and the BBC announced that it would be introducing another weekly episode of Blue Peter (itself a porn star’s name if ever I heard one) in order to allow the presenters to apologise for all the show’s other past untruths, including the time Valerie Singleton once suggested a group of plump majorettes from Huddersfield would be entertaining.

My own children remained distinctly unmoved by the Cookie scandal, mainly because they ignore Blue Peter on the grounds that it’s boring. If they knew it was packed full of lies, they might be considerably more interested in tuning in.

Blue Peter has always been boring, the kind of parent-approved tripe that was always the consolation prize when Grange Hill wasn’t on, packed as it was with tedious historical re-enactments, devilishly difficult craft projects and a creepy obsession with abseiling.

If you managed to watch an entire episode of Blue Peter without at least one presenter pointlessly abseiling from a great height, you were doing well. If you managed to watch an episode where no-one abseiled, made an Iceni village out of lolly sticks, introduced an item about a boring group of Brownies from Bangor or mentioned the sodding Advent Crown, you were doing really well.

It’s not for nothing that the only nostalgic clip from Blue Peter that anyone remembers is that elephant emptying its bowels on the studio floor – when your cultural significance is measured by a steaming pile of crap you have to start asking yourself a few searching questions.


Youll never guess what the elephant did next! Oh. Youve seen this clip nine million times before. Ah.

"You'll never guess what the elephant did next! Oh. You've seen this clip nine million times before. Ah."


By the time I started watching Blue Peter, which I did because there was literally nothing else on television and because watching people abseil off multi-storey car parks was marginally more interesting than attempting my maths homework, there weren’t even any elephants with irritable bowel syndrome to lighten the proceedings.

The most exciting it got was when Simon Groom said: “what a lovely pair of knockers!” when admiring some door furniture on Durham Cathedral, and frankly, children cannot survive on boob jokes alone. As it was, I practically topped myself when Blue Peter added an extra weekly episode.

No-one at my school liked Blue Peter. When someone won a BP badge for sending in a suggestion about shredded newspaper being a suitable alternative for straw in Freda the tortoise’s hibernation box, they were shunned by their peers for weeks.

Admitting you watched Blue Peter was like confessing that you had a penchant for Songs of Praise and Antiques Roadshow and that in your spare time you liked composing poems for the baby Jesus and accompanying your Nan to her appointments at the podiatrist’s to have her corns lanced.

Frankly, I’m not sure how many more lies from Blue Peter I can take before I actually have to start watching it again in order to learn how to lie to my own children more effectively. After all, if the naming of a cat made the national news, heaven knows what’s going to happen when the kids find out about Father Christmas.

*** Special ‘Two for One’ offer today, and indeed every Monday unless I can’t be bothered – the WIB’s newspaper column, this week with added bitterness and bile! Wrote less than normal this week, so you get more eye/nostril action for your money – oh yeah, I treat you real nice. The Woman in Black at work

PS I do not write the straplines for my page. That fucking exclamation mark isn’t my doing – it’s the cat’s arse of punctuation and should be used sparingly, like chillies or bleach.

PPS Any hamster names gratefully received. They’ve already turned down ‘Fritzl’. No sense of humour, my kids.


30 Responses to “Name my hamster before my kids call it something really crap.”

  1. March 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve always liked human names for pets — my cats are Harriet, Taylor and Tom.

  2. March 23, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Blue Peter’s gone weird. The presenters have gone from being father figures, right through being older siblings and are now idiot cousins who you have to entertain when they visit.

    Put it out of its misery, like ‘Go For It!’

    My hamster name suggestion is Richard Gere, because (in a dramatic reversal of fortunes) it looks like it could fit said celebrity up … (censored).

  3. March 23, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I had a human name for my first cat – Ruby. Then I called my daughter Ruby too (I didn’t call my son Oggy, though, which was my childhood cat’s name. That would have been taking things a step too far).
    And Becky, I suggested ‘Richard’ and ‘Gere’ for the last two, but my suggestion was dashed on the rocks of my children’s lack of pop culture knowledge.
    I’m not sure even RG could accommodate this hamster’s arse…

  4. March 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    “preposterously huge arse”

    How about J-lo or Kim (Kardashian)

  5. 5 Ana
    March 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Eyore (a kid-friendly ass reference)? Or what about something Greco-Roman, like Romulus, Menelaus, Agamemnon, Hector, Ajax, etc… My cats (ugh) are Cain and Abel; I wanted Pontius and Pilate but my mother-in-law thought I would draw certain and quick retribution from the good lord if I did such a thing.

    Love your blog, by the way! I found you through Gorilla Bananas. I envy your writing ability and your consistent choice of non-lame topics…

  6. March 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Bearman, do you think the hamster might have gender confusion if I give him a girl’s name? Because I am totally for that, if so. Anything with an arse that big should be persuaded to step out of the gene pool and get dried off.
    Ana – what an incredibly perceptive genius you are to have noted my non-lameness. Your blog is awesome too. WIB

  7. March 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    My virtual chinchilla is called Heisenberg for incredibly nerdy reasons (I observe his momentum…)

    In honour of Cookie, how about Poon or Muff?

  8. March 23, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    WIB…how about Rerun then.

  9. March 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    You’ve gotta call that hamster ‘Freddie Starr’. It’s a way of empowering the victim.

  10. 11 Ram Venkatararam
    March 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    There was an terrible Canadian show in the 70’s with a rodent star named “Hammy the Hamster.” (Hammy is great name for any actor but particular amusing for an actor/hamster).

    It really was painful to watch. But likely not as painful as it was for the animal cast. I’m fairly certain they used stapleguns, duct tape and quick drying cement as means of ensuring that Hammy was able to navigate boats, fly airplanes and drive sports cars. Funny how it almost appeared that it was a different Hammy in each episode.

    So, in honour of this pioneering Canadian cousin, I would suggest Hammy.

  11. March 23, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I have never had any of my potential pet name suggestions approved. But that won’t stop me from trying…

    Hamlet (my personal fave Hamster name)

    Adolph (the edgy hamster, he’s unpredictable. Sexy and dangerous)

    Caligula (Crazy and powerful)

    Vlad ( for the torture loving and demonic hamster)

    Jesus That Fu*&ing Hamster (something you’ll no doube be shouting a fair amount)

  12. March 24, 2009 at 4:18 am

    oh man. that was hilarious. “boston strangler?”

    yea. that name won’t attract any pervs.

  13. March 24, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Some truly great names, from some truly great people. I guess I should feel relieved that Tannerleah hasn’t been over yet with his brand of asterisked hamster filth.
    I like Jesus That Fucking Hamster. Will run it by the kids (I have a feeling that Ram’s name may well win the day, however, especially if they think it means they can force the creature into a toy car and make it dance to their devilish tunes).

  14. March 24, 2009 at 8:31 am

    How about Corns and Bunion?

  15. March 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    I try – gamely – to call every pet that passes through our household, Jim.

    ’tis indeed a most wondrous name for any dog, cat, horse, budgie, or rodent; but will MrsN, or Lovely Daughter have anything to do with it? Will they bollocks!

    No1 son would have me believe that he is with me on this one. I do wonder at times, and I secretly suspect that he has plans to rename anyhting that does finally get called Jim, into something more formal such as James.

    He did it with Charlie the cat, and insists on calling the damn thing Charles.

  16. March 24, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Sorry I am late to the party.

    These are obviously prison rats as it is clear their collective asses have been pounded a ridiculous amount.

    All of the good names are taken so I would just go with something the kids can spell…AL. (As you have no doubt deduced, AL is an acronym for anal leakage). Sure, it’s not glamorous but this guy looks like a gang banger.

    Another, nicer, prison name is “tossed salad”. Again, appropriate for this fella. I hope I have helped.

  17. March 24, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    I must agree with Ram about Hammy, following tradition since my daughter named her pet rat Ratty. But to let you off the hook, she – 21 now – has named her new hamster Edwina. Quite nice, I think. You may borrow it.

  18. March 25, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Hi there!
    I have come by the suggestion of Ana at Truepenny. She told me how great your site was and what a wicked sense of humor you had. Of course she was right. Your great. What fun!
    I too have always named my pets human names. However the huge rear end does make one pause. How about Jupiter? Eurasia? The Hulk? Or just Mr. Big Stuff, (who do you think you are).

  19. March 25, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    So many splendid names – I would buy two dozen hamsters and give them all the names you suggested, but I simply don’t think my house can accommodate so many huge arses. And the smell of sawdust and urine would be overwhelming (although this has nothing to do with the hamsters).
    Thank you all for visiting, especially my new guests. Good to see you. Come on in, the water’s lovely.

  20. March 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm


    Since when was Hammy Hamster a bloody Canadian?

    Such abuse of small furry rodents is the preserve of us British, damn it!

    I call on all true Britons to resist all such attempts by Johnny Foreigner to usurp this part of our British televisual heritage

  21. 22 Ram Venkatararam
    March 25, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Not that it is the greatest Canadian accomplishment but I stand by my claim that Hammy was a Canadian. I understand that the show aired in England but I believe it was created in Canada.

    Regardless, I’m sure the Hamster considered himself a rodent first and foremost and a Canadian second.

  22. March 25, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Ram is correct, Hammy was indeed a Canadian hamster. I can’t remember any of his work, but then again my parents only let me watch an hour of TV a day and I inevitably lost that privilege when I was a bad girl, which was all the time.
    I think the confusion arises from the fact he didn’t have an accent.
    And if Hammy isn’t the greatest Canadian accomplishment, Ram, then it must be a way awesome place to live.

  23. March 26, 2009 at 12:24 am

    My son had 2 hamsters (or gerbils, or something in the rodent family, hell I don’t remember) which he named Daisy and Shoo-shoo. Don’t know why. However, Shoo-shoo looked more like Moo-shu, as in Moo-shu pork, which yours rather resembles as well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed. However, perhaps a tribute to one famous rodent named Templeton? That’s all I can come up with off the top of my head. Perhaps if you insert a vowel or two into “jesus that fucking hamster” you might find yourself with a catchy little acronym, and no one would be the wiser (thereby lessening the chances of your children’s webpages being besieged by pervs.). Good luck!

  24. March 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Apologies to all concerned – especially Canadians, and hamsters of Canadian origin – for my nationalistic rant regarding Hammy.

    I have punished myself by venturing into the loft and retrieving the ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ VHS tape that was lurking up there.

    Should I step out of line any further, I may be forced to watch it.

  25. March 26, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    First I want that toilet!
    I have always been distracted by shiny objects. So maybe, now that I think about it, that would not be a good thing…
    When ever I do get around to spring cleaning I use that one day of work as my excuse for barely picking up a thing for the rest of the year. “gee, but I just cleaned this rooms a few months ago”
    What we need and deserve is a maid. One that will live in, clean and mix martinis!

  26. 27 Katie
    July 14, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    I like the name Hamilton or Hammy Potter or Boots!

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