MAN OF THE HOUSE

What do you do with a growing hamster family? Give them away

As with any adoption, it is a careful process. The interview consists of, "Hey, you want a hamster?" Along with the free hamster, she is offering $100 rebates.

She palmed off one on the little guy's kindergarten class and two more to our friends Dan and Tina. Arranging hamster adoptions would be easier, were hamsters not prone to the three B's: biting, burrowing and breeding.

From what I can tell, that's all hamsters do, and when they're burrowing, they're doing more than burrowing, if you get my drift. There is booze involved and thick, throaty promises that won't be kept. In that sense, it is much like college.

You think Lindsay Lohan has issues with impulse control? Well, then you've never met a hamster. Nothing breeds this prolifically unless it has no other endearing characteristics or survival skills. Hamsters are like Subway franchises. They don't need to be good, as long as they are everywhere in numbers that exceed their actual worth.

On the plus side, I have nine new mouths to feed, and I think that finally makes us eligible for food stamps. If this Cone of Fertility doesn't lift soon, I'll be taking birth control pills myself, just to be safe.

One of our next tasks here in Hamsterdam is to separate the brothers and sisters before they can hook up among themselves. Other than their tiny Gucci bags and a keen eye for wall paint, it's nearly impossible to tell the hamster sexes apart.

At our recent yard sale, a woman experienced in such things insisted that separating the girls from the boys isn't so tough. All you need is a magnifying glass, a strong flashlight and a big glass of wine.

"The females look like . . . exclamation marks," the woman explained.

Why am I not surprised.

For more "Man of the House" columns, go to latimes.com/erskine.

chris.erskine@latimes.com

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