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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Was Stood Up Because of a Hedgehog

This is a true story.

I couldn't help mentioning it, Red Shoes.

Hell, I'd stand me up for someone this cute. And it's not often that hedgehogs interfere with a person's social life, so that makes it more interesting.

I totally understand. But you owe me a hedgehog visit.


Eleanor October 11, 2007 at 4:59 AM  

I didn't think they had hedgehogs in America. Usually people have to explain what they are. What's the story?

Have they invaded and gone native? How are they doing? (They're a bit rare here these days).

tangobaby October 11, 2007 at 11:31 AM  

So this hedgehog walks into a bar...

Hi Eleanor,

I hadn't given a moment's thought to hedgehogs until that was given as the reason that Red Shoes was late to the milonga on Tuesday and I had already gone home. Just like I don't spend much time thinking about possums, ferrets or mongooses (mongeese?).

Apparently, Red Shoes has a friend that has a hedgehog that--get this--likes to drink. So she was going to meet the friend and the hedgehog for a quick drink at the bar before heading over to meet us at the dance. But then it started to rain, and apparently the hedgehog doesn't like going out in the rain (seriously, that's what I was told--does the rain make its fur get frizzy?) so she was waiting around for the hedgehog and the friend and lost track of time.

See, as they say, the truth is always stranger than fiction. Or that's just life in San Francisco. However, now that I know how cute hedgehogs are (and realizing I've seen them before in Beatrix Potter books), I think it's very important that I meet this bar-hopping hedgehog in the future. It's got to be a friendlier animal than some of those guys at the milonga I went to!

Eleanor October 11, 2007 at 12:08 PM  

It's not fur - it's spines. Like a porcupine, except that they're permanent like fur and not loose like a porcupine's spines.

They curl up into a prickly ball when frightened. Actually, natural selection and the motor car have now altered hedgehog behaviour so that the survivors mostly run like hell when frightened, but characteristically they curl into a ball.

A problem with the spines is that sometimes they wriggle half way into discarded McFlurry pots, get stuck there (can't reverse out, because of the spines) and die miserably. Delightfully, McDonalds recently agreed to redesign the pots to kill fewer hedgehogs.

I don't know about a problem with rain. They're nocturnal and eat slugs and insects, and they hibernate in winter (maybe not in your climate).

That's what I understand by a hedgehog. RedShoes' hedgehog acquaintance might not be the same species, though.

tangobaby October 11, 2007 at 12:21 PM  

Okay, Eleanor, you have really impressed the heck out of me today.

1. You know a lot about hedgehogs.
2. You know about things that affect hedgehogs, including McFlurry cups. (I didn't know what a McFlurry was either, and had to look that up, too.)
3. You can put links in your comments.

Now I feel like I need to learn more about hedgehogs in case I have to write about them again, so I've added a link in my post to educate my fellow Americans, as I know now that hedgehogs are not native to North America.

Because someone else's life may be affected by a hedgehog and it's good to have all the facts.

studio wellspring October 11, 2007 at 2:58 PM  

OMG ~ i've always wanted to own a hedgehog (since mrs.tiggywinkle of beatrix potter fame). i learned a ton about them from http://hedgehogcentral.com/ and from a guy at a farmer's market in seattle who was show-casing his family of hedgehogs. so far i haven't owned one, but someday baby i will!

Eleanor October 12, 2007 at 2:14 AM  

Well - they're a familiar wild animal. They're not something you see very often, not like foxes or squirrels, they're too small and too shy, but they're just an animal that lives in gardens. So I know what they are in the same way that you would know what, I don't know, a groundhog is.

They are outrageously cute. Some people build special houses for them to attract them to gardens so they'll eat all the slugs.

Red shoes October 12, 2007 at 7:53 AM  

Oh gosh, now I know far more about them. How wonderful!

To be fair, I don't know for a fact that the hedgehog drinks, or if it's merely a figure of speech used because the critter was going to come to the bar. Either way: a hedgehog. At the bar. I am going to be bothering my friend to bother his hedgehog-owning friend to bring the little guy in. Every time I'm at the bar. Forever.

tangobaby October 12, 2007 at 10:59 AM  

Dear Red Shoes,

Tell your friend to tell his friend with the hedgehog that there is now a local fan club who will probably pay a small admission fee to see the hedgehog, whether he drinks or not.

He may also be able to rent out the hedgehog for short visits. Ms. Wellspring sounds like she would be up for that. I can vouch for her that she would be a great surrogate mom.

Of course, the SF Hedgehog Fan Club (as I've just named it) will turn out to see you as well because you're a cutie, too.

tangobaby October 12, 2007 at 11:01 AM  

Dear Eleanor,

I just get the impression that you would be a very good authority on many subjects, and I'm willing to bet that you know more about groundhogs than I do, too.


Johanna October 12, 2007 at 3:14 PM  

Do not, I repeat, do NOT get me started on cute animals. I implode when exposed to too much cuteness.

For those of you wishing to implode, more absurdly overwhelming adorbleness can be viewd at cuteoverload.com.

Be forewarned. It is addictive.

studio wellspring October 12, 2007 at 4:14 PM  

yes, yes, please do sign me up for the fan club & the surrogate mom job. and for goodness sake, please keep us posted on what type of pub/lounge said owner of bar-hopping hedgie hangs out in so i can accidentally run into him/her someday.

tangobaby October 12, 2007 at 4:54 PM  


You shouldn't have told us about that blog. That was very bad and will cause me (and others, I'm sure) to be even more unproductive than normal.

Ms. Wellspring,

We will have to enlist Red Shoes to help us find the hedgehog. Maybe the hedgehog and his handler can make an office visit?


Johanna October 12, 2007 at 9:10 PM  

Yes, I'm bad. Very bad. Anyone want to spank me?

[No, I did NOT just say that]

Hey, add me to the pub hopping hedgie caravan!

Eleanor October 13, 2007 at 5:42 AM  

Random burbling on any subject is indeed my speciality. Sorry ;)

I utterly deny that I know what a groundhog is. I have a vague mental picture of a cross between a meerkat and a hamster.

tangobaby October 13, 2007 at 9:10 AM  


I think the BBC and David Attenborough has gotten all of you little British kids off to a very good start in life. Now I'm going to have to look up what a meerkat is, too.

Feel free to randomly burble on anything at anytime!

Johanna October 13, 2007 at 4:00 PM  

Oh dear. You don't know what a meerkat is???? Tsk, tsk, TB. What rock have you been hiding under?! Let me just say, you're headed for another addiction. Especially if you tune into Meerkat Manor.

You DO know what that is, don't you? :-)

tangobaby October 13, 2007 at 6:36 PM  

Johanna, now I feel very inept. What is Meerkat Manor? It must be very important!

Johanna October 13, 2007 at 7:09 PM  

Fret not, dear, uneducated child. Eleanor and the rest of us animal freaks will guide you gently into the world of "important" cuteness.

Go hither and watch:

Don't say I didn't warn you.