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Hamster dance 'll cost you more than 5 cents
February 12, 2008 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Hamster Market Bubble in China. Hamsters have become the must-have pet in China since the Year of the Rat began on 7 February. Hamster demand has tripled in recent weeks and some enterprising individuals might be buying them with the sole intention of holding them for a short period before flipping them for a profit. For my own part, I'm working with HSBC in trying to launch a market in hamster-backed short term notes.
posted by psmealey (30 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Groan.
posted by GuyZero at 9:27 AM on February 12, 2008


Meanwhile, deep in meditation, a smile creeps across the face of Richard Gere.
posted by tommasz at 9:28 AM on February 12, 2008


I read that as "Year of the Bat" at first and was envisioning poor little hamsters with wings stapled on.
posted by DU at 9:35 AM on February 12, 2008


The hamster derivatives, man... they'll wreck the Chinese economy!

I expect the entire place will be a smoking ruin in 12 months; the year of the Ox will be an unhappy one, indeed.

Doom, doooom!

:-)
posted by Malor at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2008


I've been flipping hamsters for years, the trick is to get enough spin that when you catch them again they land feet down.

A single flip is fairly easy, triples get difficult, the double ham stir fry flip using a traditional wok is nearly impossible.

on the other hand, stir frying hamsters is simple given a bit of oil and soy sauce.
posted by HuronBob at 9:38 AM on February 12, 2008


I came here to make a bit of a Richard Gere, "free Tibet!" quip. Damn you, tommasz. :(

Can't actually think of anything funny, so lucky for me I can just mention those key terms and get angry at you instead.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:40 AM on February 12, 2008


I was going to make fun, until I remembered that Chinese Dwarf Hamsters are, without a doubt, the cutest and most entirely useless animal found in the world.

This is an animal that when it scratches it's ear, it falls over. Every time.

If people are going to obsess over an animal, they could do worse. (The article suggests that they can have a mean streak. This is probably true, but the only times I've ever been bitten, I deserved it for not being careful enough.)
posted by quin at 9:43 AM on February 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Why not just have pet rats?

They're great little pets, so much more interesting & intelligent than hamsters.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:46 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


(burp) more hamster, please.
posted by not_on_display at 9:48 AM on February 12, 2008


Hamster: the disposable pet.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:49 AM on February 12, 2008


Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters. Cutest things ever. Although, it's a bit like owning fuzzy goldfish, on account of them being antisocial and incredibly nervous regarding people. And being the smallest and fastest hamster. Not exactly something you want to accidentally let out, and not something you can generally interact with. Still. Cutest. Things. Ever.

I wish I had more photos of mine, but two of the three have died and after the first couple weeks of having them (when those were taken) suddenly they became magically resistant to have their photos taken (more so than they already were). Also, do not be fooled by the flat robo; she is not nearly as large as she tries to look when she does that.

Sorry, done with the the robo babbling.
posted by Stunt at 9:57 AM on February 12, 2008


Just don't get them wet, and don't feed them after midnight, because they -- uh, what?
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:04 AM on February 12, 2008


The heck with gold; I want a currency backed by something with real, intrinsic cuteness value. Bring on the hamster dollars!
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:07 AM on February 12, 2008


One father told the media: "I've always wanted to buy my son a small animal and a hamster is an ideal choice.

"By bringing up a pet, my son will learn about compassion and caring for animals."


Ummm, actually using my kids as reference points all you'll teach the kid is to ignore the smelly cage in the corner for the joys of playing Hamsterz on the DS.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:08 AM on February 12, 2008


We had a Year of the Rat Party last Thursday. One of my co-workers is Chinese. She got this long list of New Years "Do & Don'ts" from her mom.

It turns out we did a bunch of stuff inauspiciously. Like: Your not supposed to wash your hair, or clean, or cry, or get angry on New Years. It's bad luck. BTW, REALLY bad luck is accidentally pricking your self with a pin or cutting your self.

So. We rent this helium tank for red and gold balloons and while we are filling the balloons my wife pricks her self on on the little pin thing on the tank. And then she gets mad and slaps the tank. Which falls over and yanks out a bunch of ethernet cables on the way down. I catch it at the last second and pull off the knob on the valve, so I get mad at her. "Now look what you've done!" Then we look at each other and go "Ooooh... bad luck... hee hee."

Ten minutes later Uwajimaya, who is catering the party, calls and says their power just went out and they won't be able to do our platter of dumplings. Which REALLY sucks. Suddenly I get all superstitious.

My co-worker's mom calls maybe an hour later to see how everything is going and we kind of jokingly tell her about all this stuff. And she gets very serious. "I told you to not clean, to not prick your self, and not get angry... see this is what happens."

While she is talking on the phone one of my other coworkers screams becuase as she is taking out the trash outside and a rat runs across the window sill on the side of the office (we have had an infestation probelm due to a lot next door).

When Shuo's mom hears all this commotion and is told about the rat she says "Oh. That's good. You should be okay." We laugh.

Sure enough Uwajimaya calls us back and says the power is back on and they can get our order to on time.

True story.
posted by tkchrist at 10:18 AM on February 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


The hamster derivatives, man... they'll wreck the Chinese economy!


Said derivatives will only climb so high before flying right off the feedback cycle and hitting market floor.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:28 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mrs. Maxwelton, who accumulates animals like I accumulate crappy old machines with wheels on them, has a couple of Russian dwarf hamsters. They're cute, but I gotta confess they seem kinda like tropical fish on the interactive side of things.

The dwarf hamsters are also apparently quite prone to diabetes.

(Poor Mrs. Maxwelton. She loves cuddly things. So far her tally in this household is:

1 horse - Not cuddly.
2 cats - Not cuddly
1 husband - Not cuddly
2 hamsters - Not cuddly
Tank full of fish - Not cuddly, unless you're fond of sushi
1 dog - Not cuddly

And finally

1 dog - Cuddly

The cuddly dog can of makes up for it in spades, though. He's great.)
posted by maxwelton at 10:41 AM on February 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


"dog can"? I'm not sure what word I was even going for there.
posted by maxwelton at 10:42 AM on February 12, 2008


Awwwww isn't China's economy cute?
OW! Little fucker bit me!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:45 AM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


After 5 years of living in East Village tenement apartments, I can't possibly imagine how someone would want to keep a rodent for a pet.

"So, let me get this straight.... You're..... feeding it?"
posted by Afroblanco at 11:10 AM on February 12, 2008


I came here to make a bit of a Richard Gere, "free Tibet!" quip.

What kind of a name for a hamster is 'Tibet' anyway? Regardless, Richard needs to unzip that duct tape and set him free from his prison right this minute!

Talk about a hamster rights violation...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:15 PM on February 12, 2008


Well, as depressed as I am about the telecom immunity and associated vote, I try not to ever miss a chance to link to this picture of HamuHamu.
posted by nanojath at 1:02 PM on February 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


The heck with gold; I want a currency backed by something with real, intrinsic cuteness value. Bring on the hamster dollars!

Uh oh. Another Ron Paul supporter.
posted by Bonzai at 1:59 PM on February 12, 2008


Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters. Cutest things ever. Although, it's a bit like owning fuzzy goldfish, on account of them being antisocial and incredibly nervous regarding people.

I'm going to be mildly annoying and point out that well-cared for goldfish are friendly, interactive animals, often compared to dogs by their owners - some of them even like to be petted! If I could make the thirty-year commitment, I would so go for that. Bettas, not fond of petting.

holy crap Stunt I wanna kiss your hammies' ears oh my gosh so cuuuuuute okay admittedly you can't do that with fish. no ears.

So, why aren't these people getting pet rats, anyway? (I mean, I get why, just that I would have thought rats had a better rep in China than they apparently do. The more you know, I guess.) And ... is it just me, or is the image next to "Hamsterific University" on the second link kinda - stereotypical? I love Lucy the hamster and her Hamstertracked antics, but wtf squinty-eyed hamster in pseudo-Chinese garb?
posted by bettafish at 2:09 PM on February 12, 2008


Gerbils, dude.

Less pee (desert animals), lower maintenance, better general health, less mean streak, less thoroughly nocturnal, dig awesome tunnel networks if you give them 6+ inches of aspen shavings... I could go on. I've had a hamster, guinea pig, 10 rats, and a chinchilla. I'd go with gerbils every time.
posted by Ryvar at 2:16 PM on February 12, 2008


Aren't hamsters considered a "soft commodity?" They need their own Ron Paul to show them the magic of metals-backed currency.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:24 PM on February 12, 2008



Why not just have pet rats?

They're great little pets, so much more interesting & intelligent than hamsters.


Indeed.

I worked at a pets-oriented superstore which shall remain nameless, at which (especially on toward the holidays) I had many a well-meaning but clueless parent want me to take hamsters out of cages to show to them and their insistent children. I'd try to cross-sell them one of our rats instead, explaining that rats are smart enough to learn their own names, exhibit some personality traits, learn a trick or two if patiently and lovingly taught, etc. -- something on a par with a dog or a cat -- while hamsters generally react to attempts to cuddle them by biting viciously. Had to stop the cross-selling attempts after a 'rent complained to management that I was a little too boosterish about the rats in our inventory. Glad I don't work there anymore.
posted by pax digita at 2:44 PM on February 12, 2008


Hamsters are not rats (although both are cute). There, just thought I'd say it. You guys can all settle down now.
posted by arcticwoman at 2:56 PM on February 12, 2008


Pax: I've had a lot of gerbils, rats, and a hamster at one point - rats are AWESOME because of the intelligence, but the maintenance requirements are crazy (changing the cage every 3-5 days, weekly washing the entire cage because they pee all over the wiring, laying down newspaper under the cage, wiping up after them if you take them out etc. etc. ad nauseum) . . . it was *worse* than a reasonably well-behaved cat or dog.
posted by Ryvar at 3:05 PM on February 12, 2008


Man, you don't even want to know what they'll be collecting for the Year of the Cock.
posted by bonecrusher at 3:40 PM on February 12, 2008


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