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Oct 15, 2008

Benson Hedges, Private Eye!

It was half past midnight when I rolled up to the seediest dive on the wharf.  The ocean air send a prickly feeling up my back—the kind you get when danger lurks behind every door.

My Bentley's in the shop.  No, really.

Inside, I grilled a barfly for information, but she just turned her back and gave me the cold shoulder.  That dame was no lady—and it bugged me.

Just for that, doll, you don't get any hovertext.

Suddenly, I heard a noise in the back room.  I burst through the door just in time to put the bite on some yellow coward trying to escape.

GOTCHA!  Now ... start squeaking, pipsqueak!

For the next chapter in the thrilling adventures of Benson Hedges, Private Eye, visit sender-inner Heather's Flickr photoset!

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Just got back from two very serious days in court with a gazillion legal teams spouting hot air (me included). Boy, did I need this. Thanks, NOMTOM.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:04 PM

eeeeek! Ok, ok! I'll tell you everything I know!!!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:06 PM

Just don't bite my ducktocks again!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:09 PM

or is it tailtocks?

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:10 PM

"Inside, I grilled a barfly for information, but she just turned her back and gave me the cold shoulder. That dame was no lady—and it bugged me."
Bah ha ha!
OMG best-est caption-in ever! what great imagination! *insert Golf-clap here for NTMTOM*

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Benson Hedges? bwahahahahaha

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:16 PM

I love the way PI BH's nose crinkles up when he's putting the bite on that golden miscreant. It really shows **he means business**!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:17 PM

NTMTOM, your brillance never ceases to amaze me!

I guess its safe to assume what kind of cigs Mr.Hedges smokes (being a private eye and all, it goes with the image.)

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:17 PM

The duck even looks scared!I know he was made that way, but still.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Bahahahahahahahaaaa! *gaaaasp* HA!! *passes out*

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:24 PM

this dame was no lady...and it bugged me-

nothing short of brilliant

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Well, the ducky was clearly asking for it by lurking around the hedgie's food.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:28 PM

It's got him by the 'tocks. Precious!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Too cute. Bet the McSmartbuttDuck doesnt try it again !!!!!!!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM

This ball is a cruelty to animals!
I think you shouldn't show such pictures at your website.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:31 PM

Benson & Hedges is a brand of cigarette - just FYI, for those people who aren't in countries where they're sold. =D

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:33 PM

@Jeannie ... are you serious??? Those balls are great for the animals -- it gives them a chance to stretch their legs beyond the confines of the cage while still keeping them safe from other critters or from getting into something that will hurt them! What's cruel about that???

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:37 PM

NTMTOM, you are awesome. I aspire to get to your level of creativity some day...Cute hedgie, too.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:46 PM

Finally, a new post. I was going through withdrawal. I have obviously become much too addicted to constant c.o.!! And now I want a hedgie too!

Mary (the first)
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:53 PM

He wouldn't happen to be a silly millimeter longer, would he now?

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:53 PM

@jmuhj: If that was the case, I would have named our hero "Chesterfield." ;-)

Not That Mike The Other Mike
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:56 PM

I never cease to ponder the wonders of NOMTOM's inner life. It must be quite a landscape.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM

You have no idea how much I needed this today. How sweet!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:02 PM

Awesome hard-boiled narration!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:05 PM

@ Kari: Do you really belive what you are saying?
The cruelty is that these balls are prisons. There is no escape for the animal, and the only choice it has is to run, run, run.
If you want to protect your pet from potential dangers, you just have to supervise its excursion. By the way, the bend of most of these balls is much too small (like most of the pet wheels are, too) which leads inevitably to back damages. Even for small animals as for instance hamsters or octodons, the minimum is 30 cm.
P.S. I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes, I'm German ;)

[They don't *live* in the exercise balls, you know... - Ed.]

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:12 PM

Awesome NTMTOM! I could live there! Was your mama scared by a pawnbroker's sign also? ;-)

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:16 PM

A. BEST CAPTIONING EVAR, NTMTOM! Big pats on the back.
B. Wow, we have a hamster ball nuffer!
C. What's an octodon, Jeannie?

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:24 PM

Is Benny going undercover as a punker or something? What's with the red spikes? I can just picture him in a little raincoat with a fedora.

Martha in Washington
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:24 PM




Breelliant NOMTOM! Simplee Breeelliant!!

Methinks Jeannie needs a pudding flavored pasickie. A big one. Where's Bill Cosby when you need him?

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:26 PM

Nevertheless, it' s a cruelty. In countrys with modern animal protection laws, such things are illegal. Do you think this is without reason?
Really, so much ignorance makes me sad. People who shut their pets in such things are no animal lovers but simply egoists who don't give a damn on their animals' species-apprpriate needs.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:29 PM

Finally! I have been checking all day for a new photo (yes, it is an addiction) but it was definitely worth the wait!!! The caption for the lady bug being "no lady" was hysterical. It reminded me of the cartoon lady bug with the voice of Dennis Leary. He kept getting mad cause everyone thought he was so pretty. Excellent captions for this little guy's big adventure. Thanks!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:35 PM

I hardly think putting the little critter in an exercise ball for 10 minutes is cruelty to him.

What about cages? Most of the models made for animals of this size aren't incredibly spacious. I had a heck of a time finding one with good security and room to stretch for the hamster I used to have.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:37 PM

Hahahahahahaha! *dies*

After a day of 1) trouble with the ex 2) a flat tyre 3) NOT getting the keys to my new house 4) Finding out they're developing the conservation area next door 5) Unmentionable Trouble(tm) involving many painkillers, I really needed that!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:43 PM

Michael Vick = animal cruelty

Well cared-for hedgies in balls? Not so much.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:44 PM

I think jeannie was hampster in a previous life. That's why she knows exactly how these animals feel. *nods wisely*

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:50 PM

hmm. when i put my 22 lb cat 'steve' in one of them hamster-balls, it didnt seem to work right.
don't know, i guess it was broke.


 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:50 PM


Are there really places where exercise balls are illegal? I can't seem to find any.

Stephanie C.
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:51 PM

I really hope Jeannie is having a big joke on us all. Europe does have more stringent pet welfare laws than the US, but I know of no ban on small mammal exercise balls.

I have to reiterate Theo's question: You do know they don't LIVE in the balls, just run around for brief exercise periods? The balls are way safer than letting a hamster or hedge out on the floor, where it could scamper under the furniture and chew cords, etc. Also, in my experience, an animal in a ball is being closely watched by its owner, because it's super-cute.

Adorable playful hedge.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:53 PM

Btw, the human-sized balls are awesome to roll around in/roll into things in.

Stephanie C.
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 01:54 PM

Hilarious NOMTOM, love it! Li'l hedgie is too, too adorabuhls!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 02:11 PM

Stephanie C. !
now, you go straight to your room and think about what you said...

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 02:18 PM


While it is wonderful that you are so militant about animal welfare, my guess is that you have known very few pygmy hedgehogs (the species is an important distinction from the igel with which you are probably familiar).

The little girl pictured here (yes folks, she’s a girl – but who says a girl pig can’t be a PI?) is six weeks old and just over 200g. She is still in her “training-size” ball, which she will probably outgrow in the next few weeks. At that point, she will step up to an 11.5-inch ball (close enough to your 30cm standard as to make no difference), but my guess is she won’t be able to really move it around well until she puts on a little more weight.

As to the question of cruelty, again I am guessing you’ve known very few pygmy hedgehogs. Of four hedgehogs that we have had live with us, three have been fervent fans of their exercise balls, including one girl that would wake up promptly at 6:30 every evening demanding treats and ball time. The girl in question even managed to knock the lid off her ball once and spent the next 10 minutes trying to ball in circles without the lid when she could have easily have gotten out, if it had been such a terrible experience.

So, Jeannie, while I thank you for your concern, but Miss PI Pig here is fine. Your comments about the necessary size of a ball for an adult hedgehog are accurate, but the claims of EEEEEEVIL are a bit overblown. And for everyone else here. sorry for the rant about a rant, and glad you think the new baby is as cute as we think she is.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 02:23 PM

um, hello, the ball is his car! It is not a prison.... [he gets out when he rolls up to the bar.] It does not produce poison emissions, either.

So he's a green Dick!

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 02:26 PM

Speaking of human-sized hamster balls:



Not That Mike The Other Mike
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 02:28 PM

Yes, this one is great! Teh comments - NTMTOM, your interior life is a little scawy. I would like to try a human sized hamster ball - on water. Looks near impossible, but fun!

Boomer's Babysitter
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 03:09 PM

lurved it. lurve lurve lurve.

Jennie Mello
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 03:12 PM

Chopper, she is a cutie. Reminds me of our hedgie :(
Loved "ball time" and would even tell us when she was finished by going back to her cage and sitting there until we put her in.

Particularly love the shot of her biting the ducky butt, lol.

 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 03:18 PM

@scooterpants! BWWAAAHHHHAAAA !!!

Mary (the first)
 |  Oct 15, 2008 at 03:22 PM

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