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A Tale of Two Hedgehogs


Back when everyone I knew owned Nintendo (NES), my brother convinced my parents to buy me the OTHER system: the Sega Genesis. I only had two games for the thing: Sonic The Hedgehog and Echo (the asshole) Dolphin before I realized that video games were bullshit.

But hedgehogs weren’t. In fact, life might be damn near perfect if I could have a lovable scamp like Sonic for a kicky sidekick! One day, I shook my fist at the dusty, unused Sega Genesis, that someday I too, would have a hedgehog-sidekick of my very own.

My twenty-fifth birthday found me in a brand-new house, desperately failing to getting pregnant with a second baby, working forty hours a week, with a menagerie of animals already in my care.

The Daver: “What do you want for your birthday?”

Me: “A pony.”

The Daver: “Our yard is too small for a pony. What ELSE do you want for your birthday?”

Me: “A turbo jet.”

The Daver: “Okay, someday, I’ll buy you a jet.”

Me: “You have to name my jet, “Fluffy.”

The Daver: “Okay. So what do you want for your birthday THIS YEAR?”

Me: “A hedgehog.”

Daver: “You’re not serious, are you?”

Me: (glares)

The Daver: “You don’t want a hedgehog, Becky.”

Me: (glares)

The Daver: “So you DO want a hedgehog. Why?”

Me: “I need a hedgehog sidekick like Sonic.”

The Daver: “….”

Me: “He can ride everywhere on my shoulders and we can solve crimes together while collecting those golden rings.”

The Daver: “What do you know about hedgehogs?”

(he was always asking questions like this)

Me: “Uh. Well, they like gold rings and they’re blue and they fight crimes.”

The Daver: “…”

Me (pulling something out of my ass): “Also, they’re indigenous to hot, aired climates and enjoy carrots.”

The Daver: “This seems like a bad idea, Becky.”

Me: “Nah, it’ll be great! Me and my crime-fighting hedgehog will have many adventures.”

Once he was safely out of sight, I googled “hedgehogs,” and found a breeder within ten miles of my house. I called to see if she had any crime-fighting hedgehogs for sale, and when she didn’t, I was crestfallen. She put me on a crime-fighting hedgehog waiting list.

A couple of weeks later, she called and informed Daver that she had a hedgehog for me. Thrilled, we drove to the breeder and I picked up my new crime-fighting sidekick, a cage, and some hedgehog food.

My albino hedgehog looked remarkably like a baked potato and absolutely nothing like Sonic.


I named him Tate, short for “potato.”

“Oh well,” I sighed, “maybe hedgehogs aren’t blue.”

Daver grimly glared, his eyes on the road.

After we got Tate’s cage set up, I read the handouts the breeder had given me.

“It says here that I need to ‘socialize’ him so he gets used to people,” I read aloud. Okay, I could do that. Animals loved me.

When I grabbed Tate out of his cage, he became a hissing ball of pokiness. Well, sure, he wasn’t USED to me yet. No wonder he was scared. After a couple of minutes in my hand, he relaxed a bit and I was able to see how freaking cute he was.

He started licking my hand.

“Awwwww,” I said, “Lookit how much he loves me! He’s giving me hedgie-kisses!” As he continued to lick my hand, I imagined the bank-robbers we’d apprehend, the jewel thieves we’d bring to justice, and all of those gold rings we’d collect along the way.

Tate interrupted my vision of the two of us riding a horse, hotly in pursuit of Bad Guys when he chomped down onto my finger. It felt like a thousand tiny nettles of pain so I yelped. I tried to remove his tiny mouth from my finger, which was now oozing blood, but he held on, determined. I swung my hand back and forth trying to get him to let go of my damn finger. He dug in harder.

Finally, I pried his horrible mouth off my finger and ran to the bathroom to wash the wound, tears flowing. That motherfucker! How DARE he?


For months, I carried him around in his specially-designed “hedgehog pouch,” as the handouts suggested, so he could “get used to me.”

He never did.

My zombie hedgehog was bullshit.

Luckily, I found a new hedgehog.


This hedgie kinda liked me.

(Mostly because I gave him candy.)


Tate was NOTHING like Sonic. When he died a couple of weeks before Amelia was born, no one was too sad. Our scarred fingers were a painful reminder that sometimes things just don’t work out.

I learned a valuable lesson from Tate: not all hedgehogs are crime-fighting sidekicks.

Which is why I’ve decided that I need a feisty camel sidekick named Mr. Spits instead.

63 Comments to

“A Tale of Two Hedgehogs”

  1. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:14 pm Carrie Says:

    Wow! I am shocked & dismayed that your hedgehog wasn’t a crime fighter. Or Blue. This is a crazy world we live in.

    When I was a kid, I wanted to get a turtle & expose it to radioactive material so I could have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Then, as a team, we could judo-chop the bad guys. My mom vetoed the idea & bought me a hamster instead.

  2. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:17 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s bullshit, isn’t it? BULLSHIT that there aren’t crime-fighting hedgehogs like Sonic.

  3. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:15 pm PBPDesigns Says:

    I think the second hedgehog is MUCH cuter than the first, but I bet he bites occasionally, too. Oh, well, you can’t have everything.
    I felt the same way about the Sega Genesis game. Why? Why couldn’t my parents buy us what EVERY OTHER KID HAD??? My dad was the kind of person who didn’t follow the norm, he damn near wrote the book on going in the other direction. Ah, well, we made it through without too many scars.

  4. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:17 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    My brother insisted (rightly) that the Genesis had better graphics. But I just wanted a Mario Game that could make me FLY.

  5. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:27 pm Jess Says:

    But you can’t deny the cuteness of a hedgehog! After the ferrets go, I am not going to deal with exotics anymore. They have cost me more than any cat I have ever owned!

  6. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:30 pm Kristin (MamaKK922) Says:

    Tate sounds similar to my Hamster Alvin (named after Alvin from the Chipmunks) Cause I wanted a chipmunk but I was told they could not be tamed. So I got the Hamster that liked the taste of blood. He bit EVERYBODY. He was an evil son of a bitch. It got to the point we had to create an elevator type system to clean his cage so we never had to touch him cause he would bite. He died of wet tail. Bastard.

  7. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:32 pm AmyBlam Says:

    You have completely ruined my hedgehog dreams…except I want one with a brisith accent. A bunch lived in the courtyard of an inn we stayed at in England. Imagine my dismay when I learned I couldn’t smuggle one home.
    Perhaps you should look into a petite lap giraffe?

  8. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:32 pm AngieM. Says:

    ‘member if you’d wait to long to do anything for sonic he’d start tapping his foot and glare at you, as if saying “umm,do you wanna make a move or am i gonna stand here all effin day?”

    anyway. tate looked freaken scary :/. also, hedgie #2 looked wayyyy more cuddly and snuggly. 🙂

  9. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:37 pm Meg Says:

    I never had a Sega, so I never played Sonic…but I did want the Mario game that could make me fly…and to see someone resuce the princess. I was never good enough (or had the attention span for it) and everytime my dad won, I was always someplace else and would get to see the credits roll every time.

  10. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:39 pm eringirl Says:

    What exactly is hedgehog food, might I ask!?

  11. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:46 pm Kelly Says:

    When I was in high school, I worked at a pet store. I brought home several different turtles, mine died, my sister’s was mean. My sister’s turtle ended up going to the Science Teacher, who let it go in the “prarie” at school. He said the last time he saw it, it was the size of a hubcap.

  12. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:47 pm Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up) Says:

    I’ve never had a hedgehog. I’ve never wanted a hedgehog. I would like a Catdog like the cartoon but they don’t exist in real life. It’s kinda sad I suppose.

  13. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:49 pm Jolie Says:

    ahh memories…in college a roommate of a friend had a hedgehog – brown though – and he was as cute as can be…and about as playful as nothing. no way could college guys socialize anything.
    Your 2nd hedgehog looked more loveable and a better sidekick.
    I keep thinking about getting a harness for our green anole lizard so she can be my sidekick. My hubby looks at me like I’m losing my marbles (duh). whatever. When we conquer reconciliations in a single bound, THEN who’s laughing Mister! bwa ha ha ha!

  14. On March 28th, 2011 at 1:51 pm Pam Says:

    DD1 had hedgehogs in her 7th grade science class. They weren’t blue. But they didn’t bite either. After reading this, I guess Hubs can be forgiven for never getting me one—it was 13 years ago after all. LOL

    I really like second hedgehog better anyway!

  15. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:34 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahaha. See? THE MORE YOU KNOW.

  16. On March 28th, 2011 at 2:34 pm Penbleth Says:

    The hedgehog in the past two pictures is an awfully cute hedgehog. I wonder how he would look as a camel?

    I think you should look in to that, should the need for a camel sidekick arise, and let’s face it, that sort of emergency is completely out of the blue.

  17. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:34 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I think that I need a REAL camel side-kick. Just because.

  18. On March 28th, 2011 at 2:38 pm Joules Says:

    Oh man, I totally had a hedgehog! Her name was Lois and I acquired her somewhat under the table as NY allows ownership of hedgies, but the 5 bouroughs do not.
    I always thought video games were bullshit, but was so enamoured of all the alt hedgehog drawings or stuffies that filled up the esty shops back in the day and dreamed of a sweet little hog that i would carry around in a pouch.
    Turned out she was a hisser and a shaker, but not a biter. She spent most of the two years I had her with her head inside of a toilet paper roll which, although hilarious to watch, was not exactly what I had been looking for. I sold her to the highest bidder on Craigslist and bought myself a cute hedgie stuffie.

  19. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:33 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    That’s the SMART thing to do, yo.

  20. On March 28th, 2011 at 2:39 pm MannyRee Says:

    I had a hedgie named Sonic a couple of years ago. He didn’t fight crime, but he did poop on my kids a few times, which I considered payback for the times they pooped on me.
    All-in-all, we were buddies.
    However he was still not as cute as your second hedgehog…totally adorable.

  21. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:33 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    If I could’ve gotten Tate to poo on the kids, it would have been SO worth it.

  22. On March 28th, 2011 at 2:56 pm Melissa Says:

    That pink eyes hedgehog is going to be in my nightmares tonight. The second one is totally cute though.

  23. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:32 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Alex doesn’t normally haunt nightmares, unless you’re up all night with him. In that case…

  24. On March 28th, 2011 at 3:16 pm Melme Says:

    Sounds about right. The only hedgehog I’ve ever encountered bit me. Her owner assured me that she was perfectly friendly but when I put my hand in the cage, she wheeled on me and nipped me. Thankfully she wasn’t nearly as vicious about it as Tate and didn’t hang on, but still. And to top it off, the owner laughed as I washed my (slightly) bleeding finger and said something about the little beast being cranky since she was more active at night. Thanks lady. That would have been nice to know before she chomped me!

  25. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:32 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahaha! She sounds like an asshole!

  26. On March 28th, 2011 at 4:03 pm MommyLisa Says:

    Now I have another small creature to haunt my dreams. thankyouverymuch. Any small rodent type creature freaks me out.


  27. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:32 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    You, my friend, are a WISE WOMAN.

  28. On March 28th, 2011 at 5:55 pm Sandy Says:

    Now see, the first hedgehog my cats would totally love… for dinner. That is why we never had little critters around our house when the kids were little and begged for them. The second hedgehog is totally adorable and not snack-worthy of the cats.

  29. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:31 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    No, Hedge #2 LOVES cats. Like ADORES them. They wouldn’t want to eat him so much as hide from him.

  30. On March 28th, 2011 at 6:15 pm BrerMatt Says:

    I had a vicious hedgehog too… It never got used to me as everyone said he could. I was bit on the thumb. I was bit on a toe. But I still loved him, even if he didn’t love me.

  31. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:31 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I admire your loyalty. Tate could have kissed my ass for all I cared.

  32. On March 28th, 2011 at 7:27 pm Stacey Says:

    That first hedgehog is creepy looking. The second is a vast improvement.

  33. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:30 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Tate looks like the stuff nightmares are made of.

  34. On March 28th, 2011 at 7:40 pm The Mommy Therapy Says:

    Please don’t think less of me, but I had no clue what a hedgehog looked like until I scrolled down.

    The second one is much more adorable.

  35. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:28 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahahaha! It’s all good. And yeah, how could you get awesomer?

  36. On March 28th, 2011 at 8:12 pm andygirl Says:

    I want a hedgehog!

    both kinds, thank you.


  37. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:27 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    You can borrow the costume for #2. #1 is resting in peace now (thank GOD).

  38. On March 28th, 2011 at 8:20 pm SharleneT. Says:

    I’ll bet you didn’t blow in his ear… geez, I gotta tell you everything… well, at least, I know where to send the camel… come visit when you can…

  39. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:27 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Tate was a mean-ass motherfucker. I’ll be by to say hi!

  40. On March 28th, 2011 at 8:34 pm David Kay Says:

    I had a dwarf rabbit that the breeder told me was blue. I said, “He’s not blue, he’s gray.” And the breeder said, “That’s a blue rabbit.” And I thought, “That’s bullshit.”

    Now I have another dwarf rabbit that weighs less than two pounds. He’s my sidekick, so I had two reasons to name him Goliath. He’s useless as a crime fighter, but I never really expected him to have a career, unless we joined the circus. Hey, it could happen! Goliath is black and his belly is white. Wanna guess what color the breeder told me he is? “He’s a Silver Marten.” This whole “what color is the rabbit” thing is bullshit. The link ain’t me website, it’s a picture of Goliath: see for yourself. I better go and feed him before he gnaws off a paw.

  41. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:26 am Your Aunt Becky Says:


    I have a rabbit too! But she’s not a dwarf. I think she’s plotting total world domination.

  42. On March 28th, 2011 at 9:03 pm Becky Mochaface Says:

    If I have nightmares about albino zombie hedgehogs, I’m giving you the credit.

  43. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:26 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Now I kinda hope you do just because.

  44. On March 28th, 2011 at 9:33 pm Kristin Says:

    Echo. Haha. But Sonic was cool. In fact my youngest owns a couple Sonic DVDs and action figures. They don’t bite.

  45. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:26 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Sonic IS awesome. Tate was NOT awesome.

  46. On March 28th, 2011 at 9:35 pm Kadye Says:

    1) Sega was AWESOME and I totally want one now… I only ever got to play it at daycare.

    2) I knew the second you said the hedgehog was licking you he was tasting you to eat you. Then I found out I was right. I’m a psychic. That’ll be $10.

    3) SO CUTE!

  47. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:25 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahaha. He was an asshole. Stupid me and my dumbass ideas.

  48. On March 29th, 2011 at 7:37 am John Says:

    Oh, Aunt Becky — didn’t you know that it’s actually geckos that fight crime while collecting golden rings? The only reason Sonic was a hedgehog is because “Sonic the Gecko” didn’t roll of the tongue just the right way, and the people at Sega care nothing about historical integrity.

  49. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:25 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    DAMMIT! NOW you tell me 🙂

  50. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:34 am Erin@MommyontheSpot Says:

    That reminds me of the hamster I bought when I was 13. I saved and saved and saved my babysitting money and birthday money to get a cage and toys and food. That bastard ate my fingers, batted his way out of his cage, and pissed everywhere, which discolored the bricks on our fireplace. When he died, I was relieved. Is that bad?

  51. On March 29th, 2011 at 8:52 am Wombat Central Says:

    My husband LOVES his Sega gaming system from 8 billions years ago. So what if we have Playstation and Wii. He loves his Sega hockey. I don’t think he likes Sonic, though, so what does he know?

  52. On March 29th, 2011 at 9:28 am Tiffany Says:

    I laughed so hard I cried, largely because this could be me. Of course, with me it was gerbils, and they weren’t the same sex like the pet store promised.

  53. On March 29th, 2011 at 10:11 am mumma boo Says:

    Please tell me that Hedgie #2’s eyelashes are still as long as in that photo. You make some damn cute kids, lady. As for Hedgie #1, I’m still shuddering at the thought of that thing loose, much less being carried in a pouch!

  54. On March 29th, 2011 at 12:55 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    His eyelashes are still as magnificent as ever. Little scamp.

  55. On March 29th, 2011 at 2:25 pm mumma boo Says:

    One word: Heartbreaker. 🙂

  56. On March 29th, 2011 at 10:26 am Gillyann Says:

    Dude, did you make that hedgehog costume? It’s friggen adorable! And so is the hedgie inside the costume 🙂 As far as crazy pet ideas, I’ve had my dream pet set on a Patagonian Cavy. I saw them at Lincoln Park Zoo like ten years ago and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. Someday, probably when you get your jet Fluffy, I will have my own Patagonian cavy 🙂

  57. On March 29th, 2011 at 12:55 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    The costume was from Pottery Barn Kids and is the last one I’ll ever get to chose for my son. He’s a bit…particular.

  58. On March 29th, 2011 at 10:55 am amy d Says:



  59. On March 29th, 2011 at 12:54 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    If Tate were alive, I’d DRIVE him to you.

  60. On March 30th, 2011 at 8:53 am Josefina Says:

    I had a hedgehog. It hated me. I tried to be nice, but it wasn’t interested in a relationship. When it died, I couldn’t really tell for sure if it was dead or just depressed. Again. I watched it for three days before I was certain I had a dead animal on my hands. That was the worst pet I ever had, which is saying a lot.

  61. On March 30th, 2011 at 10:44 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    EXACTLY. When my lizard died? I WAS SAD. When Tater died? I was happy.

  62. On March 30th, 2011 at 11:33 am magpie Says:

    Wow. I didn’t know you could have a pet hedgehog. Not that I want one, especially after reading this, but still.

  63. On August 15th, 2013 at 3:15 pm Katie Says:

    The second hedgehog is wayyy cuter! Where did you get that costume? I want my son to be a hedgehog, so damn cute!!!!

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