Gerbilpalooza 2014*

Pen with the words "Gerbils are Fascinating" printed on it.

Swag. Awesome, awesome swag.

Guess where I went on Saturday? No, really. Guess.

Whatever you are guessing, it isn’t awesome enough.

Saturday I dragged my kids out to attend a pet expo that hosted the American Gerbil Society 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Gerbil Show. For those of you who express surprise that there is an American Gerbil Society, well of course there is.

For those of you who express surprise that I attended said society’s Mid-Atlantic Gerbil show, well of course I did.

Photo of tables full of small platic tanks, each holding a gerbil. There are three women in white lab coats sitting amid the tables, looking at the gerbils.

I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that the gerbil show didn’t take up much space. Gerbils themselves don’t take up much space.

I shared a photo similar to the one above on my Facebook page and someone was all, “Who are the people in the white coats?” The answer is that they are GERBIL SCIENTISTS. Obviously.

Or maybe just gerbil judges—either way they seemed very important.

We talked to one of the judges for a while. She was reviewing the juvenile gerbils and shared some of the criteria they had to meet. She also looked a little confused when my kids started pointing at one of the gerbils and shouting, “Hi, Jetpack! Hi, Jetpack!”

Yes, there was a gerbil there that looked just like a young Jetpack—of Stimeyland internet fame.

Photo of my gerbil, Jetpack.

OG gerbil, mother of five.

It turns out that Jetpack is a Siamese gerbil, which is a rare thing.

You guys, I have a rare gerbil.


Or, I am at least going to be entering my rare gerbil in the American Gerbil Society’s 7th Annual Mid-Atlantic Gerbil Show. (If, that is, Jetpack meets or exceeds the average lifespan of a gerbil; that year until the next show is a long time in the life of a gerbil.)

My kids were less interested in the details of gerbil judging (temperament, tooth color, fur coloration, underbelly staining) and more interested in the gerbil balls set up on tracks nearby. See, we used to have these for our mice and then I felt bad for them (the mice) and threw them (the balls) away, leaving my kids to ask me if we can put our rodents in balls and put them on the ground in cat territory more than I care to admit.

Jack peering at a gerbil in a small, transparent globe.

This was an altogether safer setup than we have in Stimeyland.

Shortly thereafter, my kids demanded to see the nearby bird display and we had to depart. We did swing by later (repeat after me: of course we did) and saw the results of the judging.

A line of plastic gerbil tanks with red, white, and blue ribbons attached to them.

These are the BEST gerbils.

I know you’re wondering what the first place gerbils look like. (Yes. You ARE.)

Three individual photos in a collage, each featuring a gerbil in a tank with a blue ribbon attached.

In case you’re wondering, they look kind of exactly like all the other gerbils.

I did wander by the AGS table to pick up various literature and to peruse the merchandise they had for sale. I was NOT disappointed.

Me in a red hat with a drawing of two gerbils and the words "American Gerbil Society" on it. Jack is sitting behind me giving me bunny ears with his fingers.

These were $10 hats marked down to $5. I have no idea why they were not just FLYING off the shelf.

It seemed kinda jerkface-y to have all this fun at a gerbil show without inviting a single one of my seven gerbils to come with me and be rubbed all over by a lady in a lab coat, so I made sure to bring home something for them too.

My white boy gerbil in his tank next to a cardboard drink holder.

I brought them the drink holder I used at lunch. They are EXCELLENT for gerbils to chew on. I am a benevolent overlord.

Frankly, the only thing that could have made this gerbil show better (other than a blue ribbon for Jetpack) would have been if EVEN ONE of the gerbils had been wearing a little hat. The lack of tiny hats was a little disappointing. But maybe that trend hasn’t hit the mainstream just yet. We in Stimeyland are on the cutting edge of gerbil fashion. We can’t expect The Society to have caught up quite yet.

A stack of American Gerbil Society bumperstickers in two styles, one saying, "Just a little addicted...Gotta getta gerbil," and the other saying, "ASK ME ABOUT MY GERBILS." Both have drawings of several gerbils on them.


* Thanks to Lisa from Facebook for giving me the title to this post.

12 thoughts on “Gerbilpalooza 2014*

  1. I have GOT to find out whether there is a UK gerbil society and, if so, whether they have gerbil shows here. We could totally win something…Quirkiest gerbil…Gerbil most likely to play dead…Best gerbil acrobatic balancing act…Fastest gerbil-eating-plastic-toy prize…Most accurate meercat impersonation…

    Also, after reading your facebook post, I had a vivid gerbil-related dream last night. Our whole pack escaped and had adventures running under the carpet and hiding in cupboards and I spent all night trying to recapture them all. It was exhausting. Some of them even turned into rats at one point, and there was a lizard in there somewhere too…

    Not one of them was wearing a hat though.

  2. So does Jetpack being a Rare Siamese Gerbil overcome the fact that she “gifted” you with 5 baby gerbils? I hope she gets to be the Grande Dame of the 7th Annual Mid-Atlantic Gerbil Show. That would make a great post.

    And because I feel kind of bad for commenting on this post and not the previous one — your kids are super heroes of the watershed. And wow, I can’t believe how much trash Quinn picked up.

  3. OMG, you. are. amazing! My love affair with gerbils (gerbools if you ask the 8 year old little lady I love) was but so short. It started when we got them (2) and ended when they made the most heinous noise on that stupid spinning wheel ALL. NIGHT. LONG….. EVERY. NIGHT. It was torture. Alas, in the battle of the noise, they lost – the wheel just had to go. Are all gerbils nocturnal or just ours? Anywho – you are a saint to those furry critters and I totally appreciate your love and support of their breed. Spin on mama, spin on…

    • Yeah. The wheel. My gerbils REFUSE to run on that thing, which makes me a little bummed out because I love watching them do it, but now makes me a little happy because at least I can sleep. :)

  4. Used to love going to gerbil shows in the UK and I was the newsletter ed of the NGS for a long time. I loved meeting all the other gerbil enthusiasts. I love the merchandise Stimey, especially the cap :-)

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