I have a pet hamster. His name is Ozzy. He is adorable but terrified of everything. However, over the course of his cohabitation with me, he’s become acclimated to the sounds of heavy metal, probably due to the fact that I play it for 16 hours a day. I’ve discovered that he actually has quite discerning taste, and reacts differently to the different things I play. So, in this column, I’m going to play him some of the latest metal singles, record his reaction, and then offer my scientific interpretation of what his behavior means vis-à-vis the song.
Song: Carcass - “Zochrot”
Reaction: The subject pokes his head out of his hutch. Climbs his ramp to the second story ledge. Pulls himself on top of his tissue box. Turns around in a circle.
Interpretation: Yes… At last, my time has come! After studying the forbidden texts hidden within the folds of my bedding, I have uncovered a spell that will deliver all that I desire upon me. I must prepare my preparations. The Deliverer of Food plays noise at me once more to distract me. But I shall not be distracted! More the fool him, in fact – the clean, precise melodies and steady beat only help focus my work and hasten both my freedom and his undoing. I can see what I must do clearly before me. However, I must hurry. It must be done tonight, as Saturn ascends the heavens.
Song: Gwar - "Madness at the Core of Time"
Reaction: The subject drops down from the top of the tissue box. Dashes down to the floor of the cage, starts picking up his food pellets and stacking them carefully in each corner of the cage.
Interpretation: Ha! This only further invigorates me! It reminds me of the battle cries of my ancestors, a horde of noble hamsters sweeping across the plains of Asia and laying waste to every sunflower seed and sapling in their path. Just as those that came before me were underestimated by their victims – until it was too late – so shall I build the pyre of my captor’s destruction as my unsuspecting foe watches on.
Song: In Solitude - “Sister”
Reaction: This subject climbs to his perch. Stands on his hind legs, ears perked, for the entire length of the song. Shakes out his fur and jumps to the floor of his cage. Runs into his hutch.
Interpretation: I have waited many moons for this opportunity. Squeaked the right incantations, sacrificed the proper corn kernels. And yet, and yet – as the moment of my glory waxes, I find myself transfixed. Unable to perform the final cantrip that will bind my captor in excruciating pain and free me from this accursed cell. This song, it fascinates me. Reaches into my very rodent soul and shows me glories that I had only previously experienced in commune with my Satanic master. Something about the way the rumble courses through my fur prevents me from moving. It is like the infernal divine is speaking directly to me. I must listen…
Blast! All that preparation was for naught. The moment has passed. I have lost. I curse my captor to the very tips of my claws.