Chapter 06

 

Karma

 

Furiously, chief accountant Conk stormed out of the town hall, followed by the few employees he still had at his disposal. Consequently the building now housed nothing but the mayor and a few freshly employed dummies under the management of one Dowdy Buzzer who had no qualification beside far eastern meditation and a course on social-pedagogical communication. The further development of Hamsterton’s most important office might be regarded with some interest.

 

“Enough is enough, Mr. Botchy!” he shouted at the baffled chief. “Negative karma! I do not need to stomach that!” And disappeared into the next side road.

 

“Well, neither would I want to have a camel at my place of work – and a negative one, as it is!”

 

“Karma, Dodo, the word is karma. That means something like having a bad aura…” Flecki remarked.

 

“Like Goldi when he’s eaten too much?”

 

“That”, Flecki grinned, looking at the still chewing Goldi, “are just bad manners. He’s got lots of them!”

 

Next day the ‘Hamstian Daily’ at least came out but only in limited edition as all Hamsterton shops kept close. By and by the repair team members arrived to continue their strike at their place of work.

 

“Slept well, Trample?” Botchy barked and pointed at the town hall clock.

 

“Not my fault”, Trample whimpered, “my alarm clock doesn’t work without power.”

 

With a grunt the chief returned to the ‘Daily’. “Aha”, he remarked, “confused seal discovered in village pond! Downtown riots – is HAMPO hand in glove with thieves? Stinking to heaven: Hamsterton without hot water…”

 

“Confirmed by certain chiefs…”

 

“Who said that?!” Botchy shouted, throwing the newspaper to the ground. “Why should I wash if I’ll get dirty again at work?”

 

No one answered and with a snort he took up the paper again. “Dowdy Buzzer, new planning manager for the ‘First Hamstian Exhibition’, has taken up her work as acting director of Hamsterton’s main office. She appeals to all striking parties to approach and embrace one another…”

 

“Doesn’t sound that bad”, Taty cried, approaching Tealeafy. “Come and embrace me!” Both hamsters cackled joyfully while Botchy read on: “As the mayor said in yesterday’s interview with our newspaper, he expects the strike to end soon. For the duration of the strike however experts have been employed to keep up order, supplies, and the continuation of the Hamstian Exhibition Schedule.”

 

“Right swell”, Flecki hissed. “He’ll get a nasty surprise!”

 

“Only experts can manage that”, the chief bawled, “he can’t take some dummies there!”

 

“Right!” Goldi now said. “No one can do it like we do it. If it bangs, there has to be a real bang and not only a pretty sight.”

 

“My idea”, Dodo now piped up. “Prettiness is only on the surface, but ugliness goes to the bones.”

 

“Well, some time you’ve got to explain that to me, Dodo”, Emmy said and shook her head in bewilderment.

 

“Oh, Dodo is always good for some rubbish”, Tealeafy cackled. “D’you remember when Finny gave him the jigsaw for his birthday? Half a year later Dodo visited Finny and proudly told her that he finished it. ‘Already?’ Finny had asked with a grin and Dodo right proudly held up the box saying ‘2 – 14 years’. ‘Indeed’, Dodo confirmed, ‘and I had so many years ahead to finish the jigsaw’.”

 

“Yes, really great, Dodo, you’re quite an example”, Taty cackled and got a kick from Flecki.

 

“Chaps, we’ll take a look”, the chief decided and rose. By and by they all rose, grumbling, and followed Botchy who approached the town hall with quick steps.

 

“Where is the mayor, that mental amoebae?” he barked at the porter who was standing in front of the entrance.

 

“I’m only temporary, I know nothing, Sir…”, that worthy replied, bewildered.

 

“Why did that Conk split, or don’t you know that either, you porter dummy?”

 

“Conk? I don’t  know about conks. As I said, I’m only temporary, I know nothing, Sir.”

 

“And where”, the chief snorted, “is that Bossy bird?”

 

“Buzzer, you mean, Sir? I do not know because…”

 

“…because you’re only temporary and know nothing anyway, you buffoon!” chief Botchy roared and pushed the temporary porter aside.

 

“Eh, Sir, you are not permitted to enter, Miss Buzzer said…”

 

“Shut up, soup hen, you know nothing, right? The one thing you know is that you know nothing!”

 

“Sir”, the temporary porter wailed, “you emit negative energy, Miss Buzzer said, I shall not let you enter!”

 

“I emit what?” the chief bawled and began to push the poor porter about. “I’m right peaceful, you’ve no idea, dogsbody porter, and if you say that again, I’ll nail you to the door, see?”

 

“Sir”, the porter cried, pointing at his coat, “with your unclean hands you dirtied me! Look here, a smudge!”

 

“I’m so very sorry”, Botchy snorted and turned to Dodo. “Dodo, will you please pat off the smudge from this gentleman?”

 

A minute later the hamster troop marched into the town hall while the temporary porter was lying numbly beside the entrance door. Up the stairs and they were in front of the mayor’s office entrance.

 

“Dodo, what does that sign say?”

 

“Knock and enter, Chief!”

 

“Fine”, chief Botchy purred. “So will you please knock down the door so that we can enter, my dear Dodo?”

 

The big hamster uncertainly looked around to Goldi who nodded with a grin. A moment later the hamsters were inside the mayor’s office.

 

“Now where is that chap?” Flecki wondered, cleaning her fur of some splinters which had been created when entering the office.

 

“Sh! Be quiet”, Finny whispered. “I think I can hear something!”

 

Spellbound, the group listened and indeed there were curious noises penetrating from between the yucca and the hibiscus. With a jump Taty and Tealeafy vanished between the leaves and a moment later their friends heard their cackle: “Mr. Mayor is taking his nap amidst nature – very ecology-minded today.”

 

“Dodo”, the chief grumped, “please be kind enough to help the mayor out of there!”

 

“I – I – ha ha – must have fallen asleep and so to say by mistake fallen into the dingus-plants”, the mayor stammered and rose from the floor with a groan. After a short flight from the office-plants and a hard landing in the middle of the room he rubbed his aching bum. “Moreover in a way it’s good for the dingus – er – camel. Erm, or was it the caramel?”

 

“Karma, you dummy”, the chief barked and put his small fists to his broad hips. “And now explain your ideas to us. Who is to build up the First Hamstian Exhibition, he?”

 

“Erm, well, yes, as to that, my dear thief, er… the organ dissector – er – the organization director Dowdy Buzzer is in charge. She schedules so to say the turks – the larks. Ahum, the tasks, to be exact.”

 

“I’ll lark you a turk, you madman! Since when can every dabbler do what he or she likes?”

 

“Now, now, my dear Mr. Notchy – er – Blotchy”, the mayor stammered a took a step back. “We should give a chance to the young amorous – ahem – aggressive, what I mean, ambitious lady…”

 

“That’s enough! Dodo, Mr. Mayor has got some potting soil on his fur, please pat him clean!”

 

While the next moment the mayor was sailing through the office, the before mentioned organizational director entered.

 

“Oh!” she cried in surprise, lifting her short paws. “Mr. Botcher, if I remember correctly…?”

 

“Botchy”, the so addressed grunted. “And you are that karma-bird, aren’t ye?”

 

“Well”, Dowdy replied, re-arranging her violet bow, “karma-counsellor would be more fitting but we should discuss this in detail, Mr. Botchy. One or better several spiritual sitting will establish your inner balance and your karma-powers…”

 

“I am in balance and what do you know about power? Ever cabled a series connection under high voltage?”

 

“Series connection? High voltage?” Dowdy retorted, much surprised.

 

“Yes, at the power station”, Tuffy remarked. “Unfortunately he switched on power too early but after a fur transplantation and a few weeks in hospital the chief was just like before and…”

 

“Tuffy!”

 

“Yes, Boss?”

 

“Another word and I’ll make one or better several spiritual sitting which will establish your inner balance and your damned karma-powers…”

 

“No, Mr. Botchy”, the organizational director and karma-counsellor remarked, “no power of that sort! We are talking about creative power, dear chief, to learn how to reflect the interior. You must not direct your negative powers inward, direct them to the outward!”

 

For a moment the chief stood there, undecided, but then he had a go at the hibiscus and with a well aimed kick made it smash at the wall. “Like this?”

 

“Mr. Botchy!” Dody cried, once more arranging her bow. “I have to ask you to beg pardon to the defenceless plant, you made a chaos of her karma!”

 

“Me, too, I can’t help but criticize you”, the mayor now intervened. “Our Veganian friend may have been badly hurt and the wellbeing of the universe so to say might be a brick – er – at risk and, erm…”

 

“That was in the last story, didn’t you get that, you karma-camel?”

 

“Now, now, chief”, Dowdy tried to calm him after picking up her coming off bow with a curse, “Mr. Mayor is a little overworked…”

 

“From garden work”, Goldi grinned. “His snoring between the vegetable could not be missed.”

 

The karma-counsellor now turned to Goldi. “Well, plants take care of the inner balance. One has to talk to them…”

 

“So I do”, Goldi nodded, “every time before frying them.”

 

“Well – er – Goldi, this is about mental wellbeing, not about eating.”

 

“If I don’t get enough to eat, I do feel mentally unwell and my karma is hungry, and if my inner balance does not at once get some Beefburger, the negative power is reflecting my stomach…”

 

“Don’t confront yourself with the negative powers of your stomach, Goldi, but influence the hunger with the fortified powers of your karma.”

 

Goldi nodded and looked at Dowdy. “I did try. After an hour my karma failed and I collapsed mentally…”

 

“Wow”, Flecki mocked, “a full hour? What a super-hamster!”

 

“Ha!” Goldi cried. “I at least do not collapse mentally when passing a fashion shop!”

 

“What do you mean by that, you munchy-fur?!”

 

“Silence, chaps, or I’ll straighten your karma, see?” the chief shouted who by and by got quite shirted. “So what about the scheduling of the First Hamstian Exhibition now?”

 

“Mr. Botchy, just leave that to me”, Dowdy Buzzer resolutely replied. “Hamsterton will see a spiritual event like never before, the karma of this event will flood the town…”

 

“Something will be flooding me, too, and soon! Come on, chaps, let’s go!”

 

“That dress”, Flecki groaned when the hamster troop was on their way back, “right awful! The flowered dress is completely out. The violet bow over her left ear is much too big and the red sandals just don’t go with that dress…”

 

“Such a bow I’d like to have for my karma”, Dodo said and after a moment added: “And what shall we do now?”