The following days brought Hamsterton events like they never had seen before. Dowdy Buzzer had indeed succeeded to lure the Hamstian police, fire brigade, everyone else back to work as a passage in the Hamstian constitution said that strikes without negotiations were not to last beyond one week. As negotiations were directed by Dowdy and the mayor, the strikers after a short time gave up, unnerved, and took up their work again grumpily and reluctant. Thieves and dark figures still had an easy game and also the traffic broke down regularly by accidents. There were reports how the traffic hamsters directed the traffic hither and thither now and then but in between left the traffic to the traffic to take breaks.
Civil Service was simply overstrained. The required compliance of mental karma was occupying the new employees so much that they no longer had the time to do their jobs. Applications were piling up, complaints were not answered.
Complaints and charges with HAMPO were futile. The acting director of the supreme Hamsterton office had given out several regulations on Preparing and Fostering of the Inner Karma for Appropriate Mental Maintenance to the Inhabitants of Hamsterton. Accordingly the officers were either busy refurnishing their offices or were simply fostering their inner karma, as Trample found out.
“I’ve been to the police station to complain”, he told his friends while they watched how Dowdy Buzzer’s aids started their first attempt to erect the large tent for the Hamstian Exhibition.
“Well?” the officer on duty yawned and slowly took his hind paws from the desk.
“I’m to pay 500 sickles parking tax and I have no money”, I lamented.
“Why?” the officer asked, leafing through some glossy in a bored fashion.
“Well, it was like this”, I told him. “I had taken a look at some second-hand cars and stopped in front of a dented Porsche. The car had had an accident recently and really looked bad – but a Porsche after all!”
“Porsche, I see”, the officer yawned, putting aside the magazine and unwrapping his breakfast. “Shouldn’t say no to one. Go on.”
“Well, I’m standing there dreaming when suddenly the owner of the company is at my side, addressing me”, I sobbed.
“You may have the car, I can see how much you like it, my friend!”
“But I have no money…”
“But I have a heart of gold, my hamster friend. The car is yours. Be happy with it!”
“Oh, thank you, thanks a lot!” I cried and happily looked at the sport’s car which was mine now.
The dealer slowly walked back to his shop but suddenly he turned round and shouted: “And now see that you get that wreck of my premises. If in another hour that junk is on my yard still, I’ll get the police!”
“We have a charge against you indeed, Mr. Trample…”
“Shit happens”, Botchy grinned, watching how one stay rope came lose and a hamster sailed through the air.
“Yes”, Trample nodded, “so I went to the civil office to get legal aid.”
“They’re just too daft”, Goldi laughed while three hamsters were buried under a side part.
“So they are”, Trample grumped, “but they all were busy re-arranging their pot flowers…”
“Wow, right freaky!” Taty and Tealeafy cheered when the main tent broke away and disappeared in the distance.
“Yes, indeed”, Trample nodded, “they even talked to the silly plants!”
“Dabblers!” chief Botchy grunted. “Well now, Trample, tell us, what did the police officer say?”
“Trample?” Flecki cried. “Why do you bang your head at the ground?”
“Looking for his karma probably”, Dodo wondered. “Oh, look at, the wind has turned and carries back the tent!”
“They’ve been right lucky”, Botchy remarked when the wind carried the tent back to the site where it brushed down the complete scaffold with a deafening clatter and the temp hamsters, shrieking, tried to seek shelter. “Such a tent is really expensive!”
With some interest the hamster troop watched the first ambulances approaching with sirens and flashing lights to safe the karma of Dowdy Buzzer’s assistants.
“What are the odds they chose the wrong screws”, Goldi mocked, giving Botchy a side glance and he retorted at once:
“Screws? Ha! That’s nothing but simple plug connections with a 5 ½ safety clamp, I’d mount that for you within half an hour.”
“Look, the tent got caught at the ambulance…”, Tuffy shouted.
Merrily, the repair troop watched how the ambulance started towards the Hamsterton hospital, dragging the huge main tent behind. Clattering, it collected parts of the scaffold, tools, and two remaining assistant hamsters. Now the ambulance sped along the Hamsterton traffic with the tent and its contents in tow. Two minutes later the show was over and the place where the building works for the Hamstian Exhibition had been standing was clean like swept.
“A good karma needs clean surroundings”, Flecki stated. “They made a nice job of it.”
“I’m thrilled to know what sorts of things they clear away if they get to the main street”, Goldi grinned. “It’s rush hour right now.”
“Well, certainly for some it will be a little painful but everyone should be willing to make small sacrifices for traffic calming”, Tealeafy jeered; Taty cheerfully clapped his hands, shouting:
“And that will make any number of parking spaces!”
The repair hamsters all nodded and watched how the acting director of the Supreme Hamstian Office came storming out of the town hall and now stood on an empty space where moments before had been a building site. She turned to a policeman who just wanted to board his car after he had taken down some notes on the recent accident. Dowdy Buzzer seemed to be dissatisfied with something and the repair troop listened, spellbound. Dowdy shouted something about the “symmetry of matters” and worked at the rear mirrors of his car. For some time she turned the mirrors to and fro until both rear mirrors had the same angle. “45 degree, that’s the magical number of symmetry”, her voice rang out. Then the police care started. When turning into the main street, there was a clatter, brakes shrieked, wheels squeaked, and there was more clatter.
“Seems the driver has not seen the traffic behind him”, Hamstilidamst gasped.
“Wrongly adjusted rear mirrors often are the cause for accidents”, Goldi grinned.
“We should go on holiday, people”, Flecki mused, “as far away as possible.”
At the same time the mayor had a visitor he first was not keen on and second for not prepared for because just now he was trying to arrange all the pictures and plants in his office symmetrically or at least in an angle of 45 degree. Unfortunately the hibiscus had just tumbled over when a smartly clad hamster entered, introducing himself as the agent of Hamsterjello the singer.
“Oh, am I inconvenient, Mr. Mayor? I do not wish to interrupt your decoration work but the matter is pressing.”
“Erm, no, you’re in – er – I mean convenient. What sort of press is it?”
“Well, Mr. Mayor, an accident happened to my client – Mr. Hamsterjello during the announcement of the First Hamstian Exhibition. You certainly know that he had to be taken to the hospital and this…” The agent paused meaningfully. “Well, in consequence Mr. Hamsterjello had to call off several concerts and now the event managers require their money back.”
“Well, erm, yes, I was told something in that line…”
“Mr. Mayor, you have been standing right close to the events!”
“Yes, of course. I so to say remember. But be asdingus – er – sured that Hamsterton will not ask him for money. We are in a way very happy that Mr. Jelly expires in one of our fine hospitals, that is that he lingers there.”
“Hamsterjello is the name, Mr. Mayor, and neither my client nor I are very happy that he lingers in a hospital! Who is to pay the cancelled concerts?” he became more direct.
“Erm, well, who is to pay?” the mayor wondered. “Perhaps you go and ask Miss Fuzzy – er – Buzzer, the so to say responsible person here. By the by, who is that Mr. Client you were talking about?”
The agent had hardly left the mayor’s office with a disgusted expression, when there was another knock and a most elegant looking hamster lady entered, carefully avoided the remnants of the hibiscus and presented herself as agent of the singer Agnelia of Hamsterjelly. Followed a long debate which was interrupted by phone calls of his niece who wanted to know from her mayor-uncle who in the town hall was responsible for the payment of larger sums. After the visitor had been sent to the acting director as well, there was another knock at the mayor’s door and so on and so on. Lots of people claimed damages and in the evening it penetrated that Hamsterton was bankrupt. Once again.
Consequently, Hamsterton could no longer pay their many employees. Next day the dustmen were on strike, followed by the transport services. After the mayor failed greatly, Dowdy Buzzer became the spokes-hamster to explain to dustmen and traffic folks why they should not strike. Also the negotiations with the acting director came to nothing because the dustmen did not want to have anything to do with karma. Neither did the traffic services. By and by all other Hamsterton offices joined them.
Only in the town hall there was quite a bustle. Even the mayor tried – by phoning – to save what might be saved. However, after also the telephone company of Hamsterton joined the strike due to wages missing, there was nothing to phone any longer and so the mayor waddled from one employee to the next without gaining anything. In an emergency meeting he called, they decided to set a sign at once and continue the erection of the First Hamstian Exhibition.
“Now tell me this”, wondered Goldi next morning when the repair troop continued their strike on the market place, “did they not get enough? What are they doing there?”
“If you ask me, I’d say they continue the building works”, Hamstilidamst retorted, surprised.
“Dabblers”, the chief gnarled. “And seeing that the mayor is in it, they certainly are poor off.”
“Swell!” Goldi cried, unwrapping his sandwich. “Now we’ll get sheer disaster!”
The hamsters made themselves as comfortable as possible and joyfully watched how Dumb and Ass, the temporaries, were buried under a collapsing scaffold, causing the acting director for the First Hamstian Exhibition to get a tantrum and accusing them of missing mental basic attitude.
“They forgot to fix the side riders”, chief Botchy jubilated. “Typical greenhorn mistake!”
“O yes, our chief knows all the typical greenhorn mistakes”, came a voice but Botchy seemed to not listen because his attention now was on the mayor who vanished in a pit, shrieking.
“Well, keeping up this speed, that will be the last Hamstian Exhibtion”, Flecki remarked and watched with fascination how Dowdy Buzzer tried to escape a crashing down poster.
After another hour that matter was done with and much to the regret of the repair troop the works were finished. Only the mayor was still at the site after climbing out of the pit with many difficulties.
“We should help them!” Flecki ejaculated and they all looked at her thunderstruck.
“Why should we?” Goldi asked. “They get along well enough without us…”
“She is right”, Emmy and Dasy chorused.
“Aren’t they our friends and brothers and sisters – o well, rather brothers and sisters – but if we don’t do anything, there will be no Hamsterton left.”
This was the moment the mayor came stumbling by. On his way to the town hall he had to pass the repair troop closely.
“All right”, chief Botchy grumbled, getting up. “But only because Hamsterton is at stake.”