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Ralph Le Gerbois

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[Photo of Ralph (a gerbil) here]

Ralph Le Gerbois is the Vice-President of Information Security at JCR Design and Consulting. In this role, he is responsible for security of all confidential information in the company, including the shredding of documents. I don't know Ralph's age, for reasons that will become clear below.

Ralph was given to me by a colleague at work. Apparently his kids found it living wild and free underneath their back-yard deck, and the kids thought it was a mouse. They named him Ralph, after the mouse in the Ralph S. Mouse series by Beverly Cleary (The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, and Ralph S. Mouse). The colleague's spouse recognized that it was, in fact, a gerbil, and it was tame and came up to them.

They had him about three months, but he turned out to be an escape artist. They bought a "starter" Habitrail® unit and one of those external running-wheel modules, but he chewed through the wheel joint and escaped. He also chewed the heck out of the sky-box tube--it looks like he gnawed away several inches of tubing. Because of his constant escapes, my colleague got his kids to agree to let him find Ralph a new home in exchange for a fish and a turtle. I also had to agree to keep his name Ralph.

I theorized that part of his escapist tendencies (in addition to his having been a Wild Free Feral Gerbil, boldly living unfettered off the open wilderness) came from the fact that he was just bored with his smallish home. So I bought some Habitrail® connectors and a bigger Habitrail® box with an internal running wheel. I also bought him one of those gerbil balls, so he can run around outside his cage without disappearing into the heating system. He now has approximately 20 feet of intersecting tubes to run through, plus the wheel (which he seems to enjoy). I am also providing ample gnawing material--cardboard and official Living World/Habitrail®©[TM] wood gerbil chews, which, as near as I can tell, are just four little slabs of popsicle-stick wood painted with food coloring and sold for $3--in the hopes that he would not gnaw up all that expensive Habitrail tubing. At first, Ralph clawed at various parts of his domain, obviously searching for a weakness that he could exploit to escape. Now he has settled down into the Gerbil equivalent of The Good Life.

Ever since I mentioned Ralph as "someone else at my company who might also qualify for a free subscription to MacWeek" on the application form, he has been receiving increasing quantities of junk mail. Once he gets a pre-approved credit card, Ralph says he is treating me to dinner.

What's Ralph up to right now? (experimental Ralph Cam)

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Last Updated:
Friday, April 11, 1997
at 6:08 PM by JCR
Copyright ©1997 John C. Rivard.
All Rights Reserved.
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