Blake Levy, who is in Mrs. Wallace's first grade class at Plain Oaks Elementary, sat down for his usual Monday afternoon "Juice Box-Oreos-TV" routine. But what began as a carefree escape into the animated world inhabited by some freckly kids and their giant talking hamster has quickly become a hellish nightmare, owing to the irresponsible behavior of the show's main character, Harry the Hamster.
"Don't listen to the Hamster! He always gets you in trouble! Don't you remember last week?!" Levy screamed at the screen, referring to an episode where the two young children barely escape a brutal suffocating death after Harry the Hamster convinces them to snorkel in what turns out to be a vat of wet cement labeled "swimming pool."
While anxiously watching this week's episode, Levy went through five string cheeses, a box of Oreos, three Juicy Juices, and a sip of his Mom's Diet Coke, all before the first commercial break.
Even during commercial breaks, Levy paced in front of the TV, biting his nails, his heart racing. His dog, Randy, a miniature labradoodle with no concept of anything other than his own solipsistic existence, watched him indifferently from the sofa, chewing on an empty juice box.
But things have only gotten worse since then, with Harry the Hamster encouraging his young friends to eat from a pit filled with poisonous snakes labeled "World's Largest Moving Pasta Bowl."
According to Levy, the children are confronted with these types of life-threatening situations on a weekly basis but never seem to learn.
"By the end of the last episode," said Levy, sweating uncontrollably, "Harry the Hamster was in a full body cast, the whole house was burnt to the ground, and the children had become national heroes. But today, it's like it never happened. It's the scariest thing!"
Immediately after finishing the episode, Levy collapsed on the sofa, too exhausted to turn off the TV. His mom brought out his microwaved Kid's Cuisine, but instead of eating he stared vacantly at the haphazardly divided portions of 'Sprinkle Brownie' and 'Macaroni Dinner.'
Mrs. Levy turned toward her son and smiled happily. "Look, honey, it's your favorite show." After picking some rogue sprinkles out of his macaroni, Levy gazed fearfully at the screen as the opening credits began to "Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner."