Every word of what I'm about to tell you is true.
My little sis (age 6 then) had always been a little odd when it came to her choice of pets I guess. I was age 9, sitting on the couch in our 4th floor Brooklyn apartment sipping Dr. Pepper and watching Batman. Mom was at work, and my sister hadn't come home from school yet.
I should've been doing homework, but it was an unspoken agreement between me and mom that I didn't do it until she came home and bothered me. Right smack in the middle of my half hour period of admiration for the caped crusader, my sister thrusts the door open behind me with a mischievous grin on her face, a grin I have since learn to fear.
"I got a hippo!*" she cried.
Frankly, I thought she had to be joking. Perhaps she had found some mutt on the street or something, but after she slipped off her backpack, she went back out into the hallway for a moment and came back with a baby hippo in her arms. It was a small thing, and couldn't have been very big. I looked at the tiny dog like (but much fatter, and without hair) thing with a rather peculiar expression, not sure which way to question my sister's lunacy first.
I opened my mouth to speak, "But sis, you know that—"
I was interrupted by a very loud grinding noise, not unlike nails against a chalkboard. The hippo had walked over in a nonchalant manner to the metal pipe next to the radiator, and had proceeded to grind its teeth against it.
"What the hell is it doing?" I asked.
She just shrugged and continued to watch with me in fascination. At the time we didn't really have to worry; I was fairly sure mom and dad wouldn't be home for another hour to an hour and a half. Plenty of time to talk some sense into my loon for a sister.
"Look!" she pointed.
My glance follow the path of her finger, and my eyes found themselves looking at the tiny excuse for a tail positioned directly above the hippo's rump. It had started twirling, the same way the tip of a dradle twirls when you spin it. The grinding sound got louder, and the tail spun faster and faster.
I had barely opened my mouth to tell my sister we had to get rid of the hippo when something amazing happened. This single event would forever make me question the laws of physics and ballistic projectiles. Like a machine gun, the hippo launched shit in large pellets toward my sister, the twirling tail seemingly causing the turds to spin as they barraged my sister**.
After what seemed like minutes, but was probably only seconds, the hippo stopped. To make things worse, my mother knocked on the door, which I had had the smarts to lock with the bolt as soon as my sister had brought the hippo in.
"Honey! Let mommy in," my mother cried from behind the door.
"Crap," I quipped.
Quickly, I told my sister to hide the hippo and clean herself while I distracted the parents in the living room. As she ran by a rancid smell flared in my nostrils, although I'm not sure if it wreaked more of hippo or of hippo shit (or maybe just my sister).
I stood on my tip toes to take the bolt off, and my parents charged in. Before I could fulfill my objective and make small talk, my parents ran to the kitchen counter and put down their grocery bags. Wordlessly, their eyes darted around the room, searching for drugs, narcotics, and TV decoders of any kind. They found none, and for a moment, appeared to think everything is normal.
They began to walk around the apartment as they normally did, making their rounds so to speak. I went to my sister's room to see if she had hid the hippo. I found her there, changed into new clothes and the shit wiped off her face.
"Find a good place for him?" I asked.
She grinned, something I should've interpreted as a bad omen, "I think he'll be comfortable."
Just then, I heard my dad's cry.
"SWEET BABY JESUS!!! SANDRA, THERE'S A HIPPO IN THE BATHTUB!"
*I never did find out how she got the hippo (field trip to the zoo?).
**Or why it decided to launch its shit.