Language is a living, evolving thing, and as such, the phrases we use have to adapt with the times. In an era where VHS cassettes and rotary phones are no longer the norm, it’s making less and less sense to talk about “taping a TV show” or “dialing a number,” for example.
Likewise, since the glory days of the riverboat gambler and Wild West poker-playing saloon drifter have, sadly, come to a close, how appropriate is it to talk about having “an ace up your sleeve?” Really, when was the last time you found yourself, in the course of your daily life, in a situation where you thought, “Man, things sure would be better if I had a piece of paper with a single heart on it tucked inside my cuff!”
So let’s take the aces out of our sleeves and replace them with something that’s always welcome: hamsters.
Websites’ names are more often chosen because they sound catchy than because they perfectly encapsulate the organization’s mission statement. You may have noticed, for instance, that RocketNews24 occasionally deals with issues outside the realm of developments in the world of jet propulsion.
Likewise, Japanese website Hamster Sokuho, meaning “Hamster Newsflash,” is more of a general interest site filled with light news than a strict depository of the latest hamster-related information. Sometimes, though, you can take Hamster Sokuho’s name at face value, such as when it shares a gallery of hamu-sode, also called sode-hamu, photos.
As mashups of a shortened version of “hamster” (or, more precisely, its Japanese pronunciation hamusuta) and sode, the Japanese word for sleeve, we’re pretty sure you can guess by now what hamu-sode and sode-hamu snapshots entail. And if you can’t, the following pictures are worth a thousand words.
▼ And also two thousand squeals of “Cuuuuuuuute!!!”
うまかっちゃんたぎ (@tg_hp) January 08, 2015
Aesthetically speaking, we’d be happy seeing the hamu-sode look year-round. The animals themselves, though, seem to be most inclined to cooperate during the colder months, as shown in these tweets from November and October.
おそようございます。(^-^)/ 袖ハムの季節になりました。 最近の定位置w http://t.co/chUXDAiBZT—
えいた (@yeighta) November 09, 2014
▲ “It’s sode-hamu season. Recently, this has become his regular hangout spot.
シヴぁ (@shivaaan) October 19, 2014
▲ “It’s fall, the start of sode-hamu season.”
This little guy felt so at home he even brought some snacks.
お兄ちゃんの袖の中で キャベツを食べるハム( ˘ω˘)♡ http://t.co/t3hjXSJccP—
なつみ (@a_nt01081) April 07, 2014
▲ “Our hamster is eating cabbage inside my brother’s sleeve!”
In some owner’s eyes, though, their sleeve isn’t a lounge, but a staging room for some ninja action.
ひよい (@hiyoi03) May 03, 2014
▲ “Secret ninja technique! Hamster from the Sleeve!”
未衣子 (@315meow) January 08, 2015
▲ “Everyone who has a hamster has tried this at least once, right?”
☛はしもと めいびー☚ (@freeend313) September 27, 2014
With hamu-sode leaving hamsters feeling warm and cozy and humans feeling warm and fuzzy, you’d think it’s a perfect system. There is one drawback, though, in that it can tickle, a lot, for the person providing the sleeve.
私の袖口に入るハムスター... 可愛すぎでもめっちゃくすぐったい…！！ http://t.co/RDOgOjdFIs—
まゆ (@mayu0831riko) May 05, 2014
Still, most owners seem to think that in the end it’s a win-win. After all, hamsters in sleeves really are cute. Or, as this Twitter user dubbed his pet, “Cute as poo.”
brain23@社畜 (@brain23_dk) January 08, 2015
We’ve actually never heard anyone use that term before, but we guess sometimes you see something so adorable, it just short circuits your brain’s language centers.