Over at the Pic-A-Pet store, Simon and Ruthie eavesdrop as a man sells the storeowner some hamsters he's bred. The seller holds up the cheque he just received and says, "I've got almost no overhead, and hamsters breed like crazy. This is like money in the bank." Well, it's a cheque, isn't it? So, yes, it is like money in the bank. Besides, it hardly seems like a wise idea to imply to a buyer that the product you're selling him isn't worth what he's paying for it. But then, this entire exchange exists for the sole benefit of convincing Simon and Ruthie to raise hamsters, so I guess the writers just couldn't be bothered to go to the effort of creating dialogue that was even remotely realistic and unstilted. A shifty-looking guy comes in and says, "How about a couple of ferrets?" The shop owner sternly says, "Look, I told you to stay away from here. Ferrets are illegal." Shifty Guy leaves without a word. That whole exchange lasted all of nine seconds. Thanks, writers, for putting the absolute minimum effort into the writing of this scene. Simon asks for a couple of hamsters -- a male and a female. Ruthie adds that she wants the hamsters to be married. Sheesh, even the animals on this show have to be shoehorned into RevCam's neat little moral categories. The pet store owner says he won't sell animals to minors, so the trolls leave.
Outside the Pic-A-Pet, Shifty Guy is waiting for them. I swear to God, he actually says, "Psst! Come here." With a charmingly issued invitation like that, how can Simon and Ruthie refuse? Shifty Guy whips open his jacket and shows the kids a couple of ferrets he has in his pockets. That reminds me of the neighbour who used to live in the cottage next to my husband's. He was always doing yard work and didn't want to take the time to stop and feed the chipmunks he'd tamed. So he would put peanuts in his pants pockets, and the chipmunks would climb up and retrieve them while he worked. We used to call him Mr. Chipmunk Pants. ["I have a similar nickname for Dawson Leery, but not nearly as cute or rated-G in origin." -- Sars] You know, in retrospect, that really doesn't have much to do with this episode. But you have to admit that it's a much nicer story than anything that's going on onscreen. Okay, so Shifty Guy tries to talk the brats into buying his ferrets, claiming that they are "the fastest money-making animals on the market." The kids fall for this spiel, and Simon makes the mistake of saying they only have fifty bucks to spend. I can't fault Simon for being gullible. He's just a kid. Hell, when we were forced to frequent some pretty skeevy used car lots two years ago, it took us a little while to figure out that if you tell them up front how much you want to spend, of course all the cars are going to cost no less than that. Naturally, Shifty Guy is willing to let both the ferrets go for fifty, though he says he normally sells each ferret for that amount. Child labour laws are probably what prevent us from getting to see Simon stuff his own jacket with ferrets, which is rather a disappointment to me.