I had a small and ancient fourth grade teacher with an affinity for elastic-waisted calico house dresses. We liked to call her Mrs. Itchy-Butt. She was evil. I recall her not allowing a girl to go to the bathroom, that girl then peeing in her chair, and Itchy-Butt then making her sit in the puddle of urine. I may be making that up, but the memory is so vivid that I have no choice but to believe it is true. For some reason, Itchy-Butt was violently opposed to pens filled with blue ink and had a degenerate hippo fetish. The entire classroom was decorated with things like ceramic hippo tchotchkys and framed hippo photos. There was a sugary-colored, quilted hippo tapestry-esque wall-hanging that dangled from a nail on the back of the classroom door. She had a hippo chia pet. I never understood why a woman would have such an obsession with a large, brown, blobby animal that only looks cute when rendered as a cartoon with shiny eyes and a wide smile. I realize now that hippos are often thought of as unassuming and gentle creature, when infact they are violent and huge and reponsible for hundreds of human deaths every year. Itchy-Butt was similarly gentle-looking with her tight, gray perm, but her wrath was Trunchbull-like in its execution. Perhaps the beast became her primary idée fixe because she felt they were both gifted with deceptive exteriors which made it easier for them to prey on innocent nine year olds/bite people with their bone-crushing jaws.
I had no choice but to think of Itchy-Butt when I saw this video, thinking that this is how she would treat her pet hippo. The aptly named Jessica is a spoiled pet hippo who lives in Africa and is allowed to enter her family's house and given free reign of the kitchen. And at night, before she is tucked in her pink blanket and pillow, Jessica's caretaker (who says she considers Jessica her daughter) is rubbed down head to toe with a full body massage that must really help with all the aches caused by the strenuous life of a hippo. I'm also disturbed that the woman who takes care of and pampers Jessica equates ceaselessly waiting on someone/thing to being a mother.
I fully blame my traumatizing year at Atkins Elementary School for my irrational disdain for hippos. I'm sure they are lovely.