Badger and I settled in comfortably on our staff's laps the other night to watch the Royal Wedding. We both had a great pile of lettuce to work our way through and lots of strokes to absorb, so it was quite a busy night. We were both impressed by the stupidity of many of the ladies' hat and I'm proud to say that the stupidest of them all belonged to Julia Gillard - our esteemed Prime Minister. The whole hat thing reminds me of a story Badger told me the other day. Stop me if you've heard it before.
It seems that Prince Charles had been invited to open the new library in Cooroy. It was January, the hottest, most humid month of the year in Queensland. During the ceremony His Majesty was standing outside with the other dignitaries and the Mayor couldn't help but notice that the Prince was sweating madly under a heavy fox fur hat.
The Mayor was curious. "Excuse me Sir," he said deferentially. "I was just wondering why you are wearing a fox fur hat when it's 90 degrees in the shade, with 90 percent humidity."
"Well," replied the Prince. "When I received this invitation I had no idea what I should wear. So I sought advice from Mummy. I said, Mummy, I've just been invited to open the new library in Cooroy. What do you think I should wear. Mummy looked up from mopping up a corgi do-do and said. Cooroy? Wear the fox hat."
Just lately I've developed a very useful skill. I can do a very passable imitation of a dead guinea pig and if I pass bottom wind at the same time I even smell like I've been dead for some time. I lie very still and flat on my straw bedding, eyes wide open and unblinking. I've managed to fool my female staff a couple of times already. When she sees me in this position she gasps and calls out "Oh Billy darling! Are you alright?" Then just as she reaches in to the cage to pick up my cold furry corpse I leap into the air and shoot into my little red shelter, where I sit in the doorway, laugh and say "Ha! Gotcha!" Look. It may sound cruel but it gives the poor old girl a little excitement. God knows she gets little enough being married to my male staff who's been told by the human vet that he has to do something about his cholesterol, whatever that is. Apparently if he doesn't "do something" about this cholesterol thing he won't have to pretend to have karked it because he'll be doing it for real. Then my poor female staff will have to dig a really big hole under the tree where Tiki and Wiggles the budgies ended up when they shuffled off this mortal coil.
Interestingly, the term "Shuffled off this mortal coil" comes from Shakespeare's play Hamlet. What does a guinea pig know about the plays of the great Bard? Quite a lot actually. It's a little known fact that he kept several guinea pigs as pets and that many of his plays were actually written about them and the titles were changed later to appeal to a wider audience. Romeo and Juliet were actually his two favourite guinea pigs.
He also wrote "The Taming of the Guniea Pig", "Much Ado About a Guinea Pig", "Two Guinea Pigs of Verona", "King Cavy", and my personal favourite "The Merry Guinea Pigs of Windsor".