Home at last, and what do I find? Badger has eaten all the parsley, that's what. I had the last laugh though because when he learned that I was due to return he guzzled all the parsley so quickly that some got stuck up his nose and he had to go to the vet to have it removed. I thought that sort of thing only happened to my male staff. Talking of whom; he brought something really nasty home with him, and I'm not talking about his dirty underwear - although that was pretty nasty. He returned home, not only with a large, hairy rodent on his shoulder, but with some sort of strange human malady in his chest. His GP (That's General Practitioner, not Guinea Pig.) told him that he's probably picked up some sort of virus. This, of course, is medical speak for "I haven't got a clue what's wrong with you, now go away and stop bothering me."
He whinges all the time that his chest hurts and that he's constantly short of breath, and it's true, he puffs and pants and wheezes as if he's about to have an orgasm any time at all. It's most unbecoming and quite alarming for the general public. He's worried because a few years ago he was hospitalised with newmoan....noomown....pnoomoan....a really bad chest infection and he is very anxious not to have to repeat that experience because at first they mis-diagnosed a DVT and pumped him so full of warfarin that his eyes leaked blood. But worst of all he had to sleep in a ward full of people even older than him and they used to hold farting contests in the middle of the night while he was trying to sleep.
Anyway his GP made him go and have an echo cardiogram today - mainly to cover her arse, so that if his heart suddenly explodes he can't sue her for negligence. Naturally he took me with him, I mean, who doesn't take their guinea pig along when having an echo cardiogram. So we sat in the waiting room thumbing through tattered copies of Woman's Day and New Idea magazines looking for pictures of scantily clad female celebrities, at least my male staff did. I always go straight to the cooking pages to see if there are any good salad photos.
Shortly my male staff was called, so he picked me up, put me on his shoulder and followed a Mike Tyson lookalike nurse into a dark room where he was told to sit on the bed and take his shirt off. "Someone would be along shortly." She/he/it said. There were all sorts of machines and monitors and humming things in the room, so while my male staff undressed I busied myself chewing a few cables. They weren't as nice as the ones you find on aeroplanes though. After half an hour's wait during which my male staff had turned an interesting shade of blue in the air-conditioning and his nipples had begun to stick out like that model of Wyoming's Devil's Tower that Richard Dreyfuss was making in Close Encounters, a very attractive Canadian lady in a short skirt entered the room and without further ado smeared my male staff's chest with what appeared to be jelly. This had an interesting effect on both his heart rate and his panting, puffing and wheezing. However the lady pretended not to notice and proceeded to stick little labels attached to wires all over him. (I wasn't allowed to chew these.) Then she rubbed a metal thing all over him while watching a monitor that made sloshing noises like a washing machine. The lady told my male staff not to worry about the noises, it was just his heart. Well lady, I tell you what. If my heart was making noises like a washing machine I'd be bloody worried.
Finally the lady stood up, turned the lights on and with some distaste wiped the jelly from my male staff's chest. Then with an evil grin on her face ripped the little sticky labels off, leaving him with more bald patches on his chest than a guinea pig with a bad case of mites. So, he dressed himself, picked me up, much to the lady's surprise (She hadn't seen me in the dark.) and asked her which was the way "oat". Sadly the lady had about as much of a sense of humour as a........well, as a Canadian, so she just glared at us and pointed to the door. I made sure I left her a neat little pile of bush chocolate in the corner of the room. Tomorrow we have to go back and get the results of the echo cardiogram and take them to the GP who will then tell my male staff whether or not his heart is about to explode.