Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year

At the end of December it is traditional for guinea pigs throughout the world to make predictions for the coming New Year. This dates back to Inca times in Peru. Sadly though in those days, about the only reliable predictions they could make were that in all likelihood they would be bonked on the head by some bloke leading a llama and shoved into a wok to be stir-fried with basil and coriander and served up with fava beans and a cheeky little Chianti.

So, here are a few of my predictions for 2013.

America stumbles over the fiscal cliff, but is saved from disaster when it's Calvin Klein fiscal underpants,(fashionably worn so that the label shows above their baggy fiscal trousers,) get snagged on a fiscal tree preventing them from falling to their fiscal death and squashing several smaller nations who are sitting at the foot of the fiscal cliff having a fiscal picnic.

America's fiscal underpants.

America's National Rifle Association finally comes up with a solution to the ongoing school mass shooting issue. It funds the distribution of semi-automatic assault rifles to pupils for self defence. Later that same month the NRA President David Keene is tragically shot in a hunting accident when a friend mistakes him for a squirrel. Fortunately the bullet lodged in his brain, so he is pretty much unharmed.

"Go ahead Mom. Make my lunch."

Easter is cancelled when scientific proof of the existence of God emerges and it turns out that she is an atheist.

My female staff, now fully recovered from her cataract operations sees my male staff  clearly for the first time in months and immediately asks if she can have her cataracts re-inserted.

Australia becomes a republic and the nation's first President is mining magnate Clive Palmer. My male staff applies for a job as his official chin carrier. The national flag is changed to a tyrannosaurus rex, rampant with a sinking Titanic background.

My male staff has a full time job as Clive Palmer's official chin carrier.

It finally dawns on the USA that the main reason they are in so much debt is because George Dubya decided to get bogged down in an unnecessary multi-trillion dollar war in Iraq and at the same time decided to cut tax for the rich so that Mr and Mrs Average would have to foot the bill. Mind you, the dopey sod wouldn't have felt the need to do that if his daddy had finished the job properly as advised by General "Stormin' Norman".

The Wimbledon mens tennis final is washed out and abandoned totally without a single ball being served. This has nothing to do with the weather, but the flood of tears from the centre court crowd and the court being churned to mud as the said crowd try desperately to escape as Sir Cliff Richard stands up to sing "Congratulations".

Sir Cliff Richard passes wind at Wimbledon, then tries to distract everyone by singing "Congratulations".

The fifth Ashes cricket test match between England and Australia at the Oval is washed out without a ball being bowled. This has nothing to do with the weather, but the flood of tears from the Members Stand crowd and the pitch being churned to mud as the said crowd try desperately to escape as Sir Cliff Richard stands up to sing "Congratulations".

My male staff forgets my female staff' birthday........again, and is exiled to the spare room........again.
While there he has time to think about what he will forget to buy for her birthday in 2014.

I finally achieve a lifelong ambition when I succeed in mounting Badger six times in ten minutes while my staff are distracted cleaning up a large pile of bush chocolate, which in a tactical masterstroke, I had deposited on their favourite Moroccan rug.

Australia holds a general election and Julia Gillard's Australian Labor Party are defeated by Tony Abbott's Liberal National Party. He immediately decrees that all boats will be towed back to Indonesia. This upsets thousand of passengers on Cunard's Queen Mary as they were rather looking forward to their visit to Sydney. Tony Abbott declares once again that he is not a woman hater and in fact he has several of them cleaning the Lodge for him every day.

Our newly proved lady athiest God proclaims "The Three Commandments".
1. Thou shalt not belong to any religious group.
2. Thou shalt repect all animals as though they were human.

Yes I know that's only two, but she is blonde.
In any case, ninety nine percent of the world's conflicts cease almost immediately and many endangered animal species start to grow in numbers.

My own prediction is that my feet will become even more handsome and that Bill will get caught red handed by his staff when he sneaks up behind me in October, because I will wheek and wheek until someone comes........AHEM!.......hopefully not Billy.  Meanwhile, Billy and I wish you all a very happy and peaceful 2013.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Year Of Leaky Eyes

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Actually around here it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas by the middle of September, at least in the local shopping centres. In our house it still doesn't look anything like Christmas. My staff steadfastly refuse to have anything to do with it. There is not a single strand of tinsel anywhere in the house. The only concession to the festive season is a sparse display of Christmas cards, most of which are for Badger and I.

If you are reading this then you'll know that those silly Mayans were wrong about the world ending on December the twenty first. My staff were very disappointed to wake on on December the twenty second to find that the world was still there and that they'd have to buy each other Christmas presents after all. Humans are odd things. There was a rumour put about (Probably by the Quilpie shire tourism office, if such a body exists.) that Quilpie and one or two the the surrounding hamlets was a safe zone, and as such would be spared the fate that was to befall the rest of the planet. For those who are not familiar with Quilpie, it is a small outback town in south west Queensland, Australia, miles and miles from the nearest McDonald's or anyone who is not wearing an Akubra hat.

A typical Qulipie parking lot. The camel has just eaten the men's Akubra hats.

Anyway, for weeks now the town has been swamped by crowds by funny folk counting down the days to Armageddon, looking forward to being able to thumb their noses at the rest of the world and say "See, I told you." Don't you find it rather ironic that so many people would go to the end of earth to survive the end of the earth. I doubt that it was the Mayans themselves who predicted that Quilpie was your best bet for living beyond December the twenty first, 2012. As far as I know they were blissfully unaware that Australia existed. Heavens above, they didn't even have rotary washing lines or Speedos. So the world plods on, ever more rapidly getting warmer thanks to gutless politicians, greedy multi-national companies and a complacent population. Cor Blimey! Talk about fiddling while Rome burns. These bastards could teach old Nero a thing or two.

It has been a year of leaky eyes in this household. Two of my best online buddies passed away, so I'd like to make special mention of Steve and Sparty. The world has never know two finer guinea pigs. I hope they're up there now sitting a a guinea pig shaped cloud munching on their favourite treats and peeing on Jesus' lap.

Paolo and Biggles - our budgie housemates became very ill this year. Poor cheeky Biggles passed away and my staff had to bury him under the evodia tree in the garden. There were tears that day. My female staff said it felt almost sacrilegious to put such a beautiful green bird in the ground. Paolo lives on though I'm happy to report, and he's as insane as ever. He loves to hang upside down in front of his mirror and admire his blue tummy while talking to himself. I think he learned that sort of behaviour from my male staff, but let's not go there.

My female staff's dad passed away after a long, difficult illness, and my male staff's mum went too.
My male staff spent much of the end of 2011 travelling between Australia, various parts of Africa for work and England to help with the care of his mum who was slowly dying from an inoperable brain tumour. Then in early December 2011 he decided that he need to get back to Australia for a while to try to resurrect his travel business. He wasn't feeling well at the time, and a visit to the doctor when he reached Australia told him why. He had two lungfuls of blood clots from all the long haul flights, which lead to a week in hospital in the intensive care ward. It also mean that he was grounded and was unable to return the England. He never saw his Mum again. She died peacefully in hospital about six weeks later. The day before she died he lay alone on his bed in the dark. His mad sister was at their Mum's bedside. She handed the phone to their Mum and although she couldn't speak, my male staff was able to say goodbye and tell her how much he loved her. He wanted to crawl down the phone line and hug her, but instead, when he had run out of things to say he simply said, "See you soon Mum." and hung up, laying in the dark, brimming with frustration and guilt, too sad even to cry.

There were tears more recently when I became ill. I stopped eating and pooping, lost weight and became about as lethargic as my staff are on a Sunday morning after spending Saturday night guzzling wine. Naturally, like all good animals I decided that the best time to become dangerously ill was at the weekend when no emergency help is available. On Sunday night my staff carried my cage into their bedroom and they both gave me a cuddle before they went to sleep. There was no way that I could get any sleep because my fur was too wet with all their tears. Anyway, much to their surprise I was still in the land of the living in Monday morning, so I was rushed to the vet and the rest is history.

Today my female staff decided that we needed one or two things before Christmas, so she shoved Badger and I into the Hyundai Getz and we set off for the little supermarket in town. It was only after we'd driven through two shallow creeks and across a cattle paddock, watched with idle interest by a group of brahman steers that I noticed that this wasn't the way we usually drive to town.   Even my male staff manages to keep mostly to the road, with just the occasional excursion onto the verge to avoid killing butterflies. It was then that I remembered my female staff's cataracts and made a mental note to myself not to travel with her again until she has them fixed. Nevertheless, we got there in one piece. (Though the Getz was a bit spattered with cattle dung.) Once in the crowded shop we were plonked into a shopping basket.

My female staff then made the very basic error of putting lettuce, cucumber and celery into the basket with us. We didn't complain of course, we just munched quietly and deposited bush chocolate onto the floor through the holes in the wire basket. At one point I was interested to hear an announcement over the shop's PA system. "Assistant to aisle three please. Required to clear up a large spill of chocolate raisins." It was particularly satisfying to note that a bratty little kid who had been having a tantrum was already cleaning them up and popping them into his mouth. His mother let him do it, just pleased that he wasn't screaming for a couple of minutes.

It was slow going with all the people milling in the aisle, yakking away to each other, oblivious of my female staff who trying to get in and out of the shop in a hurry. By the time she'd reached the front the the long check out queue we'd eaten all the vegies and were sitting alone in the basket burping quietly. It wasn't until the check out chick had scanned Badger and put him in a plastic bag that she realised what had happened. We were left at the till with the rather surprised check out chick while she went to collect another basketful of salad.

The drive home was fairly uneventful, though it was punctuated by my female staff's dark mutterings about the fact that if she owned a supermarket she's employ someone with an electric cattle prod to zap anyone aimlessly milling or standing chatting in the aisles for more than ten seconds at a time.

Since Billy has neglected to do so, and because I can't think how to link his ramblings with my feet, I will simply wish all our readers a very, very merry Christmas. Ho Ho Wheeeeeeeeeeeeek!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Guinea Pig Saver

What a week! I've been in hospital again. I had a throat ulcer and was having trouble swallowing my food. So once again I was loading into the Hyundai Getz (Ignoring my male staff's cruel and unnecessary comments that he's thinking of buying a forklift for such operations.") and driven by my female staff to the guinea pig specialist vet on the north side of Brisbane. Normally I rather enjoy riding with my female staff because she remembers that the Getz is a manual vehicle and changes gear now and again, rather than driving everywhere in first gear like my male staff, who thinks it's an automatic.  However, you may recall that my female staff was recently diagnosed with cataracts, and now she says it's like looking out through a fog. So armed with this knowledge I was more than a little nervous and not the least bit surprised when we ended up on the south side of Brisbane before my female staff realised she'd missed the turning. She explained to me that she was having trouble reading the street names and I explained to her that I'd feel safer if she let me out and let me walk the rest of the way. We exchanged words at that point, many of them beginning with the letter F, but since I was locked inside a carrying box there wasn't much I could do but sit tight and hope we didn't hit anything big and heavy.

Two hours and three random breath tests later we arrived the the hospital and I was left there to be tortured once again. I was jabbed with needles, drugged, had my mouth and bottom passage peered into with torch and suffered numerous other indignities for two whole until finally on Friday my male staff turned up as if nothing had happened. By that time the vet had placed me in my carrying box ready to go. I glared with overt venom at my male staff, who said "Hello Billy, I've come to take you home."
  "You can get stuffed you bastard!" I said. "Leaving me here for these monsters to have their wicked way with me." I always forget that he can't understand Piglish though, so all he heard was "wheeeek! wheeeek! wheeeek!"
  "Aww." Said my male staff. "He's pleased to see me , bless him."

Back in the Hyundai Getz I was placed on the front seat and resigned myself to two noisy hours driving at one hundred and ten kilometres an hour in first gear. The first thing I noticed though was that there was a mini television stuck to the inside of the windscreen. It's a GPS he explained. Apparently he bought this thing thinking that GPS stood for Guinea Pig Saver. His line of thought was that the ninety nine dollar investment in the guinea pig saver would very quickly save money in vet bills.

Anyway, an added bonus with the guinea pig saver is that it helps you find your way to places, which is really helpful if. like my male staff, you could compete in the Special Olympic in the Totally Bloody Useless Sense of Direction category. The GPS thingy was even clever enough to match my female staff driving advice. Actually it wasn't so much advice as demands, delivered in a strident Margaret Thatcher type voice.
  "Turn right in two hundred metres, then turn right again, then again and again." My male staff had been driving around in right handed circles for half an hour before he realised that the voice was indeed that of Margaret Thatcher and that there was more chance of him winning the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in his Hyundai Getz that he did of getting Maggie to order a left turn. U turns were right out too. Finally he managed to switch the damned thing off and we found our own way home - in first gear all the way naturally.

I must admit that I was one of the very few beings on earth who welcomed the GFC. I thought it stood for Guinea pig Foot Club. For a while I thought I would have the opportunity to show off my feet to like minded cavies. How was I to know it was actually a man made disaster brought on by a bunch of greedy bankers and stupid politicians.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Taliban Diet

The other day my male staff took me into the shopping centre near his reverse people smuggling office (My male staff claims it's a travel agency.) This in itself was rather unusual, especially when it gets close to Christmas. All that tinsel, baubles and piped Christmas music does something to his primitive human brain and makes him shuffle miserably about muttering "Bah Humbug!" and complaining about an "obnoxious little brat" called Tiny Tim. On this occasion our mission into enemy territory was to find the electronic scales that spit out a slip of paper with your weight and height on.  Eventually we located it outside the public toilets, so my male staff and I went into the gents to relieve ourselves of a little weight before we stepped on to the scales for our traditional pre-Christmas weigh-in.

Feeling several kilos lighter my male staff stepped onto the scales with yours truly perched on his shoulder. Reluctantly, and with a sad sigh his shoved his dollar coin into the slot. Presently his height was displayed on a small screen in front of us and a curl of paper appeared from the machine accompanied by a soft whirr. We stepped down from the scales and my male staff read the writing on the piece of paper while I peered over his shoulder.

"You'll have to lose some weight Bill." He said, poking me in the tummy with a chubby finger. I just bit him, as anyone would have in the circumstances. My female staff certainly would have. In fact she has done on several occasions. So once my male staff had finished yelping and wiping his bloodied finger on the clothes of small children we wandered back to my male staff's office through the throngs of porky pre-christmas shoppers feeling a little depressed. That is, we were feeling a little depressed, not the porky shoppers. They all looked very happy indeed, as one would if one had just consumed enough junk food to feed a Somali family for a month. No, we were depressed because we had been told that we were obese and the traditional Christmas over indulgence hadn't even started.

Back at the office, while I busied myself nibbling the office girls feet under their desks my male staff phoned my female staff to tell her the result of the weigh-in. I couldn't help overhearing that most of the one hundred and five kilos that registered on the scales were being attributed by my male staff to me. I heard him telling my female staff that I am dangerously obese and should be placed on a strict diet immediately. I was so shocked by this that I bit a little harder than intended into the lady's toe, causing her to squeal satisfyingly and hit the wrong key on her computer, thus consigning her client to a three week holiday in Pyong Yang rather than Phuket. Boy is he in for a surprise!

Anyway, when we got home it was immediately apparent that my female staff didn't believe that my tummy was responsible for most of the one hundred and five kilograms. She suggested that my male staff tried something called "The Taliban Diet", which apparently promises the almost instant loss of seven kilograms of ugly fat.  My male staff had never heard of this so he googled it. It seems the Taliban Diet involves taking a trip to the remote tribal areas of Pakistan and introducing yourself to the brave, brave "men" who shot female education advocate Malala Yousafzai - a fifteen year old school girl. These heroes pulled the little girl from her school bus and put a bullet in her head. It takes a lot of guts to shoot a schoolgirl.  Luckily she survived thanks to the care of a London hospital and hopefully she has a sparkling future ahead of her in what ever career path she chooses.

So anyway, once the prospective weight loser has introduced himself to these charmers the next step is to let them know that he thinks that female education is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged. He is then dragged off to the local village square, where the population has been forced to gather on pain of being made to watch "The Bold & The Beautiful" repeats on the village telly. Then in a special execution area behind the boys only bouncy castle adjacent to the men only ladies public toilets he is subjected to a severe whipping with a wet beard, culminating in being beheaded with a rusty butter knife. Hence the instant loss of seven kilograms of ugly fat. Further weight loss is then facilitated by decomposition, though the rate can vary depending on the temperature.
It is so comforting to know that as we approach Christmas, a time of peace and goodwill to all mankind, my female staff cares about my male staff so much that she is willing to provide him with such helpful dietary advice and is so touchingly concerned about his welfare.

Some of the porky shoppers in the shopping centre even have fat feet. How could they let themselves go to such an extent?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Blind Leading The Blind

The intelligence of Labrador dogs is greatly overrated. It's really not that difficult to lead a blind human around. Badger and I had a go at it and it wasn't that hard. As my regular readers will know, my female staff has cataracts and is having trouble seeing how ugly my male staff is. This is a serious problem because she is starting to hear comments from passers-by when they are out together.
 Things like "Cor! Talk about beauty and the beast!" and "Mummy. Why is that nice lady holding hands with a gargoyle?" It's amazing how your other senses like hearing compensate for the loss or diminution of another.

The other day we were all bundled into the Hyundai Getz, Badger and I on the back seat and my staff up front. My staff like to sit in the front of the car as it makes driving the thing easier. We were told we were going to see an eye specialist. Well, my male staff Badger and I were going to see him. My female staff probably wouldn't due to her cataracts. It was about a forty minute drive and Badger and I entertained ourselves by flinging bush chocolate at each other and plaintively crying "Are we there yet?" which I imagine my staff heard as high pitch wheeking because they ignored us.

If this face was wheeking at you from the back seat of your car would you ignore it?

An hour later we arrived at the eye clinic, following numerous diversions, swearing and complaints from my male staff to my female staff that shouts of "Turn Here" are not much good unless she also includes the direction in which he should turn. Serves him right for asking a blind person to navigate I reckon. I may have mentioned this before, but my male staff likes to save wear and tear on the Getz's brakes by gently rolling to a halt against the rear of another car. As well as saving money on brake linings it enables him to meet all sorts of interesting people......and get involved in fisticuffs with them. This time he managed to find quite a new BMW to come to rest against. Evidently the driver was in the car and about to drive off when we arrived and was unreasonably cross when the Getz gentle touched the back of the BMW, leaving the minutest of scratches. The driver strode purposefully towards my male staff, but Badger, my female staff and I didn't have time to watch the altercation because my female staff was late for her appointment. She hitched us up to our harnesses and leads, and we led her into the clinic. There were a few steps, which were tricky and required a bit of scrambling. Eventually we succeeded by having Badger stand on my back at each step and then hauling me up after him. It took about twenty minutes, but my female staff was very patient with us. Finally we made it to the lift and after five or ten minutes of random finger prodding of the wall my female staff managed to find the button to summon it.

Badger's not keen on lifts. You may remember that the last time he was in one he threw up all over an Arab.  The following link will reacquaint you with that affair.
The clinic was only on the first floor on this occasion but Badger had already thrown up before the lift doors had had time to close behind us. In a moment or two the lift stopped and we all stepped over the pool of cavy puke into the clinic waiting room. As we were three minutes late for my female staff's appointment we were told by the Margaret Thatcher-esque receptionist (Who had evidently graduated with flying colours from the John McEnroe School of Good Manners) that we would now have to wait for the eye specialist, Doctor Seymour Wrighting to finish his putting practice before he would see us, so we all settled down to chew a few twenty year old National Geographic magazines.

Half an hour later we were still chewing magazines when my male staff arrived looking somewhat dishevelled and had a pronounced limp. Apparently the driver of the BMW had been quite feisty for an octogenarian lady and my male staff had only managed to subdue her by snatching her dentures as she tried to bite him and tossing them into the nearby canal and by snapping her walking stick over his knee. My female staff asked if that was the reason for his limp. It wasn't. Apparently the old lady had kicked him in the testostricles and then he'd slipped on a pool of vomit in the lift. Hence he wasn't in the best of moods.

At long last the doctor came out and invited us all into the office. Standing up and spitting out bits of chewed up magazines we all followed Dr Wrighting and sat down and my female staff was given an eye test.
 "Can you read the top line of letters on the chart on the wall?" Asked the doctor.
 "I can't even see the bloody wall." Replied my female staff.
 "Well you obviously have sight issues." He said as he resumed his putting practice. "Come back in January and will whip out those cataracts. That'll be three hundred and sixty dollars."

Horror of horrors! I trod in my own puke at I was leading my female staff from the lift. I asked the Margaret Thatcher-esque receptionist if she knew of a good foot specialist who could clean them up for me before the trip home. She just looked down her nose at me, understandably, because it's very difficult to look up your own nose.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Asylum Seekers

This week I am absolutely livid. Firstly because it's been hot and I've had to sit on my male staff's lap in the evenings while he's wearing only his underpants, and believe me, that is something that nobody should have to endure. I even read the Geneva convention, but there was no mention of it in that particular document. All I can say is that there bloody well should be. So, I apologise now for my bad mood, but who wouldn't be a little cranky if they keep getting dragged away from their dinner and forced to sit on an almost naked middle aged man's lap?

The other thing that has made my blood boil this week are the things that Australian politicians will do and say if they think it'll win them a couple of extra votes. It was while I was suffering the unpleasantness of my male staff's scantily clad lap that I witnessed an ugly scene on television. It was Australia's two main political parties in a race to the bottom of the sewer. Both the Labor Party government and Liberal/National party coalition are trying to outdo each other in trying to deter potential asylum seekers and to stigmatise asylum seekers who have already arrived on these shores.

What is particularly galling is that Australia was made the great nation that it is today by refugees, mostly white European ones - forced British convicts, people from Ireland seeking a better life, Italians and Greeks after the Second World War and quite a few Vietnamese who arrived by boats in the nineteen seventies and eighties. All hard working men and women willing to make a go of things and not asking anything from their new country but the opportunity for a new start and a safer life. How sad it is then that many Australians are so rabidly against accepting more refugees. They have been conned by politicians into believing that Australia is being swamped with "illegal" boat arrivals as the Liberal opposition leader and utter buffoon Tony Abbott incorrectly calls asylum seekers. He must know that it is not illegal to arrive in Australia by boat without papers and seek asylum, so his only reason for calling these people "illegal arrivals" must be political expediency.

Australia is far from being swamped with refugees. We currently stand 46th on the league table of nations who accept refugees. We have a little over twenty thousand refugees. That is just .2% of the global total, so lets get a little perspective happening here for once. Recently there have been several tragedies at sea involving boatloads of asylum seekers. Their leaky, unseaworthy vessels have sunk with severe loss of life. Many of them paid their life savings to people smugglers for a place on one of these Australia bound rust buckets. So, with much feigned wailing, gnashing of teeth and crocodile tears the Australian government decided to try to stem this loss of life by reintroducing offshore processing in the naive and unrealistic belief that it would stop asylum seekers paying people smugglers for danger fraught sea journeys to Australia because their asylum claims would be processed in hot, humid hell holes like Nauru and Manaus Island and so would not necessarily be granted refugee status in Australia.

It is already perfectly obvious even to a guinea pig that this so called deterrence does not work and since it's introduction boat arrivals have increased. This has to mean that the Australian government is either hopelessly out of touch with the reality of the terrifying, desperate situations that exist in nations like Sri Lanka, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan or they are pandering to the redneck minority in Australia, panicked into doing so by rabid right wingers in the Liberal party. Either way, it's not a good look. Tony Abbott was one of the worst teeth gnashers at the boat tragedies. It's a wonder that he has any teeth left to gnash. He virtually accused the Labor government of murdering the poor sods who drown trying to reach Australia. Now he's say that he'll cut Australia's refugee intake from other countries, meaning that even more people will be tempted to pay people smugglers to get them to Australia by boat because they'll have even less chance to get here by other means.

It's time Aussie humans put themselves in the shoes of someone fleeing war and persecution. Here's a scenario for you to ponder.

It is the year 2032 and climate change is really starting to kick in. Years of drought in southern Australia have had a huge impact on the food crops and cattle and sheep have been dying in their thousands, while in the north rain has been far heavier than it used to be, causing widespread flooding year after year. Cyclones have been more frequent and more severe causing more damage to crops and infrastructure. Governments can no longer afford to repair roads or maintain a reliable power grid. Unemployment has risen to 39% and crime is rampant as desperate people strive to keep their families fed. To deal with the crime wave several state governments have introduced curfews to keep people off the streets after dark. City populations are swollen by people pouring into them from the worst hit regional areas, people desperate for work, but there are too few jobs to go around and many of the great parks in cities around the nation have become squalid squatter camps of toiletless ramshackle corrugated iron dwellings. The Austalian government has appealed for aid but few nations can afford to help and in any case there is little sympathy for a nation who were one of the worst per capita offenders in the cause of climate change. In fact in November 2013 the new Prime Minister Tony Abbott reiterated his opinion that the idea of  climate change was "A load of crap."

Desperate families flock to northern coastal towns. town like Mackay, Gladstone, Townsville, Cairns, Broome and Darwin where unscrupulous people smugglers are selling places on rusty, unseaworthy boats on voyages to India and Indonesia who have been spared the worst ravages of climate change. Their economies have been less affected than most by the global climate induced recession and rumour has it that there are jobs to be had there and a better, safer life. Thousands of Australians sell their now almost worthless homes in order to purchase a place on a boat. Most prefer the more dangerous and longer passage to India because along with China they have become the leading world economy.  However, the Indian government is under pressure from the populace not to accept refugees from such an alien culture as Australia and boatloads of Aussies are towed out of Indian territorial waters by the Indian navy. Many die as boats sink in storms or simply perish from thirst and hunger as they boats run out of provisions and don't have enough fuel to make landfall elsewhere.  This is ironic, because it is exactly the same policy advocated by Tony Abbott when he became Prime Minister of Australia.

There's no way I'd ever get on one of those leaky boats. I might get my feet wet.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pinking Shears

Guinea pig dreams are usually quite staid affairs. Mine mostly feature myself in a large meadow surrounded by lady cavies and a hell of a lot of fresh, juicy grass. I rarely have nightmares, but when I do it's a recurring one where I'm back in the old country - Peru, being eternally chased up and down an Andean mountain by an Inca dude wielding a large stick and a wok. On such occasions I always wake before the Inca dude catches me thank goodness, but I find I've kicked most of my bedding onto the floor of the living room and have to spend the remainder of the night trying to get some sleep on bare newspaper, which is often damp and covered in bush chocolate - well, it is a scary dream after all.

Humans on the other hand have the weirdest dreams. For example the other night my female staff dreamed that my male staff was having a steamy affair with a sexy (but visually impaired) red head. She was very upset when she woke up and so was my male staff when he awoke to find my female staff poised over his dangly bits with a pair of pinking shears. My female staff remained cross with my male staff for a week, despite his protestations that "It was your bloody dream!" Anyway, he hid the pinking shears in the garden and things settled down after a while.

My female staff's weapon of choice.

My male staff's latest dream was even more disturbing than that. The other morning he declared to us all - my female staff, Paolo the budgie, Badger and I that he dreamed he had purchased an ex-navy aircraft carrier and had it fitted out as a luxury cruise ship. He'd bought a few tins of spray paint, painted the whole thing pink and promoted it as a "Gay and Lesbian Friendly Cruise Experience." He hired The Village People for the nightly entertainment and bought an old Chinook helicopter, which he also painted pink to transfer the passengers from shore to ship so that he wouldn't have to pay exorbitant berthing fees. He was so impressed with this dreamed-up business model that when he woke up he immediately started making enquiries about unwanted aircraft carriers and has already started accumulating cans of pink spray paint which he purchases from the local hardware shop at the rate of one a week. He reckons about ten might be enough. Of course he's also on the lookout for a used aircraft carrier, so if your hear of one please let me know. What's the USS Nimitz doing these days? If the United States Navy has finished with it my males staff would like to buy it. He says he can't pay for it immediately, but he can pay it off gradually as the profits start to roll in. He already has a name for it. "The Judy Garland".

Anyway, yesterday afternoon my staff took Badger and I to pick up my female staff's mum at our local airport. She's just spent a few days in a place called Sydney with my female staff's frantic sister. I haven't been to Sydney, but my male staff tells me that it is a remote village surrounded on one side by a cultural desert and on the other by an ocean of poker machines. We all had to go through security at the airport to get into the arrivals hall. Badger and I were put into separate plastic trays and trundled through a tunnel on a conveyor belt which apparently took photos of our innards to make sure we hadn't been stuffed with explosives by our staff. By the time we emerged from the other side of the tunnel our trays contained several items that looked like .22 ammunition. This rather puzzled the security dudes because the ammo hadn't been there when we entered the tunnel, until my male staff bit one of them in half (Not the security dudes - the ammunition. My male staff makes a point never to bite airport security dudes.) in order to prove to them that it was just bush chocolate.

So we all sat there at the airport. My staff bought us a salad to munch on while we waited and waited and waited and waited. A tall, strangely familiar looking man walked past us and made my female staff go all gooey and pink. My male staff raised his eyes towards the heavens and intimated to us that the man was someone called Pat Rafter who a few years ago was rather good at whacking little yellow balls over a net. He may have been good at it, but it obviously didn't pay well enough for him to afford to buy razor blades. Anyway as he went past our cafe table he gave us all an odd look as if he couldn't quite believe his eyes - a middle aged couple hand feeding two large rodents with bits of lettuce and cucumber while quietly slurping on cafe lattes. I think my female staff interpreted his interest as something other than the mild alarm it was and batted her eyelashes at him. Being the former tennis great that he is he batted them firmly back. Hah! Just kidding, actually he just increased his speed to put as much distance between himself and my staff as possible.

Meanwhile outside, the storm that had been threatening all day was finally delivering sheets of rain and cracking thunderbolts. At first there was an announcement that my female staff's mum's plane was in a holding pattern to the south of the airport while the captain waited for the weather to clear. The next announcement was that the captain was going to try to land the aircraft in fifteen minutes. Half an hour later a final announcement said that the captain had given up trying to land and was diverting to Brisbane instead. Brisbane airport is a ninety minute drive away and I think my male staff was about to suggest that my female staff's mum should walk home from there when he had a flashback to his dream and the pair of pinking shears poised over his family jewels.
 "Right then." He said with feigned cheerfulness. "Off to Brisbane we go." Then before he went to bed that night he sneaked into the garden to make sure that the pinking shears were still where he had hidden them. Yes indeed, a good marriage is built on trust.

Actually, my feet have a kind of ethereal, dreamlike quality. They just seem too good to belong to this mundane, tired old world.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fireworks Night

My female staff has just been diagnosed as having cataracts in both eyes. This has answered one or two things that have been bothering me for a while. For example, it explains why she keeps trying to feed bits of cucumber to my bottom passage. It also explains why she married my male staff - she's as blind as a very blind thing. I was going to say "bat", but bats actually see very well indeed. Clever things - bats, who after all are nothing more than guinea pigs with wings. Anyway, I digress. Now I'm worried that when my female staff has her cataracts removed in a couple of weeks she will take one look at the Quasimodo lookalike that she married, cry "Holy bush chocolate! Why didn't someone tell me?" and run of into the sunset leaving Badger and I to cope with a piteously grieving male staff who will let himself go (even more), turn to drink (even more) and start chasing younger women, not that he has any chance of catching them, but he's ever the optimist.

                                                    My male staff on one of his better days.

He'll lose his job because he'll smell and be drunk the whole time. Not that that's any different, but his incontinence problem will worsen due to the increased alcohol consumption, and eventually his boss will get sick of fielding complaints about my male staff bursting into tears all the time and blowing his substantial nose on client's ties. When this happens it will only be a matter of time before the money runs out, and that would bring about the biggest tragedy of all. He would no longer be able to afford to buy basil for Badger and I. I would therefore have to bite his finger when he tries to substitute some inferior herb, like dill. Then owing to his alcohol induced compromised immune system the bite would fester and become infected. Because he no longer has a job he won't be able to afford to see the doctor. Soon his whole hand turns black and drops off while holding a bottle of methylated spirits which was earmarked for his liver.  This makes him very cross as he now doesn't have enough money to buy another bottle of meths. Next thing you know there's an advert in the local shop.

    2 Guinea pigs
  $500 each
      One tweets and blogs    
                   The other eats and craps                

And all this because my female staff decided to go and have her eyes checked. "Should have gone to Specsavers" my bottom passage!

And so time moves inexorably forward and another Christmas draws nigh. At the shopping centre where my male staff works as a reverse people smuggler it is nigher than it should be. In fact it's been nigh since September when the decorations started going up. In October Christmas music began blaring through the PA system. Now in early November Santa has turned up and sits on a throne in an enclosure cordoned off from the rest of the shopping centre to protect him from the more obnoxious brats which abound at this time of year. It's rather surprising that he doesn't have armed minders looking out for him.

November the fifth has come and gone. "Fireworks Night" in my male staff's native Britain. His knowledge of history is a bit sketchy and can't really be trusted, but he says that Fireworks Night is a celebration of the day in 1605 when dog hater Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Battersea Stray Dogs' Home in London. He did this because he was driven insane by his neighbour's poodle who kept leaving smelly lumps of bush chocolate on his lawn for him to tread in.  According to my male staff he placed several casks of gunpowder in the cellar under the dogs home, lit the fuse and retired to the nearest pub. Unfortunately a passing King Charles spaniel peed on the fuse and the whole thing failed to explode. Guy Fawkes was later arrested by the RSPCA and was sentenced to one hundred hours of community service, which ironically involved cleaning the kennels at the Battersea Stray Dogs' Home.

Every November the fifth since that day British families have celebrated this event by setting off fireworks in their garden in an attempt to scare seven shades of bush chocolate from their neighbours dogs, often blowing their own fingers off or setting fire to the conservatory. As a small, fat child my male staff enjoyed this time of year. Not because it gave him the chance to scare animals but because he would spend the week leading up to the day gluing Airfix model World War Two planes together, his fat little pink tongue poking out of the corner of his mouth. Then when he had assembled a sizeable squadron he'd glue a "penny banger" to the planes, light the fuses and one by one lob them out of his bedroom window to explode in mid air showering his mother's flowerbeds with melted plastic. Destroyed aircraft could be replaced at Christmas which of course followed six short weeks later.

How the hell am I supposed to link this story to my feet? Honestly! The pressure to come up with something about feet at the end of each of Billy's blog posts is really getting to me.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Road Fairy

I think something strange is going on in the United States of America, apart from people shooting each other and the fact that half of the eastern seaboard has been blown away and the New York Subway system has been transformed into the world's largest Wet & Wild theme park. Apparently there's a thing called a Presidential election happening. To be honest I thought a Presidential election was something reported by a Chinese TV news reader during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky affair. It seems not though. It appears that every four years Americans get to choose who their next lame-duck will be. This year the contest is between that nice Irishman Mr O'Barmer, who according to Donald Trump was born in Iran and is probably a member of the Taliban and some dude called Romney, who due to his vibrant personality was named after a baseball glove. It's all academic anyway because congress never passes anything useful anyway, no matter who is President.

Here in Australia we have Federal elections every three years which is way too often because the winner of the election immediately focuses on short term political gain and generally ignore long term programmes which would benefit the nation and future generations. In fairness, the current government has tried to do this in a limited and somewhat chaotic and incompetent way and as a consequence look about as likely to be re-elected as Badger is to play for the Brazil soccer team in the next World Cup. This goes to show that if you want to be elected in Australia you have to put the National Interest last on your list of priorities. It is therefore essential to express your disapproval of immigration, particularly the immigration of people who are not Caucasian. You should also expound your belief that taxation of any sort is a bad idea and hope to hell that the electorate are too stupid to link taxation to the provision of good public infrastructure like hospitals and roads. Honestly! Where do some humans think roads come from? The road fairy?

The Road Fairy whistles up yet another six lane highway.
Enough about politicians already anyway, it's irritating my thrush, which until now has been getting better, despite my staff force feeding aniseed tasting mush with a bloody great syringe which was supposed to stimulate my appitite, however the taste of it is enough to put you off food for the rest of your life. Vets really should be made to eat water they give to animals so that know how we feel. They should also have cold things poked up their bottom passage for the same reason. I firmly believe that all medical practitioners need to know what their victims/patients are going through. Anyway, all in all I am feeling a whole lot better and I'd really like to express my gratitude for all the lovely get well wishes I've had from everyone, especially my Twitter friends. It really is very moving to know that so many people care about the wellbeing of a small, furry rodent. So thanks everyone, and you know what the best thing is about being well again? My staff have stopped wetting my fur with their leaky eyes.

There have been so many tears from Billy's staff while he was ill that I had to wear wellington boots to keep my feet dry.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Bird In The Mouth

Have you ever had a cotton bud dipped in paraffin oil shoved up your bottom passage? Oh come now, you must have. It's actually not as bad as it sounds as long as whoever is holding the cotton bud isn't smoking. Well anyway, that's how my week started and it was all down hill from there really. My staff noticed that Badger and I weren't pooping quite as prolifically as we usually do, and that I was looking particularly unhappy, which is unusual for me; normally I'm such a happy little soul as you know.  It was immediately assumed that we both had a dose of impaction - constipation to you humans. We big butch boar guinea pigs are prone to this condition, especially as we get older. Our poops queue up inside our bottom passages like a crowd of teenage girls waiting for the doors to open at a Justin Bieber concert. Trouble is the doors never open and more and more teenage girls pile up and eventually go all squishy and smelly.  Eventually we have to have an enema and the afore-mentioned paraffin oil soaked cotton bud shoved up the old poo-shooter to lubricate things.

Anyway, as it turns out Badger had impaction, but I had what the vet thought was a bacterial infection of the gut. The fact that I squirted pea soup a la Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" (only it originated from the opposite end) all over her nice clean overalls may have prejudiced her opinion. So I was given a course of antibiotics which partially worked and then I started to go backwards again, to such an extent that I had to have a night in hospital among the yelping dogs and meowing cats. Jeez those things can snore! I didn't get a moment's sleep. Consequently I was absolutely knackered the next day when I finally came home. My staff thought I was going to become a late guinea pig. I had to sleep in their room that night which was worse than the one I spent at the vet. At least the cats only snored through their upper orifice!

Well, I was still alive in the morning, if living with staff like mine can truly be called being alive. I did not feel well though. I refused to both eat and deliver bush chocolate, so it was back to the vet, who gassed me to sleep and fiddled with my teeth.  Poor Dr Cara had come in specially to look after me on her day off, The theory was that my teeth were dodgy and causing me pain, thus making me reluctant to eat, and obviously if you don't eat you don't produce bush chocolate and this very rapidly becomes serious for us guinea pigs. Our liver explodes or something.

Anyway despite the vet doing her very best for me I was still half dead by the middle of the week. I'd nibble a bit of basil for a moment and then have to have a lie down - a bit like my male staff after he's worn himself out doing the washing up. So my staff were quickly on the phone to a specialist guinea pig vet a hundred and twenty kilometres away in Brisbane and before I could say "Please don't make me drive to Brisbane with my male staff" I was driving to Brisbane with my male staff. Both staff actually. My female staff was navigating, yelling instructions like "Turn now!" without actually saying which way, and "Straight ahead here." at T-junctions. After nearly two hours of this kind of thing we arrived at the vet surgery and I was whisked in to see Doctor Vanessa who weighed me and didn't exactly endear herself to me by telling me I was too fat and that I shouldn't be eating the pet shop dry food because it contains grains, seed and nuts, all of which have atendency to contribute to exploding liver syndrom. I also shouldn't be eating parsley because it might block up my willy with stones and stop me peeing, or make the wee squirt out at odd angles like a hose pipe with a finger over the spout.

Why guinea pigs shouldn't eat parsley.

After what seemed like hours of Dr Vanessa telling me and my staff what I couldn't eat, she then started on a list was what I am allowed, and believe me, it was a lot shorter than her first list. She also recommended a certain brand of dry food that contains nothing tasty at all. My staff bought some, but I can't tell you what it tastes like because I refuse to sample it. I suppose I'll have to one day because it doesn't look like I'll be getting anything else. Dr Vanessa also told me that I have to eat a lot of hay, as if I was some sort of animal. Honestly, I don't why my staff listen to a word she says.

Once again my staff left me to have unspeakable things done to me by the vet. Once again they gassed me and poked about in my mouth. Then when I woke up they pronounced that there was a bird in there. A thrush apparently, and this thrush was making my mouth sore and stopping me from eating. I looked doubtfully up at Dr Vanessa as she stood over my hospital cage. If I'd had a thrush in my mouth I'm sure I would have known, what with all the wing flapping, pecking and the like. Not to mention the pooping. It turns out that they couldn't just removed this bloody bird for some reason (Maybe it had made a nest in my tonsils - I don't know.) and when my female staff came to collect me a couple of days later she was told that she'd have to squirt this horrid yellow liquid that smells of marzipan into my mouth. She was told that this would get rid of the thrush. It probably will too because it tastes bloody disgusting.

The source of all my problems.
So here I am back at home. I've lost a lot of weight and I'm still a bit limp, but I am better and for the moment I prefer to be hand fed. I also like to make my male staff feel guilty for making me have that awful yellow gunk to get rid of the bird in my mouth. I suppose one of these days it'll get as sick of the stuff as I am and fly out. I tell you what though, I'm never going to sleep with my mouth open again.
Tell you what, you don't want to step in a puddle of Billy's anti-bird squirty stuff. It's really sticky and makes your feet smell worse than one of Billy's male staff's running shoes - and they've been banned under the chemical weapons treaty.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Silly Old Buggers' Syndrome

I'm afraid there aren't too many positives about having to go to work with my male staff four times a week. The drive there is a terrifying experience in itself. Partly because my male staff thinks his Hyundai Getz has automatic transmission. It hasn't of course because he was too tight fisted to pay the extra five hundred dollars. Nevertheless the salesman told him it was an automatic in order to get rid of him. Now he drives the forty minutes to work at one hundred and ten kilometres an hour in first gear and wonders why the engine is so noisy. Once he parked the car in the fast lane and went to have a pee on the median strip. When he returned a rather cross policeman had parked his police car behind the Getz and was peering through the window. Upon seeing my male staff he straightened and said. "Are you the driver of this vehicle sir?"
 "No," replied my male staff. "It's an automatic." At which point the policeman handed my male staff a piece of paper and said it would cost him two hundred and fifty dollars, which seems an awful lot for a piece of paper. If my male staff had wanted a piece of paper that badly he could have had a bit from the bottom of my cage. It might have been a bit damp but it would have only cost him a sprig or two of basil. Silly old sod.

It's even more frightening when it's been raining and the roads are wet. The worse the weather the faster he drives. I think he works on the theory that he should get to wherever it is he's going before he has an accident. In fairness though I should add that all Queenslanders seem to do this. After a shower of rain, when the road is nice and greasy everybody in the state seems determined to wipe themselves and each other out. It seems to be working for my male staff anyway, he's never had an accident so far. Mind you, he's seen dozens in his rear view mirror. Or at least he would have if he'd known that it's not just there for checking to see if his tie is straight.

Once we get to my male staff's office the swearing starts. Some of it from the ladies who work with him who realise that they have to spend all day with him, but mostly it emanates from my male staff, who's foul language is mostly directed at his computer. "F...king thing! What the f..k's wrong with you this morning. Work you f...king f...ker!" As you can imagine, This can be somewhat alarming for the clients that have come into the shop expecting to me greeted politely and sold a trip to Fiji.
 "You'll find it works a whole lot better if you turn the thing on." Says one of the ladies he works with, and the cursing gradually subsides into muttering, which continues until he has his first cup of coffee. Meanwhile I sit on the desk and look adorable enough to persuade the clients to upgrade to business class.

Since my male staff contacted multiple pulmonary emboli (Silly Old Buggers' Syndrome) he has to leave his desk and walk around the block every couple of hours or so to ensure that he doesn't die which would be inconvenient and spoil his day. I always go with him, sitting on his shoulder, so that I can bite his ear if he stays away from the office too long. Behind the office is a track that runs along the side of a tidal river. One say we met an elderly man watching a stingray flapping elegantly through the shallows.  My male staff and I stopped to say hello and to admire the fish. It was a pleasant chat until my male staff pointed out that it was a shame that people thought it a good idea to throw shopping trolleys into the river. At this point the nice old fellow turned into some sort of nasty fascist dictator. "When I was a young man," he said. "If some yob threw a shopping trolley into the river, or spat on the pavement, ot stepped out of line in any way the cops would pick him up one night, dive him to a quiet spot and break a few of his ribs. He'd never throw another shopping trolley in the river again that's for sure." He paused momentarily to point out an osprey perched on a nearby mobile phone tower. "These day," he continued, "the bloody do-gooders won't let them do that. The cops can't even clip the little shits' ears."
 "You don't think that breaking some kid's ribs is a little harsh for chucking a shopping trolley in a river do you, you shrivelled up, frustrated, nasty old sod?" I said, but he didn't understand me. I guess all he heard was "Wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek!" He just looked at my male staff and I as if we were both as mad as him. (True, fifty percent of us are.) "Bloody do-gooders," he continued his rant. "They're ruining Australia."
 "Listen you miserable so and so." I said. "It's better to be a do-gooder than the opposite." But again, I guess all he heard was "Wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek!" My male staff smiled at him and we returned to the office to abuse the computer again.

I'm glad I didn't meet that old man. He'd probably want the police to cut my feet off for pooping on the floor.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Weasel And The Haggis

Alan Jones, shock-jock presenter of a rabid right wing talk back radio show on Sydney's 2GB station is what my male staff calls a "Duck Egg". My female staff calls him a lot worse than that, but common decorum dictates that I don't repeat those naughty words. At a recent speech to about one hundred young liberals he joked that Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father who recently passed away died of shame. This is utter bush chocolate of course. Mr Jones may not like our Prime Minister and in that regard he's not Robinson Crusoe' but I have absolutely no doubt that her dad's heart was filled with pride at her achievements, especially given that she is the first female prime minister of one of the most misogynistic nations in the developed world. Anyway, can you imagine the outrage he would have stirred up among the listeners of his nasty little programme if Ms Gillard had said the same thing about his father. Even Badger can see that Jones is a weasel of a man. Actually, that's not fair. Weasels have a legitimate and useful place in natures chain. Jones' only purpose is to stir trouble, talk out of his bottom passage and to make money with his "cash for comments". Still at least now everyone knows what kind of "man" he is. He would have done well to observe Abraham Lincoln's words of wisdom. "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." Of course, Jones has every right to say what he thinks, just as I have every right to run up his trouser leg and sink my teeth deep into his extreme right wing testostricles.

Alan Jones realises that he has a large hairy rodent climbing up his
leg towards his right wing testostricles.

Like most reasonable guinea pigs I will not waste further words on Jones. Instead I'd like to talk about a subject very close to my heart, not to mention my stomach - Food. My male staff loves animals. Not in the biblical sense you understand. That would be illegal in Queensland. I understand that it's frowned on even in Tasmania. No, what I mean is that he can't let a dog walked past him in the street without stroking it and talking to it as if it were mentally retarded in some way. "Who's a bootiful doggy zen? Ooo are, ooo is so bootiful. Goooood puppy, bootiful puppy." All this while totally ignoring the human attached to the other end of the leash, who is by now convinced that my male staff is in fact mentally retarded.  Actually both my staff are nuts about anything furry, feathery or scaly, so you can imagine how Badger and I suffer. Only my male staff was stupid enough to try to become vegetarian though despite evidence in the form of canine teeth that humans are supposed to be omnivores. For three months not a single gram of meat passed his lips; nothing with fur, feathers or scales was consumed, but gradually over that period he became more and more tired, not to mention hungry. He was almost arrested one day for biting a dog that he had stopped to stroke. My female staff persuaded the owner not to press charges by explaining that my male staff is a travel agent and is therefore not fully aware of his actions.  The dog owner not only dropped the charges but gave my staff ten dollars towards paying for his therapy.

Eventually, after his doctor explained that if he wanted to be both vegetarian and feel vaguely alive he'd have to spend about two hundred dollars a week on a variety of dietary supplements he ended his vegetarian career in spectacular fashion by consuming half a cow.

My male staff breaking his vegetarian diet.

Humans do eat the darndest things though. Yes, even guinea pigs aren't safe in certain parts of the world.  (See my previous blog post "Eaten by an Inca" I should explain that when you read this post, Pea and Chook are my staff. This was written at a time when I respected them enough to give them names.) The Japanese are very keen on seaweed I understand, which would explain why you see so many of them at the beach in Australia. The Scots eat small creatures called haggises (or is haggi the correct plural?) These creatures infest the dark back alleys of Glasgow feeding on the vomit of drunken pub-goers, or so my male staff tells me and he would never lie.

A freshly slaughtered haggis

Before my staff were married my male staff (who is British) introduced my female staff (who is Australian) to the delights of spotted dick - a traditional English steamed suet pudding containing sultanas or currants, served with thick custard. A portion of this has the consistency and weight of a house brick and a not dissimilar taste when my male staff makes it. Anyway you can imagine my female staff's alarm when my male staff suggested that they go back to his place, not for coffee but "to sample my spotted dick." Well, how could a girl resist such an offer. They were married soon after. This is yet another example of how food can bring people together.

I've often wondered how the haggis gets about since it seems to have evolved without feet. Maybe it just rolls from one pool of vomit to the next.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dirty Bottom

In my Piglish dictionary the definition of the phrase "Floor time" is Time spent on the lounge room floor, often pooping in inconvenient locations, chewing expensive furniture and avoiding capture by one's staff. I always do my best to live up to this definition, but Badger hasn't got the hang of avoiding capture. Instead of squealing like a girl, waddling away at top speed and glaring defiantly up at my staff like I do, he sits there like a stunned mullet and allows himself to be caught without resistance, while my staff praise the tidy mountain of bush chocolate they discover under his butt as they lift him up. He's so infuriatingly neat all the damned time. I mean, what's the point of having "floor time" if you're not going to scatter your bush chocolate willy-nilly so that one's aging staff have to crawl about on their hands and knees peering under heavy furniture in order to find it. They never do find it all by the way.  There's always a rock hard, crispy bit left over somewhere for them to enjoy treading on.

It was during a recent period of "floor time" that I heard second hand as my staff chatted amongst themselves. that the proprietor of their favourite coffee shop thinks I am a hamster. A hamster! That's like calling Usain Bolt a jogger. Hamsters are inferior to guinea pigs in so many ways. Sure they can stuff their cheek pouches so full that they look like a furry puffer fish. Sure they can run like billy-oh on a squeaky wheel all night, keeping their staff awake so that in the morning they're as bad tempered as a squirrel who's lost his nuts. But do they write Mr O'Barmer's speeches? Do they have the ear of the Australian Prime Minister? They'd probably bite the ear of the Australian Prime Minister if they had the chance - vicious little brutes. Once they hang on with those savage incisors of theirs they can be very difficult to dislodge. My male staff's mad sister had to wear her two pet hamsters as earrings for several days because one day when she was cuddling them they latched on to her lobes and wouldn't let go. I think she finally got them off with a crowbar or something. That was when she worked for the post office and she received several admiring comments about her new fashion accessories from her customers.

What's the difference between a hamster and a puffer fish? Not much actually.

Mind you, it has to be said that my male staff's mad sister doesn't have a lot of luck when it comes to pets. A while ago she had a beautiful rescued racing greyhound called Sandy. Humans who are owned by greyhounds will know that unlike guinea pigs whose butts constantly drag along the floor, greyhounds' bottom passages never, ever touch the ground. Whether sitting or laying down there is always a gap of a good inch. This can often lead to having a dirty bottom - bits of dried bush chocolate that stick to their butt fur. "Clinkers" to use the scientific term, because they are unable to wipe it of on grass or carpet.

Mad sister was in the habit of leaving her handbag on the floor by the side of the settee of an evening while she and her long suffering husband watched their favourite programmes on the telly after a day's work. Shows like "Dancing With The C List celebrity's Sister's Next Door Neighbour" and "Britain Had Talent Once, But Now It's Got One Direction". Anyway, mad sister had remarked to long suffering husband that Sandy had a clinker on her butt that needed removing, but then they became engrossed in whatever they were watching on the telly and forgot about it. In any case, by the time they went to bed they noticed that the clinker had gone.

The next day a the post office, mad sister and some of her workmates were sitting chatting in the staff room having morning tea when her cell phone rang in her handbag. She yanked it out from the jumble of tissues, spare knickers and lipstick, but as she did so Sandy's clinker came with it, describing a graceful arc through the air and landing with a plop in her supervisors tea. It sank momentarily and then bobbed to the surface where it floated like a little brown life raft. The chatter stopped and everyone peered into mad sister's supervisor's cup as if trying to read her tea leaves.
  "Please excuse me," said mad sister. "I must just take this call." and then walked as casually as she could from the staff room as if it was the most natural thing in the world to throw dog poo into one's supervisor's tea.

Ah well, I suppose being mistaken for a hamster is not too bad. My male staff's nickname at school was "Donkey". Those of you with a vivid imagination will immediately think that it must have had something to do with a certain part of his anatomy. He likes to think so too, but he's dreaming. Sometimes he walks stark naked past my cage in the morning, so I know for sure that isn't the reason. When he was a kid he had a bad stammer and one day he brought a school friend home to play. My male staff's mum heard his friend call him "Donkey" and after his friend had gone she asked my male staff why his friend called him that.
  "I d...d...d...d...don't know M...M...Mum." He answered. "He aww...he aww...he aww...he aww...he always calls me that."

My male staff as a child.


Look into my eyes. You are sleepy, sleeeeepy, sleeeeeeeeepy. Right. Now give me a foot massage.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pauline Hanson And The Naked Vicar

Who remembers Pauline Hanson? She's the former fish and chip shop owner who wrapped herself patriotically in an Australian flag and then set about destroying Australia's reputation for racial tolerance with her ignorance and xenophobia. My staff gets worried when politicians start wrapping themselves in their national flag. They reckon it usually means that they don't have any sensible policies, and so it transpired with Pauline.  Anyway, it turned out that she had no idea what xenophobia was until she was told by a television talk show host. She came close to saying that Australian Aboriginal people should go back to where they belong. The sad thing is that when she stood for parliament she won a seat. She's since lost it again and despite a few attempts to regain it only a few extremists voted for her and she went off in huff to Britain because Australia was admitting too many immigrants. She obviously hadn't visited Britain since about 1950. Modern Britain is no place for a bigot. Anyway she's back in Australia now. Apparently she turned on her heel and got back on the same Qantas plane she's arrived on when a nice Sikh man in a turban asked for her passport when she arrived at Heathrow.  But that's the trouble with bigots. Not to put it too delicately, they're as thick as bats' bush chocolate. Certainly Pauline is not exactly the sharpest piece of bush chocolate in the cage. In fact she makes Badger look like a candidate for MENSA.

There can be only three possible reasons for wrapping yourself in your national flag.
1. You are a dangerous nationalist.
2. You are a bigot.
3. Your washing machine is broken and you have no clean clothes.

Therefore it is a great shame that the then Australian Prime Minister John Howard was panicked by her brief electoral success into adopting many of her blatantly racist ideas. She was not against immigration per say, as long as the immigrants - non-white ones anyway, were not coming to Australia. For a signatory to the Refugee Convention like Australia the legislation that the Howard government put in place, like temporary protection visas and offshore processing were illegal because they were a blatant attempt to deter refugee arrivals, especially those arriving by boat. Under the Refugee Convention signatory nations are not permitted to deter refugee arrivals. Neither are they permitted to ship arrivals off to a third nation for processing if that nation is not a signatory of the convention. These poor buggers were dumped in Nauru - a sorry lump of coral in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and while Nauru has since signed the convention, they hadn't at the time that Howard put his arrangements in place. If only our politicians spent a little less time shedding crocodile tears over the poor sods who die making the journey to Australia on leaky Indonesian fishing boats, and more time making it easier for refugees to come to Australia safely.

This so called "illegal boat arrival" was sent to Nauru for processing despite being the first ever cavy to row all the way from Peru to Australia.

To compound this injustice, five years after John Howard was booted out of office Julia Gillard's government has similarly been panicked by the Pauline Hanson influenced opposition party into reinstating offshore processing. It's still illegal, because it's still supposed to be a deterrent to refugees.  Naturally the media and politicians who should know better have been stirring the pot by calling asylum seekers who arrive by boat "illegal arrivals". They are not illegal arrivals. In fact they have a more valid legal status than the system that sends them to Nauru for processing. And all this because of a dumb red headed fish and chip shop owner decided that she didn't like people who are not the same colour as her. I bet you didn't expect all that from a guinea pig did you?

Hey ho. A much nicer human female altogether is my female staff's mum. Badger and I like her very much because she has a pot of parsley at home and always brings us a sample when she comes to visit. She has some pretty good stories too. Stories that often embarrass my female staff. For example when my female staff and her slightly older frantic sister were little my females staff always struggled to get a word in edge-ways because her frantic sister talked so much. This being the case, my female staff had to get her tuppence worth in however and whenever she could. One day while at the dentist, frantic sister was yakking away to the elderly and somewhat prim receptionist as my female staff stood hopping from one foot to the other practically wetting herself with frustration at not being able to find a gap in frantic sister's flow. Then frantic sister took a breath. This was my female staff's big chance. My female staff's mum suddenly had a premonition of what was about to happen but wasn't quick enough to stop it. "We've got Mrs Foops at home, and she lets crackers." was my female staff's contribution to the conversation. Non-Aussies may like to know that Mrs Foops is a traditional imaginary person to whom mishaps are attributed. "Letting crackers" is the passing of bottom wind.
Not long after that my female staff's paternal grandpa and grandma came to visit from New Zealand.  Her grandpa was a kind but austere man, an old school Anglican vicar. Walking around the outside of the house to put the washing on the line she came across my female staff and her frantic sister standing on a chair peering through the bathroom window. She put her head between the two children's.
  "What are you looking at?" She asked
  "We wanted to see what grandpa does in the bath." Answered the girls, as to my female staff's mum's horror she noticed her father in law soaking in the bath just as he looked up from washing his dangly bits to find the three female members of the household staring at him through the window.

If I didn't have one white foot Pauline Hanson would probably have me sent to Nauru for processing, whatever that is.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Two Eggs And A Cocktail Sausage

Most Saturday mornings we all drive into town. Badger and I are bundled into the car, where we sit on a towel on the dashboard. We have to sit on a towel because with my male staff's erratic driving we're likely to slide off into my female staff's handbag and never be seen again. We'd be doomed to forever wander it's dark, dank, dripping depths searching for a way out among the used tissues, keys, cell phones, lipstick, address books, purses, loose change, old parking tickets, packets of headache tablets. (I've never understood why humans eat headache tablets. The last thing I'd want is a headache.) Badger once ate some of my female staff's lipstick. I think he mistook it for a carrot. By the time he'd finished he looked like a skunk in drag. The worst thing about finding oneself lost within my female staff's handbag is that there is very little to eat. (Apart from lipstick obviously.) Last time I was in there I got so desperate that I ate half of her drivers licence and that made me very unpopular. Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure whether it was that or the fact that I peed on her cell phone that upset her most.

My female staff's handbag. Seriously, don't ever get lost in it. And if you do, don't pee on her cell phone.

Anyway, today we sat on the towel on the dashboard, so all was well, except that we had a nerve jangling view through the windscreen as my male staff drove us into town at a speed that Lewis Hamilton would not have been ashamed of. Once he gets the scent of coffee in his cavernous, fur filled nostrils he's unstoppable.
Zooming past the town's sports field we saw that it was covered with red and yellow domes, dozens and dozens of them. It was like looking at the face of a huge green teenager with a really bad dose of acne. You might think that a strange analogy, but I rather like it. My female staff said they were tents. Moments later we screeched to a halt in front of my staff's favourite coffee shop. My male staff likes to stop the car by gently running into the back of other vehicles. He says it saves wear and tear on the brakes. On this occasion the owner of the nice gold Aston Martin Lagonda was nowhere to be seen, so there were no threats or fisticuffs which is a shame. Anyway there was only a little bit of yellow paint from my staff's Hyundai Getz on the rear bumper and only a small scratch, certainly nothing to get upset about.

Badger and I were plucked from our towel and carried towards the coffee shop, but halfway across the road  
they stopped abruptly with a hissed exclamation of what sounded like "Holy ship!" Naturally Badger and I looked up and down the street in search of some sort of religious vessel. Seeing only a queue of cars waiting for my staff to get out of the middle of the road we looked instead at the coffee shop. It was awash with lycra. There wasn't a single free table. Every seat was occupied by ancient cyclists - mamils and mawils as my staff like to call them. (Middle Aged Men In Lycra and Middle Aged Women in Lycra.) Some of them were even venerable enough to qualify as ofils and owils. (Old Farts In Lycra and Old Women In Lycra.) Other mamils, mawils, ofils and owils were milling around outside the coffee shop fiddling with their bikes or stretching their ancient limbs. My male staff said that if he ever became Prime Minister (God help us!) he'd make it a capital offence for anyone over the age of forty to wear a lycra cycling outfit in public. Anyway it seems that hundreds of these cyclists had ridden from the town of Kilcoy, over the range to our little town, and were camping for the night on the sports field before cycling on in the morning to Noosa, presumably to invade someone else's favourite coffee shop.

There's only one thing worse than a lycra cycling outfit.

Badger whispered to me that he thought the journey must have been too long for some of them and that there couldn't have been enough toilets along the route because most of the cyclists seemed to have had accidents of the brown and smelly kind. The backs of their lycra pants appeared to be full of lumpy stuff. We assumed it was bush chocolate. Even guinea pigs know that older humans can have those sort of issues. They even walked as though their pants were full of something warm and squishy. My female staff assured us that it wasn't the case, and that the lumpy stuff in their pants was padding. Badger looked at her doubtfully and told me that he thought most of them had enough natural padding, especially around the stomach. Many of the male cyclists had obviously brought their own lunch with them, though why they'd had to shove it down the front of their lycra pants I'm not sure. The funny thing about male cyclists is that they all seem to have the same thing for lunch - a cocktail sausage and a couple of hard boiled eggs. As for the female lycra clad cyclists, it looked as though they were competing in a camel-toe contest. In any case it was enough to put my staff off their coffee, which was just as well since the coffee shop was full to bursting point anyway.

Veteran cyclist Lance Arsetrong was disqualified from the Kilcoy to Noosa bike ride for using a performing enhancing substance.

In no time flat my staff had us back in the Hyundi Getz. We reversed into a shiny new Lexus and shot off up the road towards home for a cup of instant coffee and a stale biscuit. After which they stomped about the house in a foul mood until it was time for wine and cheese on the deck at sunset. Ah. Happy days.

When I ate the lipstick I also got it all over my toenails which Billy found most attractive - unfortunately. I had to spend most of the rest of the day with my butt firmly jammed into the corner of my cage.