My male staff is stressed today. As you know, he's a reverse people smuggler and he has a client who wants to go skiing in Vermont. He knows where Vermont is, unlike many of the kids in the reverse people smuggling trade who struggle to place Sydney on a map of Australia even if they live there, but he knows as much about skiing as a guinea pig. Less actually. He thinks "going out on the piste" is taking part in a pub crawl. Now that's something he does know about. However, it's not going to help his clients who are expecting him to find them a lovely little ski lodge in the scenic, snowy hills of Vermont, from where they can shoot down slopes at two hundred miles and hour in temperatures of minus thirty degrees centigrade and have their faces frozen into permanent smiles which last a whole week and fool newcomers at the ski lodge into thinking that they are having a whale of a time.
My male staff says that as far as he can see, the only enjoyable thing about skiing is the mug of hot chocolate afterwards. Especially if it has a nice big pink marshmallow bobbing about in it. He reckons it's a very expensive way to get frostbite, catch pneumonia or break a limb - possibly all three. (That's all three - frostbite, pneumonia or break. Even a guinea pig knows that humans have fours limbs, unless they've been on a skiing holiday before and have already lost one to frostbite.) He says that when he goes on holiday it's to get away from bad weather and crowds of people doing stupid things. Still, each to their own I suppose.
When my staff go on holiday Badger and I get dumped at "The Pet Resort". The first time we went there we were quite looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet. In our naivety we imagined that we might be left alone without being stroked, crooned over and slobbered on. It wasn't to be however. Because the owner of the resort kept our cages in her house, (Along with a large African grey parrot who said rude things, and a tiny snake who didn't speak at all.) thus we were at the mercy of her teenage kids who, every night after they'd done their homework would haul us from our cages and spend hours brushing and stoking us. I can't help thinking we were missing something while we were there, because it sounded at though the dogs were having a party in another part of the resort - all day, every day.
Anyway, my male staff says if you really want to go on holiday to somewhere with bad weather and crowds of people doing stupid things you could do a lot worse than visit London during the Olympic Games this summer. I understand that they are trialling some new events this year in both the Olympics and the Special Olympics for disabled athletes. Some of the new events have a distinctly local flavour. For example there is to be a Complaining About The Weather competition and Synchronised Tea Drinking with bonus points for pinky cocking and degree of difficulty. Maximum bonus points can be gained by drinking airline tea. Athletes are expected to supply their own stomach pumps.
The Special Olympics for disabled (Sorry, I think the PC term is differently abled.) athletes is including Synchronised paddling for non-swimmers and the one hundred metres sprint for athletes with no sense of direction. The world record for this event is seventeen minutes and nineteen point three seconds. (Map assisted.) They were going to have a javelin event for athletes with no sense of direction too, but nine members of the crowd were killed during qualifying, so that idea was abandoned.
Returning to the subject of snow and cold and abject misery, in 2014 the Winter Olympics are being held in Sochi, Russia and there too a couple of new events are planned thanks to an idea that the organisers got from listening to their favourite Jerry Seinfeld tape one day over a bottle or ten of vodka. There's the Involuntary Ski Jump, in which journalists, hand picked by Vladimir Putin will be strapped to a toboggan and shoved down the slope. Scores will be determined by how many workers it takes to clean up the bloody mess at the bottom and by the decibels produced by the journalist as he screams for forgiveness for daring to criticise Putin. Journalists who fail to be killed will be disqualified permanently. This rule has spawned a whole new event called Putin the Shot.
I can't afford to get my feet frost bitten. I've only got 14 digits as it is.