Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waltzing Matilda

My regular readers will know that I have just completed an arduous road trip around outback and country Queensland with my male staff, his dad and his mad sister. All in all it was a successful trip, in that we weren't squished under the giant wheels of an oncoming road train, despite mad sister's penchant for playing chicken with them on single track roads at a closing speed of two hundred and twenty kilometres per hour.

                                          Winton's World Heritage Listed "Dog on the Ceiling".

Neither did we die horrible lonely deaths from thirst and starvation in some God forsaken desert, surrounded by howling dingoes and tow truck drivers despite my male staff's eagerness to take "short cuts" which cost him a small fortune in extra fuel. We only had one puncture when mad sister ran over the skeleton of the last person to drive this route and a sharp piece of bone pierced the tyre. We were only stopped for speeding once and mad sister was so struck by the nice young policeman that she sped again soon after in the hope that the same policeman would stop her. No such luck, even the ugly coppers ignored her after that.

                                     A welcoming sign to visitors from the friendly folk of Childers

Anyway, we're home safe and sound. We visited Childers (Where a sign said "Bollocks"), Bundaberg (Nice toilets.), Agnes Water (Nice beach.), Miriam Vale (Still in shock after mad sister's accident with her knickers.), Rockhampton (Nice bulls testostricles.), Mackay (Deliverance - need I say more?), Townsville (Where we recovered from our visit to Mackay.), Cardwell (Where the locals are friendly but have matchstick legs.), Cairns (Where male staff's dad lost his sunglasses for the fifth and last time.), Port Douglas (Nice crocodiles), Undarra (Nice big rabbit holes.), Winton (Where a dog was stuck to the ceiling.), Longreach (Lots of Kangaroos.), Barcaldine (The Village of the Damned.), Emerald (Horrid town with a nice name.) and Biloela (Where my male staff and his mad sister got smashed together for the last time.)

                        Mad sister makes friends with one of Cardwell's famous matchstick men.

I couldn't help but notice the effect that the mining boom is having on Australia. Big trucks everywhere, mineheads dotting the landscape, motels full of mine workers and therefore able to charge a hundred and sixty bucks for an eighty dollar room that hasn't been properly cleaned for a month. Anyway, everybody knows that "Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's unofficial national anthem, so I've re-written the lyrics to bring it up to date for this current era. First here's a glossary for those of you who may not be familiar with the Aussie idiom.

Twiggy, Clive and Gina. - Twiggy Forrest, Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart, Australia's three mining billionaires.

Billabong - Overpriced surfware. Also a bush waterhole. 

Coolibah tree - A kind of eucalypt, often inhabited by drop bears.

Quad bike - A form of transport used by farmers, so called because accidents on them often leave the victim a quadriplegic.

Carbon Tax - A tax designed to redistribute money from the wealthy mining companies to impoverished oil companies.

Peasants - My staff.

Government - An organisation based in Canberra whose sole purpose is to make life difficult for the peasants.

Tony Abbott - The leader of Australia's opposition Liberal Party, and the only reason that they are not in power.

Dole - A sum of money paid to people who do nothing all day. (See Government.)

Cane Toad - A fat, slimy, poisonous creature. (See Clive Palmer.)

(To be sung raucously as if drunk to the tune of Walzing Matilda.)

Twiggy, Clive and Gina mined by a billabong
Once they'd chopped down all the coolibah trees,
And they laughed as they shoved their dollars in their bank accounts,
Who'll come a-mining Australia with me?

Mining Australia, Mining Australia.
Who'll come a mining Australia with me?
And they laughed as they shoved their dollars in their bank accounts,
Who'll come a-mining Australia with me.

Into the billabong the mine leached lead and mercury,
Killing off the frogs and the fish all grew two heads.
"Who needs frogs and fish?" said Clive and opened up his wallet wide.
We'll just import a load more cane toads instead.

Mining Australia, Mining Australia.
Who'll come a mining Australia with me?
"Who needs frogs and fish?" said Clive and opened up his wallet wide.
We'll just import a load more cane toads instead.  

Up came a farmer mounted on his new quad bike.
"Who'll feed Australia now it's one big mine?"
Twiggy, Clive and Gina just laughed at the farmer man,
"Who gives a damn now, 'cos we're doing fine."

Mining Australia, Mining Australia.
Who'll come a mining Australia with me?
Twiggy, Clive and Gina just laughed at the farmer man.
"Who gives a damn now, 'cos we're doing fine."

Twiggy, Clive and Gina said "We'll pay the carbon tax,
Then charge the peasants a fortune for power.
The government will compensate, if Tony Abbott don't frustrate,
They'll raise the minimum wage by ten cents an hour."

Mining Australia, Mining Australia.
Who'll come a-mining Australia with me?
The government will compensate, if Tony Abbott don't frustrate,
They'll raise the minimum wage by ten cents an hour."

Now everyone Down Under hopes the Chinese don't go broke,
'Cos then who'd buy all our iron ore and coal?
 At least the peasants won't whinge about the measly wage they're paid.
No one would have a job and they'd all be on the dole.

Mining Australia, Mining Australia.
Who'll come a-mining Australia with me?
 At least the peasants won't whinge about the measly wage they're paid.
No one would have a job and they'd all be on the dole.

Three of my feet look as though they've been down a coal mine. Here's the one that doesn't.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Carnivorous Rabbits

We've just spent a whole night in a stationary railway carriage and we weren't even on a British train which are regularly held up for hours because an autumn leaf happened to fall onto the track, thus making safe operation impossible. No, we were at a place called Undarra where some fool has left a whole lot of train carriages lying around for the likes of my staff to sleep in when they get lost. There were lots of huge holes in the ground, obviously dug by giant prehistoric carnivorous rabbits, at least that is the most logical explanation, and yet the guides who took us down these holes tried to convince us all that they were formed by molten lather. I may only be a guinea pig, but I know full well that no matter how much lather you pour onto the ground it's not going to create bloody great tunnels twenty metres tall and thirty metres wide.

So anyway, Badger, myself, my male staff, his dad and his mad sister all went on a tour to view some of these tunnels. Only one tunnel was suitable for my male staff's dad who is lame in one leg where mad sister kicked him in the shin I think. It must have been a pretty good kick because he's had to use his wheelie-walker ever since I've known him. Either that or she kicks him in the shin every other day to ensure that he doesn't recover. This one particular tunnel had a special moving toilet that descends down the side of the staircase into the dark depths of the prehistoric rabbit hole. I guess they use the moving toilet because it's very steep and some people might lose control of their bowels with fright as they go down. I'm glad my male staff's dad didn't have that issue because they forgot to remove his trousers. Badger and I rode on his lap, so the toilet was a waste of time because by the time we got to the bottom his trousers were covered in bush chocolate anyway.

                                                 My male staff's dad on the moving toilet.              

Once we were down in the tunnel Badger and I scampered off to explore, leaving the humans behind to be fed a crock of bush chocolate by the guide about the tunnels being created by lather.  As we ventured deeper into the hole the light grew dimmer and the human voices became fainter. We ignored my male staff's cries of "Billy! Badger! Where are you?" because his voice hadn't yet reached the correct panicked, desperate tone. We both agreed that only when his voice had reached the required level of hysteria would we mosey on back, until then we'd continue to explore. From somewhere in the pitch darkness ahead we could hear a faint fluttering and an increasingly ominous squeaking. I knew exactly what this meant. BATS! Bats terrify me with their evil, beady little eyes, their leather wings and their tiny razor sharp teeth. It makes my fur stand on end just to think about it. Obviously the stupid humans with their torches and loud voices had disturbed them and they flew out from their roost in their thousands, fluttering overhead and speckling me with their tiny bits of bat bush chocolate. So I did what any big brave, heroic piggy would do - I turned and ran. I hadn't got very far when I saw half an eerie white face in front of me. A single malevolent eye peered at me from the half face. I stopped dead in my tracks. It could only be one thing - the legendary Phantom of Undarra. The pale half face drew closer, my legs grew weak and my bowels trembled, or was it the other way around? I can't remember, in any case I left a large pile of bush chocolate for the next visitors to slip on. Suddenly the half face opened it's mouth and I could smell the creature's foetid breath. Then it spoke to me. "Hi Billy," it said. "What's it worth for me not to tell your male staff that you ran squealing like a girl from a few mice with wings?" Badger! That damned visit to the stupid lather holes cost me a week's worth of basil.

My male staff, his dad and his mad sister in the prehistoric rabbit hole.

The next day was my male staff's mum and dad's wedding anniversary. The first since she joined her dogs at the Rainbow Bridge last February. My male staff and his mad sister bought him an anniversary present and a card to show that they remembered the day even though their dad is on his own now. We all sat in our motel room, Badger eating MY basil, the humans guzzling wine and me glaring at Badger.  Mad sister handed her dad the present and card and said "Happy anniversary Dad" and gave him a hug and squeezed his hand. Understandably this must have alarmed him because his eyes began to leak a bit, then mad sister's eyes started to leak too. Male staff just sat there looking about as sad as a guinea pig who's just been blackmailed out of a week's basil ration.

This morning I went with my male staff as he drove his dad and mad sister to the airport for their flight back to Britain. Male staff's poor old dad had the same constant bewildered expression as Badger the whole time he was here. I think he's missing my male staff's mum very much. He's eyes leaked a little as he said goodbye to my male staff, but I think that might have just been at the thought of having to spend the next twenty four hours sitting next to mad sister. My male staff watched them go, mad sister pushing their dad through passport control in his wheelchair, bumping in to several people and going so fast around one corner that male staff's dad almost tipped out as the wheelchair tilted at an alarming angle. My male staff picked me up, stroked me gently, smiled sadly at me and said "Come on Billy, time to go home."

Hah! I'm keeping my foot on my basil ration so that "Big Girl's Blouse" Billy can't sneak up and steal it back. Anyway, I can smell him coming because he's still covered in bat bush chocolate.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Best Urine Crocodile

The fair township of Miriam Vale, Queensland will never be the same again. It was the third morning of our road trip with male staff, his dad and his mad sister.  We'd left Agnes Water early and decided to stop at Miriam Vale for breakfast. Badger and I were cosily ensconced inside male staff's dad's wheelie-walker bag. It was a chilly morning, or at least what passes for a chilly morning in Queensland - about 15 degrees centigrade. It's was at about that temperature when the people in Britain think it's too hot to work and take the afternoon off to go and laze semi-naked in the nearest park having paused briefly to scrape away the top layer of doggy poo from the grass.

We were just crossing a fairly quiet street toward s a likely looking cafe (Mad sister having parked the car by rolling slowly into a tree.) when a sudden gust of wind whipped several items from mad sister's handbag. Off they went, fluttering gaily in the breeze. There were a couple of tissues, a ten dollar note and her spare clean knickers, which she always keeps in her handbag in case of emergency. He late mother had drummed it into her from a young age that she should always wear clean knickers and carry a spare pair in case she gets run over by a bus and has to go to hospital.
 "Wouldn't want those nice, eligible young doctors to see you wearing dirty knickers, would you?"

At the moment that her knickers settle upon the dusty road, a bus containing a consignment of grey, somewhat surprised looking heads rounded the corner en-route to the nearby public restrooms and ran over the garment, the rear wheels tossed it into the air just in time to land them gently across the face of a middle aged man in Lycra (MAMIL) on a bicycle. With an anguished cry of "Aieeeee!" he frantically scrabbled at his face as though he'd just ridden through the web of a venomous spider. Badger and I ducked back into the wheelie-walker bag in case we got the blame for the impending catastrophe. Therefore we didn't see the MAMIL disappear on his bicycle through the ladies lavatory door. We did, however hear the resulting crash and the scream of an elderly woman. Mad sister later said that the old dear moved surprisingly quickly given her age and the fact that her knickers were around her ankles. She said that she seemed to be heading in the direction of the police station whilst yelling "Help, a pervert, help a pervert." I'm not sure why anyone would want to help a pervert, but she was quite an old lady and may have been suffering from dementia - like my male staff.

Today we are in a place called Port Douglas. We all went on a Daintree River cruise yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure how wise this was given our record with cruises. See link.
This time Badger and I were under strict instructions to remain inside male staff's dad's wheelie-walker bag. This we did until we saw a large, lumpy lizard among the mangrove roots at the water's edge. The man driving the boat said it was a "best urine crocodile". I don't know what is so good about their urine, but obviously it's pretty good stuff. Anyway this particular best urine crocodile was gulping down something fat, hairy and rather ugly. I think it may have been a wild boar, but Badger thought it was my male staff (an understandable error) and leapt heroically to his rescue, ignoring the fact that my male staff was actually sitting right behind him. Badger can sometimes be a little impulsive. Before anyone could react he was on the lizard's scaly back, biting with all his might. This irritated the lizard flicked his great scaly head, releasing the wild boar and tossing Badger back into the boat. He landed in my male staff's lap, where he sat for a moment giving the best urine crocodile his most lethal death stare. Not surprisingly, this terrified the five metre lizard so much that he left the boar and disappeared under the murky water to lick his Badger inflicted wounds. I really don't think we will be allowed to go on a boat cruise again.

Male staff's dad and the best urine crocodile.

I hope the old lady wasn't calling me a pervert just because of my foot fetish. By the way, the crocodile tasted like chicken.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Well, here we are in Mackay. Wheek! There are some strange looking beings here. My male staff and his mad sister took me and Badger to the local Pizza hut for a takeaway. Hoo boy! It was like walking into that bar in Star Wars. There was a guy with no bottom jaw, (How do you eat a pizza with no bottom jaw?) a kid in pyjamas who was the spitting image of the banjo playing boy in Deliverance, and two hippo impersonators who really shouldn't eat any more pizza anyway. Badger and I glanced at each other and ran back to the motel quick smart, dodging between the wheels of the huge trucks which were belting down the Bruce Highway. We scratched on the door and male staff's dad let us in. We virtually leapt into his arms. Mainly because he was eating an apple and we were hungry.

We left home in high spirits and drove to Agnes Water without running anybody over. Here we had a nice apartment with lots of new smelling things to chew, which we took advantage of while the humans were out swimming and stuff. The TV didn't work when they got back and we got the blame for that. Also the toaster, the microwave and the bedside lamps. Badger also tried gnawing on male staff's dad's wheelie-walker but he said it had a strange metallic taste. Later that day we all went out on a LARC, which it seems in an old US military amphibious vehicle. I think the Marines used it for fishing expeditions. It was painted hot pink which wouldn't have been very good camouflage unless you happened to be at war with the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. Still, it was good fun, especially when male staff's dad fell off his seat twice when the stupid LARC thing splashed down off a sand bank into the sea. naturally the floor of the LARC was awash with sea water so he had to walk around with wet trousers for the rest of the day.

Today we drove through a place called Rockhampton, which is allegedly the beef capital of Australia. Being Queensland, the good people of the city have erected a statue of a Brahman bull at the side of the main road entering the city from the south. It's quite realistic except that it is six times life size and has a metal chain hanging from its impressive testostricles. I thought mine were pretty good, but they pale into insignificance beside those of this bull. Also, I should add that mine don't have a chain attached to them. Speculation then ran rife within our rented Hyundi Getz. What on earth could the chain be for? Badger suggested that it might be for leading him around. After all, no one is going to play up while being led around by the testostricles. However, my male staff insisted that real bulls don't have the chain and that it was a fine example of Queensland culture. The idea is for visitors to have a go at pulling the chain. If the chain is pulled with enough macho, butch strength the bulls bellows, it's eyes flash and the successful visitor is rewarded with a coconut dispensed from the bull's bottom passage. But all this is done in a very tasteful way of course.

So, as I give my male staff corrective bites while he types this post we are all in a somewhat crappy motel on the edge of Mackay right next to the Bruce Highway with semi-trailers thundering past the window every ten seconds and Boeing 737s roaring overhead has they make their final approach to the airport next door. There are a pair of miners brawling in the carpark and a couple having noisy sex in the room next door.

There are pubic hairs in the kettle (though it's true they could be Badger's) and a big green bogey wiped on the toilet wall just above the toilet paper (though it's true that it could be male staff's mad sister's). Neither Badger nor I can sleep due to male staff's dad's snoring. Badger has his head hidden on his bedding and I have a piece of carrot stuck in each ear. It's not helping. I think we might be leaving Mackay early tomorrow morning.

Billy's male staff's dad's snores are so loud that my feet vibrate.

No photo today I'm afraid. The internet connection is so crappy here that I can't upload one. You'll have to use your imagination.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Road Trip

Our house is all a-buzz with the sounds of humans and guinea pigs preparing for a road trip. Badger, myself, my male staff, his mad sister and his dad will be piling into a rental car tomorrow and driving off into the sunset. Or if my male staff's mad sister is at the wheel we may be driving off into the ocean in what would prove to be the shortest road trip ever. Packing up the car will be the biggest challenge.
There's at least three suitcases, two cages for Badger and I, two weeks worth of our veggies and bedding and male staff's dad's wheelie-walker and walking stick. The Hyundai Getz 1400cc is going to be pretty full. To my male staff and mad sister's credit they have come up with a viable solution to the overcrowding problem.

I'll be ready if mad sister drives into the ocean.

The idea is to tie male staff's dad's wheelie-walker to the back of the car with the string from his pyjama bottoms. Male staff's dad would then sit on the seat of the wheelie-walker. He could then be towed along behind, thus freeing up a whole lot of space inside the car. It would have been a win win situation. They'd be more room for the rest of us and the fresh air would be good for my male staff's dad. They had even got as far as devising a system of communication. All male staff's dad had to do to attract the driver's attention was to tap a given number of times on the boot/trunk of the car with his walking stick. One tap for "Please stop, I need a wee." Two taps for "Please stop, I'd like a drink of water." Three taps for "Please stop I'd like something to eat." Four taps for "Please stop, I've just lost my dentures." Five taps for "Please stop I've just fallen off my wheelie walker." My sharper readers may see a minor problem with this last one. In any case it's all academic because my male staff's dad has refused to cooperate. Mad sister says if he's going to be this difficult for the entire trip she'd rather he didn't come.

Badger was the next to complain. He said there was no way he was going to get into any car driven by either my male staff or his mad sister if he didn't have a seat belt, and I must say he has a point. For a while this threatened to preclude our participation in the expedition, but my ever resourceful male staff has found two large, strong rubber bands with which to tie us to our cage bars while the car is in motion. Of course he then had to make sure our food and water was within our reach, but once that was done Badger inspected his handiwork and declared it to be satisfactory, apart of the colour of his elastic band. He insisted on having a green one to remind him of all the basil he'd be missing out on while we're away.

My female staff has made the wise decision to stay at home and look after Paolo the budgie. I think she'll be doing girlie things while we're away like sleeping a lot, eating healthy food, drinking lemon barley water, knitting and playing with kittens if she can find any. No doubt she'll also "do" her nails (whatever that means) and take the opportunity to don one of those scary mask things that's supposed to make her face nice and soft, but in fact only succeeds in frightening the bush chocolate out of my male staff when he unexpectedly encounters her wearing it in the bathroom.

Meanwhile Badger and I will be having our greatest adventure since we flew to Dubai and Badger puked his tabbouleh down the back of an Arab dude's nice white robe. My male staff says we'll be heading for "The Bush" at some stage of our trip. He didn't specify what sort of bush, but it doesn't really surprise me that he expects to end up in a bush if his mad sister is doing some of the driving.

My male staff found out the hard way that it doesn't always pay to be helpful. He popped his head inside the door of mad sister's room as she was packing her large, heavy suitcase for the trip.
  "Soft bag?" He said, waving a hold-all at her.
  "Old twat!" She replied and slammed the door in his face.
This is going to be a very entertaining trip.

Frankly I'd rather go to the vet and have my toenails trimmed than get in a car with Billy's male staff's mad sister at the wheel. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wet Tee-Shirt Contest

One can tell when my male staff's mad sister is in Australia because strange headlines begin to appear in the newspapers. "MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN CAUTIONED FOR BARING BREASTS" for example. She and long suffering husband flew to Perth for a week recently to give my staff a bit of a break from their insanity. Sadly the insanity that my staff were spared was subsequently unleashed upon the unsuspecting citizens of the fair city of Perth.

Leaving long suffering husband at their accommodation to do man things like change light bulbs, watch Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, drink beer and pee in the bathroom sink, she walked up to King's Park - a lovely chunk of Aussie bush in the centre of the city. Here she mooched about admiring the views across the Swan River and the Perth city skyline, which due to poor planning looks like a nine year old kid's Lego approximation of a futuristic metropolis. After a while hunger began gnawing at her tummy bones like a ravenous guinea pig on a piece of cucumber. She therefore dived into the cafeteria and purchased a bowl of chips. (Fries, if you live on the wrong side of the Pacific.) These chips came with a small plastic container of tomato ketchup of a kind that mad sister had never seen before.  The idea is to squeeze both ends of the container and aim the resulting jet of ketchup at one's chips.

Being British and unfamiliar with this highly complex piece of Australian technology, mad sister twisted it, turned it, poked it and tried to peel off the lid. Finally in frustrated desperation she squeezed it and was rewarded with an explosive squirt of ketchup which coated both her face and front of her pristine white tee-shirt. Looking around, she saw that the nearest napkins were ten metres away across the cafe by the till. To get one would mean elbowing her way through the other customers and she thought that would just be too embarrassing. She noticed a rest room over in an unpopulated corner of the room and decided to make for that once she's consumed her chips. Having hissed several four letter words under her breath she thought that the best thing to do in a crowded cafe was to pretend that it is perfectly normal for a British tourist to eat as bowl of chips whilst wearing half a litre of ketchup. So she sat there eating her chips, wiping each one on her face or shirt in order to give it a coating of sauce before popping it into her mouth. This very slightly diminished the amount of ketchup but gave her a rather greasy complexion.

With as much dignity as she could muster she finished her chips and made her way to the restroom as inconspicuously as it possible for a woman who looks like she's been on the losing end of a knife fight can.
Nevertheless she still had to pass several people on the way, all of whom regarding her with varying degrees of alarm. Some of them even fumbled for their cell phones and made urgent calls to the emergency services.
Meanwhile mad sister entered the restroom, removed her shirt, rinsed it out and washed her face. Feeling a little better, she wrung out her shirt, put it back on and re-entered the cafe. To her surprise this caused even more alarmed glances from her fellow patrons. Small children were being whisked up by concerned mothers who glared at mad sister as if she had just bared her breasts at them; which is funny, because she had. Her half dry white tee-shirt was now totally see through and she had become a one woman wet tee-shirt contest.

She later admitted to being somewhat disappointed that being the only contestant in a wet tee-shirt contest she was still unable to get a place on the podium. Still, at least the nice young policeman who was summoned to attend the cafe by the frightened customers who thought they'd witnessed the death throes of a victim of a bloody crime was understanding and averted his eyes from her wet tee-shirt. More disappointment.

What's all the fuss about human mammary glands? I prefer feet any day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Rainbow Bridge

I could hardly believe my ears and eyes the other day. Remember my recent blog post about cane toad impersonator and somewhat obnoxious billionaire Clive Palmer? (See this link.) 

Well, Clive has apparently decided that he wants to seek Liberal party pre-selection for Treasurer Wayne Swan's Australia Federal parliamentary seat of Lilley. Now while Wayne Swan arguably has the fiscal nous of a mouse, he is at least sane-ish, which gives him an edge over Clive who's as nutty as a pile of squirrels' bush chocolate. I can't think of anyone else on the planet who could possibly be more out of touch with the people he would be representing in parliament, apart from Robert Mugabe maybe. By the way, did you know that Mugabe is an anagram of Buga Me? Which is exactly what he's done to the formerly prosperous Zimbabwe.  While Palmer is an anagram of Real PM, and that's exactly what he would be if the Liberal Party wins the next election, whether Clive wins a seat or not . Okay, enough of this, I can see the children are getting scared.

Robert Buga Me meets Iran's Mr Ahmadinnerjacket

What I really wanted to talk about today is death, and as such today's blog post will be a deep, sober and philosophical affair - like the Benny Hill show. Humans, in all their conceited arrogance believe that they are superior to all other animals, and that one of the things that makes them superior is an awareness of their own mortality. (Though seeing how humans drive around here, that is definitely questionable.) They like to believe that they are the only creatures on earth who are aware that they will eventually die. This is not the case. An impala for example is all too conscious of the fact that if a lion bites his head off it will end badly for him - the impala that is, not the lion, unless of course the lion chokes on one of impala's horns.

All animals except humans know of a place called The Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies this is where he or she goes. Just before you get to the Rainbow Bridge itself there's a huge rolling meadow where all deceased animals are restored to health and are free to romp and play with each other and all their needs are catered for. There is just one rule. No one is allowed to eat any of the other residents. I'm not quite sure how carnivores get on there, but no doubt their needs are met with vitamin additives and the like. Who cares anyway, there's plenty of fresh dewy grass for the likes of Badger and I.

This side of The Rainbow Bridge acts as a kind of waiting room, like at the vet only without the funny smells and the twelve year old copies of National Geographic and Readers Digest. Then when the animal's staff dies they also end up in the lovely meadow. This is particularly difficult for postal workers who are immediately chased by dozens of dogs. Once the animal has located it's own staff there is a tearful reunion and the two cross The Rainbow Bridge together hand in paw to live together forever in an even more beautiful meadow on the other side.

Of course most humans live longer than their animals, though there are some exceptions. Some types of parrot are known to outlive their staff, and giant Galapagos tortoises are likely to get through several staff members before they eventually go to The Rainbow Bridge. Those humans who do pass away before their animals also go to The Rainbow Bridge to wait for their animals to join them. Here they are made welcome by the other animals and are invited to romp and play while they are waiting. Once again, postal workers may not enjoy this waiting period. Animal owners who have neglected or tormented their animals do not go to The Rainbow Bridge when they die. Instead they are transported by Ryan Air to Sydney Harbour Bridge (A thirty-six hour flight with only one toilet, and a screaming brat in each row of seats.) Here they are forced to wait on one side of the bridge in a small hatchback car in a permanent traffic jam on a forty-two degree centigrade day with the windows wound up and no air-conditioning. I hope you all find these few words comforting, unless of course you are a postal worker.

I hope it's a long time before I set foot on The Rainbow Bridge.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Population Explosion

My male staff's dad has one of those wheelie-walker things which he pushes around in front of him. My male staff says it's because he can't walk very well these days. Frankly I think he'd walk a whole lot better if he didn't have to push his stupid wheelie-walker around all the time. For a start it takes him fifteen minutes to cross even the smallest of roads. Radio stations in our area have started including his whereabouts in their traffic updates. It's quite embarrassing. The day after he arrived here from England my male staff's dad pushed his wheelie-walker into our local pharmacy shop. (My male staff needed to buy some pills for his lunacy I think. Don't know why he bothers, they're obviously not working.) Immediately the shop staff surrounded him and were fawning over the wheelie-walker as if it was a Ferarri or something.

They walked all around it, admiring its British racing green paint work, the brakes, the padded seat and the little leather bag on the front in which Badger and I sat chewing on pieces of corn husk.  The shop ladies ooh-ed and aah-ed and goo-ed and gah-ed until one of them decided to lift the lid on our bag. The bush chocolate really hit the fan. What is it about many human females that makes them scream when they see something small and furry? How are small furry things a threat to them? Anyway, this woman threw her arms in the air in horror at the sight of two sets of beady eyes peering at her from my male staff's dad's wheelie-walker bag. Both Badger and I stopped chewing our husks and gawped at the screaming woman.

Unfortunately Badger is quite a nervous soul, so he decided to bale out and sprint for the nearest cover, which happened to be a under a large display of condoms. Meanwhile the woman who had screamed and thrown her arm in the air had (accidentally I think) hit my male staff's nose with her elbow. This caused an impressive fountain of blood to spurt from his nostrils, no doubt made more impressive by the blood thinning Warfarin tablets he's taking for his blood clots. He clutched his leaking nose with both hands and exclaimed what sounded like "Ow! Duck Knee!" It was hard to tell though with his hands covering his face and blood squirting through his fingers. And why he would suddenly develop an interest in the leg joints of waterfowl I don't know, but then many things my male staff does are beyond my understanding.

It was just then that Her Majesty the Pharmacist decended from her throne high above the shelves filled with throat lozenges and head-ache tablets and raced over to see what all the fuss was about. Almost immediately she wished she hadn't because she slipped in a pool of my male staff's blood and skidded headlong into the condom display, collapsing the entire thing on top of Badger. "Dadger!" Cried my male staff through a squashed nose and blood soaked fingers. Her Majesty the Pharmacist was sprawled on the floor, legs akimbo and half buried by cartons of plain and flavoured condoms. It wasn't her most dignified moment. My male staff shoved her out of the way and started digging through the condoms like a frantic earthquake rescuer, tossing boxes of chocolate and banana flavoured condoms hither and thither and calling out "Dadger! Dadger!" Ever more urgently, and then asking Her Majesty the Pharacist to stop crying so that he could listen for Badger.

At long last Badger was finally uncovered and gave everyone his best death stare as the last box of prophyactics was removed. Holding his nose with one hand my male staff scooped him up and put him back in the wheelie-walker bag with me and hurridly ushered his dad from the shop, leaving Her Majesty the Pharmacist to extract the remaining packets of condoms from up her skirt and restack the display. As my male staff's dad pushed us down the street towards the doctors surgery, Badger confided in me that he had had a chew of several packets of condoms and that the plain, chocolate and strawberry ones were very ordinary, but that he thoroughly enjoyed the banana ones once his teeth had penetrated the carpboard box, the foil wrapping and the funny rubbery stuff inside. Amazing isn't it? Who'd have thought that my male staff's dad's wheelie-walker could be responsible for a population explosion in a little town like ours?  

Next time I'm asked it I want to go to the shops I think I'll stay at home and polish my nails.