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.