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.