Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

On the whole, guinea pigs as a species are not particularly religious. In fact we have some difficulty understanding the whole religion thing. We just can't understand why humans need to rely on a supernatural being to tell them how to behave, and even then they pick and choose which of their chosen supernatural being's instructions they choose to obey.  Having said all that though, we piggies do enjoy Easter, which as I understand it stands for Every Animal Should Try Eating Ravenously.  In the human world Easter celebrates the first ever long weekend, generously granted by the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce in a fit of guilt after they'd crucified Jesus for taking industrial action in the markets that they'd set up in and around the temple.  Jesus (the world's first union leader), had been seriously getting up the Chamber of Commerce's goat for a while. In fact ever since he suggested that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven, he had been in the their cross-hairs. The feeding of the five thousand didn't help either. Giving away all that food cost the local McDonald's franchise an absolute fortune in daily takings. The locals were all too busy stuffing their faces with free loaves and fishes to want to cough up shekels for a Supersized McSabbath Meal.

So, in the end the authorities didn't need much of an excuse to rid themselves of this troublesome unionist. The last thing the Chamber of Commerce needed was some long haired hippy running all over the place convincing the great unwashed masses that they were every bit as good and worthy as rich people. So, with the help of the Romans the Chamber of Commerce set him up by bribing his friend poor old Judas to betray him, and the rest is history.

My male staff when he was younger and even more stupid studied Biblical Archaeology, not necessarily because he wanted to be some sort of ugly Indiana Jones, but because he rather fancied a red haired Welsh girl called Tracey whom he'd met on a trip to Israel and was rather hoping to join her at University as a mature student. Not that he was particularly mature, quite the opposite actually. Anyway having gained the necessary entry qualifications Mrs Thatcher decided that she did not have enough money to give him a grant, so he dropped out even before he started. However, he did learn one or two the tricks of Roman crucifixion at the time of Christ. For example, it was unusual for the cross to be a cross at all. Usually it was just shaped like a capital T. It was also unusual for the victims to be nailed to it. Most often they they were just tied to it with leather thongs, their feet supported by a small shelf.

Mostly the poor sods died within three or four days from thirst, or exposure or both, but those who survived beyond the patience of the guards had their shins smashed with clubs. As you can imagine, this didn't exactly improve their overall well-being and death followed fairly rapidly due to shock or heart failure as their blood rushed down to the sight of the injury. Nails, when they were used were not driven through the palms of the hand because the weight of the body would have ripped them out. Instead they were driven between the bone of the wrist, taking care that no major blood vessels were damaged. The Romans didn't want their victims to die without at least a couple of days of suffering. The feet were twisted to one side, placed together and then had a long nail hammered through both heels between the ankle the Achilles tendon, though they still very considerately supplied the little shelf for them to stand on. Thank heavens for the Romans. Imagine where human kind would be now without their civilising influence.

There are two sites considered as the sight of Jesus' tomb. Apparently the most likely of the two is  at the sight of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre - a dark, dank, candle lit place deep inside the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem, tucked away amongst the labyrinthine alleyways where my male staff's Welsh redhead had her bum groped by a snot nosed little Arab brat of about twelve. My male staff grabbed the kid's arm and twisted it, while snarling at him. Not so much in outrage but in fear that the Welsh chick might think it was him fondling her bum while they queued to enter Christianity's most holy site.The Bible has it that Jesus was crucified and buried outside of Jerusalem's city walls. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is well within the present city walls, but two thousand years ago it was not, and who knows, it may be the place where the world's first union leader was interred before he changed his mind about the whole death thing..

My male staff prefers the other location though - The Garden Tomb, for one thing it is located just above the Arab bus station, which at the time of Christ would have been very convenient for the locals who wanted to come and jeer and throw bush chocolate at the poor devils on their crosses. The Bible tells us that Jesus was crucified on a hill, outside the city walls at a place called Golgotha - which means "The Place of the Skull." The Garden Tomb has many examples of the type of tomb used two thousand years ago. A hollow carved into the rock containing a stone sarcophagus, closed off with a huge slab of rock.

The Garden Tomb is also called Gordon's Calvary. Remember General Gordon? The Victorian hero of the siege of Khartoum and serial God-botherer. Well he was having his evening stroll along the top of Jerusalem's city wall with some of his aides when he suddenly stopped dead, causing all his aides to run into each other with cries of "I say old chap! Watch where you're jolly well going. That waxed moustache of yours could have had my eye out." But all the aides stopped and stared at General Gordon as he exclaimed "Bugger me!" Normally his strongest language consisted of "By Jiminy!" or "Good Gracious."

What had General Gordon seen?  This.
Just as the number 14 bus to Bethlehem was pulling out, he had discovered Golgotha - The Place of the Skull, or so he thought, and my male staff would have agreed with him. The Garden Tomb is a peaceful, picturesque spot compared to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The gardens are well tended and it has a serene atmosphere which appears to quell the roar of diesel engines and acrid exhaust fumes. The experts say that it is not likely to be the true burial site of Jesus Christ, but one is less likely to get one's bum fondled there.

So humans. Please tell me. What is Easter really all about these days? It seems that the Chamber of Commerce has got their own way in the end, setting up their markets stalls in the proverbial temple of Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Like most Christian festivals Easter has become commercialised and even pagan-ised. I get the whole egg thing at Easter. New life after death, the Resurrection and all that, even if the connection is a little tenuous. But rabbits? What have rabbits got to do with anything? I can see that they might be a pagan symbol of fertility. Let's face it the cute little devils like a bit of "How's Your Father" as much, if not more than the rest of us, but what have they got to do with the death and Resurrection of Jesus? As far as a know they were not even present at his birth. There were cattle, sheep and even an ass, but no bunnies - no three wise rabbits. In fact rabbits played no part in his life at all as far as I can see. Mind you. There is a huge gap in the Bible from when Jesus was about three until he was around thirty years of age. Maybe he was running a rabbit hatchery or whatever they call them, or a pet shop that specialised in rabbits. Who knows? What I do know however is that my male staff says that the next time he sees a chocolate rabbit on a supermarket shelf before the last of the twelve days of Christmas is up he's going to ram that bunny so far up the supermarket manager's bottom passage that he'll be able to taste whether is is made of milk or dark chocolate.

Well, I can add nothing useful to this except perhaps............Wheeeeeeeeeeeek!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Pickle

Goodness me! Didn't the Australian government get itself into what my male staff's Auntie Ethel would have called "a pickle" this week? Another of Auntie Ethel's favourite expressions was "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I'm right." For those of you who have the misfortune to live beyond our burning shore I will re-cap.  Since the current government first came to power in 2007 they have lurched from one crisis to another. Mostly self inflicted. Nevertheless, they steered the nation through the storm of the Global Financial Crisis and came out the other side in pretty good shape compared to Europe and the USA by investing early and copiously in infrastructure. The parliamentary opposition criticised them roundly for spending so much money, but what was the alternative? Allow unemployment to grow and the economy to stagnate, or more likely slide into recession? It must be remembered that a large part of the GFC was directly caused by corporate greed and the lack of regulation - something that the Australian parliamentary opposition is all in favour of.

The trouble is that almost all of the good policy releases - the National Broadband Network, the so called Mining Tax and the Gonski education reforms have been so incompetently managed and sold to the public that even a second rate rodent like a rat could have done it better. In 2010 the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made the mistake of turning his back on Julia Gillard and was stabbed in it multiple times and Ms Gillard then led the ruling Labor Party to the next election, just before which she pledged that there would never be a mining tax under any government led by her. Fortunately she changed her mind shortly after she was re-elected. The mining tax was good policy, or at least it would have been if it hadn't been watered down so much and left with so many loopholes for mining companies to exploit that the tax raised hardly and funds at all in the first year.

Anyway, the latest debacle is Communication Minister Senator Conroy's media regulation. Good legislation by any fair minded standards, not that such a thing exists in the Australian media, most of which is dominated by Fairfax and Rupert Murdoch's News Limited. The main focus of these reforms are to encourage more diversification and to force newspapers to publish more prominent apologies when they make incorrect statements. Nothing wrong with that you would think, but the good old Labor government gave the parliament about ten minutes to read through about a thousand pages of legislation and said that they wouldn't contemplate any changes. Consequently the opposition, supported by the press have been hyperventilating, comparing Senator Conroy to Stalin and Robert Mugabe amongst others; a threat to the so called free press and democracy itself. What bush chocolate! What free press? How can you have a free press when there are only two major media companies, both of which are beholden to their own interests and that of big business. The journalists they employ are not free to write what they want because if they are stupid enough to write something that their employer takes exception to they are not likely to get a job elsewhere. The only truly independent writers these days are guinea pig bloggers.

All the kerfuffle about this chaotic way of putting forward legislation upset former party leader Simon Crean so much that he decided to cause a leadership spill, hoping that Kevin Rudd would challenge for the leadership. Trouble is he forgot to tell Mr Rudd and was left flapping in the breeze. He must have felt like a platoon leader in the first world war who'd called his men to charge the enemy trench only to find that he was the only one charging when he got half way across no mans land.

Where does all this leave the rest of us? Well the government is now less popular than a plague of guinea pigs on a basil farm. This means that nutty opposition leader Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott is likely to find himself living in "The Lodge" after September's General Election. Actually, come to think of it, maybe that's why the mainstream Australian media is so keen to see him elected as Prime Minister - they can already envisage all the headlines his bizarre statements and behavior will generate.

I don't really care who the Prime Minister is so long as they provide free foot care for all cavies.

This is me pictured with a book written by my favourite author Brian Meeks. His books are always written on the best tasting paper.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Bullshitzer Prize

How many of you have been to a guinea pig show? Well I hadn't until this weekend and neither had Badger. We were bundled into the car along with my female staff's Mum. My female staff was in the front passenger seat because she gets motion sickness even when she's walking and my male staff was driving, which is always a bit disconcerting because he will keep looking over his shoulder to make sure we're okay. This wouldn't be so bad if he just had a quick glance, but no. Every kilometre or so he has to swivel right around and have a lengthy conversation with us. "You boys okay? Got enough to eat and drink? How's your water? Did you see the football last night? There's no way on earth that that was a penalty." That kind of thing. All while driving along the freeway at one hundred and ten kilometres an hour. Still, we always have some interesting off road adventures, and the occasional close encounter with surprised livestock as we bounce across roadside paddocks.

So, anyway my female staff set the GPS (Guinea Pig Seeker) to Short Street, Nambour. The guinea pig show was being held there at the CWA hall. (Cavy Watchers Association I suppose.) Driving into Nambour it is immediately obvious that the town is dying, or at least is in the Intensive Care Ward. Shops are boarded up and the residents are either the size of cricket sight screens or are skinny, buttock-less and chain-smoking. Both types tend to spend most of their time in or around McDonald's which appears to be the only thriving shop in town.

We parked the car opposite the CWA and strolled across the road, listening out for the "diddle-ing- ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding" of duelling banjos and distant cries of "Squeal piggy squeal." coming from the forest around the town. As it happens though the only squealing was coming from inside the CWA hall. Badger and I were carried through the door cradled in the arms of my staff, and goodness me what a racket! Several dozen wheeking guinea pigs were set upon rows of tables in small carrying cages. Each one was spotlessly clean and smartly groomed. My staff said that they weren't going to enter us in the show because we'd win all the prizes and it wouldn't be fair on the other animals. I could see now that they were right. This lot were a bunch of preened, puffed up pooftahs and I couldn't belief how my staff and female staff's mum ooh-ed and ahh-ed over them. Badger and I were the only real boars there. It does have to be said though, that there were so fine looking lady pigs. They were all too stuck up to talk to the likes of us though. The least my staff could have was to brush my fur before we left home, but no, I turned up at the show looking like a porcupine.

I had absolutely no idea that there were so many different breeds of guinea pig. As my staff carried us around the hall I became acquainted with all sorts of exotic sounding creatures. There were fat, beaver-like Texels and Peruvians with long flowing locks that looked not dissimilar to Cousin It from The Addams Family.

Above. A Peruvian guinea pig. Right. Cousin It.

There were other rare breeds too.
The Berlusconi Azuri  - an Italian breed. Rather slimy in appearance, but gregarious and a good breeder.

The British Hooligan - Not very attractive to look at. Intimidates other guinea pigs by tipping their food bowls over their heads. Tends to be become inebriated by eating fermented hay.

The Australian Okker - Similar to the British Hooligan but with a rather different, somewhat nasal vocalisation. "Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie wheek wheek wheek!" It also has a penchant for fermented hay.
Then there's me. I'm a Serbian Assassin and Badger is a Cornish Pastie.

After an hour or so it was time for the guinea pigs to be judged. Each piggy was placed on what is called a "show board" which looks alarmingly like a dinner plate as it is offered up to the judge by the guinea pig's staff. It just needed a little bit of garnish around it and the image would have been complete.The judge or CMP (Cavy Molesting Pervert) then plucks them from the show board and fondles them all over, turning them on their backs and inspecting their tummies and most intimate bits. There's no way I would have submitted to such treatment. I would have wiggled, peed and pooped until the judge was forced to put me down.

So we all sat and watch the judging, there were many awards. Best in Breed, Best in Show, Piggy with the Most Painful bite, Fastest Pooper (Badger would have won that.). There was also a special prize for guinea pig bloggers - The Bullshitzer Prize. I would have won that but was banned from entering after I mounted the Best in Show winner.

I've never seen such pampered feet. Honestly, I thought mine were pretty stunning, but these show piggies' feet were something else. I thought the pink varnish on the nails of the Best in Show winner was perhaps just a little pretentious.

Look everyone. Badger's butt is so big it shows up on Google Earth.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pope Goes The Weasel (Stays?)

This weekend my male staff was the emergency after hours contact for the reverse people smuggling agency that he works for. This meant that he had to take his cell phone to bed with him in case someone the agency had sent to Guatemala decided at two in morning Queensland, Australian time that they could no longer stand the colour of their hotel's wallpaper and wanted out immediately. Or perhaps a call from thirty-nine thousand feet from a passenger on a plane halfway across the Indian Ocean saying that she forget to pack her deodorant, and can my male staff ask the airline to get their plane to turn back so that she can get it. My male staff has already prepared for this one and intends to tell the passenger to ask the other passengers around her if they can put up with the stench of her body odour for another six hours until they land. If they answer in the negative she should call him back and he'll see what he can do. I'd hate for my poor male staff to be on the emergency shift if his dad called in. One of his complaints on their recent road trip around Queensland was that the soap in one of the hotels was the wrong shape and that the corners of it dug into him when he showered.

Actually, and this is true. My favourite emergency call came from a small group of young British girls traveling overseas for the first time. Luckily for them it wasn't to my male staff but to their own travel agent in Britain. The young lady sounded very worried.  "We're at the airport" she said, "and we've just been reading through our hotel brochure. It says No hairdressers at this resort. We are all apprentice hairdressers. Will they let us stay there?"

It's taking a bit of a chance putting my male staff in charge of fielding  emergency calls and complaints. There is a strong chance that a petty complaint like one of the above will be met with the response "Oh I'm sorry, I think you've dialed the wrong number. You were obviously trying to contact someone who gives a shit."

Well now, it's been an exciting couple of weeks for you humans hasn't it? That nice Mr Chavez from Venezuela has popped his clogs, so the American government will have to find another rabid left wing state in their region to demonise. Canada maybe? What a funny sort of relationship the USA and Venezuela had. They both get up each others nose dreadfully, yet they'd both be stuffed without the other. The USA needs Venezuela's oil and Venezuela needs the US dollars that they get for that oil, and yet they bicker like an old married couple. 

Pope Benny has resigned, but we are yet to discover whether or not his resignation was due to fatigue and old age or whether he was guilty in the past of helping to shuffle weaselly paedophile priests around to make sure they never got caught. They say that the President of the United States is the most powerful man in the world, but that's a huge pile of bush chocolate. It is of course the Pope. Does Mr O'Barmer condemn millions of people to a horrible, slow death from AIDS related diseases just because he doesn't want men to wear a bit of rubber on their willy? No, I don't think he does. Would anyone listen to Mr O'Barmer if he told them it's mortal sin to have an abortion? Far better to have the baby and ruin three people's lives - the unwanted child and the parents'.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I've chewed quite a few pages of the Bible myself and I've never seen anything in it that specifically forbids contraception.

And Jesus reluctantly finished texting and placed his cell phone Upon a rock, and lo, the rock didst turn to Gold. And there was Much Tweeting on their smartphones amongst the multitude and Much Gnashing of teeth and many sayeth buggereth me! This bloke Is Surely even better than David Beckham

 Then Jesus sayeth to the multitude. Now listeneth you lot. I don't Want anyone puttingeth bits of rubber over their willys, and any Chick who has the nerve to take little tablets of chemicals that stops Them gettingeth in the Pudding Club will suffer hell and damnation For eternity whereupon Satan will compel them to sitteth through Endless Episodes of Big Brother. 

Anyway, a planet's worth of Cardinals are gathering at the Vatican to vote for another elderly man with no real life experience to rule the lives of well over a billion Catholics. I'm sorry but human religion is not an easy concept to grasp for for a guinea pig. I can't help feeling that if Jesus was alive today he'd struggle with it too. After all, if the gospels are to be believed he was a man who gave up everything, including his life for the good of humanity and yet these Cardinals who claim to represent him live in lavish palaces and are almost to a man in the business of disenfranchising fifty percent of the world's population - women, especially poor women. Do you find that odd or is it just a guinea pig thing?

Once again I'm rather stumped as to how to link Billy's rather wide ranging theme with my uniquely gorgeous feet. Suffice to say that anyone with feet like mine is a far more suitable candidate for adoration than any octogenarian human in a silly hat and a bullet proof golf buggy.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Bad Name

Humans are absolutely hopeless at giving things appropriate names. Take the part of Australia where I live for example. Some smart aleck called it the Sunshine Coast, whereas it should in fact be called "The Pissing Down With Rain Every Day Coast".  Admittedly that might not sound as inviting in a travel brochure, but I'm a great believer in truth in advertising. Then there's the Pacific Ocean, the roughest, most savage and treacherous expanse of water on the planet. It's even worse than the "Devils Enema" at our local Wet & Wild water park. A better name for it would be "The Don't Go Out There Unless You Want To Drown Or At The Very Least Throw Up A Lot Ocean ." Yes, I know it's a mouthful, but at least it's more accurate than "Pacific".

 Riding "The Devils Enema"

As you know, my male staff is a reverse people smuggler, although he likes to call himself a travel agent. One of his main duties is to recommend hotels for his victims clients. I have instructed him to beware of any hotels containing the word "Grand" or "Palace" in their name.  Avoid any hotels called "The Grand Palace" like the plague, which funnily enough is just one of many diseases you are likely to contract if you stay there. French hotel names can be particularly misleading because they tend to give their hotels names which accurately describe them, and yet they are cunningly disguised. For example. Hotel de Crepit and Hotel L'Ousie. Not forgetting Hotel des Gustin. The French have their own guide to fine dining too. It is called the Michelin Guide. However, there is a lesser known guide to restaurants that should be avoided. It is called the Dunlop guide and contains a list of bistros whose food has both the taste and texture of old tyres. Try not to confuse the two.  The Spanish are just as sneaky with their hotel names, Hotel Las Tresort for example and the Hotel Costa Narmannalegge are prime examples.

For heavens sake! Even guinea pigs are badly named. We don't come from Guinea and we're certainly not pigs. We ought to be called "highly intelligent super rodents", but that's not likely to happen while humans are in charge of naming things. Koala bears are not bears either, they are related to possums.
Catfish do not drink milk, neither do they catch mice or poo in a litter tray. Grey nurse sharks do not give people injections, neither do they come running if you shout for a bed pan. Come to think of it, neither do human nurses. Not until it's too late anyway.

Here are a few more examples of why it is a mistake for animals to allow humans to name thing. Especially towns or streets.

Is this man a Dildonian?

Perhaps not the best place to stand

Imagine moving here and having to tell your favourite maiden aunt.


The Dutch are just as bad.
At least it wasn't bloody Belgium

Why my male staff hates going to the beach.

I guess we'd all like to live here.

Why are feet called "feet"? Mine are only an inch. Billy forgot to mention "The War to End All Wars" which should really have been called "The War That Really Didn't Solve Anything."