Sunday, November 24, 2013

Misquoted

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  It's just amazing how many great world leaders and historical figures have had guinea pig companions. A short time spent researching this matter will yield many examples. That's not to say that all humans with cavy companions are great or historical. Take my own staff for instance.  The only great thing about my male staff is his waistline, especially since two weeks ago he got so drunk that he fell over and bruised his knees so badly that he has been unable to have his daily run since. He claims, of course, that he tripped over a root while running in the woods, but nobody in their right mind would believe such an unlikely tale. And of course my female staff is more hysterical than historical.

Still, the fact remains, that many famous humans owe their fame and often their fortune to their guinea pigs, and yet these heroic cavies have been virtually wiped from the history books by human propaganda. Some of history's greatest human quotations were really about the orator's guinea pigs yet their words have been subsequently doctored to suit mankind's ego.

John F. Kennedy was more fond of his guinea pig than he was of Marilyn Monroe. In fact towards the end he actually thought he was a guinea pig. "Ich bin ein guinea pig" he told the people of Berlin. He also said. "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your guinea pig." Noble words indeed and yet they were edited by his advisers into something bland. Which versions of the above do you think would have had the greater impact. The original about looking after your guinea pig or the dull version?

England's Queen Elizabeth I recognised the ferocity and bravery of guinea pigs, when she addressed her troops at Tilbury in 1588 as the nation prepared to repel the Spanish Armada. "I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a guinea pig." She said and was greeted with wild cheers by the assembled rough and ready soldiers, for they too all had guinea pigs (many of them secreted in their codpieces) and knew how ferocious and courageous they are, especially when it comes to defending a slice of cucumber. Of course her Father Henry VIII had the stomach of several hundred guinea pigs, but that is neither here nor there.
 
Marie Antoinette was lynched by a crowd of outraged guinea pig owners when she dared to suggest that the impoverished cavy enthusiasts should feed their furry friends something that could give them bloat and make them very sick. "Let them eat cabbage." she had unwisely suggested. It was  the last thing she ever did.

In 1938 Neville Chamberlain visited Adolf Hitler to view his impressive guinea pig collection. The media of course leapt on this visit, claiming that it was an attempt to avert a looming war between Britain and Germany. It was no such thing of course. Herr Hitler had merely promised one of his favourite guinea pigs to Mr Chamberlain as a token of good will. Mr Chamberlain's reported "I hold in my hand a piece of paper." speech was just contrived nonsense concocted by the Conservative Party. What he really said was "I hold in my hand a Peruvian/Texel cross."  The said cavy then proceeded to pee in his hand. Mr Chamberlain then said "I will wipe my hand with a piece of paper." You see how propaganda works?

In 1966 Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt reportedly uttered the words "All the way with LBJ".
Allegedly he was referring to his willingness to get Australia bogged down in the ill-fated war in Vietnam. LBJ being of course the US President at the time - Lyndon B Johnson. This is complete rubbish. He said no such thing. He was merely extolling the virtues of a certain type of guinea pig feed. The one that his own Prime Ministerial guinea pigs favoured. What he really said was "All the way with timothy hay." Sadly the Liberal Party and the military twisted his words to suit their own agenda and very soon Australia's youth was being killed and maimed in a far flung South East Asian jungle. Poor old Harold. Eventually his obsession with guinea pigs became too embarrassing for the Liberal party to tolerate and they had him assassinated while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Melbourne. His body was never recovered, but there are rumours that he is alive and well and sharing a small bedsit in Beijing with Elvis Presley and thirty or forty guinea pigs. Apparently Elvis and Harold are never seen out together. This is because one of them always has to stay at home to make sure that the locals don't steal their guinea pigs to stir fry with a few spring onions, oyster sauce and cashew nuts.

William Wallace aka Mel Gibson had guinea pigs too, but his words were altered for dramatic effect by Hollywood in the movie "Braveheart" Personally if a drunken Scotsman with a blue face and a bare arse shouted "You can take my life, but you'll never take my guinea pig" at me I would be far more likely to take him seriously than had he said the words that Hollywood insisted that he uttered.

I'll leave the final quote to Bill Clinton. Bill really, really loves his guinea pigs. I mean really, really, really loves his guinea pigs. So much so in fact that he was forced to deny the extent of his affection.
"I did not have sexual relations with that guinea pig." He once said.

Boris' Bit
Mein favourite is Herr Kennedy's "Ich bin ein guinea pig" Mainly because it is ze only kvote ich versteh





Sunday, November 17, 2013

Passwords

The other day I was sitting on my male staff's lap nonchalantly chewing on a slice of carrot while he was pretending to work on his computer. He wasn't working at all of course, he'd actually Googled "West Ham's Ten Greatest Goals" (West Ham being the soccer team he's supported since he was a snotty eight year old.) Sadly though You Tube had no such video because it turns out West Ham have yet to score ten goals since he started supporting them, so he had to settle for "West Ham's Ten Funniest Own Goals". For some reason he found that rather depressing and with great reluctance he decided that perhaps he might as well do some work after all.

With much grumbling - he sounds like Muttley from the cartoon Wacky Races when he grumbles by the way. Readers of a similar advanced age and decrepitude to my male staff will remember Muttley as the villain Dick Dastardly's dog who muttered things like "Rrrraten grrrratten fknnnn basrrrggg shitennn" every time their evil plans went awry, which of course was every episode. Anyway, that gives you an idea of what my male staff sounds like when he's in a bed mood. In other words he sounds like that most of the time.


So, my male staff tried to log in to one of the internet sites he uses for "work" - www.hugeknockers.com I think it was.
 "Rrrraten grrrratten fknnnn basrrrggg shitennn" I heard him say. I peered out from behind my carrot. There on the screen were the most dreaded words a computer user can ever see displayed in front of him.

"Sorry, your password has been in use for 30 days and has expired - you must register a new one."
 
"Hmmph!" Said my male staff and typed. "kitten"
 
"Sorry, the security of your new password is not strong enough."
 
 "Bollocks!" Said my male staff and typed. "cute kitten".
 
"Sorry, you must use at least one numerical character."
 
 "Shit!" Said my male staff and typed. "1 cute kitten".
 
"Sorry, you cannot use blank spaces."
 "Jesus Christ!" Said my male staff and typed "1cutekitten".
 
 "Sorry, you must use at least 10 different characters."

 
"Oh Dear!" Said my male staff and typed "1fuckingcutekitten".
 
 "Sorry, you must use at least one upper case character."
 
 "Golly!" Said my male staff and typed "1FUCKINGcutekitten".
 
 "Sorry, you cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively."
 
 "Gosh!" Said my male staff and typed  "1FuckingCuteKitten".

"Sorry, you must use no fewer than 20 characters."

 "Dash it all!" Said my male staff and after correcting several typos typed "1FuckingCuteKittenShovedUpYourArseIfYouDon'tGiveMeAccessRightFuckingNow."

"Sorry, you cannot use punctuation."

My male staff sighed and shed a quiet tear, then typed. "1FuckingCuteKittenShovedUpYourArseIfYouDontGiveMeAccessRightFuckingNow"

 "Sorry, that password is already in use."

Boris' Bit.

Now Herr Billy's staff are haffink to be buyink ein neue computer because der alt vun ist layink in wenig pieces on der grass unter der office vindow und der vogel are crappink all over it.



 








 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 



 
 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 








 
 














 

 

 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Ashes

The England cricket team is in Australia for something called "The Ashes". Being Peruvian I know as much about cricket as the Chinese know about forming orderly queues. It's going to be a long, hot summer filled with such terms as "silly mid-off", "fine leg", "short leg", "long on", "third slip", "bloody stupid wicket keeper" and "lousy bowler", though I think my male staff may have just made the last two up.

Those cricket fans who can't get to the games or a television will turn on their radios to listen to a commentary as languorous as a drowsing, daisy strewn summer meadow, delighting in the crack of leather upon willow and the occasional players' earnest appeal of "Owzaaaaaaaaat!" The backdrop to the radio commentary will be a blend of the low hum of the crowd, punctuated here and there by a smattering of polite applause, like a burst of distant fire crackers and every now and again a police, fire engine or ambulance siren as whatever vehicle it is racing past the stadium to some emergency in the whatever city the game is being played in. It could be that the emergency is that someone has dialled 000 because their television has packed up and they are missing out on the cricket. The radio listener will never know. All they hear is the siren fading into the distance as the commentator says something mysterious like, "Fine shot played there by Snivelling. He picked the new cherry up early and caressed it through the gap down to cow corner for a splendid boundary." While normal people are thinking "what?" sad cricket tragics like my male staff are lapping it up and (more worryingly) understanding and relishing every word.

 Then during one of the many quiet phases of the game the Australian spectators in the cheap seats who have guzzled enough beer commence the chant "Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!" Some will be waving huge blow up kangaroos that look as though they may have been purchased from some sort of perverse adult shop, but of course the radio listeners will miss out on that. Meanwhile, the "Barmy Army" as the English team supporters are known seems to include a better class of drunk. Their chants are often aimed at opposing players and are in comparison exquisitely crafted pieces of poetry

Ooooh Aaaah Glenn McGrath,
Walks like a woman
And he wears a bra.

These folk are obviously university educated and to their credit you rarely hear a four letter word uttered by any of them, unless its "beer".

My male staff loves all this and will sit in front of the television with either myself, Boris or Baci on his lap for the entire game, and may I remind you that a cricket test match lasts five days. We have to nip the inside of his thigh to remind him that we are there and that we require food and water. It's as though he's hypnotised by the soft verdure of the outfield, the straw coloured oblong of the pitch and the white flannelled fools who chase the hard red ball around day after day after day. It's funny, but more often than not, even after five days of hot toil under a baking antipodean sun there is no result. The game ends in a draw. Everyone is happy and yet nobody is happy. The players go to the bar for the night, and the next morning they all board a flight to whichever city the next game is being held in.

Why is this series of cricket test matches between England and Australia called "The Ashes"? Most people in cricket playing nations can probably tell you. They may not know the name of their own capital city but almost anyone in England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Indian sub-continent will be able to give you a more or less accurate answer.

The Ashes urn

In 1882 after Australia's first victory on English soil the British Newspaper The Sporting Times printed an obituary for English cricket, stating that English cricket has died and the body will be cremated and taken to Australia. Since then every time England and Australia take each other on at cricket they play for "The Ashes". It is a tiny urn about six inches tall said to contain the ashes of the bails that were burned following that historical English defeat. "What the hell are bails?" I hear my American friends cry. Apparently, according to my male staff they are the two little bits of wood that sit in the top of the stumps. "What are stumps?" I hear my American friends cry. Again, according to my male staff they are the three sticks stuck vertically into the ground at each end of the pitch. It is the job of the batsman to protect these sticks with his bat, head, testicles or anything else when the rock hard ball is pelted down the pitch at up to one hundred miles an hour by a mad-eyed gorilla in white masquerading as a human.

Currently England hold "The Ashes" but even when Australia win them they are kept in England at Lords - England's cricket head quarters, because the English don't trust the Australian's not to tip out the ashes and fill the historic urn with beer. This is probably wise given that David Boon, the legendary Australian batsman holds the record for the quantity of beer consumed on a flight from Sydney to London.

So, my male staff who pretends to work from home is looking forward to five games of Test cricket. That's twenty five of the next sixty days that one of us - Boris, Baci or myself will have to spend on my male staff's lap listening to someone on the television rapturously describing every indecipherable moment.

"That ball nipped back sharply off a good length and thundered into Snotworthy's pad just below the knee roll. He was absolutely plumb LBW. The umpire raises his finger and Snotworthy begins his long, lonely walk back to the sheds. Out for a golden duck."

Oh boy I can hardly wait.

BORIS' BIT

Ich know nussing at all about cricket. Ven Herr Billy's male staff said zat he vants to spend der tag vatching der cricket I am sinking zat zere ist ein wenig jumpink insect in vich he has ein unhealsy interest. 



Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Dull Week

What do guinea pig bloggers write about when they've had a boring, hum-drum week? Well, some of us turn to the sporting world to perhaps report on how the Boston Red Sox won the World Series baseball this year. They might perhaps explore the reasons why after all these years the team management are still unable to spell the word Socks correctly. One would think that with all the money swilling around in professional baseball someone would have been able to afford a dictionary. Other cavies might mention the Melbourne Cup which is about to be run tomorrow- Australian time. For those of you who have been living under a rock it is a horse race - oddly enough, given it's name, it is run in Melbourne. It has been dubbed "The Race That Stops A Nations." My male staff calls is "The Race That Gives Everyone A chance To Get Totally Rat-Arsed And Have At Least One Day Off Work." I don't think he's a big fan of horse racing.

Other blogging guinea pigs like to turn to popular culture when their week has been a bit dull. They might even visit the appalling Nine MSN "News" website upon which the US spying debacle and the Syrian civil war and humanitarian crisis are relegated to obscure web pages that you have to spend hours trying to find, while promoting headlines like "Kim Kardashian's Vagina Better Than Ever." and "Bieber Drugs, Sex & Assault Shame." It turns out that all Kim had to do to improve her vagina was to have a baby. All I can say is that it must have been pretty bad before that. As for Justin, well, imagine what a naughty boy he'll be when he finally graduates from pre-school.

One thing I will never be accused of doing is commenting on politics when I've had a quiet week.For example, I would never say that our former government was absolutely justified in slapping a temporary ban on live animal exports from Australia to Indonesia when footage emerged of cattle suffering horrendous cruelty at that nations abattoirs. Far be it from me to say that although I feel sorry for Australian farmers who's livelihoods depend on this trade, this was not the first such incident and the government and peak farming bodies should be making more rigourous checks on who these animals are sold to and what goes on at the abattoirs, and if it can't be one hundred percent guaranteed that animals are respected and dealt with humanely, then the trade should cease and other markets sought. I would never say that. Neither would I say that Australia's current Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce is a buffoon for saying that people should not over react to the latest animal cruelty outrage concerning live animal exports - sheep in Jordan in this case. Again, not the first example of this occurring in Jordan. Pakistan and Yemen were other recent offenders with animals from Australia. Some guinea pigs might even say that behind closed doors members of the Australian government are calling Indonesians, Jordanians and Pakistanis barbaric. Some guinea pigs might say that Australians are no better for continuing to sell live animals to these people.

Sheep from Australia were diverted from proper Jordanian abattoirs and sold to individuals to be brutally slaughtered in the street and in some cases in private homes. There is footage on the internet for those who feel strong enough to watch it. Unlike other blogging cavies I would never suggest that animals that are to be slaughtered for human food should at least receive dignity in death, if not gratitude for the food they provide. After all, who are humans to say that the life of any animal is not of equal value to their own. But then, as I say, I would not blog about such things.

BORIS' BIT

Mein Gott im Himmel! Herr Billy haben ein grosse bee up his bottom passage today, and ich sink it might have been stinkink him. Ich hope zat somesink more interestink ist happenink next woche, or else ve vill alles haf to be listenink to anuzzer mad rant.