Monday, December 22, 2014

A Christmas Carol

There are so many depressing things to write about this week.  You humans have been doing some truly barbaric things to each other.  There's the Sydney siege - three dead including the gunman.  The attack on the school in Peshawar - one hundred and forty one dead.  A mother stabbed to death her seven children and her niece. Then someone shot two cops dead in their car New York.  Yes folks the season of peace and goodwill is well and truly upon us.  I've a good mind to cancel Christmas altogether this year because you obviously can't be trusted to behave in a civilised manner. 

However, I'm persuaded to be lenient by the tale of a homeless man and a student in the English town of Preston.  According to the BBC, art student Dominique Harrison-Bentzen had no money left for a taxi home after a night out with friends.  She was approached by a homeless man known as Robbie who gave her his last three pounds for the taxi.  Dominique then set about raising money to get Robbie set up with a roof over his head.  She asked her friends to donate three pounds each in the hope of raising five hundred pounds for him.  She has now raised twenty thousand pounds and is not only helping Robbie, but many other of Preston's homeless too.  So thanks to Dominique and Robbie you can have your Christmas, but you'll have to promise to behave a lot better next year or Santa will be getting a memo from me.

Now then to get you all into the festive spirit I'd like to sing you a cavy carol. You may recognise the tune as "While Shepherds Watched."  Okay after three.  One two three...............

Wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek wheek
 wheek wheek wheek drrrrr putt putt.

Oh, sorry I was forgetting. None of you lot speak Cavy do you.  I'll start again in English shall I?
One two three..........

Fe-male staff washed her frock last night
And hung it on the line.
My male staff tripped and dropped her glass
And covered her with wine.

Fear not said he, it could be worse
That glass might have been mine.
My female staff just glared at him
And said "You selfish swine!"

Those words, they hurt my poor male staff,
They cut him to the quick.
As he bent down to clean the mess
She gave his butt a kick.

He yelped and sprawled, his balance lost,
He really felt his age,
As finally he came to rest,
His head in Baci's cage.

Baci looked up from chewing hay
Intrigued by male staff's pose.
He waddled over to male staff
And promptly bit his nose.

His head was stuck inside the cage,
He could not get it free.
His butt was stuck up in the air.
It was a sight to see.

Fe-male staff pulled upon his legs
 His head was firmly stuck,
As Baci's teeth impaled his snout,
My male staff said "Oh.......dear!"

The fire brigade were duly called,
All hunky men no doubt
Fe-male staff winked and smiled at them
And said "Get this fool out."

They pulled and heaved on male staff's feet
And finally dragged him out.
His ears were sore, his pride was hurt.
A cavy on his snout.

My male staff pulled on Baci's bum
And pulled him off his nose.
His blood flowed freely down his chin
And dripped onto his clothes.

The firemen went home for their tea
And male staff closed the door.
"Now where's my glass of wine?" Said he
As his blood pooled on the floor.

He took a step towards his chair
And slipped upon his blood
Head first he fell in Alfie's cage.
He's really such a clod.

Alfie came up and bit his nose,
He thought it was a snack.
Fe-male staff opened up the door
And called the firemen back.

Well friends, that's it for 2014.  I hope your year has been truly wonderful and that next year is even better.  Thank you for reading my ramblings.  Have a happy and safe festive season.  As usual I'll leave the last word (albeit misspelled) to Baci.


Wot duz Uncal Billy meen "misspelled"?  Hooz to say that his spelling is not like all rong?  Maybe the way I spell things is the rite way.  He likes to make owt like he's so edyewkayted  eddukait eddewca klevver and I reely don't like the way he incinerates that I'm fick as a brik.  It's not fare.
Ennyway, I'm heer to wish yoo all a very merry Krissmas and a happy Noo Yeer on beharf of all of us piggies - me, Tom, Toby and Alfie.




"To you in David's
Town this day
Is born of David's line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord
And this shall be the sign
And this shall be the sign."

"The heavenly Babe
You there shall find
To human view displayed
And meanly wrapped
In swathing bands
And in a manger laid
And in a manger laid."

Thus spake the seraph,
And forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song
Addressed their joyful song

"All glory be to
God on high
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth
From heaven to men
Begin and never cease
Begin and never cease!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

Test Drive

Five or six weeks ago my staff put the Mercedes up for sale.  You remember the Mercedes?  It's the pile of expensive German steel that prevented my staff from seeing me one last time before I departed for the Rainbow Bridge.  The wheels fell off when they were on their way to visit me at the veterinary hospital.  It had been my female staff's mum and dad's car and they lumbered my staff with it when they themselves went to the Pearly Gates.  They had wanted to take it with them but there are strict greenhouse gas emission laws in Paradise so they just had to buy a tandem bike instead once they arrived.  These same greenhouse gas emission laws are likely to cause my male staff all sorts of grief when his time comes because his bottom passage produces more methane than a whole herd of wildebeest, and that's not even taking into account the noise pollution laws.  Fortunately Saint Peter keeps an emergency supply of corks in a cardboard box under his desk at the Pearly Gates.

I should probably point out to those of you who have yet to kick the bucket that deceased animals and deceased human animal lovers reside in the same place once they leave their physical bodies.  It's just that they enter Paradise differently.  We animals automatically qualify for entry due to our innocence,  so all we have to do is trot across the rainbow bridge.  Whereas humans have to answer a series of tough questions posed by Saint Peter - the old geezer with a long white beard, before they are allowed to pass through the Pearly Gates.  Or to give them their proper name "The Coca Cola Pearly Gates". Corporate sponsorship is everywhere these days.  I really want to be there when my male staff arrives.  Knowing him he'll probably trip over Saint Peter's beard and then rip off his robe as he grabs onto him trying to save himself from falling, leaving poor old Saint Peter standing there naked holding his clipboard with a tattered robe and my male staff at his feet, with all the angels giggling at his wrinkled bum.  Or have I been watching too many "Carry On" movies?  

I've lost my train of thought now.  Where was I?  Ah yes - the Mercedes.  My staff advertised the damned thing on a website - and just last week they received an offer from a nice family who have just moved from Boston USA to Brisbane which made the test drive interesting because they kept forgetting which side of the road they were supposed to drive on.  This didn't really bother my male staff who went with them on the test drive because he tends to drive in the shade at this time of year, whatever side of the road the shade happens to be, which of course produces an interesting weaving trajectory.  This in turn means that he frequently gets breathalysed by the police who are constantly astounded that any sober, fully sighted person can possibly drive so badly.  Naturally my male staff had to take at least one guinea pig with him on the test drive and the lucky winner this time was Alfie, who much to the curiosity of the Bostonian buyers sat on the dashboard in front of the steering wheel and unsurprisingly produced copious amounts of bush chocolate whenever the American forgot that here in Australia, as in most of the civilised world we drive on the left, and found himself staring at the oncoming grill of a large truck, usually driven by a large fat, bald dude in a blue vest.  My male staff, sitting in the front seat, the Bostonian and Alfie could all make out pretty much every wrinkle on the truck driver's shocked face as the Bostonian wrenched the wheel to the left at the last moment, then turned in his seat and yelled "ASSHOLE!" much to the chagrin of his wife sitting in the back, unaware of the violent death she had just marginally been spared.
 "What have I done?  Don't call me an asshole. Asshole." She exclaimed, assuming that her loving husband had been yelling at her, not the truck driver.
My male staff, anxious to be the peacemaker and also not realising that the gentleman had been talking to the truck driver turned to her and said, "Actually he didn't call you an asshole asshole. He just called you an asshole - singular."
 "Mind your own business asshole." She said kindly.
 "Yeah!" said the Bostonian. "Who are you to call my wife an asshole? Asshole."
 "I didn't call your wife an asshole asshole." Said my male staff.  "You called her an asshole. Asshole."
 "Now you're calling me an asshole. Asshole. Why should I buy your stupid car if you're going to call me an asshole?"

By this time the Bostonian had given up looking where he was going altogether and Alfie's bush chocolate was beginning to overflow from the dashboard onto the Bostonian's lap, his fur was standing on end and his little red eyes were sticking out on stalks. (Alfie that is, not the Bostonian.)
 "Look where you're going asshole!" His wife screamed from the back seat has she saw an interstate Greyhound bus heading our way.  Another violent swerve to the left and another burst of bush chocolate from Alfie.  All three humans turned in their seat and yelled "ASSHOLE!" at the back of the bus as it disappeared into the distance.

"Okay." My male staff threw his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "I promise not to call either of you an asshole if you promise to look where you're going. You're making my guinea pig car sick."  With that they drove erratically but silently to the vehicle registration office where much to my male staff's surprise the Bostonian couple said they loved the car and would indeed but it.  So having swapped the keys and paperwork for a cheque the Bostonians drove off in their new Mercedes and my male staff phoned my female staff to tell her to pick him up in the Hyundai Getz.  An hour later they were back at home celebrating the sale of the Mercedes with a nice cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. (My staff really know how to party.)
 "Where's Alfie?" Said my female staff suddenly.
 "Oh my God!" Exclaimed my male staff.  "He's still in the Mercedes.  Call the police."
My female staff frantically dialed 000 and asked for the police.
 "How can I help?" said a female voice.
 "Our little Alfie's been abducted." Wailed my female staff close to tears.
 "Calm down Madam we'll find him. Now, how old is he."
 "He's only eighteen months. An American couple took him.  He'll be in a white Mercedes heading south on the Bruce Highway towards Brisbane."
 "Did you get the registration number?"
 "Yes, it's Aardvark Giraffe Buffalo four six two." Female staff's knowledge of the phonetic alphabet was always a little hazy, but the lady seemed to understand.
 "What was he wearing?"
 "Don't be ridiculous, he wasn't wearing anything, but he's white all over."
My female staff heard the dispatch officer call out the alert over the radio. "Please be on the lookout for a white Mercedes Alpha Golf Bravo four six two, heading south on Bruce Highway. It is believed the occupants have abducted an eighteen month old naked Caucasian male."
 "Don't worry madam." Soothed the dispatch officer. "We'll soon have your little boy back at home safely."

 The missing child.

Two hours later there was a knock on the door.  Male staff opened it and there, holding Alfie in two hands well away from his smart uniform was a policeman.  "We found Alfie for you." He said and handed the cross looking guinea pig to my male staff.  My female staff joined them. "Oh Alfie!" She squealed. "Thank heavens you're safe."
 "I'm arresting you both for wasting police time." Said the policeman sternly.
 "What do you mean "wasting police time"?  How can you say that.  Look at his little face." He pointed to Alfie.
 "Yeah," said the policeman. "And that little face contains several very sharp teeth. He raised his left hand which was covered in blood."
 "You must have frightened him." Said my male staff.
 "I'm arresting you for wasting police time." repeated the policeman. "Why didn't you say you had lost a guinea pig, not a child?"
 "Nobody asked." Said my female staff truthfully.
 "You had half the Queensland police force out looking for a guinea pig."
 "Look." said my male staff as if explaining something obvious to a small child. "If the Queen came to Australia and lost one of her corgis you'd all be out looking for it wouldn't you?'
 "Yes, but.........."
 "Well, she's not here and her corgis are all safely tucked up in their Royal baskets so you should be grateful that our guinea pig gave you all something to do or you'd just have spent a boring night sitting in your patrol car stuffing doughnuts down your necks." 
The policeman seemed not to be particularly impressed by this line of argument.
 "I now require you to accompany me to the police station." He said "Where you will undergo enhanced interrogation.  You will be played a continuous tape of One Direction's Christmas Hits until you confess."  I'm joking of course. Even the Queensland police aren't that brutal.  Normally they just stick to waterboarding and whipping the soles of suspects feet with electric cables, or tasering their genitals. In the end my staff received a sentence of ten weeks community service - that is to say they were to do the community a service by staying out of town for ten weeks.  


Dudes! I'm like so glad Uncal Billy's male staff didn't make me go in the car cuz wot wiv all that swurving and karrying on I'd have like chucked up all over the driver.  On second thorts that mite not have been such a bad thing cuz at leest then nobody wood forget me and leeve me in the car so that the police had to go owt looking for me.

Ennyway, we were all like reely glad wen Alfie came home, tho I did heer him muttering sumthing that sounded like "Bugga! For a kuppel of ours I thort I'd escaped this bluddy mad house."


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The First Communist

Well, here we are, rapidly closing in on the two thousand and fifteenth anniversary of the birth of the world's first communist.  For that is what Jesus was if we are to believe the words of Comrades Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Now I realise of course that pigeon holing Jesus as a "Red" might be a little controversial, but then what else would you call him? The Bible certainly backs the idea that Jesus was a communist. Galatians 3:28 says -

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

These words are not attributed to Jesus but according to the New Testament he certainly encouraged the rich to give all their wealth to the poor and told the press gallery of the time that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter through the Gate of Heaven, and didn't he make a mess of the merchants' market at the temple?  Yep. This Jesus dude was a card carrying member of the communist party if ever there was one.  Or at least he would be today.

It has to be one of humanity's greatest ironies.  Modern communists deride organised religion as elitist - just another way of controlling the proles, and they have a point given their hierarchical make-up and the fact that the Roman Catholic church and many other churches have more money and power than they knows what to do with.  In fact Cardinal Pell - the Aussie charged with the task of sorting out the Vatican's finances - has just discovered millions of euros tucked away in bank accounts that nobody knew about.  Millions of Euros!  You know you've got too much money when you can lose millions of Euros and not even know you had it in the first place.

On the other hand, if Mr J Christ was to be delivered in a grotty motel today, the son of a tradesman and a rather naive young woman (I was visited by an angel and now I'm pregnant.) The first group of people to persecute and denigrate him would be the bible-thumpers of this world who have absolutely no intention of giving away their worldly goods to the poor and who generally think of communists as being the spawn of Satan himself. Mainly because they associate communism with the Cold War - Brezhnev, Honecker, CeauČ™escu and their ilk. They weren't communists at all of course. They wouldn't know one if he kicked their hammer and sickle tattooed butts,  They were just as elitist as their capitalist counterparts - just more brutal.  So poor old J.C. would get it in the neck from both sides, just as he did two thousand years ago from both the Romans and the Jews.  In other words, if you happen to be a Messiah or are thinking of becoming one, do it quietly and without preaching equality, or telling humans to give away their money to the poor.  It will only get you into trouble.

These days my staff tend not to make a big fuss at Christmas. They don't have a tree or any other decorations.  They sent out "Seasons Greetings" cards like everyone else, and like everyone else, every year they're dismayed when they receive a card from someone they've forgotten to send one to.
They have an arrangement with each other and their families not to give gifts and they have no children to wake them up at four 'o' clock on Christmas morning - only guinea pigs who start shouting for their breakfast as soon as it's light no matter what day it is.  Their Christmas lunch is usually salad (which suited me just fine) and little nibbly things, dips and a bottle of good chilled white wine.  December in Queensland is way too hot and steamy for roast turkey, stuffing, chipolatas wrapped in bacon, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts. baked parsnips and gravy so thick you have to slice it, followed by a lump of Christmas pudding the size of a small car and a bucket of brandy custard.  Imagine having to cook that lot when it's ninety degrees Fahrenheit and ninety percent humidity. Nevertheless many people still do it.  Well I suppose all the weight you lose sweating over the oven would be regained (plus a bit) when you consume your lunch.

My staff's one concession to Christmas is their annual guinea pig nativity play.  I'll tell you about it but you have to bear in mind that my staff's grip of the events of two thousand and fifteen years ago is as tenuous as their grip on sanity.  One of my male staff's early nativity drawings, done as a Sunday school project featured a helicopter hovering over Jesus' stable instead of a star.  Not only that, but it was being shot at by a Messerschmitt 109, presumably piloted by King Herod himself.

Before I went to Piggy Paradise earlier this year I always played the part of Joseph and when my little pal Badger was still with us he played the part of the innkeeper. Mary was my female staff's old teddy bear - Jimmy and baby Jesus was played by a carrot, wrapped in swaddling lettuce and laid in a manger made of half a capsicum.  Paolo the budgie was the Angel Gabriel because he was the only one who could fly.  The shepherds watching their flock by night all seated on the ground were portrayed by my staff's collection of African Ndebele dolls and their flock was mostly china elephants with the occasional leadwood hippo thrown in to make up the numbers.

  The Shepherds

 Unfortunately last year The Angel Gabriel told the shepherds to "Be not afraid" and then crapped on them so I doubt that Paolo will get the role this year.  In any case the family nativity play usually goes pear shaped well before the end.  Two years ago for example when the innkeeper (played by Badger) told Joseph (played by yours truly) that there was no room at the inn but that he and Mary could use the stable (Badger's cage), Joseph mounted him.  Well, I couldn't help it, he just looked so cute in his little costume and the production's director (my male staff) told me that I should display gratitude to the kindly innkeeper.  Then once Joseph and Mary had settled into the stable and baby Jesus had been safely delivered and laid tenderly in his half capsicum manger the innkeeper ate the Messiah and his swaddling lettuce at which point Joseph (me) decided that if he didn't make a move quickly the innkeeper would probably consume the manger too, leaving him (me) with nothing but a bit of boring hay and one of Mary's arms to chew on.

Starring Badger as the Innkeeper.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to this year's production.  Baci being the smallest will be playing the baby Jesus.  Tom will play Joseph.  Alfie has scored the role of the innkeeper and Toby will play the role of all three wise men, he's big enough and anyway, this being Queensland my staff couldn't find another two.


Uncal Billy has got me wurried now. I don't want to be Jeezus if it meens I get eetun by the innkeeper. I think I'll ask Uncal Billy's staff if I can be the hellykopta pylet instead.  That way I can stay owt of trubbel.  I'd feel much better if Jeezus was a karrit again this yeer.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Lion Wheeks Tonight

Last Friday my male staff in his capacity as an African Travel Specialist gave a short talk on African travel and wildlife at a nearby retirement village.  At least it was supposed to be short, maybe half an hour or forty minutes.  He had slides of various African animals by means of which he was to explain to his audience the many special and unique adaptations that these creatures have evolved.  Then, at the last minute, just before he about to leave home he looked at his small herd of cavies and thought to himself "What a great idea! I'll take the boys along with me. They do look a little like certain African animals in the right light and it'll add a certain je ne sais quois to my talk."  As good ideas go this ranks alongside George Dubya's "Let's invade Iraq" idea and John Huston's "I know! We'll cast Sylvester Stallone as the goalkeeper in Escape to Victory" idea.

So the four guinea pigs were crammed into their carrying cages with an hour's supply of cucumber slices and were loaded into the Hyundai Getz for the trip to the retirement village.  Once there my male staff set up his slide show and put the four cages on the floor facing the empty chairs which would soon be filled with interested senior citizens.  Ten minutes later my male staff's audience started to arrive and took their seats.  When it was apparent that nobody else was coming he made a start.  He doesn't do a great deal of public speaking and was a little nervous.  Luckily he remembered the old trick of imagining he was naked to calm his nerves, only to find that this method didn't really help because he kept having the urge to cover his dangly bits with his script which made it very difficult to read unless he held it upside down and then bent double with his head at groin level.  This of course made it difficult to undertake the other tip for good public speaking - that is to find a friendly face in your audience and address them.  After ten minutes of this he remembered that he was supposed to imagine that it was the audience who were naked, not him, and things became a little easier after that.

Halfway through my male staff's talk, just after he'd finished explaining the differences between black and white rhinos one of the elderly gentlemen in the audience raised his hand.
 "Yes sir." Said my male staff. "You have a question?"
The man stood up a little creakily. "So, what you're saying is that this isn't actually the Tai Chi class."
 "Errrrr, no it isn't." Answered my male staff.
 "Bugger!" Exclaimed the old gent. "Got the wrong day again." He and half a dozen others then stood and left the room muttering things like "Silly old goat, I told him Tai Chi was Mondays but he wouldn't have it."

My male staff pulled his thoughts together and continued as a photograph of a cheetah appeared on the screen behind him.  "The cheetah." He said.  "Unlike the other big cats - the lion and the leopard, the cheetah hunts only during the day and as everyone knows, it is the fasted land mammal on the planet. Providing you don't count my wife when she sees a shoe sale." Nobody laughed but some folks  in the audience nodded, though it was hard to tell if they were asleep or agreeing with him.  He continued.  "Unlike all other cats, cheetahs are unable to retract their claws and in this respect they are more like dogs."  At this point a grey haired lady who was knitting while listening to my male staff raised her hand.
 "Yes madam?" Said my male staff a trifle anxiously after the last question.
 "Are the other boys joining you soon?" She asked.
 "Sorry madam, I'm not sure what you mean. What other boys?"
  "The other boys!" She said as though my male staff was a bit thick. She had a point of course. "The other strippers. The rest of Manpower.  Are they coming out soon and bringing some music cos this is getting a bit boring?  When are you going to start getting your kit off?
Instinctively my male staff covered his groin with his script again.  "I think you might have made a mistake madam." He said.  "I'm a travel agent, not a stripper."
 "Oh thank heavens" said the lady, picking up her knitting.  "I thought you were a bit fat, but then I supposed that they might not be able to get the good looking blokes these days.  Come on girls.  Manpower must be next week. Lets go to the pub."  With that she and eight other elderly ladies left the room commenting not so quietly on the poor state of male male staff's physique as they trooped out.

That left just four people in the audience, one of whom was snoring, but my male staff was determined to get them excited with his grand finale.  "I expect you've all been wondering what I have in these cages in front of you." He said, pointing at the four carrying cages.  Three blank looks and an extra loud snore indicated that they weren't wondering that at all.  "The cages contain my guinea pigs," he said grandly, "and each of them looks amazingly like an African animal.  Of course, you'll have to use your imagination to scale them up a bit, but it will give you an idea of what the real thing looks like." He released Tom who waddled out and sniffed the air.  Tom looks very much like a porcupine.

Next he released Alfie. Immediately Alfie climbed up on top of his carrying cage.   "As you can see, Alfie here likes to have a good view of things. He looks rather like a very fat meerkat." Said my male staff.  Alfie glared at him with his red eyes.


The next guinea pig to be release was Baci.  "Baci here has a very similar shape to a hippo and in fact if you scale him up, his front teeth are about the same size as those of a hippo.  Baci yawned on queue.


The last guinea pig to be released was Toby.  "Now," said my male staff.  "You will notice that Toby doesn't really resemble any kind of African animal, but if you stand up." My male staff waited for his audience to stand, but nobody had any intention of doing so.  "If you were to stand up," continued my male staff, "you'd see that from above he looks uncannily like the snow flecked slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro."

My male staff was just about to wrap up his talk when the old gent who was snoring awoke with a loud snort.  This sent Tom, Alfie Baci and Toby into a panicked stampede around the room.  "Don't worry folks." Said my male staff.  "They are just demonstrating the great wildebeest migration across the Serengeti.  Obviously you'll have to use a little imagination, but you get the idea. Well, that concludes my little talk on African wildlife.  I hope you all enjoyed it."  He waited for applause.  There was none.
One of the old ladies piped up.  "Excuse me young man, but your brown wildebeest is humping the fluffy one's head and the white one has just done a large mound of poo under my chair."  She peered under her chair again. "Oh!" She said.  "It's okay. Mount Kilimanjaro has just eaten it."


Do you think I look like a nippo? I don't think I look like a nippo at all.  They are big fat smelly things wot snort and grunt and fart.  Well okay I do fart sumtimes, but I never grunt or snort.  I'm like reely kross with Uncal Billy's male staff for saying I look like a nippo.  In facked I've harf a mind to soo him for deffamyn difamminash deffamminayshun being rood.  Ennyway I look more like a lyan.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Good In Bed

What do you think about when you wake up at two in the morning?  You know what its like.  For some reason, nothing you can put your finger on, your eyes suddenly spring open and you're wide awake.  It's pitch black, the crickets are chirping and you know it's going to be at least an hour before you can drop off to sleep again.  What goes through your mind?  I know what goes through Baci's dirty little testosterone fueled mind because he has the callouses on his paws to prove it.  My female staff often thinks of her late Mum and remembers things that have happened over the last few days that she'd like to tell her about, but will now never be able to.  That's a little sad, but my spirit reminds her that her Mum is still there with her and already knows all the things she wants to say.  That makes her feel better and she soon goes back to sleep.

My male staff's Mum has been gone a little longer, so he often thinks of me when he wakes up.  He clenches his fists in frustration when he recalls the puncture the stupid Mercedes suffered when they were on their way to visit me in hospital the day before I crossed the Rainbow Bridge and how it prevented them from seeing me one last time.  He often has to blink away tears at that memory, but then my spirit nips the inside of his thigh and makes him think about something happier like the time he won six dollars in the lottery, or the day that Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister.  The latter has duel benefits.  Thatcher's resignation cheers him up and thoughts of her replacement - John Major send him back to sleep.

On the rare occasions when thoughts of John Major don't send him off he tries counting backwards from a thousand.  I don't know why he persists with this because it never works.  He'll get to seven hundred and forty three, fall asleep, and then moments later wakes up thinking "Damn it! I lost count, where was I?"  Then he has to start all over again.  By all accounts my staff's bedroom is a pretty lively place, though not necessarily for the reasons you might be thinking of - honestly! You're worse than Baci.  My female staff has always said that my male staff is very good in bed; that is, he goes straight to sleep as soon as he lays down.

There is quite a lot of action there however.  My female staff has very vivid dreams and often wakes my male staff with a variety of loud yelps and squeals.  Once she was dreaming that her frantic sister was twisting her arm, it was so real that she lashed out to free it and elbowed my male staff's nose.  In addition to this he's been kneed in the testostricles, kicked in the shins and head-butted.  Fortunately for my female staff my male staff's dreams tend not to provoke such a violent reaction, though she did once wake to find him sitting up in bed staring at her.  That would have really given me the creeps, as indeed it did her.  For a week after that she slept with a baseball bat for self protection until my male staff pointed out that given the nature of her dreams he was the one who was more likely to need the baseball bat.

It's not so much his dreams that make my male staff an interesting sleeping partner, but his leg cramps.  These tend to strike at two or three in the morning and most of South East Queensland knows when it happens.  There's a loud agonised scream of "Ahhhharrraaaarrrrrrgh!" Then "Ah ah ah ah aaaarrrrrggghhh!" followed by a loud THUMP. This second exclamation is because he can't untangle his leg from the bedding and the THUMP is him falling head first out of bed with one foot still wrapped up in a sheet.  Usually by this time my female staff has woken and turned over to find herself staring at my male staff's naked backside sticking up in air.  Fortunately for her it's usually too dark to see much detail so she's not scarred for life by the experience, merely put off her breakfast.  Then, after a few moments of scrabbling about on the floor wrestling with the sheet my male staff will free himself and commence the next stage of the operation, namely hobbling around the bedroom doing his famous irate seagull impersonation - "Faaaaaaaaaark! Faaaaaaaaaark! Oh faaaaaaaaaaaaaark! Ow ow ow ow ow ow faaaaaaaaaaaaark!"  He say's it's like someone's got his leg in a vice and is bending it in an attempt to snap it in half.  I'm not sure how he knows what that feels like, maybe my female staff has tried doing that to him in one of her dreams.

Next comes the groaning and stretching stage during which he braces himself against a wall and tries to relieve the cramp by stretching the offending muscle.  Usually this is accompanied by quieter moans and groans with only the occasional "Faaaaaaaaaaark!"  At this stage one is tempted to think that the evening's entertainment is all but over, and indeed often it is.  However, on more than one occasion instead of leaning on the wall, in the dark and in pain he's leaned against the sliding fly screen door, which unsurprisingly tends to give way, sending him sprawling naked outside onto the deck much to the alarm of the possums who are often there raiding the bird feeders in the small wee hours. This is particularly entertaining when it's raining and the deck is slippery because he then scrabbles about on all fours like a puppy on a linoleum covered floor, his hairy bum shining wetly and oh so romantically in the dim, sub-tropical, pre-dawn light.  Eventually he'll scramble to his feet, which really frightens the possums and while they scamper off to find a safe tree in which to hide from the pallid, dripping monster before them, his cramp will return and we have to endure the hobbling "Faaaaaaark!  Faaaaaaaark! Oh faaaaaaark! Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow faaaaaaark!  stage all over again.

After a while the cramp will cease and he'll try to get back into the bedroom, stepping over the destroyed fly screen door and muttering something about getting the "faaaaaaarking thing" fixed in the morning.  However, there's no way my female staff will have him coming back in the bedroom dripping wet from the rain and ruining the bedroom carpet.  "Go round to the front door." She says.  "I'll let you in there and you can go to the bathroom and dry off."  Wisely, he obeys and trudges off in the nude around the house in the rain to the front door thanking his lucky stars that they have no nearby neighbours.  Of course, by the time he gets to the front door my female staff has fallen asleep again and ringing the doorbell has no effect whatsoever, mainly because it hasn't worked for two years and when nagged my male staff say's he'll get around to fixing it soon.  So he bangs like crazy on the door for half an hour before my female staff wakes up and opens it for him.  "Why didn't you just ring the bell?" She asks looking him up and down. "Cold out is it?" She says.  Half an hour later my male staff is dry and back in bed.  The room is quiet with just the sound of soft snoring. Then - Ahhhharrraaaarrrrrrgh!" Then "Ah ah ah ah aaaarrrrrggghhh!" followed by a loud THUMP.

This kind of thing happens all the time and not only when they are at home.  Often they've been staying at a hotel and had similar problems and had to endure the nudges and winks from the young couple staying in the room next door or if its an older couple, disapproving glares and tuts.  They've given up apologising and trying to explain.  "Sorry about all the noise last night, but its not what you think.........."

I don't think I like wot Uncal Billy is incinerating.  I don't have kalluses on my poors at all.  Well I do ackchooly but they are from like all the hard werk I do.  Ennyway Uncal Billy can't tork.  His staff are always telling me abowt wot he'd try to do to paw Uncal Badger.  How he'd weight for Uncal Badger to be pre-okkyew  pre-occupide  pre-ock  distrackted by a bit of basil or sumfink and then kreep up behind him and like do wot I did to that pumpkin in the soopamarket.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Not The G20

If Britain's Sun newspaper was printed in Queensland, which thankfully it isn't, this Monday's headline would scream "PHEW! WOT A SCORCHER!"  While I've been enjoying the constant cooling breeze that we are blessed with here in Piggy Paradise my earthbound staff and their furry herd of four cavies have been sweltering in forty three degrees centigrade.  As you know, my male staff's Dad was there too but he was thoroughly enjoying the heat as many folk from colder climates do.  He and my staff were seated at Aromas - a posh Parisian style street-side cafe in Noosa's swanky Hasting's Street where one can sit with a five dollar coffee and an eight dollar slice of carrot cake while looking for passing celebrities, or like my male staff simply ogling the bikini girls while drooling unattractively into one's cafe latte.  "Ah" said my male staff's Dad, stretching his left leg (The one with the dicky knee.) into the street so that one of the "stars" of Home & Away (I don't know which one it was they all look the same to me.) tripped over it and broke his hair. "It's good to feel the sun on my back.  Reminds me of when I was in Aden with the RAF.  Did I tell you that if the temperature reached the old one hundred mark all manual work on the base ceased, we'd all then go and play cricket, hockey or football."  He chuckled to himself and my staff pretended that it was the first time they'd heard that rather then the nineteenth.

Later that afternoon I drove (in spirit) with my male staff and his Dad to Brisbane Airport.  Male staff was putting his Dad on the plane back to Perth to be reunited with Mad Sister and Long Suffering Husband.  It was the only part of the entire weekend when we were cool.  Thank goodness my male staff has finally learned how to work the Getz's air-conditioning.  It took nearly seven years of sweating, open car windows and tornado hair, but one day while driving along he was groping for the radio button and pressed the air-conditioner button by mistake.  The blast of cold air took him by surprise and he was concerned that he may have caught a chill, not imagining for a second that the car might be responsible for the sudden drop in temperature. He even went to his doctor in case he had Ebola or something.  He regretted doing that because he was immediately grabbed by four burly male nurses in what appeared to be space suits and shoved into an isolation ward for a month.  While there it slowly dawned on him that he probably didn't have Ebola at all, but that his Hyundai Getz may have been equipped with a modern gadget called air-conditioning.  He called one of the spaceman nurses to share his thoughts but they weren't taking any chances.

Anyway, all's well that ends well and this happy accident meant that despite the extreme heat my male staff and his Dad had a very comfortable ride to Brisbane domestic airport, which thanks to the G20 summit meeting was just about deserted due to the media saying that Brisbane airport would be chaotic that weekend.  They failed to mention that they only meant the international airport, so apparently nobody wanted to fly domestically that day either.  Neither myself nor my male staff had ever seen it so quiet.  My male staff's Dad commented in an alarmingly loud voice that he could fire a machine gun around the place and not hit anyone.  Two people did show up shortly after he'd said that, but they turned out to be Federal policemen with itchy trigger fingers and it took all my male staff's somewhat questionable diplomatic skills to prevent them from arresting his Dad on terrorism charges, but they still insisted on deconstructing his wheelie-walker to satisfy themselves that is was neither packed with explosives nor could be reconstructed to make an Uzzi machine gun.

Finally my male staff handed his Dad over to his flight's cabin crew and a nice lady pushed him in his wheelchair down the airbridge towards the Boeing 737.  My male staff stood and watched as he disappeared from view and suddenly felt rather sad.  His Dad is eighty five years old now, rather immobile thanks to his dicky knee and is increasingly vague.  He's also the only parent left of the four that my staff once had.  "See you in the new year Dad."  Said my male staff as they shook hands.  My male staff turned and walked back to the car.  "What do you think Billy?" He asked my spirit.  "Will he still be around next year?'
 "'Course he will, stop worrying." I wheeked.  My male staff stopped for a moment, looked around and smiled as though he'd just heard something familiar and comforting.  Then he returned to the Hyundai Getz and tried to remember which of the buttons started the "new fangled" air-conditioner thingy.

I mentioned the G20 summit which everyone knows is a meeting of the leaders of the world's twenty largest economies.  However, there was a parallel meeting of equal importance occurring simultaneously.  I'm talking of course about the GP20: a meeting of the guinea pigs of the leaders of the world's 20 largest economies. Here, for your information and education is a list of names of some of the GP20 delegates.

USA - Guinea Pig Delegate Teepee.  That nice Mr O'Barmer named his guinea pig Teepee or TP after the Tea Party without whose help he may never have been elected President in the first place.

United Kingdom - Guinea Pig Delegate Maggie.  The origin of David Cameron's guinea pig's name is blindingly obvious.

Australia - Guinea Pig Delegate Jonesie.  Named by Tony Abbott after Rabid Shock Jock and utter buffoon Alan Jones without whom Mr Abbott would probably still be in opposition.  I did hear though that only today Jonesie has bitten Mr Abbott, so he can't be all bad.

Germany - Guinea Pig Delegate Spiros.  Angela Merkel figured that since she has given Greece Billions of Euros the very least they could do in return was allow her to give her guinea pig a Greek name.

Russia - Guinea Pig Delegate Rasputin.  Sadly Rasputin was barred from the summit for persistently invading other guinea pigs' cages.  Mr Putin is reportedly very proud of Rasputin's actions.

Saudi Arabia - Guinea Pig Delegate Jesus.  I don't know what King Abdullah was thinking.  Maybe he was drunk.

Wun day wen I grow up I want to be a deligut at like a big confrunce.  I want to make a contribewshun to werld piece. I also want to do my bit for clymutt change. In facked I want to be the John Lemon of the guinea pig werld.  Imajin.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Responsible Adult

Don't say I didn't warn you.   I told you on Twitter that there would be no blog post last week because I was traveling (in spirit) across to the other side of Australia with my male staff.  That's from Brisbane to Perth, which is like New York to Los Angeles or Lands End to John O'Groats times about five for those of you unaccustomed to Australian geography.  However, like the great Arnold Schwartzenpiggy I said "I'll be back." and here I am.

I must admit that I was a little worried about leaving my female staff at home on her own, but then again she did have three other guinea pigs (live ones at that) looking after her.  There's Tom, Alfie, Baci and Paolo the budgie. Plus she also had the supervision of a responsible adult in the shape of Toby - one of the world's ten fattest cavies according to Debrett's.  He disciplines the younger guinea pigs by sitting on their heads.
A responsible adult.

So, it was off to Perth for me and my male staff and I must say that going there in spirit is a lot more comfortable than flying there in Comedy Class.  For a start you don't have to sit there for almost six hours with your knees resting on your chest just because the selfish twat in the seat in front of you decides he's going to recline his seat back fully from the moment the plane takes off until two minutes before it lands, so that you get to admire the dandruff on his headrest at close quarters.  You also don't have to put up with the obnoxious brat in the seat behind kicking the back of your seat for the same six hours.  For some reason humans frown on you if you turn around and slap the little bit of bush chocolate across the head and tell it's ignorant parents to control their evil spawn or you'll tip their rum and Coke over their heads and then shove the plastic cups up their noses.

It was dark when my male staff's plane landed and once he'd unfolded his cramped limbs and hobbled off the plane he went to the rental car desk where he collected a set of keys and shuffled off to find his car.  Naturally it was the furthest one from the terminal so his bag carrying arm was at least six inches longer by the time he reached it.  I reminded him that this was his own fault because he was too mean to pay four dollars for a luggage cart.  The car was a Mitsubishi Lancer and appeared to be made entirely out of recycled 7 Up cans. Nevertheless, it had four wheels and started first time and within half an our he had arrived at his destination.  Obviously as I was traveling in spirit I arrived well before him.  We were staying at the house of his mad sister's long suffering husband's sister and her husband, who may have also been long suffering, but I don't really know him well enough to make that judgement. Male staff's mad sister and her long suffering husband had just arrived from England and were rather shocked to find that male staff's Dad had stowed away in one of their bags.  He hadn't been invited on the trip but felt that he was entitled to join them since he had paid for their tickets.

It had been a year since the family had seen each other. Male staff kissed and hugged his mad sister and shook her long suffering husband's hand.  Wait, let me think, maybe it was the other way round, I can't remember.  His dad was sitting in an armchair waiting for police to arrive because mad sister had called them when she discovered him in her suitcase, but I don't think they believed her because they never did turn up.  Either that or they had something more important to do like sitting in their patrol car, eating doughnuts, drinking coffee and keeping an eye on the scantily clad chicky babes in the nightclub district. The next day, when mad sister finally gave away the idea of turning her Dad over to the cops she went out and hired him an electric mobility scooter because his dicky knee meant it took an eternity for him to get anywhere. Also she thought it might keep him out of trouble and give her and long suffering husband more time to enjoy themselves.  It was an ill advised move from the start.  Nevertheless it did provide hours of family fun watching him drive the thing into fish ponds, the ocean (from Fremantle Pier), across six lane highways and most memorably of all Perth International Airport's main runway.

Anyway, after a week my male staff decided to fly back to Brisbane with his Dad before someone got seriously hurt.  I think he was most worried that it might be him.  He also decided not to hire a mobility scooter for him.  Still, it's surprising how much fun you can have with a Zimmer frame, especially one my male staff has made himself to save money.

I'm like Whoa!  Where did this old geezer come from?  Uncal Billy's mail staff comes in and like ten minits later this other old bloke comes in and he looks just like Uncal Billy's mail staff ecksept he's like for hundred yeers older, witch is kwite amayzing cos Uncal Billy's mail staff must be a hundred and fifty if he's a day.  Anyway this old dude terns owt to be pritty kool reely cos he like gives me rides on his wheelie warker wen he's not like repairing it cos Uncal Billy's mail staff isunt very good at making things.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Grim Reaper

We've all done things we wish we hadn't.  For a start there are millions of people here in Australia who wish they hadn't voted for Tony Abbott.  In fact it's almost impossible to find someone who'll actually admit to doing so, apart from shock jock and utter prat Alan Jones and that so called journalist Andrew Bolt.  Someone must have though, because we now find that the plonker is our Prime Minister.  I'm sure George Dubya wishes he hadn't woken up one morning and said "I know, lets invade Iraq."  I myself have done one or two things that I don't really like to talk about, but since nobody reads this blog I think I can do so quite safely.  I once - ahem, I once ejaculated into my male staff's hand.  Yes I know, it was a disgusting and shameful act, but frankly it was his own fault and bad timing on his part.  He should never have put his hand between me and my old pal Badger's butt.  There I've said it.  I'm not proud of it, but we all make mistakes, yes even me.  Then of course just a couple of weeks ago Baci was caught red handed bonking a butternut pumpkin.  Don't try to tell me he doesn't regret that, at least the getting caught bit anyway.

Take my female staff for example, apart from that other huge error of judgement when she married my male staff, even she has made one or two faux pas.  There was the time when at university she got hammered, fell flat on her face and broke her nose.  That hardly counts though does it?  It seems that most humans do that a some stage or other, it's how they learn that while vodka may look like water, it has different properties entirely.  No, the occasion of which I write concerns a boring night at what was known in the nineteen seventies as a Shearing Shed Ball because the venue was one of the local sheep shearing shedsMy female staff comes from a big C and little c conservative farming family and her Father was a rather imposing figure, strict and with a very short fuse.  He also had a well deserved reputation for arriving very early for any appointment or dinner date.  The family had been known to turn up for a dinner party an hour before the appointed time while the hosts were still showering and getting dressed.  My female staff would have done well to remember this.

She was sixteen and on her summer break from boarding school with her frantic sister, who it seems was frantic even back in those days.  Anyway my female staff's Dad drove her to the venue and told her that he'd pick her up at eleven forty-five.  I think this must be because his Mercedes turned into a pumpkin at midnight or something like that.  In any case the ball turned out to be about as much fun as a visit to the vet for a thermometer up the old bottom passage, and by ten thirty my female staff was to be found sitting on one of many bales of hay in the shearing shed.  She was staring at the floor while a few drunk people danced lethargically to "You Picked a Fine Time To Leave Me Lucille".  She had just taken a drag on a cigarette, probably one of the last she ever smoked and returned her gaze to the floor.  Suddenly a pair of boots appeared before her.  "I know those boots." She thought.  She raised her eyes a little.  Above the boots were a pair of brown corduroy trousers.  "I know those trousers too." She thought.  At the top of the trousers was a leather belt.  " I recognise that belt as well."She mused.

 "Hello Dad," she said.  "You're early."
 "I hope that's just a cigarette you've got there."  He growled.  At that point my female staff's mouth overtook her brain at a blind corner and smashed head on into a truck as it tends to do in human teenagers.
 "Of course it is," she replied.  "I sold my entire stash of marijuana hours ago."
You know that horrible sinking feeling you get when you suddenly realise you've actually said something that you were planning only to think?  Well it was that feeling that jolted through my female staff's body at that moment.  Never a great one for humour at the best of times, let alone sarcastic humour at his expense my female staff's Dad's face started to to turn purple.  Not a good sign, I'm sure you'll agree.
 "I won't tell your Mother that you were smoking." He said. "But I'm very disappointed."  He smoked himself of course, as indeed did my female staff's Mum.  Anyway, it was at this point, as she stood to go and find her frantic sister that she accidentally dropped her lit cigarette onto the hay bale which started to smoulder briskly.  By the way, did I mention that her Dad was also the Captain of the local Rural Fire Brigade?  It was a very quiet ride home.

When my male staff was ten years old he was deemed just about responsible enough to stay at home while his Mum and Dad went shopping with his two year old mad sister.  On this particular day he mooched about the house, watched some television, ate some cookies, played with the dog and then grew bored.  In the kitchen on one of the benches he found a small glass filled with golden liquid.  He sniffed it.  It smelled okay.  He was cautious because he'd been caught out before a few weeks earlier.  He'd been foraging through the fridge to something nice to eat and found what he thought was a nice refreshing glass of orange juice.  He grabbed it and took a big slurp only to discover that it was in fact beaten egg yolks.

On this occasion he was taking no chances.  He dipped a finger into the golden liquid and tentatively sucked it.  It was sweet, rather pleasant actually, so he drained the lot and wished it had been a bigger glass.  He put the empty glass in the sink and went upstairs to read his comics.

Half an hour later he heard his parents and mad sister arrive home and went downstairs to see if they'd bought him anything interesting.  They hadn't, but his Mum was asking his Dad in a loud voice if he's seen "That rat poison we left on the kitchen bench."  His Dad said no, he hadn't seen it.
 "Are you sure?" Said his Mum.  "It was in a glass on the bench."
Suddenly my male staff was burning up inside.  Panic stricken, he admitted to drinking the rat poison and asked what would happen to him.
 "Oh." Said his Mum casually, "You'll probably die."
 "Shouldn't we go to the doctor?" Asked my male staff, astounded by the callous disregard of his plight by his parents.
 "Nah. "Answered his Dad. "It's too late now anyway.  The doctor won't be able to do anything.  Rat poison is really deadly.  I'm afraid you've had it."
 "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" My male staff burst into tears. "What can I do?" He sobbed, wondering when the crippling stomach pains would kick in."
 "Well for a start," suggested his Mum. "You can go up to your room and keep quiet.  I'll come up in an hour or so to see if you're still alive." My male staff raced up to his room and buried his head in his pillow, sobbed nad wailed "I don't wanna die!" occasionally and waited for the Grim Reaper.  An hour and a half later his bedroom door opened.  It wasn't the Grim Reaper, but his Mum.  She sat on his bed and told him to stop crying.
 "I hope you enjoyed the cooking sherry." She said.  "Now don't do that again."

Ackchooly I don't regret having that affare with the butternut pumpkin at all. It was beeootiful wile it larsted.  So wat if I never see her again, she'll always stay in my hart coz she was my furst luv.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

You Will Not Catch Ebola

Have I missed something?  Is an Ebola epidemic sweeping the world, killing millions?  Just this morning I was sitting on my cloud here in Piggy Paradise, just quietly nibbling on a lovely fresh dutch carrot (With the green bits still attached.) and browsing through my favourite newspaper,
For the concerned (deceased) cavy.
when I glanced down to see that the entire human race seems to have it's knickers in a knot.

Last time I looked, yesterday in fact, Ebola had caused fewer than five thousand deaths and all but a handful of those in just three nations, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and yet you humans are terrified, so terrified that you are cancelling travel arrangements in your thousands.  Look, there are more than seven billion humans on planet earth, far too many actually and only five thousand have died of Ebola since the current outbreak began in February this year.  That's five thousand in eight months. Since February seventy times that many - yes that's three hundred and fifty thousand Africans have died from malaria according to the WHO (No, nothing to do with Roger Daltry.) without so much as a two line sentence in the Western media.  Why? Because most Western media "consumers" don't give a damn what happens to Africans,  yet a couple of white nurses die from Ebola and suddenly civilisation as we know it is coming to an end.  Yes Ebola it's a horrible disease, any guinea pig can tell you that, but lets put things in perspective.  If you are not living with or treating an Ebola victim you are not going to catch Ebola, so don't cancel your travel plans you daft buggers, unless your travel plans involve going to one of the three above mentioned countries to kiss or lick complete strangers and frankly I wouldn't recommend that in any country. Anyway let's face it, nobody goes to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea on holiday.  Read my piggy lips.  YOU WILL NOT CATCH EBOLA. 

Here in Australia we have had two or three nurses return from West Africa with "flu like symptoms".  Rightly they were quarantined as a precaution, but as soon as the media got to hear of it the E word appeared in capital letters in every newspaper and was shouted on every radio station and TV channel.  The press could smell a great human tragedy story.  One that may even effect the West.  Imagine how disappointed these journalists were when the nurses' "flu like symptoms" turned out to be flu.

It was the same during the SARS outbreak. The media screamed of how dangerous traveling had become and that the moment you stepped off a plane in a foreign land you would almost certainly contract the disease and die horribly before you even managed to get as far as the immigration desk and have your passport stamped.  In the end the media were disappointed with that too, and bird flu - remember that?  All these diseases are incredibly hard to catch and statistically you are almost twice as likely to be struck by lightening as you are to catch Ebola, so come on humans, when are you going to realise that these days the media are not there to inform responsibly, they are there to make as much money as they possibly can by scaring the bush chocolate out of you.  Still, I supposed in the end humans and guinea pigs are not so different.  When we see a shadow gliding past we both run for cover without checking to see if it's a eagle or a sparrow.

In a few days time my male staff will be traveling to Perth in Western Australia to meet up with his Dad, his mad sister and her long suffering husband, who are staying there to visit long suffering husband's sister.  Then after a week my male staff and his Dad will fly back to Brisbane together so that his Dad can spend some time with my staff, thus allowing mad sister and long suffering husband to get up to all sorts of shenanigans - wild sex orgies, drug taking and serious alcohol consumption, or they might just go out for a cup of coffee and a sticky bun now and again.

The problem that now confronts my staff is was to do with male staff's Dad for ten days.  He's eighty five years old and has dicky knee that makes him slower than an asthmatic, arthritic sloth carrying a heavy bag of shopping.  They had thought of taking him to a four day cricket match in Brisbane but discounted that idea due to the high probability that the game would be over by the time they got to their seats in the grandstand.  He's stayed at my staff's house on several occasions and therefore has seen all the big local attractions.  There's "The Big Cow" for example.  You can climb up the steps into it's bum and admire the view of the nearby highway through one of it's nostrils.  Yes I know it sounds tacky, but by Australian standards it's very tastefully done.  Then at the small town of Bli Bli there's a genuine medieval castle built in 1972.  I think the creationist movement might have had something to do with it because there is a large tyrannosaurus rex standing on one of the turrets giving kids the impression that dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time as Henry Tudor.  Not that Henry Tudor ever visited Australia as far as I'm aware.  Anyway my male staff's Dad has been there too. 

So it looks as though my male staff and his Dad will be spending a lot of time either inside the house watching Tom, Alfie, Baci and Toby or on the deck drinking endless cups of tea and having deep, meaningful Father and Son bonding discussions, which are always interesting due to male staff's dad's hearing problem.

Male Staff: (Sipping tea.)  Nice isn't it?
Dad: What is?
Male Staff:  The weather.  Nice isn't it?
Dad:  Eh?  
Male Staff: The weather.  I said it's nice weather isn't it?  
Dad:  Yes, so colourful.
Male Staff:  What is?
Dad: Those feathers.
Male Staff: What feathers?
Dad:  The one's you were talking about.
Male Staff:  I wasn't talking about feathers.
Dad:  Yes you were.  The feathers on that parrot there on the bird feeder.  You said they were nice.
Male Staff:  I was talking about the WEATHER. I didn't mention a parrot.
Dad:  No thanks, you know I don't like carrots.  I've never liked them, you should know that.
Male Staff:  I think I'll go in and watch the guinea pigs.


I'm looking forwood to meeting Uncal Billy's male staff's Dad.  I think we'll get on like a howse on fire and if he duzzent like karrits then maybe he'll give them to me.  I'm always happy to reeseeve karrits. In facked I'm thinking ov starting a werld-wide karrit apeel for unwanted karrits.  Ennywun hoo has an unwanted karrit kan send it to me - Baci, Kweensland, Orstraylia.


Sunday, October 12, 2014


Before I crossed the Rainbow Bridge I loved going to the local supermarket with my staff.  While they went of searching for human food they'd leave me in charge of the fruit and vegetable department.  Here I did the supermarket a favour by sampling as much of the produce as I could to ensure that it was fit for consumption before my staff came back to collect me.  I'd browse happily amongst the lettuce, carrots and cucumbers, taking great pleasure in frightening the bush chocolate out of customers who, without looking properly delved a hand into a pile of green beans only to feel something warm and furry brush against their fingers.  On good days I could make  three of four elderly ladies pass out from shock and collapse to the floor where they would be ignored by other customers and sometimes even run over by several shopping trollies before a member of staff could arrive to help them to their feet.  If I spied a green grocery department attendant heading in my direction I'd just burrow out of sight in amongst whatever pile of vegetables I happened to be in at the time and continue munching.  The attendants tended not to be very bright anyway.  Usually they were pimply youths who looked as though they couldn't tell a grape from a watermelon and whose hair was so greasy that it appeared as though another member of staff had just tipped bottle of olive oil over their head.

Sooner or later my staff would return.  They'd call my name and I'd stick my head out so that they could locate me, pick me up and put me into the trolly. You wouldn't believe some of the disgusting stuff they'd buy and presumably eat and drink. There always seemed to be bottles of that weird white stuff that comes out of cow's boobs and cartons of those funny oval things that pop out of birds bums in their shopping trolly.  Once when they called me I stuck my head out of a pile mangoes and got grabbed by a short sighted little old lady who squeezed me an declared me to be ripe.  Naturally I bit her finger and jumped back into the mangoes.
 "Young lady! .......... I say, young lady!" She called to a long haired spotty lad in a supermarket uniform.  "There appears to be some sort of animal in your mango display."  The boy gave her his best gormless expression and squeezed one of his pimples.
 "Well young lady. What are you going to do about it?"  The lad scratched his testostricles and sniffed his fingers.  "Well...........?" The older lady repeated before sucking her bitten finger which had started dripping blood onto the floor.
 "I dunno missus." Mumbled the lad.  "Maybe I'd better get the butcher to catch it and put it back in the meat department."  By this time I'd escaped the mango display and made my way to the apples via a short (very tasty) detour through the herb section.  Here my staff were able to grab me and stuff me into my female staff's handbag whereupon I set about chewing her personal alarm.  It's a small metal cylinder a bit bigger than my female staff's lipstick,which I had already chewed and found to be utterly disgusting and not my colour at all. My male staff had bought the alarm for her in case she was accosted in a dark side street by junkie, a parking attendant, a charity collector or some other undesirable.  All she had to do was to press the big button at the end of the cylinder and it would emit a high pitched screech that would immediately render her assailant unable to hear her swearing at them.

We had just about reached the front of the checkout queue when my female staff suddenly realised that she'd forgotten something. "Stay there." She ordered my male staff.  "I'll be right back." I could tell she was running because I was getting quite a rough ride inside her handbag.  I stopped chewing the alarm which wasn't that tasty anyway and stuck my head out to see what was going on.  We swerved abruptly into the bakery aisle and my female staff started scanning the shelves, becoming more and more agitated as she evidently failed to find whatever it was she was looking for.  Nearby, another youth with spiky orange hair was replenishing the shelves.
 "Excuse me."  Said my female staff.  The youth turned to look at her.  He had enough stainless steel attached to his face to make my male staff another Hyundai Getz.  A variety of rings and studs adhered to his nose, ears, eyebrows and lips.  "Face furniture" my male staff's mad sister calls it.
 "Good morning madam" he said with surprising politeness, though the large stud in his tongue made him rather difficult to understand. "What can I do to help?"  His voice was at that peculiar stage when it is almost broken but not quite, alternating between a deep adult gruffness and a childish, high pitched piping.
 "Have you got crushed nuts?" inquired my female staff.
 "No," said the boy in his hybrid voice. "I always talk like this."
At this point I slipped and fell back into my female staff's handbag, landing on and setting off the personal alarm.  My God it was loud!  My ears were ringing for weeks afterwards.  I heard someone shout "FIRE!"  Everybody ran for the exit including my female staff who had no intention of hanging around to be blamed for the false alarm.  Anyway she wanted to get outside so that she could witness the arrival of the fire brigade and all those hunky firemen.  Of course not all my staff's shopping expeditions go this smoothly, some are a real adventure, especially now that they take all four of their guinea pig herd along with them.


On our last shopping xpedish  eckspidit expadishi owting Uncal Billy's staff left us all at the froot and veg sekshun and went off to do their shopping. Tom, Alf and Toby decided to stay and eet sum lettiss, but being an adventurous sort ov piggy I deesided to go exploring.  Ennyway, I'm like mooching abowt in the karrits wen I see this beeyootiful girl piggy's butt.  I'm like Whoa!  So I went over and snift it.  The girl piggy dint move so I snift a bit moor.  Then I thort to myself, "Baci, here's your big chance. This here chicky babe obviously fancies yoo."  So I like mownts her and start no........ like........ the bizness.  A minnit or too later I'm still there reelly enjoying myself and I'm thinking the chicky babe must be too coz she hasn't moved and then Toby appears necks to me and says
 "Baci, what are you doing to that butternut pumpkin?"

Well, can yoo tell the diffrunce? I think it's a very eezy mistake to make.  Butternut pumpkins shood karry sum sort ov warning so that other piggies don't get court like I did.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Romance Of Foreign Travel

Did I ever tell you how my staff met? No? Well I've told everyone else so I suppose I might as well inflict the tale on you as well. If you're all sitting comfortably and promise not to fidget or interject I'll begin.

For a start you must be wondering how a gargoyle like my male staff ended up with someone as beautiful as my female staff.  I know she's beautiful (at least for a human) because before I crossed the Rainbow Bridge she would tell me every morning. She'd say -

 "Piggy piggy under the hay
See how gorgeous I am today."

And I must admit she did look pretty amazing as she approached my pen carrying my breakfast.  Mind you, a bowl of fresh vegetables that you know is heading your way will improve the looks of most humans.  Anyway, I digress.  It was love at first sight for my staff.  My male staff was shambling along the street, trying unsuccessfully not to scrape his knuckles on the pavement and my female staff was just coming out of a mobility shop with her Labrador dog having just purchased a pair of dark glasses and a brand new white stick.  Just kidding, though you may remember a little while ago she was waiting for my male staff in the recovery room of an eye surgery having had cataracts removed. When he showed up and she saw him clearly for the first time in a few months she immediately asked the surgeon if it was possible to have the cataracts reinserted.

Actually their first meeting was much less mundane than that.  They met for the first time on a beach in Togo. "Where?" I hear you ask.  Look I won't tell you again.  I did ask you not to interject.  Togo is a tiny sliver of a nation in West Africa, wedged between Ghana and Benin, and if you don't know where they are I suggest you purchase an atlas.  It was May 1985 - before I was even a faint cheeky glimmer in my great great great great great great grandfather's eye.  My male staff had signed up for an overland expedition from Togo's capital city Lome across the Sahara desert to Tunis.  He'd been inoculated against every conceivable disease under the sun and had grown to really dislike the nurse who administered them because before every jab she liked to say "You'll just feel a bit of a prick. But then I expect you're used to that."  The KLM flight from Amsterdam landed at Lome airport shortly after the steamy tropical night had closed in.  The expedition leader met my male staff once he'd cleared the primitive customs and immigration area and led him through a chaotic car park to the four ton Bedford truck that was to be his home for the next month or so.

Half an hour later they reached the beach where the rest of the group were camped.  Dinner was being cooked over a fire of driftwood and soon a plate of vegetable curry was placed in my male staff's hands.  It was a hot, humid, airless night of low cloud and the soft shushing of the Atlantic Ocean caressed the shore.  In the flickering light of the campfire my male staff saw a vision of unexpected beauty. He stopped eating for a moment, so it must have been pretty bloody special.  It was a bar, no more than a hundred metres away.  Like a man in a trance he was drawn towards the neon lights and the illuminated sign that read "Le Bar de la Plage".  A few minutes later the hand that wasn't clutching the plate of vegetable curry was wrapped around a disappointingly warm bottle of Awooyo Special Beer.  He wandered back to the camp wishing he had a third hand with which to slap at the mosquitoes that were now whining around his ears.

Back at the camp he was introduced to my female staff who had just crossed the Sahara on a southbound expedition that had taken a more easterly route through Niger across the Sahara from Tunis.  This northbound trip was to cross Mali, visiting the fabled Timbuktu and Djenne. So, my staff shook hands and that was it; their first meeting.  The only sparks were from the camp fire which drifted off into the night until they were extinguished by the warm, moist sea breeze.  The expedition leader handed my male staff a tent and a mosquito net.  It was way too hot to sleep under canvas so my male staff rigged up the mosquito net, stripped down to his underpants, (Sorry if that mental image is making you nauseous.) crawled under it and finally went to sleep with one bare knee touching the net.  He swears that when he awoke on that clammy, grey dawn he found that his knee had been eaten away to the bone by the mosquitoes during the night but he is prone to the occasional exaggeration.  Suffice to say that it itched for about six weeks after and that he whinged about it long after that.

So, the next day the expedition commenced. Seventeen humans in a Bedford truck heading north towards the Mediterranean Sea. British, Australians, Canadians, Americans, Japanese and Germans.
By the end of the first day my future staff had hardly spoken a word to each other. So to cut a very long story very short indeed here's a brief rundown of what happened on the trip.

There was an uneventful drive through Togo followed by a border crossing into Burkina Faso (Many of you will need an atlas for that one too.) where the truck was stripped right down by the border guards who went through everyone's belongings looking for contraband.  They were so disappointed not to find any that the expedition leader had to give them a few bottles of Johnny Walker Red Label to persuade them not to detain the group indefinitely.  Burkina Faso was hot, dusty and grindingly poor with a life expectancy of just twenty eight years at the time. It was a sad place of vultures, skeletal cattle, ragged children and UN aid trucks.  At the capital Ouagadougou my staff's truck stopped for a couple of hours at the best hotel in town and while my female staff and some of the others frolicked in the swimming pool my male staff sat and watched them with a warm beer and a plate of kidneys and rice in front of him.  Please don't ask why he chose to order offal in a place like Burkina Faso where the temperature was one hundred degrees Fahrenheit and any refrigeration that there was probably didn't work for more than half the time.  He doesn't even like offal.  Let's be charitable and put it down to sunstroke.  In any case he soon wished that he had joined the others in the pool because six or seven hours later as they set up camp in the bush his bowels started to complain about the kidneys.  Then two hours later in pitch darkness he woke up under his mosquito net double up in pain.  Fighting his way out of the net he ran to the truck, grabbed one of the "toilet trowels" and staggered behind a thorn tree a decent distance from the camp.  Two hours later with cramped legs and Johnny Cash's "Burning Ring of Fire" he returned to his mosquito net where he lay awake until dawn listening to the eerie "whooooo - up" of a distant hyena.

The next day his bowels forced several roadside stops as the group headed north towards the Mali border and the Bandiagara Escarpment. My male staff would grab the trowel and dash towards the nearest bush.  The first time he was very careful to select a secluded spot to stop in before he squatted to relieve himself, only to find that a large crowd of ragged locals had materialsed to spectate as he pulled up his trousers. He'd played soccer in front of smaller crowds, but at least this bunch didn't chant "'Ere we go, 'ere we go, 'ere we go!" At length after three such stops he gave up trying to be discrete and instead bowed to the crowd when he'd finished and then gave an encore performance a few miles down the road.  Always though he was touched by the patience and sympathetic words of my female staff.

As the trip progressed my staff found it interesting to watch their fellow travelers and observed how in some of them their attitudes and states of minds altered as the going got tougher.  The married Japanese couple started huddling together in the corner of the truck as it bumped along through increasing heat.  They didn't talk to each other much and the woman started to emerge from her tent with bruises some mornings.  The two young Australian lads proved to be lazy and good for nothing, claiming to have sprained ankles that precluded them from helping my male staff with the early morning fire making.  Fortunately the two Japanese men were always up early and ready and willing to lend a hand.  Towards the end of the expedition in Algeria we discovered that the middle aged Czech-Canadian man had been filling his water bottle with duty free vodka rather than water, so you might be able to imagine how dehydrated he had become after a month of temperatures of well over one hundred degrees.  One night he asked a nomadic tribesman who'd been passing our camp if he could try riding his camel.  The tribesman happily agreed and the group watched as the permanently inebriated  Czech-Canadian tried three times to mount the camel, each time crashing sickeningly to the rocky earth before giving up and retiring to his tent for another swig of vodka.  Eventually he passed out and was suffering from an extraordinarily fast heart beat.  Luckily for him when this occurred the group was passing through a town with a hospital.  My female staff led him in and he was immediately hooked up to various drips.  To everyone's alarm he was released the next day to continue the trip.  Unfortunately his disgustingly filthy, poo encrusted trousers came with him.  This at least made the rest of the journey more comfortable for him as he now had more than half the vehicle to himself while the others were crammed at one end in an attempt to distance themselves from his trousers.  Oh the romance of foreign travel.

And so it went on.  The expedition followed the Niger River for some time, visiting the legendary town of Djenne with it's incredible mud mosque top with ostrich eggs.  Then there was Timbuktu - the place that my male staffs mother had always threatened to send him to when he was naughty as a boy.  It was a furnace hot desolate place with the desert sand lapping at its walls.  The tall Tuareg tribesman in indigo robes and blue-black skin who the expedition leader hired to guard the truck entertained the group at night by squeezing a goat's neck until it passed out.  Moments later the animal stood up, shook itself and trotted away unharmed.  This not only impressed my staff but also the dozens of ragamuffin kids who were no doubt hoping to raid the truck for goodies when everyone was asleep.  Wisely, having witnessed the Tuareg's demonstration they decided against it.

 Djenne's amazing mud mosque.

My staff went through all this together and still showed little interest in each other beyond being friends.  Upon reaching Tunis they said goodbye to the rest of the group and boarded a KLM flight to Heathrow via Amsterdam.  Before parting they swapped addresses and suggested that they get together some time.  My female staff foolishly invited my male staff to visit her in Australia if he ever traveled Down Under.  Big mistake!  He did, and now she can't get rid of him.  She should have known better even after what I suppose you would call their first real date.  It was a romantic dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour.  There was dancing with a live band and the glittering lights of the city skyline with its famous bridge and opera house.  It was the perfect night my staff thought until my male staff found he was five dollars short when it came to paying the bill at the end.
  "Errrrrmm. Can I borrow five dollars?" He asked, embarrassed.  My female staff should have said "No, certainly not." at that point, walked off and let my male staff explain the situation to the waiter, and later probably the police.  But no, foolishly she happily stumped up the money and then drove my male staff to Central Station for the train back to the western suburbs where he was staying with a friend.

Guess what.  Yes, he'd missed the last train and in any case he had no money for a ticket so he had to walk the twenty kilometres to his friend's house.  Still, by my male staff's standards it had been a successful date.  That is to say nobody was badly injured and it didn't end with a glass of red wine being tipped over his head.  He was happy.

Four years later, after a true long distance relationship and much to-ing and fro-ing between England and Australia the two of them were married and eventually produced a family of handsome cavies.

I want to no wye I can't get a gurlfrend or a wife.  Wye do I haf to like sit in my cage all day looking at other boy ginny pigs' fat furry butts.  Goodness me if a big ugly chump like Uncal Billy's mail staff can get a wife shorely a hansum piggy like me deeserves a beootiful gurly pig hoose butt doesn't like smell of boy piggy musk.  It's not too mutch to arsk is it?