Monday, March 24, 2014

A Jar Of Vaseline

This will be my last blog for a couple of weeks because this coming Sunday Boris, Baci and I are being shipped off to the Noosa Pet Resort for a fortnight while my staff go gallivanting off to India. Paolo will be housed with my female staff's Mum over this period. Lucky him. My female staff's Mum's memory is not what it was, so he's likely to get fed several times a day, as opposed to the one meal he gets at home.  I have instructed my staff to start getting our things together for our holiday. These include several bails of hay and bedding, a metre tall pile of old newspapers, enough vegetables for three hungry rodents for two weeks, guinea pig pellets, water bottles, food bowls, toys, chews, various treats, cages, pigloos, cuddling towels........the list goes on. The resort is sending the pet taxi for all the paraphernalia on Monday morning and my staff will take us in the Getz.

I have of course decreed that my staff can only start getting their stuff together for their big trip once they have organised mine, but that's okay, they should have at least half an hour to pack before they have to leave for the airport. They normally travel light in any case - a couple of pairs of high heeled shoes, three bras, three pairs of frilly knickers, a cool cotton dress and a small container of cosmetics - that's my male staff. My female staff takes even less stuff.

The timing is working out rather nicely, or at least hopefully it will. Once we cavies are safely ensconced at the pet resort, enjoying the first of our treats and anticipating our first manicure and fur brushing my staff have organised the pest people to come and fumigate the house. It's been two years now since the last pest inspection (They found two by the way - my staff.) and the ants, cockroaches and spiders are starting to take over.My female staff even found a herd (what's the collective noun for a group of ants?) of ants in her underwear drawer, while my male staff has taken to sleeping with his mouth taped shut so that spiders don't fall from the ceiling into his mouth at night. This doesn't stop the cockroaches crawling up his nose of course, though he did try stuffing cotton wool up his nostrils too. Obviously this preventative measure didn't last very long. He did manage to fall asleep but was woken by an all too real dream that my female staff was trying to suffocate him with a pillow. Actually it wasn't a dream at all, my female staff had just had enough of his snoring, but she managed to convince my male staff that he had been dreaming.  Anyway, I mention that the timing is good simply because we guinea pigs won't be there when the pest people start splashing their poison about. I'd hate to wind up on my back like a cockroach, my legs twitching sporadically as the poison courses through my veins. Sheesh! Now I'm feeling sorry for cockroaches. I'm really getting soft in my old age.

Actually I'm rather glad that I'm not travelling to India with my staff. I'm always getting shoved into small, dark places upon their persons in order to get me past customs and security, and they are running out of orifices large enough to take a reasonably sized cavy, so I worry where I will end up next. So far on my travels I have been thrust down the front of my male staff trousers and up my female staff's blouse. Neither were pleasant experiences, but I tell you this. The first time I see them heading towards me with a jar of Vaseline I'll quit and find myself some sane staff.

So, that's about it for now. I'll sign off for about three weeks and will no doubt return to regale you with tales of my staff's exotic misadventures in the Sub-Continent and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Boris, Baci and I have a few of our own at the Noosa Pet Resort. See you all on Twitter for the next week or so.


Please do not be gettink der wrong idea. Ich am sehr grateful for der free holiday, but how is it comink about zat ich never got ein say in der matter. Vot if I am nicht likink der Noosa Pet Resort. Vot if zere is beink no pool around vich ich can reserve alles der sunbeds mit mein towels before der uzzer piggies get zere. Und vot is happenink if zey are servink me mit der big helpinks of saurkraut?
Mein accent vill go back to beink as bad as it vas before.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Cigarette Cards

For the topic of this week's post I am indebted to a couple of my Twitter followers - namely Katie and Laura who gave me the idea for a suitable subject. I was complaining on said social media site that I was struggling to think of something to write about this week since nothing of any importance had happened. Sure there's a potential flash point for the commencement of World War Three in Crimea and the fact that Malaysia flight MH370 still hasn't been found after more than a week. (The only theory about the fate of those two hundred and thirty nine souls that hasn't been put forward is that they have been abducted by aliens.) These events pale into insignificance compared to the news that my male staff has contracted shingles (Amazing really, since he hasn't been to Brighton beach since April 1979. You'd have to be British to understand that little gag.) He now has a burning, scabby, angry rash diagonally across the lower right side of his torso and across the top of his right thigh. It's very attractive. The rash on his thigh gives him a jolt of sudden stabbing pain now and then too, which is fun to watch, especially when he's holding a cup of hot tea because it causes him to suddenly leap about a foot in the air - not dissimilar to a guinea pig popcorning as it happens, except that he has yet to master the one hundred and eighty degree turn in mid-air.

Anyway, on to my main topic today. The above mentioned Laura and Katie suggested that I could forgo any text in my blog post this week, and instead just feature cute photos of myself, Boris and Baci. This reminded me for some reason that when my male staff was about nine years old he collected cigarette cards of British football players. They were called cigarette cards but they actually came in little envelopes tucked in a football magazine he subscribed to. This is just as well, because if they had actually come with cigarettes my male staff would not have collected many cards due to his steadfast refusal to smoke. He'd watch his fellow nine and ten year old school mates lighting up behind the bike shed, taking a long drag, coughing and throwing up their school lunches and said to himself "Wow! That looks cool, I must try that.........NOT" No, not my male staff, he'd be behind the other bike shed showing his willy to Sally Brown who was a year older than him and therefore a real woman and who would reward him with a flash of whatever it was that she kept in her knickers - sometimes her pet newt, or if he was really lucky a partly chewed toffee which she would share with him.

These cigarette cards featured a photo of a famous footballer and the idea was to stick them into an album that also came with the magazine. The album had a short biography of each player, above which one attached the appropriate photo. Kids would take them to school and swap them.
 "Hey Jimmy, I've got three Bobby Charltons. I'll swap you one for a Gordon Banks."

Here's an example for you.

Peter Bonetti. Chelsea and England goalkeeper.
The only first division goalkeeper to complete an entire season between the sticks without conceding a single goal. This was entirely due to his enormous ears, which when fully unfurled completely block the goal. He is known by Chelsea fans as "Peter the Cat". Fans of other teams are less generous, calling him amongst other thing "Bonetti the Big Eared Bastard". 

I have therefore produced cigarette cards of my own family. Please feel free to swap them amongst your friends, or use them for darts practice.

Billy The Pig. 
Handsome and charismatic, Billy has always been a hit with the ladies. He was the first cavy to grace this house, arriving on a free transfer from a little girl down the road who had too many pets already. A rare illness known as "squashy bottom" hampered his early career, but once his staff had forked out hundreds of dollars in vet bills his "squashy bottom" cleared up and he became the superstar he is today.
Boris made the move north from his home at The Cavy Cottage Rescue Centre late last season and very quickly established himself as a valuable if rather hard to understand member of the team. He still has a very strong German accent due to the high concentration of Sauerkraut that he was fed at the rescue centre. Boris' main claim to fame is of course his ability to endure (and seemingly enjoy) hour upon hour of cuddles from humans. 
This has earned him the nickname "Der Schnuggle Meister."

Baci is the rookie of the squad, coming to this household as part of the deal that also brought Boris. He is working his way up through the junior ranks and has already made his first team debut during which he sustained a cheek injury (When Boris bit him.) that kept him out of the team for a couple of weeks. Now he's back training and is going from strength to strength. His extraordinary speed and agility makes him a nightmare for humans to catch, but once they have him he enjoys a cuddle almost as much as his childhood hero Boris. 

Paolo is the ultimate senior professional and the longest serving member of the team. He is named after that famous fascist lunatic (but very exciting footballer so all can be forgiven) Paolo Di Canio. Paolo has outlived three other budgies and is still going strong. His pet hate is accidentally flying out of his cage when it's being cleaned. This is because he never learned to take corners and always flies into something hard and unyielding like a human's head.
 Paolo has the uncanny ability to shoot his poop through the bars of his cage and halfway across the room, though nobody has actually seen him do it. His ambition is to land it in one of the humans' coffee mugs, preferably while they are drinking from it.

Boris' Bit

Ptoohey! Ich schpit on der verdammt zigarette karten. Der only sink vurs collectink is der cuddles und der schnuggles.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fancy A Joint?

This last week has been wonderful. I mean, it started badly, then got progressively worse until about Wednesday when things deteriorated and by Sunday afternoon I was about ready to commit suicide by sniffing Boris' bottom passage, but apart from that it was one of the best weeks I've ever had.

For a start Twitter managed to lock me out of my Twitter account by telling me that I had to change my password. I got my male staff to turn on my laptop as usual one morning, with the usual kerfuffle of course. It's the same every day, I have to remind him of the procedure by nipping the inside of his thigh with my incisors. Actually that's not strictly true, he's getting quite good at turning on the computer now, I just enjoy biting him. Anyway, that's beside the point. When we finally navigated our way to the Twitter website and tried to sign in to my account it told us "You need to change your Password. A message has been sent to the email connected to your account to enable you to do this." or words to that general effect.

This immediately caused my male staff to start up with his irate seagull impression again. (See previous blog appropriately entitled "The Irate Seagull".)  "Faaaaaaaaaark!" He squawked, and flapped his arms a bit. He'd opened a Hotmail account for me, just for the purpose of my Twitter account but we'd never bothered accessing it - after all, who sends guinea pigs emails, apart from Nigerian Princes who need help transferring their billions from Nigeria to Australia? So, next stop was the Hotmail website. Tried to sign in. "Faaaaaaaaaaaark! Faaaaaaaaaaark!" More arm flapping and a little flying spittle this time. "Your account has been closed due to inactivity." I have no idea how Hotmail know how active or otherwise my male staff has been, I mean he seems active enough to me. He exercises every day. Maybe they've only ever seen him when he's having a nap. In any case, why should his level of activity impact upon whether or not he can have a Hotmail account. I know lots of fat, lazy bastards who have one. It's not like Hotmail is only for professional athletes. It's all very odd.  

So now we had no way of accessing my Twitter account where thousands of faithful followers were waiting for my words of piggy wisdom. How would they continue to live their lives without me? Would their world fall apart without their fur-fix each day? Quite probably I thought, so I instructed my male staff to open another Twitter account for me, this time with a Yahoo email address. This he did, then a couple of days later Twitter realised they'd made a horrible mistake and reinstated my old password, so I now have two Twitter accounts and I have to employ more staff to administer them both. It would cost me a fortune if I actually paid them anything.

Today things started to look a little brighter. I went with my male staff to the local hospital to see an orthopaedic specialist about his dodgy knee. That is my male staff was seeing the specialist about his own knee, he was not going to look at the specialists knee. I hope that's clear. Anyway, as is customary on such occasions I found myself stuffed down the front of my male staff's trousers in order to sneak passed the receptionist. For some reason doctors' receptionists seem to object to the presence of rodents in so called sterile areas. Let me tell you, there's nothing sterile about being down the front of my male staff's pants. I was still wriggling and trying to get comfortable in the confined space when we entered the office. Peeping through a gap in my male staff's fly I could see the receptionist looking directly at me and I wondered briefly if she could see my eye looking right back at her. I wriggled a bit more. She flinched and made a face that suggested mild revulsion.
 "The sexual disorders clinic is down the corridor." She said. "Third on the left."
My male staff looked at her, puzzled. "No, I'm here about my knee. Name's Emery." He said. "I Have an appointment at ten fifteen." The receptionist reluctantly dragged her eyes away from my male staff's groin and checked her computer. Finding this to be correct she showed us into another room and told my male staff to take a seat at a large oak desk. "Doctor Kuttemoff will be with you shortly." She added and left.

To my relief my male staff unzipped his fly pulled me out of his pants and placed me on the desk to stretch my legs, chew important looking files and relieve my bladder on the computer keyboard. We waited patiently for a couple of minutes but no doctor appeared, so my male staff passed the time playing with the numerous plastic joint models that littered the desktop. There were knees, shoulders, hips, ankles, wrists - you name it. As the minutes ticked by my male staff entertained himself by trying to build a complete skeleton, while I'd found a prescription pad to eat and offering advice on which bone should go where. Soon there was an impressive pile of bones on the desk which was starting to resemble a human skeleton. There were a few bits missing still, notably the head, so my male staff started scanning the room for more bones. He hates leaving things half finished. It was about then that another door opened on the other side of the desk. The sudden noise and movement gave me a bit of a fright. We rodents have a slightly nervous disposition, and I leapt from the desk onto my male staff's lap, knocking over the pile of bones on the way. The bones clattered down and one of the joints, I think it was an elbow landed with a splash in the doctors half finished cup of coffee, showering files, both chewed and unchewed with brown liquid.

Fortunately Doctor Kuttemoff couldn't see me because I was now below desk level. He looked at his desk, the chewed files, the half eaten prescription pad, the coffee mug containing an elbow joint and little puddles of coffee. Eying my male staff suspiciously. He wiped some coffee from the seat of his chair and sat down.
 "Mr Emery?" He asked.
 "That's right." said my male staff, shifting in his seat as I tried to squirm back into his open fly." 
 "Good" said the doctor. "Let's have a look at your record." He then turned to the computer and tapped a few of the keys. Then he suddenly stopped, realising that somehow his fingers were wet. He sniffed them, drew his head back sharply and wrinkled his nose in disgust before glaring accusingly at my male staff, who smiled weakly back at him.


Ich vould like to be asking vy it is zat ich never get to go on any of zese excursions mit Billy's male staff. Zey are soundink zo much fun. Vy do ich alvays haf to stay at home und look after zat klein vipper-schnapper Baci vile he is runnink rinks around me.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tigers and Brown Trousers

Not satisfied with frequent visits to their favourite Indian restaurant, my staff have decided to visit India at the end of this month so that they can guzzle onion bhajis, vindaloo and naan bread twenty four hours a day if they wish which will certainly add to greenhouse gas emissions in a big way. I'd hate to be sitting anywhere near them on the flight home. They've been before - once, a long time ago when the Taj Mahal was new and Gandhi had hair. They said it was fascinating, terrifying and beautiful all at once, sort of like Naomi Campbell. The scariest thing about India was the road travel they told me.  In the cities its not so bad because although your are certain at any moment the car in which you are travelling will be hit by something - a truck, another car, a bicycle, a moped, a motorised rickshaw, a bus, a pedestrian or a cow you are not travelling at any great speed due to the weight of traffic, and therefore your chances of survival are probably at least fifty percent.

The open roads are another proposition altogether. Indian vehicles don't have brakes, instead they have horns to warn other road users that they should get the hell out of the way. It appears that you can drive on either side of the road depending on how your mood takes you on any given day.

 "I'm off to work now dear, I think I'll drive on the right today, but then I'll probably switch to the left when I get halfway, unless it rains in which case I'll just go straight down the middle. See you tonight maybe, or in the afterlife. Don't wait up."

My staff say that conventional out of town Indian roads are horrific and that visitors travelling by car on such roads should take at least four pairs of clean underwear with them if the journey is likely to take more than an hour. Brown trousers are also a must. Every few kilometres you pass the scene of an accident, either a smashed up car or an overturned truck - often both, and its no wonder trucks overturn because they are so top heavy. Who loads these things? The trucks you see there are often higher than they are long. It's amazing. India is one country that could really use a few health and safety laws. My staff also saw the body of a pedestrian who had evidently just been hit by a truck which had subsequently overturned a hundred metres or so further on. The poor woman was laying at the side of the road dressed in a beautiful lime green sari surrounded by a crowd of other women similarly brightly dressed. There were no men anywhere to be seen and no other drivers stopped to see if they could help. Not that anyone could have helped the unfortunate woman.

Then when my staff's vehicle reached a dual carriageway they both heaved a great sigh of relief. Surely now they would, at least for the time being be safe from a violent death amongst a shattered pile of twisted steel and glass. Well, my staff have always been blindly optimistic and naive. Just because it was a partitioned dual carriageway didn't mean that they wouldn't have to share it with camels, elephants, dogs, goats and cows. Neither did it mean that you wouldn't find a large, overloaded truck heading straight towards you on your side of the partition. Really the only difference between the dual carriageway and the standard road was that the average speed was one hundred and forty kilometres an hour instead of one hundred twenty. So when my staff arrived miraculously unscathed at their destination they had to be assisted up the steps of the hotel because they were shaking so much and walking as though they had crapped themselves. Mainly because they had.

 My staff will be making sure that their travel insurance is up to date.

You might well ask why they re going to put themselves through all this again. Its something to do with tigers apparently. They've always wanted to see wild tigers, so before they all disappear into the cabinets of the purveyors of traditional Chinese medicine they've decided to risk their lives on Indian roads once more. They'll be visiting a national park in central India and staying there for a week. This national park is supposed to be the best place to see wild tigers. My male staff googled it so it must be right. He typed in "BEST PLACE TO SEE TIGERS" and the first answer that came up was Australia Zoo - the late Steve Irwin's establishment about fifty kilometres south of where we live. So he retyped "BEST PLACE TO SEE WILD TIGERS" This time he got the answer Bandhavgarh National Park. So that's where they're headed.

My male staff already has a pet tiger. I've no idea why he needs to see a wild one.

To get there they have to fly from from New Delhi to a place called Jabalpur (No, I've never heard of it either) on an airline called SpiceJet who apparently use fermented chillies instead of conventional aviation fuel. Jabalpur is where the real fun starts. From there to the Bandhavgarh National Park its a four hour drive, so I hope their lodge has a well stocked bar and easily accessible toilets for when and if they arrive.

It's always safety first with SpiceJet.

What's happening to us while my staff are away? Well Paolo the budgie will be staying with my female staff's Mum. He's looking forward to this because she forgets that she's fed him and feeds him again. He's now busy perfecting the art of looking pained and hungry while sucking in his substantial birdseed belly. Meanwhile Boris, Baci and I will be ensconced at the Pet Resort. Badger and I went there a few years ago and they did a good job. Regular readers will remember that last time my staff went away they left us in the care of a guinea pig breeder, thinking that a breeder would know all about guinea pig requirements. How wrong they were. We were fed all the wrong stuff and both became very sick. I survived - obviously, but poor Badger eventually died. The lady at the Pet Resort will be under strict instructions of what to feed us and will probably be receiving phone calls at odd hours from my staff wanting to speak to me to make sure we're being looked after properly.


Voah! Please to be hangink on einen cotton pickink moment bitte. Who is beink zis Badger Piggy und vot is happenink to him? Zis is der first ich have heard of any of zis. Before ich am goink to any verdammt Pet Resort ich vant ein written guarantee zat ich vill nicht be poisoned or sold into slavery.