Monday, May 26, 2014

Thongs On A Plane

On Thursday night my male staff dragged me from the warmth of my pigloo and told me that I had to keep him company while he drove to our local airport to pick up my female staff's frantic sister and her calm partner, who were flying in to visit my female staff's Mum who hasn't been very well. To entertain ourselves while we waited for their plane, which had been delayed due to a minor technical fault, (That's airline speak for "The pilot is drunk and we have to find a sober one.") my male staff and I played a game of Guess the Passenger's Occupation - a fun game for all the family. The rules are very simple.  You just have to shout out whatever occupation you think that each passenger has as they come through the arrivals door. It's quite entertaining, especially for the other folk waiting to meet people.  Of course since all my guesses sound like "wheek!" to humans I am at a distinct disadvantage.  So anyway, we played our little game as we sat and waited, with yours truly on my male staff's lap.

 "Check-out chick!"

You get the idea. I usually win of course. My male staff was telling me how when he first started travelling he always used to wear a suit whenever he flew anywhere. Those were the days when flying was a really special event. Nowadays it's just like catching a bus and people dress accordingly. Most of the people on Frantic Sister's flight were wearing shorts, a blue singlet and a pair of thongs, (That's flip-flops not skimpy underwear, though they may have been wearing that too for all I know. I didn't like to ask.) including the captain. My, how standards have slipped over the years.

So, at last Frantic Sister and Calm Partner arrived and were driven to female staff's Mum's house where my male staff thoughtfully slowed down slightly so that they could leap out of the Getz without getting too badly injured, though their luggage which my male staff kindly threw out after them was a bit scuffed and the bag containing a large ornate glass vase that Frantic Sister had bought as a gift made an pretty little tinkling sound as it hit the kerb.

Then on Saturday the poor old Getz got another thrashing when my staff took me to the Queensland Guinea Pig Refuge to help them choose two more suitable companions for me following the passing of my great pal Boris. This is a truly wonderful establishment run by lovely, dedicated people who obviously care for and love guinea pigs. It's even worth mentioning their website in case any of my readers require their services.  They look after mistreated, abandoned and no longer loved piggies. They have a no euthanasia policy and are very careful about who they allow to adopt.  I was going to report my staff to them for treating Baci and I so badly, but I thought I'd better give them one more chance.

When we arrived there were piggies everywhere and the place was filled with happy wheeking as the inhabitants chewed carrots and chased each other around their enclosures.  After fourteen hours my staff still had not been able to make up their minds which guinea pigs to adopt, and the refuge staff were starting to yawn and look at their watches. Two or three of them had actually changed into their pyjamas and were sipping from mugs of steaming hot chocolate.  In the end my staff decided to let me choose. The first two piggies I mounted were to be the lucky winners. So they let me go in the enclosure.  That's how we ended up with with Alfie and Tom.

Tom and Alfie. Tom is the one who looks like a large hairy caterpillar.

To round off a busy few days my staff invited my female staff's Mum, Frantic Sister and Calm Partner to dinner on Saturday night. Female staff's Mum was in fine form, regaling us all with stories of the old days on the family farm. We'd all (except Tom and Alfie) heard them before many times, but they were still fun, like watching a favourite old sit-com.

For instance there was the time when a truck carrying carcasses from the local abattoir rolled over at a sharp corner on a remote road nearby. The driver was unhurt, but the truck was totally wrecked and there were bits of meat scattered all over the road.  The driver walk a couple of miles to a farmhouse to call the police. (Bear in mind that this was 1950 something so there were no cell phones.) A young rookie police constable, not more than three days on the job was sent out to the crash site, arriving there before the driver had walked back from the farmhouse.  The driver found the constable unconscious among the chunks of meat. The poor constable had fainted, thinking he'd come across an horrific crash with multiple gory fatalities.

Then there was the time that the local CWA (Country Women's Association) went on a bus excursion to a race meeting at Scone. Incidentally the CWA is such a conservative organisation that it makes Ronald Reagan look like a communist.  Anyway, old Betty Scrimmage (aged seventy nine) had a few too many lemonades in the hospitality tent and decided that it would be a good idea to flash her boobs at following motorists through the rear window of the bus. I don't know where my female staff's Mum got this, but she swears that she heard a conversation that took place in one of the cars behind the bus.

Little boy in front seat  -  "Gosh Dad! Did you see that lady in the back of the bus?"
Dad (Driving the car)  -  "Yes son, I certainly did."
Little boy  -  "What was she wearing?"
Dad  -  "I've no idea son, but whatever it was it needed ironing."

Whoa! We've got like too noo housemates and wun of them looks like a kattapilla - a reely big hairy wun.  I sez to him. Dude, wat sort of piggy are yoo?  And he's like "Well, on the reffyooj website it says I'm a try coloured Peruvian."  And I'm like "Dude, yoo should try harder coz yoor mostly wite."  And he like goze off in a huff, and I'm like " Wat?  Wat did I say?"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Is There A Nap For That?

It has to be said that last week wasn't the happiest we've ever had.  The passing of Boris hit us all pretty hard, especially poor little Baci.  He relied on his Uncle Boris for so many thing, for example he would never start eating his own dinner until Boris had started on his.  Baci is convinced that my staff are trying to poison us so he'd let Boris taste his first and when he was sure that Boris wasn't going to drop dead he'd start on his own.  Now he watches me instead.  He has to be quick though because I eat twice as fast as Boris ever did.

So, what's on the agenda for this week.  Well for a start my female staff is taking her Mum to hospital today for her angiogram to see if anything can be done to relieve her angina. (Or vagina as she likes to call it.) I would have liked to go with her but my female staff says that they like to keep a sterile environment in the operating theatre. Frankly I resent any insinuation that I might be less than hygienic. I mean, it didn't stop me visiting my male staff's Mum when she was in hospital.  True it involved the unpleasantness of being smuggled in past savage looking nurses shoved down the front of  my male staff trousers, but you get used to it after the first couple of times and there's not much else down there so it was surprising roomy. In fact, if I wheeked loud enough there was a sort of echo.  From what my staff say, (Which is usually utter bollocks.) an angiogram involves the unfortunate human having a flexible tube shoved up their main artery via a hole that the doctor has dug in their groin. A special dye is then squirted through the tube and the doctor can see on a special x-ray screen whether any of the dye is making it through the blockage which is causing the human's angina.  This of course is assuming that the doctor can be bothered looking up from his putting practice, or studying his share portfolio.

The thing is, if none of the dye is getting through, what then? My guess is that when the patient comes around from the anaesthetic they are told to make another appointment to have the muck cleared out of their artery for a further four figure fee (and I don't mean $10.95).  This news is often enough to render the muck clearing operation unnecessary as the patient dies of shock when the fee is mentioned.  Patients with a strong enough constitution to survive the shock of the amputation of half their life savings are then subjected to a lengthy wait for their muck clearing procedure, during which fifty percent will die anyway.
 "Sorry Mrs Witherspoon, the first date I can fit you in for your open heart surgery is the thirtieth of May..............."
 "Oh, that's not so bad doctor, that's only next week."
 "The thirtieth of May 2022."
I don't know why they can just attach a pipe cleaner or a bottle brush to the end of the tube and give the artery a scrub while they're in there.

So anyway, if my female staff's Mum survives all this she'll be joining my staff, Baci and I on a trip to the Queensland Guinea Pig Sanctuary this coming Saturday.  The GPS (Guinea Pig Seeker) will be fired up, and we'll all pile into the Hyundai Getz for an hour and a half of pure terror with my male staff behind the wheel.  We're not allowed to criticize his driving and are called "Bloody back-seat drivers" if we dare to suggest that the car may use a little less fuel if he releases the handbrake or if we point out that this "terrible bit of road" is actually a crop of watermelons, and heaven help us if we let on that that last "bloody speed-bump" was a traffic cop........on his motorbike. The reason behind this little excursion is to adopt two more guinea pigs. My staff are under the misguided notion that they are doing them a favour by giving them "a good stable home". Hah! Poor little innocent creatures. (The new guinea pigs that is, not my staff.) They have no idea what they're in for.

Now then, in spite of my many misgivings and better judgement I've told Baci that he can take over "Boris' Bit" at the end of my blog each week.  Please bear with him. Remember he's just a teenager and some of his spelling might be a little awry.  Indeed, when I read his first draft I said to him.
 "Baci, your grammar really is absolutely dreadful."  Do you know what he said?
 "How do you know? You've never met her."
I must apologise if he's even harder to understand than Boris was.

Wen Uncle Billy sed I cood take ova from Uncle Boris I'm like WOW! How kool, and he's like, O God wat have I dun?  And I'm like, that's funny, Uncle Billy isn't usually that relijus. Then I'm like, wat shood I rite abowt Uncle Billy? And he's like, yooz your majinayshun for Christ's sayk, and I'm like, there he goes again getting all relijus an everyfink. Then I'm like, majinayshun? Is there an app for that? And he's like, wat r u torkin about? And I'm like, u no an app, an app. Then he's like, a nap? Bloody good idea. Wake me wen its dinna time.


Friday, May 9, 2014


My male staff's typing is bad enough at the best of times, but at the moment he can barely see through the tears that won't stop welling up in his eyes.  Our beautiful friend Boris passed away yesterday evening and my staff haven't stopped crying since.  Is it possible for humans to love an animal too much?  Of course not, but my goodness, don't you humans suffer when you lose one of us.  My male staff woke in the middle of the saying "My heart is breaking!"  It sounded as though it was too.  I could hear him sobbing for hours from my cage in the living room.

Yesterday seemed fairly routine to begin with. though my staff were a little worried because the night before they'd found a little blood in Boris' urine.  My male staff took him to the vet first thing in the morning, he seemed normal, alert, happy and was eating well. (Boris that is, not my male staff, he's rarely happy and alert, though he does eat well.) The vet examined him, palpating his tummy and nether regions while my male staff stroked his head and told him what a good piggy he was.

The vet said that she would give Boris an ultra sound scan to see if she could see a bladder stone that may have been causing the blood in his urine.  At that point Boris lifted his little face and looked directly at my male staff with those huge, round, liquid eyes of his.  It was a look that said simply "I trust you."  It is this look that keeps haunting my male staff, causing him to burst into tears all too frequently.  The ultra sound showed nothing abnormal, so the vet told my male staff to leave Boris there and she'd do an x-ray that afternoon to see if that showed anything.

So, my male staff left Boris at the surgery and got on with the rest of his day.  Later that afternoon the vet called to say that the x-ray did indeed confirm that Boris had a bladder stone and that since these stones cannot be dissolved, not in guinea pigs at least, the best option was to operate, open Boris up and remove the stone before it moved down into his urethra. If that happens things get really serious.
The vet went through the obligatory spiel about the risks of surgery, but my male staff felt that it was the right thing to do and the vet agreed.

We all waited.  Then at seven that evening the vet phoned with the news that the operation had not gone well. Between the x-ray and the operation the stone had indeed moved into Boris' urethra.  This meant that the vet had to try to flush it back into the bladder.  However, in attempting this, the urethra ruptured, probably due to the stone weakening the walls.  The vet was explaining all this to my male staff.  "He's still with us," she said and then explained the likely outcome of continuing with the surgery.  In such small animals as us piggies, once the urethra ruptures it's virtually impossible to mend. She said they could give him a catheter, but in all likelihood it would fail, causing poor Boris to be in agony. In any case, they still hadn't found the offending bladder stone which had escaped into his body cavity when his urethra ruptured.  My staff agreed that it would be best to let him go to the Rainbow Bridge.

Before the vet gave him the final needle my staff went to the surgery to say goodbye.  He was laying on the operating table covered in a blanket, with a gas mask over his little nose and mouth.  He was asleep and looked at peace.  All humans who have ever loved an animal will know the excruciating pain of the final farewell.  My staff kissed and stroked him one last time and went home. Boy! Did Baci and I get a damned good cuddling.  We hardly knew what hit us.  Our fur is still wet from all the tears.

First thing this morning my male staff went to the vet to collect Boris' body.  He still looked so very peaceful.  My staff placed him gently in a shoebox with a nice juicy piece of basil and buried him under the Evodia tree next to Badger.

Still, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good and from this sad event my staff have finally learned that guinea pigs, far from being just a bunch of cute rodents, are put on earth by some higher intelligence to promote peace, love and good will.  Except those who end up in Peru.  They are there to provide lunch.  We as individuals are here for just a short time because the higher intelligence knows only too well that we quickly grow tired with the hard work of persuading humans that love is more productive than hate.  The higher intelligence recognised that Boris had done more than his fair share and decided to bring him home.

Auf Wiedersehen, liebe Freunde.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

At The Coffee Shop

My regular readers will know that my male staff pretends to work from home. Every morning after feeding Boris, Baci, Paolo the Budgie, my female staff and I he sits down in front of his computer and gazes with feigned concentration at his emails and his reverse people smuggling reservation system, in the hope that he will fool my female staff into thinking that he is actually doing something productive.  It seems to work because every morning she goes of to work in order to keep us all in food and bedding with a cheery "Bye darling.  See you tonight."  Then as soon as he hears her car drive away he switches from his work websites to Twitter and spends all day dealing with my correspondence. 

Anyway, because my male staff is at home more than my female staff the burden has fallen upon him to ferry her mum around since she started having angina attacks.  She's had this problem for a while, but in the last couple of weeks it has become more severe, which means she has been forbidden to drive by my staff in case she has a bad attack, swerves off the road and destroys their favourite coffee shop.  Hopefully this is just a temporary measure until she gets the angina stabilised.  She'll be going to see her heart specialist this week - Doctor Wong, or as my female staff's mum calls him - Doctor Dong.  She's always had trouble remembering names, but she's getting worse with age.  The trouble is that when she's talking to people about "Doctor Dong" I worry that they think she is referring to some well endowed porn star, or a male escort she's seen advertised in the local newspaper.  I can only imaging the gossip going around our small town about this eighty-six year old lady.

So my male staff takes my female staff's mum into town most days to do whatever shopping she needs, pick up her mail and have a cup of coffee and a scone.  Naturally I insist on going along.  While in the car I like to sit on my female staff's mum's lap while she feeds me beans and cucumber. It distracts me from my male staff's suicidal driving.  I repay her kindness by crapping on her skirt.

Last Friday when the three of us screeched to a halt in my male staff's high powered Hyundai Getz outside the coffee shop we saw that all the tables were taken.  This doesn't really faze my staff because they have discovered that if they stand next to an occupied table looking at their watches, tutting, drooling and stroking a large furry rodent it isn't long before the occupants leave.  However, on this occasion it wasn't necessary as Mr and Mrs Fielding and their friend Gloria were seated at a large table and seeing our plight invited us to join them.  Mr and Mrs Fielding are well-to-do
clients of my male staff.  He is in the process of smuggling them both to Kenya where they apparently hope to see a variety of ferocious animals.  Well, all I can say is that I could have saved them a lot of money.  All they needed to do was drop in and watch us guinea pigs for a couple of weeks.  All it would cost them is a bunch of basil and a cucumber or two.  Anyway, each to their own as they say.

We joined Mr and Mrs Fielding and Gloria at their table and immediately the conversation turned to the subject of their forthcoming trip to Africa.  My male staff was offering all sorts of useful advice like  - When your guide stops the vehicle for you to photograph lions, don't jump out and run towards them yelling  "Here kitty kitty!"  Once this topic had exhausted itself the subject of health came up as it usually does when elderly humans get together. I find that they like to discuss and compare different brands of colostomy bags and Zimmer frames and brag about the medical procedures they've had recently. 

"I've just had a septuplet heart bypass with a triple somersault and double toe-loop.  It's amazing what they can do these days. I went into the theatre at eight in the morning, was out by quarter past and was home in time for morning tea. 'Course I had to get the missus to stitch me up with her knitting needles, but we saved heaps of money." You know the kind of thing I'm talking about.  Stools also feature prominently in these conversations.  Apparently this most basic item of furniture is very important to older humans and soft stools in particular are much sought after.  I suppose they're more comfortable than the hard ones.

Mr and Mrs Fielding and Gloria seemed rather distracted during these conversations for some reason.  It may have been that they were not used to having a guinea pig running around on their table sniffing at things and chewing on those little paper bags of sugar.  In any case something my female staff's mum said certainly got their attention.
  "My vagina's getting worse all of a sudden. I can barely walk to the bottom of the garden these days."
Gloria sputtered her skinny latte all over my fur and Mrs Fielding dropped the last bit of her chocolate brownie into her cappuccino, while Mr Fielding went as red as an albino guinea pig's eyes. My female staff's mum waved a piece of buttered scone in Mr Fielding's direction.  "Have you ever had vagina problems Mr Fielding? She asked.
  "Errr.......well.........I........ummm....." He stuttered, unable to finish before he was interrupted by my female staff's mum who took his reply to mean yes.
  "It's the strangest feeling isn't it?  Pins and needles up and down your arms, and it feels has though someone very fat is sitting on your chest.  How does your vagina feel Mr Fielding?  I understand it feels different to everybody."  Mr Fielding was starting to sweat.  He was rescued by Mrs Fielding.
  " Oh, you mean angina." She said. Heart pains......angina."
  "Yes dear.  That's what I said........Vagina."  Said my female staff's mum in a loud voice that stopped the hum of conversation in the rest of the coffee shop.  She continued in an equally loud voice.  "I'll give you the name of my hearing aid man if you like.  He's very good you know."

Gloria made a brave attempt at changing the subject to something less embarrassing.  "I do like these little chocolate coated coffee beans they put in your spoon, don't you?" She said popping the thing into her mouth.  My male staff snatched me up abruptly from the table and stood, hauling my female staff up by the arm.  "Well, we must be going.  Lovely to see you and thanks for sharing your table with us."  He bundled my female staff's mum out of the door with one arm and carried me with the other.  I looked back just in time to enjoy the look on Gloria's face as she bit into her "chocolate coated coffee bean".

Vot ich vant to know is vhy ich can't go on any of zese excursions viz Herr Billy's male staff und his female staff's Mutter.  Ich vould be much better behaved zan Herr Billy. Ich vould never dream of doink der poopie in somevuns teaspoon.  Baci on der uzzer hand is ein different kessel of fisch altogezzer.