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.