Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stupid Dog

Last Monday my female staff spent all day either clambering into and out of clanking, whirring machinery or being smeared with a kind of clear gel and then firmly rubbed with a phallic looking instrument while expensive looking TV monitors displayed her innards.  Presumably these images were being beamed live into the waiting room to entertain the folks there waiting to have the same done to them. Anyway I'm please to announce that the upshot of all this clanking, whirring and rubbing is that it appears that my female staff's cancer is confined to her right boob.  Better still, it's not very big.

Then on Thursday I went in spirit with my staff to attend a further scan before my female staff was admitted to hospital to have her tumour removed.  This time the scan involved my female staff being injected with dye which traveled to certain lymph nodes, which in turn showed up on the scan.  This was to locate the nodes and mark them so that the surgeon knew where to look for them, saving her the trouble of digging multiple holes in my female staff's arm pit in searching for the nodes.  Having found the centinal node (whatever that is) they marked it on her skin in indelible ink. X marks the spot. Dig here.  This done, my female staff was then free to go, but she still had three hours before she was due at the hospital, so she and my male staff decided to do a little window shopping at a nearby shopping mall. Anyway it was a hot, steamy morning and the mall was air-conditioned.

Whilst there they saw a funny little dog on a lead wearing an orange hi-vis coat.  He was happily leading a middle aged lady through the crowds.  He was something of a hybrid.  Maybe corgi/border collie/jack russell/stafforshire terrier or something equally unlikely. It was a small, scruffy creature, low slung and with a very smiley face.  A bit like my male staff really.  The thing is, dogs are not allowed in the mall unless they are assistance dogs and the orange hi-vis coat indicated that that is what he was.  My staff began speculating as to what sort of assistance he was rendering.  He was far too small to be a guide dog and in any case he wasn't wearing the usual guide dog harness.  Of course there are many other kinds of assistance dogs.  There are hearing dogs - dogs who tell there owners if there is someone at the door or if the phone is ringing, though if the phone is ringing and the owner is deaf I'm not sure what good that would do unless the dog is trained to growl "My owner is unable to hear the phone at the moment. Please leave a message and my owner will pop next door to get the neighbour to write your message down for him."

Dogs are almost as clever as guinea pigs in a subservient sort of way.  There are assistance dogs who can sense if there owner is about to have an epileptic fit and can warn them to get to a safe place so that they won't hurt themselves.  I understand that some dogs can even be trained to sense that their owner is about to suffer a heart attack.  It really is quite amazing what they can do.  Actually I think my male staff (and many other humans) would greatly benefit from having a "stupid" dog.  That's not to say that the dog is stupid. Far from it.  This dog, preferably something large and intimidating - a Rottweiler, Doberman or an Anatolian sheep dog for example, would be trained to sense when its owner is about to do something stupid, like buying his wife a new ironing board for their twenty fifth wedding anniversary.   The "Stupid" dog would then bark loudly to alert other people in the vicinity that someone stupid is in their midst and would then bite the owner's bum, thus reminding him not to be stupid.

I can see one or two problems with this.  For a start there would be so many "stupid" dogs around that their leads would be certain to get very tangled and it would take a non-stupid person to untangle them if one could be found, which is most unlikely and amid all the confusion, barking and stupidity the "stupid" dogs would almost certainly end up biting the wrong bum.  Not that that would matter I suppose.

Anyway, eventually it was time for my female staff to be admitted to hospital, which was duly done and my male staff returned home with the promise of visiting my female staff when she came out of the operating theatre.  My male staff was told that she would be in ward 4B and so later that evening it was to that ward which he returned.
 "I'm here to visit my wife Jacky." He said to the nurse at the desk.  She riffled through a large clump paperwork, made a puzzled face, picked up another large clump and riffled through that too before making an even more puzzled face.  At last she found a clipboard and ran her finger down the list of names thereon.
 "Ah! Here she is." She smiled.  "She's in the maternity ward..................Sir.........are you okay?  Sir?  Just stay on the floor for a moment and I'll roll you into the recovery position."

It turns out that my female staff had been moved to the maternity ward because 4B was full.  When my male staff had regained consciousness he was wheeled in to visit my female staff who was sitting up in bed swigging on what looked like water but could just have easily been gin or vodka.  Anyway, the important thing is that she was okay.  The operation had gone well.  The lump had been removed along with the marked lymph nodes and the surgeon had told her that the tumour didn't look too bad at all, but that she would go through the results of the pathology at their next appointment - Thursday - another seven days away.  Another seven days of limbo.  Still it sounded promising and now all my female staff has to do is take pain killers for the discomfort of the wounds under her arm and the upper half of her boob.  Everyone here in Piggy Paradise has their paws crossed for her.


Eye find it a bit hard to simputh simmpythy sympothighs feel sorry four Uncal Billy's female staff.  Afta all she and Uncal Billy's mail staff were like planning to send me to the hospiggle to have my testostricles remooved until reesuntly, so wen she came home and picked me up four a cuddal I like stuck my bum in her face and wiggulled it to show my displezyer.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Hello friends.  I have been writing this blog now for almost four and a half years, both on earth and here in Piggy Paradise.  Something has happened this week that will change my staff's lives for the foreseeable future, something that means my spirit will be too busy looking after them to continue writing a regular weekly blog post.  My beautiful, smart, sweet, kind, funny female staff has been diagnosed with invasive ductal cell carcinoma - a form of breast cancer.

Tomorrow - Monday - I will travel in spirit with my staff to an appointment with a surgeon who we hope will outline the way forward from here.  The good thing is that we have been told that it is a low grade cancer, but we won't really know for sure what the prognosis is until the surgeon has whipped out the nasty lump and the pathologist has completed some tests and then stir fried the lump with some shitake mushrooms, garlic, chilli and coriander.  We just hope that the surgeon can operate soon so that we aren't left in this horrid, scary limbo for too long.  All my staff and I want is to know what exactly it is that we are confronted with.

What should concern all women who are at the age when breast screening is advisable is that only three weeks ago my female staff had her biennial breast screen and was told it was clear.  Just a couple of days after that she visited her GP for her regular pap-smear, which I understand is an annual, highly ritualised meeting between two women. (I don't like to ask about the details.)  Anyway, the GP said that while my female staff was there she'd feel her breasts. (Probably another part of the woman meets woman ritual.)  She found two lumps in the left breast and sent her immediately for an ultra sound scan.  This found nothing sinister in the left breast, but a suspicious lump in the right one.  A few days later a biopsy of this lump was taken and was found to be the fore-mentioned ductal cell carcinoma.  So, there you have it ladies.  Do not take it for granted that your boobs are lumpless just because your regular breast screen gives you the all clear.  Actually my female staff's GP was very upset that the breast screen didn't pick anything up.  She says she's always writing to the big knobs at the top of the health system, telling them that ultra sound scans should be done too.  But do they listen?  Apparently not.  It must be too expensive for Medicare to cover. Short-sighted bunch of bastards! Imagine the money (and lives) they'd save if they picked up more cancers earlier rather than later.

My staff had hoped that 2015 might be a better year than the last few.  The last four years have seen my male staff spend a week in intensive care with a deep vein thrombosis which showered blood clots into his lungs and the passing away of my male staff's mum and both my female staff's parents. Of course Badger, Boris and yours truly all waddled off over the Rainbow Bridge too. My staff had just put their proverbial feet up and were celebrating the rapid sale of my female staff's mum's house with a bottle of proverbial French bubbly and thinking "Phew, thank God that's over.  We can get on with the rest of our lives now."  Hah! Fat chance.  So, this is the next adventure and my staff and I are determined to survive it in good order.

Thank you all for faithfully reading my blog every week for the last four and a half years and I promise that as soon as my female staff is better I will be back to irritate you all with my weekly doings again.  Meanwhile, I will keep you informed as to my female staff's progress on this new and rather frightening journey.  Who knows.  It may even help someone else.

So, there you have it.  This isn't goodbye.  It's just that I won't have time for a lengthy post each week, but when I have something important to tell you I promise to post it here. So, please, watch this space.


So that's it!  I was like wunderring why Uncal Billy's staff have bean sort of distrakted laytly.  It's all down to Uncal Billy's female staff's boobs.  Larst time my Uncal Billy's male staff cleened owt my kage I thort it was like funny that he tipped my noo kleen bedding into my cage withowt bothring to tip owt the old stuff with all the poo and wee and uneetun veggies.  I woodunt have myndid so mutch but I wuz in the cage at the thyme and got berried in Hi-Sorb bedding and had to like dig myself owt like a bluddy mole.  I wassunt amyoozed.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


There are certain things that any guinea pig's staff member should know about their employer.  Firstly and most importantly they should never underestimate our intelligence.  Laboratory test have proven the average guinea pig IQ to be 195, way higher in fact than those humans doing the testing.  In fact many of us are so intelligent that in order to prevent our staff from feeling downright inadequate and  embarrassed we tone the whole intelligence thing down a little with charming displays of human-like stupidity.  Baci for example will suddenly leap into the air for no apparent reason (Guinea pig staff call this "popcorning") while he's inside his pigloo (A plastic shelter, for the benefit of the uninitiated, not a guinea pig lavatory, although many of us do indeed prefer to perform our bodily functions in the privacy of our pigloo.)  This leaping in a confined space naturally causes Baci's skull to connect with the ceiling, but of course he pretends to be puzzled by the source of the discomfort and continues popcorning regardless.  Alfie on the other hand prefers to lift his pigloo with his head and toss it into the air.  He has perfected a convincing look of surprise when the pigloo falls back down on his head as if he'd never heard of gravity.

 Alfie emerging from his pigloo.  This is to demonstrate to the uninitiated what a pigloo is.

Speaking for myself, I've never felt the need to disguise my intelligence.  If you've got it, flaunt it I say, though I must admit that as I grew older I was increasingly a victim of absent mindedness.  I'd be taking my evening waddle around the floor of the living room, depositing bush chocolate in all my favourite, difficult for humans to reach places, stopping now and then for a quick nap on my staff's feet, then I'd come across a treat left on the floor for my benefit, a basil leaf perhaps or a slice of cucumber.  However instead of falling on it like a famished lion on an injured impala I'd often just step over it, walk on a few paces and then stop, thinking to myself,  "Wait a cotton-picking minute.  Wasn't that food I just stepped over?"  Then I'd turn around and slowly waddle back to treat and consume it in my own sweet time.  As I said, this has nothing to do with a deficit in the old IQ department, just absent mindedness, like one of your elderly university professors.

Now let's compare a guinea pig's outstanding and undeniable intellect with that of human beings.  The so called superior being on planet Earth.  Snort! Sorry that was just me trying to stifle a derisive laugh.  Look at the quality of your so called leaders for a start.  Let's begin with South Africa's big cheese, Jacob Zuma, President and leader of approximately fifty three million people.  This World class nincompoop thinks he protects himself from AIDS by simply having a shower after he's done "the business" with whoever the unlucky lady may be.  A shower! He may not be the smelliest world leader but he's certainly one of the dumbest.

Then there's Vietnam's President Trương Tấn Sang.  Since Vietnam is one of the largest consumers of rhino horn it's not too surprising that there have been allegations that he's "The government official" who says his cancer was cured by rhino horn.  It hasn't of course.  Rhino horn is just keratin after all, every guinea pig knows that.  You'd get the same curative effect by chewing your fingernails. It's the same stuff.  There have even been accusations that Vietnamese diplomats were smuggling rhino horn from South Africa to Vietnam in diplomatic bags and if that's true they are not only stupid but criminals to boot.

So, who's next?  Well it's hard to go past Australia's own Tony Abbott isn't it?  This fool still thinks that climate change is a myth despite what every reputable scientist in the world is saying.  The daft bugger even closed down the climate commission whose job it was to keep the Australian public informed on the impact of climate change.  Talk about shooting the messenger!  He seems to be absolutely determined that Australia keeps its unenviable position at the top of the world carbon emissions per head of population league table. Remember when Australia had a "clean, green" image.  Hah! Those were the days.

I think our old buddy Vladimir Putin deserves a mention too.  Does he really think that anyone believes him when he says that Russia is not involved in the war in Ukraine and consequently the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.  Then there's also the recent assassination of opposition activist Boris Nemtsov.  You can bet your last bunch of basil that Vlad the Bad was involved in that up to his eyeballs too.  The dude has form when it comes to that kind of thing and if he thinks anyone outside of Russia believes otherwise he's just as stupid and delusional as Idi Amin but lets net even get started with him.

Even old Mohandas Gandhi - the Mahatma himself wasn't really the sharpest knife in the drawer despite all his good intentions.  I can partially forgive him though because he did say "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Of course India itself can't be judged too kindly, what with it's obscene treatment of sloth bears and it's destruction of wild elephant habitat.  Nevertheless he meant well.  The problem with Ghandi is that he probably caused more death and suffering among his supporters than the British colonialists ever did by encouraging people to ignore Western medicine and to resort to traditional means.  Naturally these old tribal remedies didn't work and uneducated peasants died unnecessarily in their thousands.

So there you have it.  Just five examples of what humanity likes to call leaders.  Between them they led approximately three quarters of a billion people and I bet any guinea pig and even some humans could name many more examples of how human intellect is inferior to that of guinea pigs.


I don't want to like cast nasturtiums on Uncal Billy's pinyun of himself, but I don't think he's kwite as klever as wot he likes to think he is.  Frinstunts his staff wunce gave him this big long grean been witch he took longways across his mowf and tried to get it throo the door of his pigloo wot was like too small for the been to go throo.  So he trys a fyoo times to get it throo the door and evry time he like bownces back cos the been's too big.  Uncal Billy like gets krossa and krossa evry time he bownces back cos he reely wants to get into his pigloo so he can eet his been in pryvassy.  Ennyway, after abowt ten minits of this he gives up, mutters "Sod it!" to himself and climbs up on top of the pigloo with his been still krossways in his mowf and eets it up there in full view of evrywun.  I suppose he'd say "I was just pretending to be as stupid as a human." if you arsked him why he did that.



Monday, March 2, 2015

The Man Who Shouts At Wildlife

If your memory is any better than my staff's you may recall that a few weeks ago I told you that my staff had my female staff's late Mum's house "styled" by an inferior designer by the name of Dominique Clutterd-Hoams in order to tart the place up to make it more attractive to potential buyers.  (See the post entitled "Wink" published on 11 January 2015.)  If your memory is not better than my staff's then you are probably reading this post stark naked on the bus on the way to work having forgotten to put your clothes on before heading off.  In which case you now have more important things to worry about than reading some dated blog post written by a deceased guinea pig.

Anyway, despite finding Baci dozing in her knickers as she sat on the toilet Ms Clutterd-Hoams obviously did an excellent job because my staff could have had three contracts for the sale of the house in the first week, and I am delighted to inform you that the place is now sold.  The real estate agent said it would make all the difference and that is exactly how it seems to have turned out.  Ms Clutterd-Hoams told my staff that she'd done some sort of course in colour psychology.  Apparently all the lime greens and yellows that she uses in her styling not only stand out in the on-line advertising but they also worm their way into the simple, under-developed human brain and say "Buy this house. You need to buy this house.  You REALLY need to buy this house."  Guinea pigs would never fall for such an unsophisticated ruse.  It takes more than simple colours to sway our thinking.  Taste and stomach filling elements play a much larger role.
 Here's a photo of the house after Ms Clutterd-Hoams had finished with it.  
WARNING! Prolonged viewing may lead to inadvertent cheque signing, or in extreme cases you may find yourself purchasing a subscription to "Better Homes Than Yours" magazine.

So now my staff have finished clearing all my female staff's mum's stuff out of the house.  The emptiness is striking.  Every word echoes.  It makes my staff want to whisper, like being in a church.  There's nothing of my female staff's mum there now.  Her spirit was never really there anyway, particularly after her husband passed away.  She was never very happy there.  She always said it was too big for her, and it was.  I guess you could say that it closes a rather sad chapter in my female staff's life.  Her mum and dad were both ill while living there, it holds very few happy memories. Both her parents have gone to the Rainbow Bridge and now the last place they lived together has gone too.  However, my staff's house is now filled with memories of my female staff's parents.  The place is full of their old furniture and this is what really contains their spirits - the beautiful old oak dining table, the oak sideboard - these are the things from my female staff's childhood.  These are the things that now hold my female staff's mum and dad's spirits and memories of them when they were younger, happier and healthier.

My staff don't have a big house.  It's looks big, but actually its a bit like Doctor Who's Tardis in reverse.  This means that many of my staff's furniture has had to be relegated to the shed to make room for the stuff from my female staff's mum's house, or my staff would never be able to get from one room to the other without having to scramble over the top of bits of furniture, and when you're their age you don't need that.  Especially when you're in a hurry to get to the toilet.  It's all very well cramming unwanted stuff into your shed, but what happens when you want to find a rake or the weed killer?  You have to rummage around for hours, peering under dust sheets and shoving heavy items of furniture out of the way.  Here in Australia that can lead to some very interesting wildlife encounters.  In Britain the worst thing that can happen is that you tread barefoot on a hibernating hedgehog and have to get your husband, wife or significant other to spend an hour pulling prickles out of your sole with a pair of tweezers.  In Australia though its a more hazardous task.

Paolo the budgie and the four guinea pigs can now tell which animal my male staff has encountered in the shed by the noise he makes.  For instance a large and hairy but harmless huntsman spider can be recognised by a shrill "Aaaaiiiiiieeeee!" On the other hand a much smaller but venomous red back spider induces more of a "Yiiiiiiii! Woah shit!" response.  A python is more like an  "Arrrrgggh! Bloody Hell!" A deadly eastern brown snake or taipan elicits a "Faaaaaaaaaaaaaark!" Often followed by a loud bang as my male staff jumps four feet in the air and hits his head on the shed roof.  So far we haven't been able to decipher the difference between the eastern brown snake and the taipan.  If anything there may be one or two more letter a's in the taipan Faaaaaaaaaaark!  A large centipede is "Eeeeeeeyuck!" And a scorpion is "Shit! Jeeeezus!"  My personal favourite is the paper wasp, which goes something like "Ahhhh! Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow." This is followed by the thudding of running feet, the opening and slamming of the front door as my male staff bursts in and about ten minutes of heavy breathing and dark muttering as he leans against the door examining the stings he's received.

On one memorable occasion we got the lot.  I was nibbling my way through an entire basil plantation in Piggy Paradise, Baci, Alfie, Tom and Toby were napping and Paolo was entertaining himself by aiming his poo at a photo of Vladimir Putin in the newspaper at the bottom of his cage, when all of a sudden all hell broke loose in the shed.  "Aaaaiiiiieeeee!  Yiiiiiii! Woah shit! Arrrgggh! Bloody hell!  "Faaaaaaaaaark!  Eeeeeeeeeeyuck!  Shit! Jeeeezus!  Ahhhhh! Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow."  Thud thud thud thud thud.  Click, SLAM, sigh, mutter mutter mutter mutter.

Apparently as he opened the shed's roller door a large hairy huntsman had fallen from it onto his shoulder and as he waved his arms about trying to knock it off he swept a red back spider from it's untidy web onto his other shoulder.  He pulled a dust sheet from one of my female staff's mum's coffee tables to beat the red back with and revealed a three metre python curled up under it minding it's own business.  Stepping back and still doing his crazed get these spiders off my shoulders dance he trod on the tale of an eastern brown snake who had come to see what all the fuss was about.  Luckily the snake decided not to bite. (He was probably concerned that he might contract rabies.)  My male staff then put his hand on the wall of the shed to steady himself and found a very irate eight inch long centipede under his palm, meanwhile, looking down he discovered a scorpion had crawled onto his shoe.  Kicking it away he made a grab for the light switch which might have been a good thing to do a few minutes earlier.  While groping for this he disturbed a paper wasp nest.  By this time he'd forgotten what he went out to the shed for anyway.  Ah. Happy days.


The wun thing I find most irattatt  irrytytat  annoying abowt Uncal Billy's staff is that they tork abowt me like I'm not there.  Yesturday frigzample they were like diskussing my testostricles.  Sum peepul mite find this flattering but I wuz far from flattered wen I herd them say "Maybe we shood have them remooved."  I dint like the sownd of that at all.  Parrently it's coz they think they're making me too aggressive towards the other piggies. Well let me tell yoo sumthing.  I'm going to get a lot moor aggressive if they try chopping my testostricles off.  Just coz I bit Tom's bum last week and like chayst Alfie three times arownd the room chattering my teef at him all the way duzzunt meen I shood like looze my boarhood. It's all very unfare and I'm going to start an online campain to try to save my family jools.  It'll be on Twitter with the hashtag #SaveBacisBalls. Pleese retweet it if yoo care.