• neil

Day 53 (9 May): Fed up

Can guinea pigs eat raspberries (and not die)?

The movie G-Force features a squad of specially trained guinea pigs which aims to sabotage the plans of a diabolical billionaire who dreams of taking over the world. Those piggies are amazing. So when my elder daughter left to pursue her studies and asked me to look after Noodle and Loempia I was up for adventure.

Turns out she must have got a couple of duds because they don’t do any of that cool spy stuff. No HALO parachuting, no martial arts and they can’t drive. I put them in my car but they can’t reach the pedals. Or the steering wheel.

After a near disaster getting them to rappel down to the garden from my daughter’s bedroom window I was forced to try more mundane stuff. This was equally unsuccessful. They don’t come back when you throw them a stick or a frisbee and they don’t roll over and play dead unless you completely stop feeding them. They don’t even come from Guinea and they are not related to pigs.

In spite of their limitations my daughter loves them and regularly asks for photos and videos. This keeps her happy and doubles as an insurance policy in case I have to find substitutes. I’m worried, you understand, about them meeting their maker on my watch.

I try to avoid that outcome by googling everything I feed them - ‘Can guinea pigs eat…..raspberries?’, or whatever else hasn’t gone blue in the echoing cavern of my fridge. Perhaps what I should be writing is ‘Can guinea pigs eat raspberries and not die?’

Because I’m sure that if hungry enough guinea pigs can eat the rest of my burgers and patatas bravas.

Try as I might I can’t find the right rôle for them them. Cats keep rats in their place (third shelf from the top next to the TV), dogs guard the house, parrots can be taught obscenities to pass the long hours of lockdown, but what are guinea pigs good for?

Perhaps I am too hasty. It is not because something has never been done that it cannot be done.

Admittedly, it is difficult to envisage them replacing guard dogs. Dissuasive they are not. And although I find all the excited tail wagging and bacon begging inappropriate when you are about to be blown to hell I can’t see them replacing explosives dogs. Perhaps the parrot would fit in here. If it flies off at speed screeching 'Sheeeeiiiiit!' - you know you have a positive.

Drugs detection? How do they train drugs dogs? For once I’m not going to Google this. I want to keep my illusion that they find a bunch of really chill pups, start them off on grass and work their way up. It can be no easy thing getting a dog to roll a joint.

I think Loempia and Noodle will like this. They might never get to save the world but they'll be so high they won’t care.

The new weekends

As I have mentioned, I maintain a strict discipline during the week. I have lists of things to do every day - and I do them. But I decided it was important to maintain a form of demarcation and keep the weekends as somehow special. So on Saturdays and Sundays the only 'must' is to produce this blog. The other thing which makes weekends special is that I allow myself wine and beer. The result of these two decisions is that I have too much time on my hands, nurse a hangover all day, become far too introspective and generally feel pretty sorry for myself.

Thank God for Monday mornings!

On behalf of the guineas and myself, have a busy and productive weekend!



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