Will work for lettuce

Once again, Janie and I were asked to babysit her parent’s two guinea pigs, Thalia and Daphne, while they sailed to Alaska and contracted norovirus.

Last year we looked after these two piglets and got to know them well enough that they cooed with delight when I would hold and pet them. In the time since then, I’ve been to their home and have had several opportunities to mingle with them. They have no reason to fear me – they know who I am, only this time they don’t seem to remember that because every time I came into the room they scattered in a squealing frenzy. They were more terrified of my presence, putting large piles of delicious food into their cage, than those three very bad cats lingering just outside the confines of their sanctuary, licking their lips and following every last skitter and step in great anticipation of a delicious Peruvian snack.


Even as their stay neared an end, they did not seem to warm up to me. They did better with Janie who must have some familiar resonance with them. They didn’t seem to mind it one bit when she stood inside their habitat and kick them around like little soccer balls. The only time they showed some discomfort around her was when our friends were over. She held Daphne for about two minutes too long and Daphne peed all over her shirt. Well, good, I said. If they hate me, at least I don’t have to risk being sprayed with urine in front of company.

One thing I remembered after the first day of this recent guinea-siting episode is that these little animals shit a whole lot, and they don’t discriminate about where they do it, either. I found little brown pellets in their pigloos, all over the wood chips in their habitat, in their pile of hay and, several times, on the rim of the food dish. I don’ t even want to know how hard they had to work to get that accomplished. We couldn’t let them run around unsupervised for any amount of time because they are apt to just poop wherever. Since they eat all day long, and they are small enough that the food doesn’t have far to travel from one end to another, it’s like they leave behind a shit trail. Maybe this is how they find their way back home in the wild.


On their last afternoon here, we decided to have a mini photo shoot to get some pictures together in time for Janie’s dad’s birthday. As we discussed what to do, an idea evolved:

We could take some great boudoir-type shots. Maybe we can Photoshop some fishnets on them, some high heels, a little red lipstick with a cigarette dangling from their mouths.”

Oh, yeah?

Yeah! We could make it into a little booklet, compile all the shots and write a few profiles: Daphne likes Russian Literature, melon rinds and running away from Linsey.

What will we call it?

We could call it PlayGuinea. No, no. We’ll call it Teets.


We took some photos of the ladies, but nothing that would work for what I had planned. They weren’t all that cooperative. When I told Thalia to give me her sexy face, I realized that she didn’t know what a sexy face was. It was like her face was frozen with fear. Suddenly I knew what it was like to be Tyra Banks in a room full of America’s Next Top Model contestants, because when I told Daphne to to make her eyes look sultry like this, not like this, but like this, the only thing she could do was look at me like that and I realized that no amount of coaching was going to get that broke down guinea to look like a classy whore.


One Comment

  1. July 5, 2008

    A very nearly charming montage. I never thought of guinea pigs as viable pets and this post has done nothing to change my mind. But I do see you in a whole new light.

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