Monday, 14 July 2014
My insensitive sensitivity
The point I'm trying to make here is that although I try my best in the "caring" department there are times when circumstances conspire to make me appear insensitive.
Years ago we had a guinea pig called Porcus. Why a Latin name, I don't know. I would have gladly named him Pork, or Bacon, or Ham ... but hey ... the family chose Porcus and that's what it was.
For a few days I was at home alone. The family had gone away and left me in charge of the dog, the cat, the goldfish and Porcus the guinea pig. Not a difficult task really, and plenty of time to watch a series of football games on TV.
All was well in the household until one morning ...
I got up and found Porcus dead in his cage. I shook him up to wake him ... but no, he would not move. I rattled the cage and shouted "Wakey Wakey Porcus" but he did not respond. He was as deaf as a deaf bat! (Best simile I could think of at the time).
I bounced him up and down on the floor but he still would not move. He was well and truly dead.
What an inconsiderate stupid creature! Why could he not die at any other time? Why choose the only time I am alone at home to decide to die? Was it because of the football? Was the TV too loud? Did he not like who won the game last night? Why die now and have everyone blaming me for not taking care of the animals in my care? It was meant to be an easy task after all!
More important ... what do I do with the dead Porcus?
I can't keep him until they come back because he'll begin to smell. Unless I keep him in the freezer! No ... that's stupid ... I'll be blamed for accidentally freezing him to death! Unless I keep him in the freezer and thaw him out in the microwave a few hours before they return! No ... that's stupid too ... I'll be asked when he died. If I tell the truth I'll be asked how come he is still "fresh" and not smelling after a few days of dying. If I lie that he'd just died, I'd have to go to Confession for lying. It's sometimes inconvenient being a Catholic and having to confess.
I've decided ... I have to get rid of Porcus.
How do I do that? Throw him in the trash can? That's not too dignified is it? Bury him in the garden? That's a possibility ...
For some unknown reason I decided to take the easy way out and give him a naval burial by flushing Porcus down the toilet.
Porcus took his revenge by blocking the toilet system. He got stuck in one of the pipes and would not go away.
I called a plumber ... have you tried calling a plumber in an emergency? They are all too busy for the next century and a half. The most amenable could only come in ten years' time. He said he'll be here in the afternoon because he was busy that morning!
Eventually a plumber arrived and sent Porcus on his way to a watery grave. He asked me what I'll do when the family gets home ... and suggested a replacement would ease the grief and get everyone to focus on naming the new pet.
Good idea ... off to the pet shop I went ... and then the next pet shop ... and the next ... there were no more guinea pigs in the whole wide world. We tried the planet next door, the whole galaxy ... no guinea pigs ...
I was offered a selection of hamsters. In sheer desperation I chose a hamster the same colour and size as Porcus.
As soon as they returned home and looked at the cage I heard "That's not a guinea pig ... it is a hamster!"
Why is it they have to educate children to know the difference between a guinea pig and a hamster? I mean ... does it really matter? It's small ... furry ... and fits in a cage!
So I had to admit it was a hamster and it was not Porcus doing an imitation of a hamster. I explained that Porcus had been swapped for a hamster because he was homesick and pining to see his family again.
They bought it ... phew ... my sensitivity had triumphed once again!