One day my wife Jill decided there wasn’t enough shit in the house. Actual shit. So she went out and got us two guinea pigs. Somewhere in the back of her mind she must have been aware of their incredible ability to shit all the time. I imagine her internal dialogue went something like this:
“My life is missing something. There’s not enough feces in this house. This house needs more feces.”
“You know what shits their brains out?”
“Oh so lets get one.”
“Let’s get two.”
“Even better. Let’s work our asses off and find some guinea pigs today! Right now!”
“They never stop shitting.”
“Imagine all the shit.”
“Isn’t this house dirty enough though?”
“You’re wasting time.”
So she dragged all three of our children over to a total stranger’s house who promised two free guinea pigs to someone masochistic enough to take them. The woman getting rid of them was a grandmother who admitted that her grandchildren would be devastated when they learned that the guinea pigs were gone, but she was still willing to give them away. Packed in that fact, not so deep down, is a clue.
Jill brought them to our over-cluttered home in a huge cage full of cedar shavings and shit. We had no real place to put it. No place where it would be out of the way but still in the house. Our youngest child, Ben, was about a year and a half at the time and kept trying to pull all the fur off the pigs. And guinea pigs scream.
We settled on stuffing the cage under our “floating” Ikea TV/multimedia cabinet. It barely fit, but it kept them in the house and away from our fat, pelt-rending toddler. Almost seconds after it was settled, Jill demanded making the cage bigger. “It needs to be bigger,” she said. “They need more room.”
She immediately went about researching guinea pigs. How much space do they need? What do they eat? What’s the best bedding? Can they survive having handfuls of hair being torn from them repeatedly? Then she bought the corrugated plastic we needed to make the cage bigger, and I went right along, doubling it in size—giving the pigs 8 square feet to fill with shit. And Jill bought fleece to replace the cedar shavings. So now the shit and pools of urine would have no place to hide. And we relocated the cage to an area where Ben would be free to reach over and lift them out by their eyelids.
Now that they’re in the most inconvenient place, and their hay bale causes my allergies to flare up constantly, we ignore them. Jill usually only pays enough attention to complain that no one is feeding them or cleaning out the mountains of shit they crawl all over and sleep on. It almost makes me pine for the pug we ignored to death.