I hate having to do my taxes. It is a tedious process that just sucks. My friend Linda works for my school district and a popular tax preparation company. She started coming over to my house to do my taxes. It’s a cheap and efficient way to get this nasty task done. Last year I did not have Alfalfa when she came over. I rescued him during the month of April 2011. So, having a free-range guinea pig around was a new experience for her.
Linda has a bit of a ‘hippy’ streak. When she showed up to do my taxes, her long, black, straight hair was down and flowing from her head to mid-back. Upon seeing this I remarked, “Wow! You got your hair cut.” Shrugging it off she flowed past me in her long skirt and halter top. I smelled her sandal-wood perfume waft behind her as I closed the door. She sat down on my couch with a flush of skirts, hair, and beads. “So,” she said breathlessly, “How are you my child?” I felt like I was in the presence of a mystic goddess.
“Fine,” I said sitting to her left.
“Do you want a drink?” She smiled at me with a ‘I know better than you’ look. “You know I only drink all-natural-organic-straight from the source-water,” she breathed at me.
“I’ve got your stuff,” I said popping up from my seat. “I went to the organic store in preparation for your visit,” I remarked as I stuck my head into the refrigerator cutting off the last part of my statement. ‘Where the hell is that damn water?’ I thought. The water, some natural organic source stuff, had cost $4.00 a bottle. Spotting it I grabbed it and leaned back out of the refrigerator. “Anything else besides water?” I asked.
“No,” she said looking at her nails with disapproval, “I’m on a liquid meal plan right now.”
“Oh?” I asked, “Like that European thing with the feeding tube?”
“No!” she said turning her nose up, “Mine is all-natural and safe. And, I get to choose what all-natural-organic things I put into my body. I won’t use a pre-filled-container of liquid death.”
“Oh,” I apologized, “That sounds natural…and good for you.” I added, “Good luck,” stumbling over my words a bit. I walked back over to the couch and sat down next to Linda.
Changing topics Linda said, “I see you have spread your interests into the naturalistic companion area.”
“My what?” I asked.
“You have a pet?” she asked as if it what she said was plainly obvious.
“Yes,” I said, “I have a guinea pig named Alfalfa. I think I’m more of his pet than he is mine…”
“It’s true that they grow on us…” Linda observed. “Where is the little thing?”
“Oh,” I said turning to look around the apartment. “I’m not sure where he went…he must have bolted when you came in.”
“What?” Linda asked incredulously, “You’ve lost your guinea pig?”
I have gotten used to explaining why my guinea pig roams my apartment. So, I no longer get angry or react to this type of question. “No, he’s free to roam the apartment,” I said.
“Oh,” she bubbled, “He’s free? That is just wonderful! I approve, my dear! Bravo! Very natural arrangement…”
“Thanks,” I said with a bit of a smile, “It’s nice to have someone understand that Alfalfa is strong-willed and a bit wild. That’s why I let him roam…”
“Oh,” she said, “I thought you were trying to do the right thing by him…”
“He’s a guinea pig!” I said with a bit too much bite. “Do the right thing by him? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing, dear,” Linda said patting my thigh in consolation. I think Alfalfa may have heard our conversation. He poked his head out from underneath the bed skirt. I saw him out of the corner of my eye.
Hoping to change the conversation I turned and said, “There he is!”
“Oh,” Linda cooed, “There’s the bugger!” Now, let me explain something about Alfalfa before I continue… Alfalfa is a pretty smart pig. He can recognize words and commands. That ability can cause issues around the house. For example, there are several words that set him off. ‘Bugger’ is one. I think it reminds him of his previous owner and his old name ‘Buckley’. He hates his old name and that word with a passion. When he hears that word or his old name, he freaks out!
Alfalfa charged Linda’s feet. He was in full rage mode. His eyes were bugged out, his mouth was chattering, and his entire body was twitching. “Pig,” I pleaded, “Calm down.” His rage would not be abated. He stopped just short of her feet.
Linda went to pet him. “No don’t” I said grabbing her hand.” She looked at me. “He may bite you,” I explained. “In fact, you may want to curl up your feet under you on the couch until his tantrum passes. You only have on sandals and he like to bite toes.” I turned to the raging boar below, “Alfalfa,” I said in my most calming voice, “Go back in your house and I will give you a treat.” He was not convinced and let out a loud wheek of protest. It was his battle cry.
Linda must have seen the crazy in Alfalfa’s eyes. She quickly tucked her feet up under her. Alfalfa started chattering his teeth and squealing at the top of his lungs. It seems like Alfalfa has the ability to pierce ear drums when he is at his loudest. He was relentless. Linda put her hands over her ears to block the sound out. “Alfalfa” I pleaded, “Please, guinea pig, calm down…” He would not have it and started to do this “angry popcorn thing”. It was not a dance of happiness or excitement but a dance of anger. Twisting and writhing in anger, the poor thing yelled and yelled and yelled… He seemed to have an unlimited supply of anger and frustration. “Alfalfa, are you are good boy?” I asked in my most comforting voice.
Linda had enough by then and yelled, “Cut it out you stupid animal!”
“Hey,” I said in defense of my little baby, “Don’t talk to my guinea pig like that!”
“It’s just an annoying brat!” she declared and went to get up off of the couch.
“Fine, then,” I said, “You can go…” Alfalfa got louder in his squeals of anger. He was feeding off of the situation’s energy.
Linda stood up and placed her hands on her hips, “You know that ‘thing’ is just wild and out of control…” She pointed at Alfalfa and he jumped as if he had been struck by some type of invisible energy beam.
I stood up, “Linda, I love you but you don’t understand what that poor baby has been through…”
“It’s a guinea pig,” she said with barely controlled anger in her voice. “It doesn’t have any feeling or remember anything. It’s a stupid guinea pig.” The squealing continued relentlessly…
“Ok,” I stated with as calm as a voice as I could muster, “You need to go…now.”
She turned and headed for the door. I walked her over to the door and opened it. “Have a nice day,” I said. Linda walked out of the apartment and turned to say something just beyond the threshold. Alfalfa darted from between my legs to her foot and bit one of her toes. “OUCH!” she yelled jumping back. “That damn thing bit me!”
“Serves you right,” I said. Looking down to check that my guinea pig was back in the apartment, I slammed the door in her face. “Alfalfa,” I said to the now quiet guinea pig, “I love you and I will always love and protect you. You are my best buddy. Let me get you a snack.” I turned and walked towards the fridge with my buddy following closely at my heals. I have never been so proud of my guinea pig… And I have a new person to do my taxes.
Alfalfa’s Adventures would like to thank Garibaldi Caplin Rous and Melanie Typaldos for their support. Please visit Gari’s blog at http://gianthamster.com/ .