One day 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?”

“No, what?”

“Guinea pigs.”

“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 to give two free guinea pigs to anyone 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. 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 place to put the cage that allowed the pigs to live. 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.

After trying every possibility, we settled on stuffing the cage under our “floating” TV/multimedia cabinet. It barely fit, but it was the ONLY place that kept them in the house and away from our fat, pelt-rending toddler.

Almost seconds after we secured the pigs in the only acceptable spot and peace was restored, Jill demanded making the cage bigger. Obnoxiously big. Home-wreckingly large. “It needs to be bigger,” she said. “They need more room.”

Because everything else in our lives was absolutely perfect, she immediately went about researching guinea pig accommodations. How much space do they need? What’s the best bedding? Can they survive having handfuls of hair torn from them repeatedly?

Then she bought what we needed to double the size of the cage—giving the pigs 8 square feet to fill with shit. And Jill bought fleece to replace the cedar shavings. So 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.

Once they were resettled in the most inconvenient place, and their hay bale was placed where it would cause my allergies to flare up constantly, we ignored them.

Jill thinks about them when it’s time to complain that no one is feeding them or cleaning out the mountains of shit they crawl all over and sleep on.

It makes me pine for the pug we ignored to death.



  1. We had two cats who lived long, less than healthy lives (one had a heart problem diagnosed at age 2 which required pills 3 times a day and boarding at the vet every time we went away for so much as a weekend for the rest of its 15 year life).

    Once they finally, mercifully, passed away I declared NO MORE PETS. Whenever my kids beg for a pet I tell them that they are welcome to get one just as soon as they grow up and move out of my house.

    • jeffandjill

      07/14/2014 at 12:59 pm

      Yeah, my kids are begging for a dog. I tell them they’ll have to trade in the guinea pig (one died a while ago), the hamster, the birds (2), and the turtle. Also, they’ll have to buy and build a fence in our back yard. And move out.

  2. @shthisisme

    07/14/2014 at 7:38 pm

    My brother had a hamster that bit him and took a chunk out of his finger and he bled all over the place. Then when I first met a ferret, it decided to scramble up my pants leg. I can still remember the feel of its claws as it tried to dig above my knee.
    So, not a fan. My niece once decided to “surprise” me by placing her guinea pig without warning on my shoulder against my neck. Thankfully I heard her snickering and steeled myself for a prank of some kind, otherwise I might have hurt it if I had flipped out.

    • jeffandjill

      07/14/2014 at 10:09 pm

      When I was 17 I was the stockboy at Woolworth’s and that meant I was in charge of the pet section–including the psycho hamster that ate all of his babies and had a scar over one eye (I know, so cliche!). Anyway, that bastard but me so many times (once) but he lived out his years in that stock room because he kept banging the momma hamsters and making them mommas. Everything would be ok until they delivered their litters. Then I’d have to pluck him out of there. And get bit (that one time).

  3. I remember the first time I heard a guinea pig…that’s some messed up sounds they make…

  4. Ah, but the kids love the stinky bugger and, if you hold your nose, he’s kinda cute.

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