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?”
“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.