Friday, 21 December 2018
A Guinea Christmas
He lives in one of those big mansions that posh people have, you know, just like the one where Theodore Luxton-Joyce lives.
He had invited a number of people from work as well as a few of his friends and golf-playing pals and a number of people from his gentleman's club. It was mainly a stand-up affair where everyone stands in this large room mingling and talking whilst a multitude of waitresses come round offering you hors d'oeuvres, canapes and small little bites you would not give your dog; and a number of waiters offer you various drinks, mainly alcoholic rather than a good pint of lemonade, or a cup of tea.
Anyway, I had been invited and it was not the kind of invitation you would turn down. More a three-line whip as they say in political circles.
As it happens, just before I set off from my office I got a phone call: "Could you pick up Bertie the guinea pig from the vet please? ... Please ... Pretty please ... We'll be ever so grateful for the rest of the year ... All twenty or so days that are left ... Please!!!"
Why can't they pick up their own stupid pets? Anyway, at the vets the nurse said that Bertie was still a little sleepy from the anaesthetic and will be so for the rest of the day. Have I got his little carrying cage?
Have I heck? I said yes and took the little creature and put him in my brief case to keep him warm.
At the party, whilst everyone was mingling and being ever so polite and upper-class, don't you know, what? Jolly good old chap. And all that. Someone noticed my sleeping Bertie walk along the wall. He must have woken up and got out of my case when I went to fetch the Marketing Report for my boss and forgot to close the case again.
Now normally, any sane person would have said there's a guinea pig about.
Just point at the creature and say: "By Jove, there's a most magnificent specimen of the guinea pig variety, don't you know ... what?" Now isn't that something you have often said at parties?
But NOOOO. On this occasion some idiot from the golf club said: "There's a rat here, a damn big rat!"
"Yes ... a rat!"
"Where over there?"
"It was there. He's now gone over there I think ..."
"A big fat ugly rat ..."
"It's now ran over there ... look out ... he might bite!"
"Rats carry the platonic plague, you know ..."
"Yes, it's in their teeth. One bite and you're a gonna!"
"I don't want it to tear my 15 Denier nylon stockings ..."
"Don't be silly, man. Why are you wearing nylon stockings anyway?"
"Because I couldn't buy nylon tights to fit me!"
"Over there ... I've seen the rat over there ... it's big and furry ..."
Pretty soon there was pandemonium in that room. My boss's wife was mortified as well as mummified at the thought of having rodents in her house.
"We don't have rats in this house, have we Luis?" she asked her husband.
"No ... there's quite a few at work though ..." he replied referring to his employees.
Everyone was running here there and everywhere in no particular direction trying to avoid and escape a non-existent rat who happened to be my sleeping Bertie taking a walk.
Women, including the waitresses in their mini skirts, suddenly jumped on top of chairs, sofas, armchairs or whatever furniture of height, like the table at the end of the room, and held their skirts and dresses up high showing off their un-mentionables.
What is it with you ladies? What is the point of standing on a chair with your skirt held up high? Do you think the rat, or any other creature, would climb up your legs? The very sight of you screaming would most probably send him to apoplexy.
I noticed there was even a wimp of a man standing on a chair and holding tight to a young waitress. On second thoughts, maybe he was taking advantage of the situation.
The butler came in with an assistant and tried to find the rat and kill it with a heavy shovel in his hand.
Luckily, I noticed Bertie cowering in the corner just by the grand-father clock. I quickly bent down, picked him up and put him in my trouser pocket. The stupid animal thanked me for saving him from certain death by biting my finger. He then proceeded to tumble and somersault in my pocket in a most embarrassing display which I wouldn't want you to imagine right now!!!
Luckily, no one saw him or his acrobatics in my trouser pocket. And the rat was not found or seen ever again.
The party continued in a most subdued manner, and I noticed no one was eating the hors d'oeuvres.