Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Guinea Pig Mitzvah

It's hard to be sure when you're doing the right thing most of the time, especially when you teach. You know, the moments when you are pretty sure you're doing the best thing for the child, and the child is screaming "This stupid class is ruining my life!"? Those moments. But I feel fairly sure that by the guinea pig I did a mitzvah, and that's a good feeling.

The guinea pig entered my life yesterday at about four o'clock, when I wandered into a conversation between Mrs. Trumbeldor and Mr. DiMarco, the dean of discipline. Here is what had happened:

Mr. DiMarco's father-in-law, under the influence of what, we are not sure, decided that it would be a cool idea to get guinea pigs for all of his grandchildren. He has three children who have so far produced offspring, so he bought three guinea pigs, and began to deliver them. I don't know what kind of reception he got at the other homes, but when Mr. DiMarco was shown the guinea pig he was firm (if incorrect). "That's a rat," he said. "We do not have rats in my home."

I should mention that Mr. DiMarco is a bit of a clean freak. You know those little Zen fountains you can get for your office? His runs a 25% bleach solution. His office is jammed with potpourri, essential oils, Febreze, you name it. Not a rodent man. He refused to keep the guinea pig. "Why doesn't it stay at your house?" he asked his father-in-law. "That way the children can play with it when they come over."

"Hell no," said his father-in-law. When I entered the picture, the guinea pig was in the garage at Mr. DiMarco's home, since it was not permitted in the people areas, and he was insisting that he would turn it loose in the hills behind his house.

Mrs. Trumbeldor and I put a stop to that right quick. "Bring it into the school," we said. "We'll find a home for it." Mrs. Trumbeldor had already talked to Perl, who might be willing to take the guinea pig home. I promised that I and the Fella would take the pig for some time if needed. We threatened him with the SPCA if he didn't bring the pig out of the garage and let it stay in the warm house overnight.

Today the guinea pig and its cage and accessories were brought to Mrs. Trumbeldor's office. Cute little guy, all black with orange streaks, which we thought might appeal to Perl, whose hair is approximately the same colors. But she wasn't sure about keeping it, and the day wore on (and the guinea pig spent about an hour sitting in the lap of our biology teacher, being groomed and petted), and I decided to take matters into my own hands.

"Does anyone want a guinea pig?" I asked in the locker room, as the freshmen girls swarmed around me. "Go see Mrs. Trumbeldor if you might want to adopt a guinea pig."

By four o'clock, the guinea pig was on its way off-campus, in the capable hands of Mushkie.

I learned later that Mr. DiMarco, concerned about the state of the guinea pig's cage had taken it apart, cleaned it with bleach, then lemon juice, put the pig back inside, then burned the gloves and shirt he wore for this operation.'

I hope the pig will be happy at Mushkie's. I certainly think it had a narrow escape when it comes to Mr. DiMarco.

1 comment:

diana said...

Nice story. I have a thing for guinea pigs. I find them so cute. Thanks for rescuing the poor fellow.This is Diana from Israeli Uncensored News