I Am Not Going To Be Your Pig
Mari was waiting for her son to finish his Karate class along with some other moms. She had just moved to the United States a year ago and was still learning English. About 15 minutes before the class ended, one of the other mothers, Sharon, left to get something out of her car. She came back in carrying a small tray of cupcakes. “Hey guys*, I made a bunch of cupcakes for my daughters school bake sale and I was wondering if you would try them out and let me know what you think.” She said. “Who will be my guinea pig?” she continued. “Oh, you bet.” The mother sitting next to Mari said. When she got to Mari, she said, Will you be my guinea pig?” Mari’s face went red with embarrassment and anger. “No, thank you.” Mari replied. “Oh, come on, just one.” Sharon insisted. Mari could not contain her anger and she blurted out, “I am not a pig!”
Sharon stood with stunned silence as a result of Mari’s outburst. “I never said you were a pig.” She said. “Then why did you ask if I wanted to be your pig?” Mari responded. “No Mari, I asked you if you would be my guinea pig,” Sharon said. “That’s very different.” She continued, “It means that I wanted to know if you would try my cupcake and see if you liked the way they taste. “ Mari looked unsure. She wondered if she was being made fun of or if this person was telling the truth.
Mari Becomes a True Guinea Pig
After a few moments of reflection, Mari decided to trust that Sharon was telling the truth. Later she found out it was true; a guinea pig wasn’t really a pig after all. In Mari’s native language, a guinea pig was called a “conejillo de indias” which has nothing to do with pigs. She also told Sharon later on that the cupcakes were very delicious.
*In the first part of the story you may have noticed that Sharon referred to the other women as “guys.” Guys generally refer to men but in common everyday American English, it can and is used by people addressing either groups of women or men. This is usually in informal settings.