The Truth About Boscoe

Sean Adams may have misrepresented a few things about Boscoe the guinea pig to his grade-school class. It’s time for him to come clean.


Good morning, class. I know we usually start out with the Spelling Word of the Day, but there’s something else that needs to be addressed. It is my understanding that the substitute from yesterday, Mr. Mercer, showed the film Little Mr. Guinea Pig in the Big Apple. In his note to me, he described your reaction as “confusion at first, which then gave way to anger and hysterics.” So I guess I should just own up to it — the class guinea pig, Boscoe, is not actually a guinea pig. He’s actually just a potato with toothpicks for legs and glued-on googly eyes.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: I really should have admitted this two weeks ago when Evan came in crying because his parents had made him eat “baked guinea pigs” for dinner the night before. I also could have taken Evan aside and tried to calm him down instead of having him stand in front of the class for “Emergency Scary Sharey Time.” Turning off the lights, shutting the blinds and having Evan put a flashlight up to his face was just indulgent on my part, and I apologize.

I realize that there were plenty of opportunities to confess. For example, when Evan asked why the guinea pig he ate didn’t have any eyes or legs, I could have come out with truth right then and there. This probably would have kept things from escalating the way they did. The way that I did respond, that their lack of eyes and legs indicated that they were “blind and physically disabled,” was certainly in poor taste.

Going on, as I did, to say that they were “probably rolling around bumping together in what was, for them, a perpetually dark world,” before Evan’s “savage parents” grabbed them and “shoved them squealing into the microwave,” just shows that I had lost myself in the situation. That loss of control was further displayed when, the flashlight up to my face at this point, I did my best imitation of what such a prolonged squeal would sound like.

Teachers are trusted to provide a safe and healthy atmosphere for young children, so it was unprofessional of me to theorize that the ghosts of those guinea pigs probably still haunt Evan’s kitchen and that “no food is safe.” Not only has this affected Evan’s mental well-being, it has taken its toll on his nutrition as well. I mean, is it just me, or has Evan been fainting a lot lately? That said, I do not feel entirely responsible in this case — it’s not my fault Evan’s parents are too stingy to shell out five dollars for cafeteria lunch.

You probably all have a lot questions. You might wonder, why did I do this? How will I ever make it up to Evan and the rest of you? Can we get a real guinea pig now? Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers. One thing is for sure, though: while this confession undermines the subject matter of Evan’s most recent magic marker drawing depicting the dinner scene (titled “I Hate My Family”), it will, by no means, change his standing as Artist of the Month. So don’t even ask, Lizzy!

Illustration by Hallie Bateman

Sean Adams lives in Seattle, where he works as a staff writer for His stuff has been published on McSweeney’s, The Morning News, and elsewhere in print and online.