Matthew Young may seem like just another tutor living in Pfoho. And, by day, he is. But by night he takes on a new persona, and with it, a new title: the Guinea Pig Sheriff of Pfoho. You might ask, what the hell does this mean? It's admittedly kind of hard to explain, but we like to thing of Young as the Batman of guinea pig caretakers; the cage is his Gotham, and he is hell-bent on ensuring justice, or at least good care, is carried out.
Of course, while this job comes with many perks (the title for one), it also comes with a host of challenges and responsibilities. It’s not all fun and games when it comes to enforcing guinea pig law—sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. And that’s why we couldn’t pass up the chance to get an exclusive interview with the Guinea Pig Sheriff of Pfoho and hear it from the legend himself.
What are your responsibilities as Guinea Pig Sheriff?
MY: Pfoho has pfour guinea pigs. Their names are Pfiona, Pfoebe, Penelope aka Penny, and Piper. The Guinea Pig Sheriffs and Deputies ensure that our piggies are well-fed, groomed, and ready to engage with students and visitors. Pfolks can visit them any time as we keep them in a common space. My deputy sheriffs also help with clipping nails and shampooing.
If you visit, they request that you bring some tasty veggies or fruits. Carrots and green leafy veggies especially welcome.
What are the qualifications needed to become the sheriff?
MY: You must first make an offering of tasty veggies or fruits. Then you must become skilled in the art of grooming and shampooing the piggies.
During your time as guinea pig sheriff, have you ever really had to lay down the law?
MY: Yes—sometimes the piggies will get a little aggressive with each other when all four are together, so we keep Pfoebe and Penny separate because they do not get along.
As guinea pig sheriff can you arrest people too, or just guinea pigs?
MY: Only piggies who have wandered out of their playroom. It would be considered false imprisonment to arrest people.
How has being the guinea pig sheriff changed you?
MY: It's been great—students from all the Quad houses and many of the River houses come and spend time with our piggies. Many regard it as a Transformative Experience. My hope is one day they'll become famous and end up on the Harvard Memes page.
In the end, Matthew is the hero these guinea pigs deserve, need, and have; a symbol of hope and an inspiration to us all. Maybe we should all find the guinea pig sheriff within.