The Guinea Pig Way: The Real Bing Cavy Stands Up
Bing, as Bonnie described, was 13 inches tall, a little over 3lbs, had brown eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and an infectious smile. Bing, who was originally named Amanda, had belonged to a young boy named Jeremiah before finding his way into Bonnie’s life. Dance, Dance, Dance gave Bing instant fame and passionate fans of cavies across the globe began asking Bonnie to produce more videos. Some were hoping their own special guinea pig could get a bit part in the next feature.
The Guinea Pig Way, The Happy Guinea Pig Band (also called The Happy Pig Song), and I’m Not a Gerbil were all released before the end of 2004. Later Hey Fat Boy was created as well as The Real Bing Cavy, a guinea pig’s version of Eminem’s The Real Slim Shady. All were created as lightweight files and could be easily viewed on a slow computer. The popular videos spread across guinea pig forums and websites generating large amounts of traffic in the days before YouTube would make it easy for anyone to create their own video channel.
It wasn’t long before Bing had a MySpace page where adoring fans could gather to see the latest photos and stories of Bing and his adopted brother, Frank. There were Bing paparazzi wallpapers, AIM icons, Livejournal icons, a fan club, and Bing supported guinea pig adoption through his website. At the height of his career, Bing was featured on television newsmagazine 20/20 in early February 2007. A clip of The Guinea Pig Way was shown in a segment discussing animals on the internet. Fans of Bing, can purchase his image on a number of items for sale on his CafePress store.On May 24, 2007, the guinea pig forums lit up with the tragic news that Bing and his brother, Frank, had both passed away. It was a surprise to everyone. One forum member posted, “Bing and his brother Frank both died suddenly last night of unknown causes. No warning, no symptoms. Bing passed and Frank was still active, but was later found at 3 am …also gone.” There were rumors both had contracted pneumonia but their owner, Bonnie, decided against a necropsy. With both guinea pigs gone and none left in danger, it was unnecessary.
Condolences from fans of Bing were posted across the internet. Forums, social networks, and chat rooms discussed what happened and many reached out to comfort Bonnie. Shortly after Bing and Frank passed away, a YouTube video was posted of the funeral. The Guinea Pig Way continues to be a popular destination on Youtube. Bonnie maintains a YouTube channel and there’s a fan page for The Guinea Pig Way on Facebook.
Many of the old websites, fan pages, and forums are disappearing as web 2.0 makes strides to bring your internet experience to a new level. New cavy owners are finding Bing’s videos on YouTube and don’t know where it came from. Urban Dictionary defines Bing Cavy as “The one and only popular guinea pig YouTube star.” I wanted to share Bing’s story here so his memory would live on. It’s amazing how one little guinea pig can touch the hearts and lives of so many. Bing won’t be forgotten.
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