Not So Cuddly Now, Are They?

With the election over and Obama heading for the White House, many of us are asking the same question. “What triggers a panda attack?”

First, let us consider the following. Panda bears are not the sweet harmless creatures that many believe them to be. In fact, a panel of scientific experts announced earlier this week, "We've just realized that the second word in panda bear is frickin’ bear. This explains an awful lot and, quite frankly, we're surprised we hadn't noticed earlier. We really need more funding".

If you see a panda bear sitting in its cell, whittling a shiv out of a bamboo shoot, and think to yourself, “Gee, that panda looks like it wants to play.” You’re right. It does want to play….the xylophone….with your femurs. Consider the geniuses who featured prominently in the following news stories by climbing into zoo enclosures:

August 5, 2007: Panda attacks zoo keeper in China

October 23, 2007: Panda attacks 15 year old Li Xitao in Beijing zoo

November 22, 2008: Panda attacks and bites student intruder at China’s Guilin Park

In response to this growing problem, China's leading panda scientist, Schilack Kling Pow, stated in a press conference, "Clearly, to improve panda safety, the first question that must be addressed is, “What the hell happens to peoples' brains in a Chinese zoo?”

The behavior at the root of Dr. Pow's concern is well documented, but poorly understood. When visiting pandas in a zoo, the rational mind generates thoughts such as, "I should stay outside of the animal cages because inside is where the animals are." Yet there's something about Chinese panda exhibits that causes folks to abandon such thoughts and before you can say "mauled to oblivion", over the fence they hop. (Incidentally, this answers the question, "What triggers a panda attack?" The answer is, getting all up in a panda's grill).

The nature lovers referenced above obviously weren't thinking rationally and probably don’t read the scientific journal Nature. If they did, they would have seen the study written by a world famous biologist who noted that in panda grocery stores in the wild, the best selling breakfast cereal is “Chinese Guyz 'N' Starz!” (now with 30% more drunken college students!)

This brings me to the meat of the issue: international diplomacy. Did you know that the Chinese have a trick up their sleeve called, “Panda Diplomacy”? Yeah, it’s a real thing. They garner the good will of foreign nations by handing out panda bears. That, my friends, is truly inspired. They come off looking generous but really all they’re doing is shipping five foot tall mobile buzz saws with blood lust to their enemies. Then the receiving countries will spend untold amounts of money in an effort to get these "gifts" to replicate, thereby sucking money out of the war coffers and amplifying the home-grown carnage potential. It’s brilliant.

I think we should do something similar:

China: Here pal, have a couple of pandas.

America: Gee, thanks China. Please receive this gift as a token of friendship.

Then when they open the box at home, fire ants jump out.

China: You sent us a plague!

America: Our bad. They’re red. We thought you’d like 'em

As soon as Obama gets to the White House, I'm sending him my idea.


Lucky, it's feeding time.

Yep, we got a snake a couple of weeks back as a pet for DJ. The snake was a replacement pet after the parakeet died. I was remiss in my blogging duties, so this may be the first time that you have heard of JD the parakeet. Well, he lived here. Now he's dead. Anyway, DJ got a snake and named it "Lucky", which is a kick-ass name for a snake if you ask me.
When we picked up the snake from the breeder, we had a few questions. I asked the guy what he eats. "Snake chow? Hotdogs?". It turns out that snakes eat mice. In fact, the guy was feeding Lucky dead mice. I thought to myself, "Dead mice huh? Not in my house! We take care of our own around here." I mean seriously, a dead mouse? What fun is that if you're a snake? The way I figure it, life is probably pretty dull when you're basically a tube. Let's mix it up a little, ya know? Give Lucky a thrill or two.
Evidently, Lucky is a coward and/or an idiot. Diane went to the pet store and bought a mouse for Lucky. We had heard that if you place the mouse in the snake's aquarium (or terrarium, or bunk house), the snake will associate your hand with food. Then, every time you stick your hand in there, the snake will think it's feeding time. Of course, it will then bite you repeatedly and without mercy. This is not what we are looking for in a pet. We decided to drop the mouse in a box and then throw Lucky in after it. That way, every time Lucky sees something shaped like a cube, he just starts lashing out and biting at anything that moves. That's pretty safe.
So, we put lucky in the box and then the whole family stood around like Romans at the Coliseum. Here's a little known fact of nature. Snakes have both a top and a bottom. I know this because as soon as the mouse brushed up against him, Lucky immediately rolled onto his back, exposing his fleshy underside. Was he relinquishing dominance? I don't think he wanted his belly scratch. I guess he was just going through a good old fashioned, certified, full-blown panic. He was upside down and wiggin' out.
What's up with that? When you put a mouse and a snake in a box, who is supposed to panic? The food, right? Right! I thought snakes were supposed to be tough. They're cold-blooded after all.
Speaking of cold-blooded, you know who's really tough? Froggy. Remember him? "Froggy went a courtin' and he did ride. Sword and pistol by his side." The frog was packing heat and a blade to go visit somebody that he likes. Imagine the scene that would go down if you met that frog in an alley. Actually, you might luck out because frogs have tiny brains. He may forget to bring his sword and pistol. But then again, any frog that has the where with all to saddle and ride a horse probably plans ahead.
Froggy: Uh oh, I forgot my sword and pistol. (sigh) That's how I roll! Oh well, guess I'll just have to make due with this here leather sap. (whack! whack! whack!)
Guess what? You just got your ass handed to you by a frog with a bag of B-B's. Not so tough now, are ya hot shot?
Where was I?
Oh yeah, the snake that's scared of its food. Well, Lucky is indeed family so I saved him from the mouse. I then dispatched said mouse for him and dropped it into his bunkhouse. No freaking out. No flipping upside down. I figured that Lucky must have been freaked out by the box.
When feeding time rolled around again I thought I'd give Lucky another chance. We just wouldn't stick him in the box. I let Lucky out to roam and dropped another live mouse next to his water dish. Then I put Lucky back in his bunk house.
Here's what I'd like to say happened: Lucky coiled and flicked his tongue menacingly. He reared back almost imperceptibly and became like a statue. The mouse had caught the tiny movement and he froze, unsure of his fate. For one moment they were locked into place. Both seemed to be aware that life and death would be decided in the very next moment. Then Lucky shot out with super-natural speed. The mouse exhaled one last time. Lucky smoothly slipped a coil around the mouse and clenched. The game was done.
However, it went more like this:
Lucky took three laps around the area. Bumped his faced into the glass. Stopped. Whipped around and bit himself. Another little known fact of nature is that mice can laugh.
If you've ever bitten yourself, you know it hurts. I've bitten my own tongue before and don't pretend you haven't done it too. As soon as you realize what's happening...correction...before you realize what's happening, you stop. It's a quick (bite) "OUCH!", and it's over. Not my buddy, Lucky. He had a hold of himself at what I estimate to be his hip and he was not going to let go. He was, in fact, working his jaw back and forth while doing his best to throw a "death coil" around himself. I bet that's a game the snake children play. Kinda like "I bet you can't touch your nose with your elbow." Here's a sentence I would have bet I'd never have to say: Then I reached into the cage and shook the snake until he stopped eating himself.
I think from now on I'm just gonna put mice in the blender and feed Lucky intravenously.
Visitor to my home: How come your snake's got an I.V.
Me: Mind your own business.
Oh well, I think it's important for kids to have pets, even if feeding them is a mix between Saw 2 and the Keystone cops.



Yes, Godmen indeed. Some knucklehead had the bright idea to put together an evangelical-style event with a beef-cake theme (Yes, I know how gay that sounds). Here's why it's so stupid:
Christian men are all supposed to gather in one spot and have a very personal and unique experience just like the personal and unique experiences of the people to their left and their right, but here's an added bonus. Not only do they coreograph your feelings, they tell you who you are supposed to be.
Okay, before I go too far off the deep end (and I will) I suppose I should explain that I am patently insane on the topic of audience participation of any sort. Why? I don't know. Even when I was a kid I hated the hokey pokey (the title of which, to this day, I refuse to capitalize).
Stupid Singer: You put your left foot in!!! You put your left foot..."
Me: I'll tell you were I'm gonna put my left foot. Gonna shake it all about, too you son of a (mumble mumble....)
In fact, a buddy of mine had his eighth birthday party at the "Skate Barn". When I heard the first dreaded measure of the hokey pokey, I intentionally skated into a wall so that I could fake an injury. I ended up really getting hurt, which was good enough for me. And yes, before you ask, If I were drafted into the army, I would shoot myself in the knee every time they tried to send me to the front. By the time I got discharged I wouldn't see any combat, but I'd have more purple hearts than a box my My Pretty Pony breakfast cereal.
Anyway, this event features all things "manly" like car crashes and gratuitous explosions on a jumbo-tron behind speakers like Paul Coughlin. He's some yutz who wrote a book called, "No More Christian Nice Guy,". But I am a nice guy. I get this crazy feeling that Jesus was a pretty nice guy too.
It's like the organizers got together and said, "Okay, let's take every over-the-top sterotype we can think of and cram them all into an eight hour block. Then, when people show up with their tickets, we'll tell them who to be."
Seriously, are they really trying to meet men on their own level? If I have a day off, and let's say the wife and kids are out somewhere, I'm not going to chose to spend my day watching car crashes, heading butting people, and rolling in bacon. I don't know anybody who is really like that. The guys I know would mow the lawn, wash their car, maybe catch a couple of episodes of The Munsters on TV Land.
But no, they're gonna tell you what you like.
And another thing. Pretty much every guy I know is a little fed up with the fact that every new commercial and T.V. show you see portrays only women as having the capacity to think cognatively. Guys are just big, childish, thoughtless oafs. Most guys aren't particularly fond of that image. But, someone takes all those stupid stereotypes, gives them a positive spin and says, "This is what men are like.", and guys respond.
"Why, I'm a man. So uh, yes. Yes, I act like that all the time!" Then they jump up and down, flailing their arms, and yelling, "Explosions and meat! Explosions and meat!" Then they wonder why T.V. and movies portray men as being capable of no more than jumping up and down, flailing their arms, and yelling, "Explosions and meat! Explosions and meat!"
So, I got my ticket. Who's going with me?!?