Tag Archives: animals

Higher Math

Once upon a time there lived a wise and benevolent Indian chief who had three squaws.  He ruled his tribe with a fair and just hand and was considered the most learned and honorable chief among all the tribes.

One day a strange white man, a trapper, appeared in the village to show his wares.  Now the Indian chief wanted to get gifts for his three squaws so he begged the stranger to show him the various trinkets that he brought.  The stranger laid out his trappings gathered from afar and the Indian chief was delighted to choose among them the gifts that he sought.

For two of his squaws, he purchased from the stranger two horse hides of the finest quality.

For his third squaw, his favorite, he wanted to buy something even more special.  The stranger said that he had an item that might interest the chief and he showed him an article that the chief had never seen before – the hide of a hippopotamus.  The chief was overwhelmed by this gift and paid much wampum for the hippopotamus hide.  His squaws were delighted at the gifts that the chief purchased for them.

Soon after, all three squaws became pregnant.  The first two squaws – those who had received horse hides as presents – each gave birth to twin boys.  The third squaw – the favorite squaw who received the gift of the hippopotamus hide – gave birth only to a single boy.  This event caused great consternation in the tribe and there were murmurings that the son of the favorite squaw was somehow not as good as those of the first two squaws.  These murmurings led to squabbles, then to arguments and then to wholesale outbreaks of rebellion.

It was then that the chief showed his wisdom and put an end to the quarrels by gathering the tribe and laying down an edict that lasts to this very day.  So great was the chief’s proclamation that it is taught in every classroom in every school throughout the land.

The chief, whose name was Pythagoras, said:

“The son of the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.”

So a Horse Walks into a Bar…

What piece of conversation breaks the ice at a party for you?  Are you, like me, always at a loss for words?  Do the words that come to mind seem stale, bland, mediocre?

My latest set of pabulum is really poor:

  • So what do you do for a living?
  • Have you taken any interesting trips lately?
  • That’s a very interesting ring, bracelet, token, marmoset that you have there; where did you get it?
  • How about them Cowboys, Canucks, Manchester Uniteds?

Introverts, of whom I am one, don’t stand a chance at most parties.  It helps if you are an introvert with a sunny disposition and a readily available laugh.  I have neither.  I am saved, if saved is the right word, by a self-deprecating black sense of humor.  Even then, the effect lasts only so long and then back to the dark corner with all the other misfits.

I envy all those alarmingly loud extroverts who gather friends around them like bees to a beehive.  They walk into a room and the lights go up like the curtain rising at a Broadway show.  Groups of admirers cannot wait to gather around them and start saying whatever it is that groups who gather around extroverts say.  I stand on the sidelines like those pimply faced shy teenagers at a high-school dance and drool admiringly at the beautiful young girls wrapped around the arms of the tanned, self-assured athletes.

Oh, yeah…

So a horse walks into a bar and orders a drink.  The bartender gives him the drink and says “That’ll be fifteen dollars.”  The horse pays the bartender and the two of them stand at the bar talking.  The bartender says “You know, we don’t get many horses in this bar.”  To which the horse replies “Not at those prices.”

Animal Contraception

Listen up, all you fornicators out there!  You aren’t the only ones concerned about family planning and transmittable diseases.  No siree.

In my never-ending effort to keep you all abreast of the latest developments in animal contraception (a topic I know that has been foremost in your minds), I wish to inform you that the 7th International Conference on Fertility Control in Wildlife was held at the end of August 2012 at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Among its sponsors was the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the conference (two conferences actually) had discussions and presentations on the humane management of animal populations, whether it’s wild horses on public lands, elephants in provincial or national parks in South Africa, or deer and coyotes in communities across the United States.

The conference included presentations on the latest scientific and technical developments in contraceptive agents, the successful delivery systems for contraception and the economics of wild horse management among other topics.

I know what you’re thinking: “How do I get a condom on my favorite horse or elephant?”  Answer: very carefully.

In a move that makes most women nod in agreement and say “It’s about time” and “You betcha” and makes most men cringe and snap their knees together, animal castration is the preferred, though not necessarily most cost-effective method.  The wild horse management team gave presentations on horse castration techniques.  No one reported the reaction of any horses roaming on land nearby although attendees did see several horses gingerly prancing away with their hind legs together.

Coyotes were in for an even bigger surprise.  Rather than attempt non cost-effective manual castration, presenters posited an alternative approach of chemical castration using deslorelin, a hormone that renders coyotes sterile.  Once again, the coyotes were not asked for their opinions but I suspect that I know.

Finally, we get to the elephant in the room.  No, no elephant was invited either but a stimulating presentation ensued from the elephant contraception team.  They gave presentations about contraceptive agents, appropriate delivery methods, field testing, population effects, animal welfare implications, social, cultural, and political challenges, and how their work is already saving lives and proving that we can make cruel culling of elephants an obsolete management tool.

These presentations were followed by one from the Trojan© brand condom company on the styles and varieties available in their new pachyderm line of condoms.


Next year’s conference will be expanded to explain techniques for culling other overpopulated species, namely lawyers and telemarketers.

National Pet Month

According to the website http://www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk/ , April 7th to May 7th is National Pet Month.  So in honor of all the pets I’ve had and all the hard-working pets out there – and with tongue firmly in cheek – I’ve composed a little ditty called Life is Hard, But Life is Hardest When You’re a Pet.

It should be sung to the tune of the Austin Lounge Lizards’ Life is Hard, But Life is Hardest When You’re Dumb:

Life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re a pet,
Just one fight and then you’re off to see the vet.
  To get food you must play dumb,
  Because you have no opposable thumb,
Oh life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re a pet.

Life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re a pet,
You’ve never found a stupid pet trick that you like yet.
  When told rollover or play dead,
  You’d just like to cuff them upside the head,
Oh life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re a pet.

Life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re a pet,
Chained all day, caged at night that’s all you get.
  When you see the kids they’ve made,
  You wonder just who should get neutered and spayed,
Oh life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re a pet.

Give your pet an extra hug this month.

Unless you have a pet wolverine or porcupine.  Then, just wave.

A Grumpy Life in Pictures

I was a child once.  I didn’t like it.  The conversion from the Daguerreotype image was daunting but technically brilliant.

My class picture.  My head tilts slightly because I applied too much Brylcreem to one side.

I bear a striking resemblance to my friendly Great Uncle “Raspy.”

Having a pleasant day at the beach.

Even my cat was grumpy.

I was Walter Matthau’s stunt double in Grumpy Old Men.  I stood in for him when he wasn’t grumpy enough.

As the Curmudgeon-at-Large.

Believe it or not, it took a lot of plastic surgery to end up looking like a Muppet.  Well, at least I didn’t spend a million bucks to look like my cat.

Plus, no hairballs.