The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, December 05, 2008

WILDLIFE: Squirrels, I think we can all agree, are cheerful little rodents, despite their somewhat untoward personal habits, such as associating with a moronic moose, eating through power lines during the World Series, and dropping dead in inconvenient places. They do not, it seems, time their collective demises to cause the maximum amount of hullabaloo, unlike, for example, the three toed sloth, a species known for rousing itself vigorously from its usual torpor when in extremis, the better to crash elegant dinner parties, where the afflicted sloth will expire in a loud and grotesque manner on the dining room floor between the soup and the main course. So common, and so incredibly annoying, is this slothful behavior that many caterers in South American countries employ platoons of heavily armed guards and deploy them around the mansions of the local elites with orders to shoot any terminal sloth in the neighborhood on sight in order to keep the beast from upsetting the guests. Squirrels, being, in the main, a fairly polite species as rodents go, would just as soon not annoy anyone with their passing. However, this deep modesty on their parts has the unfortunate effect of making squirrels cringe at the very thought of going to a doctor when they are not feeling well and leads them to delay medical assistance until there is nothing veterinary science can do for them. This leads inexorably to squirrels dropping dead in the most unexpected places at the most equally unexpected times.

I bring this bit of squirrel-like (my apologies for not looking up a suitably Latinate word for squirrelly behavior; it has been a long day) trivia to your attention because for the past few days I and everyone else who labors in the egregious mold pit have had to endure an olfactory assault of almost unprecedented ferocity, said assault led by a squirrel who chose to become an ex-squirrel somewhere near this mycological breeding grounds’ heating and air conditioning units, causing all who enter this place to stop for a moment as they pass through the front door and say, “What the hell is that disgusting stench?!” Given that I have just survived attempts by my respiratory and digestive (unless the gall bladder is in some other system, preferably in a star system far, far away annoying Darth Vader instead of me) systems to kill me, the last thing I need at this point is to spend all day long smelling a damn squirrel that ran face first into the fate I somehow managed to avoid. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, but the prognosis is excellent, thank you very much. On the other hand, Christmas, and with it the relatives, is coming; things will be getting worse before they start getting any better. You can bet the ranch on that one, boys and girls.

In any case, and here we are about to do a major zig along with a minor zag with a permission slip from its parents subject wise—I really don’t feel like complaining about the squirrel now; just thinking about it is hurting my still sore nasal passages—and talk about deer, which stink even worse than squirrels do when deceased but have the good sense not to drop dead on this dump’s roof. The Vampire State, which, as you may know, is a longtime protection racket prevalent in the northeastern section of this our Great Republic, has somehow managed to count the entire population of deer residing within the state borders. Some 840,000 deer live here, which is more deer than I believe there are people in Montana, penguins in Monaco, or Hasidic porn stars in Manhattan Beach. Indeed, there are so many deer here that if the state legislature, as wise and distinguished a mob of two bit peculating malfeasant goniffs who ever got caught with both hands grabbing away in the public till, chose to extend the franchise to them, this state would rate another vote in the Electoral College.

I do not think we have to worry about the legislature pandering for the ungulate vote as yet, but if Caligula could make his horse a senator then there’s no telling what those clowns would do if they thought no one was watching. The deer vote should be fairly easy to come by, I think—as far as I can tell, the only thing that deer want from this state’s political classes is the right to eat my mother’s shrubbery at all hours of the day and night and to crap all over my lawn whenever they feel like it. I appreciate—don’t think for a second that I don’t—the fact that I haven’t had to put store-bought fertilizer on my lawn for I don’t know how many years now, but I would like to walk from one end of my driveway to the other without having to think long and hard about the driveway’s extreme lack of traction.

Still, what really intrigues me here is the number itself: 840,000. I know that round numbers are, in and of themselves, inherently unbelievable, but the idea that the Vampire State could even semi-accurately count the number of deer resident here when it doesn’t know how much money it has (allegedly) stashed in the state treasury strains, and strains well past credulity, the psychic breaking point of all but the most moronic of the citizenry. If this is the state’s number, then in all likelihood the real population is anywhere between three and five times higher than this. You will, no doubt, scoff at this and ask how this could be so, and if I lived someplace else, I might agree with you. But I don’t live somewhere else: I live here. I don’t know how they missed the extra deer—maybe the deer disguised themselves as illegal immigrants, aspiring actors, or suicidal hedge fund managers—but I know the state missed them. That’s just the way things work here. To believe otherwise would call my sanity into question, I think, and lead to other unpleasant repercussions, like becoming a hog caller or an insurance salesman, a thought that sends chills down my spine and a prospect I am sure you find frightening as well.

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  • At 8:52 AM, Blogger lgude said…

    The excess deer you are intuiting are are very real indeed and are clearly illegal immigrants fleeing socialist Canada and Vermont. Some may be making their way from igneous New Hampshire, once the home of Rock Ribbed Republicanism, where creeping socialism is, sadly, also endemic. Think protein source.


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