Archive for the ‘things humans do’ category

“Cookie Monster” Just That…

April 14, 2013

cookie– – Many strange things may be found in New York City, including people who walk about in unlicensed character costumes offering tourists the opportunity to have their children photographed with them in the expectation of getting a several buck tip in return.  These characters are known to frequent Times Square and elsewhere, and may be dressed up as Sesame Street notables, Mario of Nintendo fame, Buzz Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh, or perhaps the Statue of Liberty, to name a few; some of the outfits are poor copies, barely recognizable.  Trouble is, the hustlers tend to be a bit aggressive, and at times have been known to bother or pursue their marks for photo privileges, demanding money afterwards before putting a photographed child down.   There have been ugly incidents as well; last summer, someone dressed as Grover lost it, and burst into an antisemitic rant in public…a Super Mario once groped a woman, and a Spiderman even punched a mom!  Hardly your friendly neighborhood Spidey…

Well, last Sunday someone dressed as Cookie Monster had himself photographed with a two-year-old, becoming irate when the child’s mother didn’t have tip money handy.  Insults and cursing followed, and the costumed cad pushed the child, allegedly causing the boy to almost lose balance.  Now the Cookie Monster wanna-be is facing charges of assault, aggressive begging, and endangering the welfare of a child…

…what’s next?- -“Shackle-Me Elmo?


Mowing Turtles Down…

December 29, 2012

box turtle– – While engaged in a conservation project to determine how to help turtles cross the road safely, a Clemson University student inadvertently discovered a disturbing fact:  some drivers deliberately swerve on the road, not to miss turtles, but to intentionally hit them. 

The student put a realistic rubber turtle in the middle of a lane on a busy road near his campus, and then watched over the next hour as seven drivers swerved and deliberately ran over the rubber animal; several other drivers apparently tried to hit it, but missed.  When the student sought to replicate his study using a different location road in a more residential area, the second of 50 cars to pass by that day swerved over the center line to intentionally hit the plastic reptile.

The number of box turtles is in slow decline, and a major reason is that many wind up as roadkill while attempting to cross the road for food or breeding purposes.  Turtle underpasses are seen as one possible solution to the problem… 



Competitive Eating vs. Fad Eating…

December 2, 2012

competitive eater– – With the Xmas season almost upon us and overeating indulgences likely to ensue, it might be worthwhile considering the differences between competitive eating and fad eating.   While it’s debatable whether competitive eating is really a sport, there are at least rules and regulations which govern it, and the items consumed tend to actually be conventional foods, such as hot dogs.  Fad or event eating in contrast tends to be less structured with at times potentially dangerous consequences to participants; the items consumed, while technically edible, tend not to be commonly found on family dinner tables, such as insects.  Other fad or event consumptions have involved normally harmless and indeed vital items, although even water proved fatal to one contestant when consumed to extreme excess over a short time.  Fad eating has been spurred in recent years by the advent of reality TV shows, and feed off of the gross-out factor involved.  If $100 is offered to someone to eat a worm, there will be takers and those who watch.

Competitive eating has been in existence in America since the early 20th century, with the first ever “Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest” at Coney Island occurring in 1916.  Some competitive eaters have won thousands of dollars for stuffing their gullets, sadly in a country where some still go hungry.  Items consumed at competitive eating contests have included pies, green beans, cheesecake, chicken wings, hard boiled eggs, lobster tails, oysters, and jalapenos…



Arthropod Body Parts Asphyxiation!

November 27, 2012

– – We would advise you, good readers, not to be eating anything while reading the following post.  Having given that warning, we now will reveal the sad but true tale of a West Palm Beach Florida man who choked to death in October after eating dozens of live cockroaches in a contest staged as as a promotional event by a pet store in Deerfield Beach to win an ivory ball python.- -I swear that I am not making this up!

Now you’re probably wondering who wouldn’t want in on a contest to win a python by eating live roaches, and fully thirty competitors did.  So enthusiastically did one 32-year-old guy launch himself into this competition eating 26 mostly discoid roaches that his airway became obstructed with “arthropod body parts,” and he essentially choked to death on the bizarre meal.  The Broward County medical examiner’s office found that the contestant died of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents.”

The owner of the pet store was named Ben Siegel, who bore no relationship to the infamous Ben Siegel, the American gangster involved in the development of Las Vegas who bore the nickname, Bugsy


Owl Abandonment…

May 29, 2012

– – Too many people tend to adopt exotic animals as part of a spur-of-the-moment craze, only to abandon them when the realities of their ownership hits home.  Sadly owls are one of the latest examples of this trend, with their popularity spurred by the Harry Potter movies and Harry’s owl, Hedwig. 

Now owls can live for twenty years and take a lot of care, including ideally a 20 foot aviary.  They need to be able to flap their wings multiple times before landing on a perch, or they may get a chest infection.  In spite of this, some have tried to keep them in apartments, becoming additionally distressed at the amount of feathers and droppings generated by the birds.  The result has been that in England and elsewhere, hundreds of pet owls have been abandoned and released into the wild, where they either starve to death or at best take over territory inhabited by smaller wild owls.  Owls are also winding up at animal sanctuaries in significant numbers where normally they would be relatively rare.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has pleaded with fans not to keep an owl as a pet, urging them instead to sponsor an owl at a bird sanctuary where they may be secured a healthy and happy life…


Bad Eggs Cancel Egg Hunt!

April 2, 2012

— As we enter Easter week, it would seem that Peter Rottentail made an appearance at past Easter egg hunts at Bancroft Park in Colorado Springs, causing that event to be cancelled because of some parents leaping over guide ropes to blatantly grab eggs for their children!  This avarice caused other children to go eggless while some raked in the eggs,  and kinda spoiled the supposed mood of the event.  We will bypass tempting economic and political analogies represented by this occurrence to state the seemingly obvious to the offending parents and their ideological clones elsewhere:  egg hunts are for kids, to paraphrase the great Trix Rabbit, who can teach us much about the nature of desire, frustration, and deprivation. –Wise, long-suffering Trix Rabbit!   One may learn so much from him, and profit from his instruction!   But I digress…

Things seldom get as distasteful and as thoroughly messed up as when parents seek to live vicariously through their children, expressing their greed and Alpha-male dominance needs through them.   We can see this mentality represented in youth sporting events where some parents convey the notion through action and word that yes, winning is everything!   Some even curse other child competitors, or get into physical altercations with other parents.  It’s a mentality that their child is the only one in the universe, or that in a world of supposed equality, some are more equal than others, remembering George Orwell.

I shall mourn the tainting of the humble and lovely tradition of the Easter Egg hunt, which was never intended to be an ego-invested greed fest.  Perhaps it is as worldly philosopher Homer Simpson once observed that we all want the same thing:  preferential treatment!

Pray That The Avenger Will Come!

November 28, 2011

 – – Pennsylvania’s two week general deer hunting season opens this Monday, November 28th, and it is estimated that 750,000 hunters will be out on opening day.  Hunters “harvested” 316,000 deer last year, down from the record of more than 500,000 taken in 2002…schools actually close for this unofficial holiday, tacking it on to students’ Thanksgiving holiday weekend…well, it ain’t no holiday for the deer!

…fortunately, however, there will be Rambuck!