Nature: A Cruel and Unforgiving Mistress

 

OPINION — Normally I wait until December to offer Christmas gift ideas, because, as many Americans are aware, Christmas typically falls in December. But once in a while I run across an item so astoundingly perfect I just can’t wait to share the news. Because I’m a concerned columnist who really cares about his readers, and also because, if I send the company a copy of the column, they might mail me the item for free. Sometimes it works.

I recently ran across such a product, by accident, and felt compelled to share it with you. It’s a 2021 calendar, although I think it would be more fitting if they’d offered it for 2020. Maybe they did. I have no idea. It’s called the ‘Pooping Pooches’ calendar, and each month offers a tasteful, artfully conceived color photograph of a dog doing his business. Imagine opening such a thoughtful gift on Christmas morning, and being able to look forward to an entire year of seeing various breeds of canines in assumption of the familiar stance on your home or office wall. It’s the gift that truly keeps on giving.

The calendar should be a big hit in North Korea, where the government recently started taking peoples’ pet dogs away from them, ostensibly to protect citizens from ‘capitalist decadence,’ according to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. This started in July, when Kim Jung Un was still vertical, before his sister took over the country. Kim reportedly said that ownership of dogs was ‘a tainted trend by bourgeois ideology.’ I have no idea what that means.

On a completely unrelated note, North Korea has been experiencing a food shortage of late. A lot of their food usually comes from Beijing, but Kim closed the Chinese border because of the ‘rona, so the chop suey is in short supply. But communist governments always take care of their people, even if that sometimes means letting your neighbor wok your dog. Are these your poodle kabobs, or mine?

But while North Korea is running so thin on meat the gubmint is stealing peoples’ dogs, southwestern Russia has too much meat. Specifically camel meat. Except it’s still on the hoof. An 83-year-old Russian fellow named Yuri Serebryakov (pronounced ‘Yuri’) turned 80 camels loose on the steppes a while back, and they’ve been terrorizing the towns of Oranzherei, Fyodorovka, and Ninovka for several months now. I hate it when that happens.

The camels are tearing up fences, destroying water pipes, and knocking over gravestones, and in some cases have actually chased people. The TASS story I read called the camels deranged, and said many residents are afraid to leave their homes. As Jeff Foxworthy would say, it’s pandalerium.

Yelena Bakhtemyeva, one of the locals, said, “If you look one directly in the eyes, the animal chases you, and you have to run away.” Which is why I’ve always said you should never look a deranged camel directly in the eyes. Fyodorovka resident Valentina Malikova said the camels have invaded her pear trees, and she has to defend them at night. Which is why I’ve always said you should never look a deranged camel directly in the eyes.

This item reminded me of the famous Suburban-hating YO Ranch camel of song and story. The camel lived in a pasture of several hundred acres, and hunters would drive just inside the gate to hunt the area. One such group arrived in a Chevrolet Suburban, and when they came back after their hunt, the camel was in the process of destroying it. He pounded it with his hooves until it was nothing but scrap metal.

Several uneventful months went by, and hunters parked pickups, Ford Broncos, and other vehicles in the pasture, without incident. Then another group showed up in a Suburban, and the same thing happened. The camel demolished it. After that ranch manager Ronny Rucker warned Suburban drivers not to park in the pasture, and everything was fine. No one ever figured out what the camel had against Suburbans. Maybe it was deranged. Maybe it had been treated poorly at a Chevrolet dealership service department.

Or maybe the camel just decided to defend its territory, which is apparently what a bald eagle was doing recently when it attacked a government drone over Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The drone was being used to map shoreline erosion when the eagle struck, ripping off one of its four propellers and sending the drone to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

This is not much of a story, except for the fact the drone belonged to Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, which is referred to by its acronym, EGLE, which is pronounced ‘eagle.’ OK, that doesn’t really make it any better. But it’s interesting to note that the Dutch National Police have been training eagles to attack drones since 2015, and Canada has a bald eagle named Eddie that’s trained to take out rogue drones in secure airspace, or anywhere near the Canadian Maple Syrup Depository. Eh?

Michigan’s EGLE department was devastated by the loss of the $950 drone, as you can imagine. An EGLE spokesman said, “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do. Nature is a cruel and unforgiving mistress.” Maybe someone should send them a 2021 Pooping Pooches calendar . . .

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