Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pandering to Pandas

The old chief’s health was failing, and he knew that his days of leading the tribe were almost over.  Childless, he was worried about who he should select as the next leader of the tribe.  Finally, he called the young men of the tribe together and announced his decision.

“I have decided that the next chief of the tribe will be selected by a contest,” he said.   “I have three tasks for you.  First, you must climb the glass mountain.  Second, I want you to kill a mountain lion with your bare hands.  And last, I want you to make love to the wild woman of the north woods.  Whoever completes these tasks first will be the new chief.”
Immediately, the young men ran off towards the glass mountain.  By the end of the day, several men had returned, bruised and battered by the mountain.  For the next two days, men slowly returned to the tribe; either the mountain or the lion had proved to be an insurmountable task.  Finally after three days, only a single man remained in the woods.
The chief and the whole tribe waited impatiently for his return.  Finally, on the morning of the fifth day, the young man returned to the camp.  He was bruised, bloody, and dragging his left arm as he slowly crawled into camp using his remaining good arm.  He dragged his battered body to the old chief.
“Okay…the mountain was tough and the lion damn near killed me, but I did it.  Now, where the hell is this wild woman you want me to kill with my bare hands?”
Suddenly, I am at the end of the semester and have time to read all the journals and magazines I have collected over the last semester.  There are several stories about looming extinctions and endangered species.  For whatever reason, it made me think of the joke above.
It seems that sometimes, animals, both two- and four-legged, are just meant to die out.  Have you been following the current news about the wooly mammoth?  Scientists in Japan and Russia are working on bringing them back to life.  This is not quite Jurassic Park, as the mammoths have only been extinct for ten thousand years.  Don’t get me wrong, I like mammoths; I hope they let them live in Central Park.   Mammoths, however, have had their day, their place in the sun.  They lived, they played the game for a while, and evolution ruled them out.  Should we really be giving them a second chance at bat?
Which brings us to pandas.  While I am ambivalent about mammoths, I don’t like pandas.  You have to be about twelve years old to like an animal that looks like it lost a bet at a drunken frat party.
Pandas are growing extinct and all over the world, zoos are trying desperately to save them.  We are down to fewer than 2,000 pandas.  The problem seems to be that pandas suffer from a peculiarly embarrassing problem.  They don’t want to get laid.  Pandas in zoos evidently are given extensive opportunities; bachelor pandas have hot panda dates flown in from zoos around the world.  Food, drink, and romantic lighting are provided… but nothing happens.  I don’t suppose getting the big furballs drunk at a panda bar would work.
This sort of reminds me of an aunt I used to have.  She was bright, attractive, and lived the last half of her life very much alone.  As I used to tell her, “Let them that don’t want none, have memories of not gettin’ any.”
Though this is undoubtedly sound advice, it evidently doesn’t apply to pandas.  These animals, for some reason are special; we have to keep them, even if they don’t want to cooperate.   At the Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand, for example, pandas are being shown special panda porn to help get them in the mood.  Pandas are also being helped by giving the males a version of Viagra formulated specially for them.

Who exactly makes the panda porn? Is this a government job?  Is a degree in Animal Husbandry required?  When you are starting out in the business, do you make light romantic comedies for smaller animals?   When Harry met Hairy.  My Big Fat Goat Wedding.  Hitched.  Bringing Down the Horse.
Pandas evidently spend 16 hours a day eating, 8 hours a day sleeping, and no time whatsoever thinking about such important subjects as sex.  Up until now, I had no idea that pandas had invented tenure.
Any animal so disinterested in sex is doomed.  Hell, put any normal man in a cage with a panda and wait a few months--he’ll screw it.   It will only take weeks if it is a female panda.

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