Who Has Become Stranger Since The Pandemic? Us Or The Animals?

Last month I thought when a lobster fisherman in Maine ended up in the mouth of a humpback whale only to be unceremoniously spit out like a cherry pit because he did not taste nearly as good as an octopus… I thought that was strange. Easily as odd as “The Big Gulp,” an event that took place years ago in Fredonia, New York in which an Australian parrot fell off a kitchen counter and was quickly swallowed up by a tall Irish wolfhound who had learned that any food that hits the floor was his. The dog was quickly Heimliched by its owner and the bird was spit out, hitting the wall like a wad of gum. Having survived, the first words out of the parrot’s mouth were: “Polly wanna a cage.”
Then I read about the Python Hunting Contest in the Florida Everglades where these non-indigenous monster snakes are depleting native species. In the past, professional python hunters have competed for prizes of $2,500 for the most captures and $1,500 for the longest. This year, amateurs were welcomed into the annual hunt and I’m thinking — what could possibly go wrong with this new twist?!?
“Ah, Honey, we’re going to need a really big bucket, a couple of ropes, some hot dogs and two six-foot boards so if one of us get swallowed up by one of them buggers we can prop the jaws open and escape through the front part.”
Then a deer beat up a woman on a hiking trail in Kimberley, British Columbia and in a lagoon near Puerto Escondido, Mexico, a crocodile attacked a 28-year-old British woman taking her to the bottom in a death spiral. When the body of Melissa Lowrie floated to the surface, her identical twin Georgia waded out and began pulling her toward the shoreline. That’s when the crocodile attacked a second time and Georgia beat it off by punching it in the snout. Mellissa is now out of a coma and recovering while the park employee who told them the lagoon was safe has been replaced by a sign that reads: “NO SWIMMING.”
Animals are acting abnormal, I thought.
But then the fireworks from a gender reveal shower in California that started a 7,000-acre wildfire in California was matched by a similar ‘boy or girl’ party in New Hampshire at which the proud parents set off 80 pounds of explosives cracking house foundations, breaking the neighbourhood water system and creating a blast that could be heard across state lines.
Today, as I’m writing this, it’s Monday, July 19th and BBC News is reporting that in the U.K. the prime minister, the health secretary and the top financial official are all in quarantine as the Delta variant spreads faster than previous mutations and faster in the U.K. than any other country in Europe. Despite all this Prime Minister Boris Johnson is, as of today, lifting all remaining pandemic restrictions on public life!!! Yeah, nightclubs are staging New Year’s Eve parties with free Prosecco as the virus rises around them like smoke from the pyrotechnics.
Now I know the International Court of Justice in The Hague is not set up to try a leader like Boris Johnson on crimes of institutional stupidity but at the very least shouldn’t Madame Tussauds be featuring his wax likeness in a “Top Boneheads In The World” series???
Think about that. One of the most powerful leaders in the free world, Boris Johnson, whose first plan at the outset of the pandemic was that ‘everybody just get it and get it over with’, then contracted COVID-19, almost died and is now exposing millions of Brits to disease and death with such a reckless decision… stay with me here… while a rapper named Juvenile is displaying the wisdom of Confucius when he sings: “Girl you look good once you vax that thang up/ You a handsome young brother once you vax that thang up/ Dating in real life, you need to vax that thang up.”
Yeah, not exactly Shakespeare but the message comes across as loud and powerful as the highlight moment of a reveal party in New Hampshire. So, you be the judge. Has the pandemic’s side effect of unbridled lunacy altered the behaviour of humans more than animals or…
No, wait. The Cannes Film Festival in France just concluded with the presentation of its top prize, the Palme d’Or going to the movie Titane, a body-horror film which features sex with a car.
My immediate reaction, which I cannot prove, was that somehow, some way, Elon Musk was involved. Actually I wasn’t all that surprised because many years ago I wrote about a headline I saw in the Welland Tribune about a sexual assault that took place in a parking lot behind a bar in the city: “Witness claims she saw sexual intercourse taking place between two parked cars.”
So the precedent had been set.
Okay, we lose the pandemic in a race to the bottom of the lagoon of astonishing absurdity, hands down. Yet there’s hope. We still have an opportunity to go to Florida and drag a 19-foot long python out a swamp with little or no experience.

For a comment or a signed copy of The Dog Rules – Damn Near Everything email: williamjthomas@gmail.com

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