Cute Lil Animules

I read this story with interest few days ago, and it seems like a classic case of animals striking back at humans:

“A chimpanzee came in the garden as I was digging,” Ntegeka Semata said in an interview with the publication. She noted that her four young children were with her and as she turned her back to get water, the chimp took her child by the hand and ran off.
The child screamed, which caused the other villagers to pay attention and chase after him, but it was too late. “It broke off the arm, hurt him on the head, and opened the stomach and removed the kidneys,” Semata continued, adding that the child died on the way to the local hospital.

Here’s the thing.  The article points out that chimps share about 94% of their DNA with humans — i.e. they’re the closest thing to us in the animal kingdom.  That does not make us kinfolk, by the way (just in case the above story didn’t get the point across), and chimps are total assholes:  they exhibit all the bad traits of human behavior (murder, cannibalism, torture etc.), and there’s nothing at all cute about them.  A friend back in South Africa once described their look as “trying to decide which way to kill you”, and he’s not wrong about that.

I was driving through the Kruger National Park once, and I’d stopped to take some photos of a herd of buffalo, when a young male chimp jumped on the car’s bonnet and stood peering into the car through the windshield.  As it happened, I’d left a pack of potato chips on the dashboard, and when the chimp saw it, he started to gibber and jump around, trying to reach the packet through the glass.  Of course, I burst out laughing — and when the chimp heard my laughter, he stopped dead and stared at me with that  look.  Then he ripped off a windshield wiper as though snapping a pretzel, waved it at me, then scuttled off with it like it was a trophy.  It was the most human act I’d ever seen from an animal, any animal.

I should have just shot the little prick but they take a dim view of that kind of thing at the Kruger Park, so I just drove off, seething*.

So yeah, I can quite imagine that the chimp in the article above was pissed off at humans, and destroying their habitat sounds as good a reason as any.  They know  who’s responsible, you see, and some kind of retaliatory action is not at all surprising.

The next time you see some movie where chimps are freed from a medical research facility and set about causing mayhem and murder, I’m here to tell you that it’s not at all far-fetched.

Photo credit: iStock

*Update & Correction Dept.: A couple of Alert Readers contacted me and told me that what happened to me in the Kruger Park was doubleplus unpossible because chimps are tropical jungle-dwellers and not found in Seffrica, ergo it must have been a baboon.  In high dudgeon, I went to find the pictorial evidence (i.e. a photo) that I took of the little bastard… and it was indeed a baboon.

What the hell, they all look alike to me.

No Kidding

I know, we all have a good chuckle at stuff like this:

And then there’s this, which pushes the needle even past Code Red (click to embiggen):

I know, I make fun of our Oz friends a lot on these here pages, but this is no laughing matter:

About 100,000 homes in the Sydney area are said to be at risk, with 31,500 of those being in the city’s North Shore. Residents have been warned to take action before it’s too late.
‘Under these conditions, some fires may start and spread so quickly there is little time for a warning, so do not wait and see,’ the Rural Fire Service said on Monday.
‘There are simply not enough fire trucks for every house. If you call for help, you may not get it. Do not expect a firetruck. Do not expect a knock on the door. Do not expect a phone call. Your safest option will always be to leave early.’

Sheesh.

Looks like everything’s more dangerous Down Under:  snakes, spiders, sharks, Train Smash Women — and now, fires.

Good luck, me old cobbers.  Holding thumbs on this side of the water…

Quote Of The Day

Heard on a radio show the morning after a tornado hit north Dallas and took out houses in Preston Hollow, a ritzy neighborhood:

“That area’s so exclusive, even the Fire Department’s phone number is unlisted.”

This happened about ten miles south of us, which sounds close but isn’t.  (Plano seldom gets hit by violent storms, possibly because the insurance payouts would put the companies out of business.  Worst that ever happened to our old Plano house was a tree getting decapitated in the front yard, and on another occasion, high winds driving the rain sideways  into the roof, lifting shingles and causing a leak indoors.)

Night before last, the only thing that happened to us was a momentary power failure — enough to make my garage door opener lock up, and the electric security gate ditto.  Enter manual labor (not mine, the Mexican maintenance team’s).

Oh, yeah:  President Trump was in Dallas for a campaign stop a couple days ago, but the two events are probably coincidental, no matter what the Jackals Of The Press may say.

Miscarriage Of Justice

Somebody ‘splain to me why this little shit doesn’t deserve to be taken out behind the courthouse and shot in the back of the neck, instead of being jailed for only 20 years.  (Note that even without time off for “good behavior”, he’d be back on the streets at age 46.)

A California man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for hoax calls that led police to fatally shoot an unarmed Kansas man following a dispute between two people over $1.50 bet in a ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ video game.
Tyler R. Barriss, 26, was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren sentenced under a deal in which he pleaded guilty in November to a total of 51 federal charges related to fake calls and threats.
The 2017 death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch drew national attention to the practice of ‘swatting,’ a form of retaliation in which someone reports a false emergency to get authorities, particularly a SWAT team, to descend on an address.

If there was ever a malevolent, spiteful crime, this one of “swatting” another person deserves a massive prison sentence — but if someone gets killed (see story), it should carry an automatic death penalty… pour encourager les autres  assholes who want to play this sick little game.

Absentee Parents

Many years ago, my boss came into my office and said:

“Ever hear of a band called Whitesnake?”
“Sure;  plays hard rock, the lead singer is ex-Deep Purple’s David Coverdale, and so on.  Why?”
“My daughter won two tickets to a Whitesnake concert in some competition, but I can’t face going with her because it’ll be too loud.  Would you mind taking her?”
“Nope.  Gimme the tickets.”

So I took his 14-year-old daughter to the concert, which was okay as concerts go, and then discovered that — surprise, surprise! — the tickets included backstage passes and a chance to meet the band.  (I guess she’d forgotten to tell her dad about that little bonus.)

Anyway, all went well:  Coverdale and I chatted awhile about Deep Purple and such, she got all the autographs, and that was that.

I was reminded of that occasion when I was reading a series of articles about how David Bowie is supposed to have bonked a couple of underage groupies (among many others) back in his early years, and more recently too.

 

…and in similar vein, how Led Zeppelin did same with some “baby groupies”, also back in the 1970s.

 

No shit.

Listen to me tell it:  I played in a (vastly-less successful) rock band back in the 1970s, and even though we were never groupie-bait to the extent that the big guys were, there were plenty of opportunities to get up to (or more correctly, into ) mischief.

Which leads to my my main question:

WHERE WERE THESE GIRLS’ PARENTS?

How could they be so ignorant as to think that unaccompanied young girls were not going to get into trouble in the heady, loud and licentious atmosphere that was a rock concert?  How could they allow their adolescent daughters to go by themselves or (worse still) only accompanied by their giggly friends?  (For those still unclear on this aspect of parenting, let me explain:  without the presence of parents, one kid can get up to mischief;  two kids can get up to mischief-squared;  and multiple kids will — not can —  get into Hiroshima-scale trouble.)  As Jimmy Page memorably said: “Everyone knows what they come for.”   Groupies gonna groupie, as the modern idiom goes.

I’m not excusing the musicians for doing this stuff, but remember, most of these bands were (and still are) themselves only a few years older than the baby-groupies.  Asking young musicians to behave with decorum in such circumstances is an exercise doomed to failure — as is expecting young girls to behave with restraint when coming face-to-face with their sweaty heroes in the excitement after the concert.

Let me get even more explicit.  When a fresh-faced young girl presents herself to a whacked-out musician, don’t expect him to ask her for ID before he fucks her.  And he is going to fuck her.

It’s just stupid for people to clutch their pearls and accuse these now-septuagenarians of statutory rape committed half a century ago.  Leave them alone.

Young people are going to fuck up.  What’s needed is responsible adult supervision — just as I provided to my boss’s daughter on that occasion.  So if any of you are faced with a similar situation, either with yer kids or yer grandkids, act accordingly.  Somebody has to be the grownup, and it might as well be you.