As a writer of random thoughts which are posted on the Web for all to see (all twenty of you), stories like this give me pause.
A couple from the town of Thackthwaite in northwest England had read an article in their local paper, the Cumberland News, which bemoaned the fact that the area’s beloved red squirrels are being crowded out by an influx of common grey squirrels. True enough. But the paper went a step further, charging that folks moving up from the south were deliberating importing grey squirrels into the area.
Colin and Jenny Harrow thought the whole thing was rather silly, and that the paper was demonstrating an anti-southern bias. So they wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to the paper, stating that they were keeping crates full of wild grey squirrels, and that they’d be happy to supply them to homesick “outcomers” who wanted to feel more at home.
Mind you, they take squirrels seriously in Cumbria. These are the same people responsible for the abomination called MC Nuts, a person in a squirrel costume who raps the verses of Wordsworth’s poem “Daffodils.”
As a result, several animal-loving, sarcasm-impaired readers reported the Harrows to the police for squirrel abuse. Two Cumbria officers visited their home to determine if the critters were truly being stored in crates in the cellar.
I am thankful that I live in a country where free speech and civil rights are unassailable, and where the animal rights activists are held in check. The most prominent animal rights folks these days are the members of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who never allow their fanaticism to be tempered by perspective.
I like animals as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is Great White Hunter Mitt Romney), but I am vigorously opposed to PETA’s agenda, which, as far as I can tell, is to eliminate the killing of animals for food and require us to perform oral sex on our house pets at least once a week.
Since I don’t own any pets, I’m more concerned about that first part – especially since it would decimate an industry very close to my heart: fast food.
I hate to sing the praises of McDonald’s in this space yet again, but I must admit that my quality of life would be greatly diminished if they were to disappear tomorrow. It’s not health food, but it’s comfort food. I refuse to eat veggie subs like some girlie man. McDonald’s and I grew up together and we are life partners.
For one thing, it’s cheap. When money is tight, I know I can visit the Golden Arches and eat like a king (albeit a deposed, impoverished one). For ten bucks, you can buy enough McDonald’s to choke a horse. I can take some home and still…HEY! Who are you guys?! What the f—
Okay, I’m back. The nice officers have asked me to make it clear to you that I am not advocating the choking or molesting of horses in any way. Furthermore, I think National Velvet is a much better movie than The Godfather. Thank you.
As I was about to say, there is tremendous variety at Mickey D’s as well. Like many Americans, I’m conscious of the amount of red meat I consume. The Filet-O-Fish is a marvelous alternative to hamburgers and a damn tasty sandwich in its own right. It may be the key to world unity, since it’s the only sandwich that Muslims, abstaining Catholics, and Jews can all eat together, provided you leave out that half-slice of processed cheese which is there only to glue the fish patty in place.
The only issue I have with the Filet-O-Fish is that there seems to be no standard on how much tartar sauce is placed on the sandwich. Sometimes they go crazy and slap on enough tartar sauce to drown a small dog. I was eating one in the car once and…Aw, come on! You guys again? What did—
I am not proposing or advocating the drowning of dogs, large or small, in tartar sauce or anything else. Although I do occasionally drown a hot dog in mustard! Ha ha! Is it okay to say that?
No, it’s not okay to say that.
Officer Sturm and Lieutenant Drang, who coincidentally are members of PETA, have decided to remain here in my office as I complete this column. I have fetched them diet Cokes, and have promised to behave myself and not malign innocent animals any further.
PETA, of course, is an organization of high-minded, culturally sensitive individuals who work tirelessly to enforce the rights of our animal citizenry who cannot speak for themselves. PETA is opposed to the murder and enslavement of animals the world over.
Many celebrities are supporters of PETA. Unfortunately, the best they have been able to do for a celebrity spokesperson so far is Pamela Anderson, who has giant fake tits and approximately four brain cells. They would have a lot more credibility if they could be represented by a higher-profile, universally respected celebrity. Look at what Richard Gere has done for the Tibet movement…OW! Let me go, dammit! Now what have I—
We regret that Mr. Pontillo will be unable to finish his essay. He has been taken into custody on suspicion of instigating cruelty to animals.
We wish to emphatically state that the abuse of gerbils or other small rodents for sexual purposes is illegal and unethical, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
PETA membership information may be found at www.peta.org.
Lieutenant Stanley Drang
Animal-Related Satire Enforcement Squad
Illinois State Police