I am issuing a challenge to all you shark fanatics out there: whenever this over-hyped week ends, I would like you to list all the NEW things you learned about sharks that you didn’t learn last year or the year before or the year before….
I get it, sharks are bad-ass. They have sharp pointy teeth (like a vampire), they go into a crazed frenzy when they smell blood (like a vampire), they attack humans which is pretty scary (just like a vampire) and much like recent vampire films, they are romanticized and completely over-rated. I understand, that shark week is trying to raise awareness and thwart the killing of sharks and probably also a lot of damage control after the fear mongering of the sharknado films. But seriously, we get it now. Can we move on? Aren’t there other dangerous and scary animals out there we could devote a week to? I mean you wanna talk bad-ass? Let’s talk Komodo Dragons! Those beasts are living dinosaurs and their saliva is teaming with bacteria. One bite and you slowly start to die. Meanwhile Dino stalks you until you succumb to sepsis and you die a miserable, bloated, infected death. Then, he eats you. I’d watch a week of that.
There is a whole list of animals that are just total assholes but still we can’t/shouldn’t kill them. Why can’t they get their week in the spotlight too? Plus many of them are way more interesting than sharks and/or under-represented on nature shows.
Here is Dowdy’s Top 10 list of Dickhead Animals that deserve a week on Discovery:
10. The Jellyfish: these guys kill 15-30 more people a year than sharks do and their non-lethal stings hurt like hell (I know this from experience) yet look at these guys: they’re nature’s lava lamps! I could watch them for hours (and that’s WITHOUT the addition of recreational drugs)
9. The Tasmanian Devil: Yeah. They actually exist and they are currently endangered. No, they do not spin in circles eating everything in their path but they do give off a bad smell when they feel threatened and also they scream really loudly. They also exhibit “psychotic behaviors” when stressed. They will attack if provoked but don’t just go around killing people. So, given the screaming and psychotic behavior a Tasmanian Devil week could easily become the next metaphor for your period week (instead of shark week) and if you happen to spend that week lying in bed eating chocolate and pizza, you may also emit offensive odors like Taz.
8.The Honey Bee: Bees are the kamikaze pilots of the animal kingdom. Did you know that when a bee stings you, he dies? Yeah. Actually when his stinger enters you, it ruptures his abdomen and he leaves his stomach and intestines behind with the stinger. He’s stinging you for the good of his hive. He is dying just to tell you to back the fuck up. But who doesn’t love deliciously thick, sweet bee vomit in their tea or with their McNuggets? Did I mention that they vomit in a bucket brigade fashion (one bee vomits into another’s mouth and that to the next and so on until the honey is just right). That’s cool enough to warrant at least a “Honey Bee Sunday” or something!
7. Dingos: Uh, yeah, dingos really will eat your baby. They have done it before. In fact, in 2001, dingoes killed a 9 year old boy and severely mauled his 7 year old brother. In some areas of Australia, they issue warnings for children and YOUNG TEENAGERS not to be left alone! And they are such a menace, the country is building a dingo fence!! A dingo fence! The whole damn country!! Meanwhile, we’re whining about a few immigrants coming into the country just to pick some fruit for cheap wages.
6. The Cassowary: This is a Huge Freaking bird. It is second only to the ostrich and it kinda looks like a punk-rock version of the ostrich. Imagine that galumphing through the rain forests of Northern Australia…at 30 miles an hour…with its thick muscular drumsticks….oh and the 5 inch dagger attached to its middle toe…with which it plans to DISEMBOWEL you. It’s pretty shy though so No Worries, Mate.
5. The Platypus: OMG. That crazy, wacky, mixed up platypus! Awe, the new lunchables kabobbles mascot. God’s little DIY project made with all the left over parts. How weird is it that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a duck, and those cute little poisonous spurs on their back legs….wait, what? Yeah. You heard me. Poisonous! Like put a human in the hospital writhing in agony for months. Come on people! A Killer Frankenstein Mammal like this deserves a week or two a year!
4. The Swan: Beautiful, elegant, romantic symbols. What all ugly little birds hope one day to grow up to be. And because they are so damn good-looking they all mate for life, why not, when every female swan is a trophy wife. But also, these birds take zero shit. Much like their human counterparts, the super models, they will aggressively attack you if you piss them off and also like supermodels, the only way to defend yourself is to grab them by their long, skinny necks and fling them as far away from you as possible. In Ireland, college rowing teams sometimes cancel practice if they see swans in the water. Even the fighting Irish don’t mess with these divas! That’s gotta warrant at least one day on Discovery (maybe March 17?)
3. Poison Dart Frogs: ok, ok, obviously these guys are poisonous. But look at them? They look like toys out of a bubble-gum machine (do bubble gum machines even still exist?) I want to collect them all! I want to make them into earrings and barrettes and necklace pendants. I want to stick them to my car antenna. They are so colorful and cute but this I know: in the animal world colorful and cute = painful death. But still, I vote for poison dart frog MONTH! So cute I could just eat them up.
2. The Armadillo: Native to the Americas, the armadillo is like an armored opossum. Kinda cute in an “oh he’s so ugly, he’s cute” way. They do cool stuff like roll up in a ball when startled. The plates on their backs are actually bone so their skeletons are pretty rad looking too. They are becoming endangered due to loss of habitat. Oh, the other thing I should mention is that 1/3 of the human cases of Leprosy diagnosed each year are caused by interactions with armadillos. They carry the disease and they spread it to us (and we can spread it to them too, I guess,….if an armadillo wondered into a leper colony) In fact, scientists have been using armadillos to grow the fragile bacteria in labs. Because it doesn’t grow well otherwise. That’s gotta be worth a week on basic cable, don’t ya think?
1. The Slow Loris: Go ahead, look it up. I’ll wait…..AAAAHHHHH!! Did you see him? Isn’t he THE MOST ADORABLE thing ever? Don’t you just want to just snuggle him up and hug him and pet him and squeeze him and call him George? I do. I do so much except for the weird elbow secretions that are poisonous. Yeah. Elbow secretions. It probably won’t kill you but it will make you really sick. Like if you ate some bad Chinese food. What do they do with this elbow poison you might ask? Well, first of all, they rub it on their babies so nothing will eat them and then they also suck it into their own mouths, swish it around like Scope, then they bite you. No, No, Teddy Bear! Bad Teddy! But still so cute!! How about Slow Loris Saturdays?
Anyhow, forget Team Great White or Team Hammerhead, I say debate really should be Team Loris or Team Komodo. Go ahead, discuss, I’ll order the tee-shirts!