Tetra

Tetra

As of this online web blog post, we are only a little more than a week away from Opening Day of the major league baseball season, the day when the commissioner opens up a baseball to find out what’s in there.[1] No one is more excited for baseball to begin than the tetra.

Look how big its smile is.

Look how big its smile is.

The tetra, you see, is a diehard baseball fan. It watches its favorite team play about 500 games a year, which is well over two thirds of a season! It can name the family lineage of Mr. Met going back six generations. It has a sizable collection of baseball cards, including…

    • Honus Wagner
    • Studs Bancker
    • Topsy Hartsel
    • Buddy Sachs
    • Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown
    • Boog Powell
    • Drum Duggan
    • Barclay Charles
    • Matt Stanchion
    • Knute Rockford
    • Bernie Titcomb
    • Slim Hardaway (a private investigator)
    • Harvey Kootz
    • Doc Abbey
    • Red Blackwell
    • Hamilton Leithauser
    • Chip Dipson
    • Dip Dobson
    • Bing Gardner
    • Cole Harbor Jr.
    • Fritz Ganon
    • Troy Brownfield
    • Phil Jimenez
    • Big Jim McLain
    • Slaw Johansson
    • Tom Ziljac
    • Chud Przlkzxby
    • Riggs Briggs
    • Leon J. Panetta
    • Flim Flammerman (a flim-flam man)
    • Slick Willie Gossett
    • Unus the Untouchabl
    • Gil Gilchrist
    • Billy Pope
    • Torg Arbuckle
    • Pudge Barrett
    • Sheen Splitcher
    • Jocko Blurst
    • Oyster Burns
    • Trent Hernandez
    • Keith Sweat
    • A six-foot party sub wearing a baseball cap
    • Buttercup Dickerson
    • Flip Chuntwad
    • Yutz Ploopie
    • Grim Fandango
    • Ngao Mbitu Lee
    • Jonah Beauregard
    • Jimmy Wolf
    • Ham Hamm
    • Bud Sexmagick
    • Walton Goggins
    • Cappy Fulmer
    • Stoddard
    • Leonard Snart
    • Bumpus Gunkle
    • Cradley Booper
    • Dread Forrestor The Tree Lord
    • Glenn John
    • Yahoo Sirius XM
    • Ned Geggus
    • Moses Farrell
    • Horace Hornswaggler
    • Dewey Defeatstruman
    • Jack Krampus
    • Muddy Samson
    • Dick Peppers
    • Ponyboy Dunn
    • Alabama (the band)
    • Otto Van Buxley
    • Spitwad Mullitzer
    • Oaky Pinewood
    • Ollie-Ollie-Oxenfree Smith
    • Fatty Mack
    • Charlie Schlong
    • The Baseball Furies
    • Scoops Turkel
    • Percy Childs
    • Denethor Driscoll
    • Beagle Bagley
    • Vic Wittels
    • Finn Berkelbach
    • Spuds MacKenzie
    • Dick Hunt
    • The Duke Ellington of Kicking Sand
    • Fivel Ladew
    • Pop Carroll
    • Pappy Figgemeier
    • Dad Yuengling
    • Pitch-A-Tron
    • Tug Mazzetti
    • Deacon Flick
    • Erve Scheffler
    • Air Bud

…As well as many other cards, too many[2] to list.

Special powers

The tetra is exceedingly patient.

Weaknesses

The tetra thinks its reflection is another fish. Way to go, idiot.

Number of legs

No.

Favorite video game

NHL: Eastside Hockey Manager 2007. I know; it’s inexplicable.

What if it fought a bear?

The tetra doesn’t stand a chance. The bear can just stop buying fish food.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I should probably mention the tetra is a big-time embezzler. You can get way cooler fish for your aquarium who won’t abuse your trust for financial gain.

 

 

2/10

 

 

 

 

[1]Usually it’s more baseball, but if the commissioner sees his shadow, there may be six more weeks of spring training.

[2]Seven.

Programming note: Rate Every Animal will be on hiatus for a week or two. Hope to see you soon.

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Terror bird

Terror bird

It is more properly known as the phorusrhacid, but those who met it[1] knew it by another name: terror bird.

artist's interpretation

Its mom called it Elroy (she always preferred its middle name).

Special powers

The terror bird walked South America millions of years ago on big ol’ talons. It stood two or three meters tall, making it a very big boy. It would grab prey in its huge beak and smash it against the ground until it would stop moving. This technique is practiced today by the roadrunner[2] and Rob Lowe.

This is the terror bird's skull next to some keys. Have fun thinking about how big this thing was!

This is the terror bird’s skull next to some keys. Have fun thinking about how big this thing was!

Oh, and also it instilled terror in its foes with its demonic powers it learned from a correspondence course.

Weaknesses

It couldn’t fly.

It also couldn’t look in a mirror without accidentally terrifying itself, so its wigs were frequently askew.

Number of legs

Two.

Who terrifies the terror bird?

I don’t know, God I guess.

Fierceness factor

100%.

Reason for extinction

Stunted too hard on a crotch rocket.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has not often known fear, but the terror bird could fix that.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The terror bird lives up to its name just on pure physicality, before you factor in the dark arts. It just had terrible decision-making.

 

8.5/10

 

 

 

[1]And those who don’t have a trophy room dedicated to commemorating their spelling bee triumphs.

[2]“Meep meep” translates roughly to “My thirst for blood shall soon be slaked.”

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Dana octopus squid

Dana octopus squid

Take a long, hard look at this critter.

dana octopus squid caught on camera

No short, soft looks.

Is it octopus? Is it squid? Is it Dana? I tricked you; it is the Dana octopus squid.

Special powers

The Dana octopus squid can flash bright lights from its arms to confuse and blind its enemies or communicate across long distances or put on the most complex shadow puppet plays you could ever care to witness.

On each of these arms – of which there are eight – are claws.

Weaknesses

Having claws on top of suckers on tentacles makes the Dana octopus squid just about the worst at hugs.

Number of legs

Eight.

Apology Corner

I’m sorry I tricked you earlier with my clever intro section prank.

Magazine subscriptions

No earthly post office will deliver to the deep deep sea the Dana octopus squid makes its home. It has to get by on whatever vintage Hustlers sink into its grasp.

What if it fought a bear?

It would demolish the bear.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The Dana octopus squid is very mysterious, mildly pervy, and a genius in the art of shadow puppetry.

 

 

7.5/10

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Boll weevil

Boll weevil

The leaf-rolling weevil isn’t the only creative mind in the weevil family. While it writes for television and rolls leaves, the boll weevil specializes in ghostwriting lyrics for popular musicians and eating cotton.

Special powers

It’s real good at eating cotton.

boll weevil

Too good, some say.

There’s also the songwriting thing. It has contributed lines to many famous artists.

Drake:

“I watch Thundercats and think of you.
Think of you
Think of you
‘Cause you look like Cheetarah an’ you cheat wit’ Ira.
I see you driving in that Buick Lucerne.
You’re too good for a car with only a three-power-circle J.D. Power rating, girl.
I hope you know it.”

Modest Mouse:

Well we JUMped uUP O-ver the moOOn. And cauught our owwn tAIl.
And kept it in a CAUFfin. Of our OWN de-SIGN.
BUT ALL THESE JUNKYARD DOGS ARE SINKIN
A GREAT BIG CRAB STOLE ALL OUR JOB
WELLLLLL WE NEVER MET THE PEEEOPLE THAT WE WERE
IF YOU’RE CALLIN’ THAT A TROPHY THEN I’LL EAT A SACK OF SHIT
AHAHAHA.
AHAHAHA?”

The Hold Steady:

“She used to party on drugs that she bought from Jimmy and Shakey.
She got drunk and passed out; now everything’s aching.
Some townies came by in an ATV and offered ‘em rides.
Jim said you can almost see heaven if you turn on the brights.”

Lil Wayne:

“Real Gs move in silence like lasagna.”

(The Gs refer to “Garfields.” This was a subtle jab at Tiny Wayne, a rapper looking to usurp Lil’, whose favorite comic character is Nermal.[1] Tiny Wayne quickly passed out of public consciousness as people could only barely hear his wee little voice.)

Jimmy Buffett:

(The boll weevil collaborated with Jimmy Buffett on the songs “Two Sandals and a Guitar,” “Pineapples on Mosquito Gulf,” “Beach Bumming,” “Heart of a Pirate, Soul of a Poet,” “Sunshine Soup,” “The Captain’s Daiquiri,” “Papaya in San Juan,” “I Wanna Dance With The Equator,” “Put A Lime In It,” and “Boat Drinks.”)

Weaknesses

Pesticide and patricide.

Number of legs

Six.

Circumstances of birth

The boll weevil is born inside a cottonball and eats its way out, just like that dream I had.

Does it have a monument named after it?

There's the plaque

Yes.

Related sports teams

The University of Arkansas at Monticello plays sports under the name of the boll weevil, and aren’t you jealous?

What if it fought a bear?

Little known fact, the bear is made of a kind of strong cotton and the boll weevil will tear that thing up.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The boll weevil has accomplished a lot for a little bug. It’s actually kind of too bad its son will kill it.

 

 

6.5/10

 

 

 

[1]“Noooo,” Tiny Wayne is often heard to say as he opens the newspaper, “not Abu Dhabi again. You deserve a thousand Mondays, you cruel beast.”

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Lovebird

Lovebird

The lovebird and I have a lot in common. Mate for life? Check? Love to nuzzle beaks? Check. Enjoy the works of Sir Conan Arthur Doyle? Check. Beautiful plumage? Check.

Special powers

The lovebird is one of the greatest flautists of all time. It hides a micro-flute in its throat and pretends it’s just a natural singing voice, but it’s totally a micro-flute.

It mates for life.

It's not shallow about looks.

It’s not shallow about looks.

Weaknesses

It mates for life, so it has to listen to the irritating way its partner eats seeds until the day it dies.

The lovebird over-microwaves popcorn every time.

Number of legs

Two.

Nemeses

The lovebird is at constant word with the wrathbird, the fearbird and all the other negative emotionbirds.

What if it fought a bear?

The power of love is a curious thing. Make one bear weep, make another bear sing.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

Oh, lovebird. Why won’t you admit to your incredible musical ability? We want to celebrate you. But you don’t care. You’re sooooo happy.

What do you have that I don't? Wings and world-class talent? That's probably it.

What do you have that I don’t? Wings and world-class talent? That’s probably it.

 

 

8.5/10

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Maned wolf

Maned wolf

Are you ever looking at the fox and thinking, “Man, this is a pretty good animal, but I wish it were taller. And not in a proportional way. Like, taller in a bizarre stretched out way.” Well fret no longer, weirdo! The maned wolf is there for you.

oops

There it is. Ol’ Forgot-To-Check-Maintain-Aspect-Ratio.

It’s not actually a fox on stilts, though that rumor has dogged it all its life.[1] It’s not actually a wolf either, despite the name.

Special powers

The maned wolf communicates through urine. That’s a code no spy will want to spend time breaking. It once peed all over a manuscript in what was interpreted as a grave insult to the author, but turned out to be extensive notes for editing. Emily Brontë incorporated the maned wolf’s ideas and her draft of what was then called “Wuthering Lengths” was drastically improved.

Also, for a canine? It’s real tall.

Weaknesses

That communicative pee I mentioned happens to smell strongly of weed[2], which leads to it getting hassled by law enforcement and disqualified from jobs that drug test.

It never has enough leg room.

Number of legs

Four, and they go alllll the way to the paws.

Diet

The maned wolf eats a variety of animals and plants, but most of all it loves to chow down on wolf apples. As a treat named for its most famous connoisseur, the wolf apple is considered “Nature’s Scooby Snack.”

What’s its astrological sign?

Diplodicus.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear’s fighting style is not particularly suited to dealing with the kickboxing flair of the maned wolf’s.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The maned wolf uses the good looks of the fox (its greatest strength), with a unique twist, but loses the fox’s greatest weakness (its personality). It loses a half-point for insufficient mane, as I don’t take well to false advertising. As for the pee thing… I mean, honestly, the writing tips are good but everything else about it makes that aspect at best a wash.

But if you have a good heart, a tolerance for pot smell, and access to wolf apples, the maned wolf can be the best friend you’ll ever have. Better than Brian, even. And Brian was your best man.

 

 

8/10

 

 

 

 

[1]No pun intended, one pun achieved – 360 no scope. Kobe!

 

[2]I’m talkin’ ’bout ganja, reefer, grass, kush, first national dank, wacky tobaccy, zany cabbage, Mephisto’s leaf, Mary Kay, funky monkey, hummus deluxe, Google Plus, McNuggets, hash, nip, kemp, gronk, chum, the chancellor’s herb.

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Ouroboros

And that’s why I give the ouroboros a rating of…

 

2.5/10

 

 

[1]He recorded a song with the same title shortly after.

 

Ouroboros

“Will it go round in circles?”

Billy Preston asked that question in 1971.[1] The answer: yes. The subject: the ouroboros.

derp

Look at this dingus.

Other questions remain. For example, will it fly high like a bird up in the sky? Undetermined.

Special powers

The ouroboros can reach all the way around to put its own tail in its mouth. That’s actually, like, its whole thing. It is constantly devouring its own dumb body, like an idiot. A hungry, hungry idiot.

Weaknesses

The local kids are always playing hoop and stick with it.

It is not agreed whether the ouroboros is a dragon or snake or very long dog, but if it is a dragon, it would only roast its own tail with fire.

It repeats the same mistakes over and over again.

Number of legs

Debatable. Some say four, others zero. When asked directly, the ouroboros is coy.

Celebrity birthdays

The ouroboros shares a birthday with…

  • He Hate Me, of XFL fame

  • Al Gore, of Futurama fame

  • Kendall Jenner, of fame

What if it fought a bear?

It can’t fight the bear until it stops fighting itself, you know what I mean?

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Its whole thing is eating its own dang tail. That’s not much of a thing. The pro of being flexible does not counterbalance the con of self-destruction.

And that’s why I give the ouroboros a rating of…

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Tilapia

Tilapia

This past Sunday was Big Game Sunday, when two teams battle it out in the Gridiron Mega-Bonanza for the chance to hoist the sport’s highest honor, the Points-a-lot Metal Ball as fun-time good color paper falls all around them on the grassed court. But the sportsing isn’t the only thing drawing hundreds of viewers every year. Many around the world – the tilapia included – love to watch it… for the commercials!!!!!!!!

You hear the corporations' messages about the products on purpose? So subversive and interesting!!!!

You hear the corporations’ messages about the products on purpose? So subversive and interesting!!!!

In celebration of the tilapia, let’s look back at some of this year’s most notable advertisements.

  • A goofy five-o’-clock-shadowed dude in a plaid button-up tried to store Pace brand salsa inside William “The Refrigerator” Perry, to his gorgeous wife’s consternation.

  • Bud Light, in an effort to test whether he was truly Up For Whatever, tricked a rookie cop into smoking PCP and handling a murder weapon with bare hands.

  • GoDaddy just straight up showed forty technically non-explicit seconds of a porno.

  • Doc Brown, the character from Back to the Future, was shocked to learn that 2015 does not have flying cars or weather control, but does have brutally efficient Dyson vacuum cleaners. (Music: Savin’ the Day by Alessi Brothers)

  • An office’s boss was unexpectedly replaced with Jimmy Buffett, who installed margarita machines and let lizards roam the hallways freely. It was for Geico somehow.

  • A pleasant-looking five-o’-clock-shadowed dude in a skinny tie found himself slowly turning into John Turturro. This was played not for whimsy, but as body horror. The product it was advertising is unclear, as the only clue was the hashtag #DieVermandlung.

  • John Stamos ate all the yogurt!

  • Following footage of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Mountaintop” speech, the words “Anything is Lunchable” faded in.
  • Sam Elliott called America out as too much of a pansy to buy a commercially-available version of Grave Digger. “I dare you,” the actor intoned. “You won’t do it. You’re not a man; you’re a joke. America is not great. If it were, it would buy the Grave Digger Unlimited. You disgust me.” He gave the finger to a bald eagle, but they blurred it out. (Tagline: “America is a coward.” Music: Original composition by Hans Zimmer)

  • A nerd boy met a nerd girl and they waited three years until their braces were off to split a pack of Starburst candy. (Music: Waiting by Green Day)

  • We were treated to our very first look at the computer-animated designs for The Snorks that will be used in August’s Snorks film. (Music: Guess Who’s Back by Eminem, Tagline: “Those Mothersnorkers Are At It Again”)

  • An approachable five-o’-clock-shadowed dude in a flannel flipped a burger so high his grandma caught it from a third story window. A narrator informed us it would only take 15 seconds to write a family member out of your will with LegalBeagle.

  • Vin Diesel surfed one car onto another car to smash a third car back onto the aircraft carrier deck it was about to fall off of and then the second car exploded and The Rock caught him and cradled him like a huge baby and they locked arms like they were going to arm wrestle but you could tell it wasn’t out of aggression, it was just ’cause they’re family now. Lucas Black entered to say something and was immediately interrupted by the appearance of the title FURIOUS 7.

  • Nissan depicted a dad frequently taken away from his family by his job as a race car driver. (Music: Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin. Tagline: “Our relationship is irreparably damaged, father.”)

  • The Chocolate Rain guy, but this time he wanted orange rain! (Tagline: “Do you know about Fanta now?”)

  • Burger King showed that, even in light of national tragedy, it will bravely continue to offer sales like 50 chicken nuggets for $9.11. (Music: Slowed down children’s choir cover of Tubthumping)

  • A cartoon bee and a cartoon flower drank Coca-Colas together.

  • Nationwide threatened to kill a human child on live television unless 10,000 people switched to their coverage.

Special powers

The tilapia has bones in its throat that serve as a second jaw that does a little extra chewing and adds a lot of gross terror to an otherwise simple fish.

Its flesh tastes fine.

Weaknesses

The tilapia is the very definition of a basic fish. It… it can’t get enough pumpkin spice lattes or something? I don’t totally know what this means.

Number of legs

No.

What if it fought a bear?

It would lose.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The tilapia is sometimes known as St. Peter’s fish, because Jesus paid his and Peter’s taxes with money they found in the tilapia’s mouth. Tax season is coming up; give it a try! Brought to you by TaxSlayer. (Tagline: “Render unto Caesar whatever you find in a fish’s mouth.”)

 

 

4/10

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Cicada killer

Cicada killer

The cicada killer is named the cicada killer, and that’s rude. Specifically, it’s rude to the cicada. Like, what’s your name? Jennifer? Is your name Jennifer? Imagine if you met somebody named Jennifer-Killer. You wouldn’t get along.

bzzz

Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing Jennifer

Special powers

Like any given wasp, the cicada killer has a stinger.

Unlike the average wasp, the cicada killer carries a switchblade. Cicada killer’s a blade man, man.

It can blow bubblegum bubbles really well.

Weaknesses

The cicada killer is frequently targeted by the velvet ant (street name “The Cow-Killer”), which will lay its egg in the nest of the cicada killer so its newborn can kill and eat the cicada killer’s children. Preying on a predator, the velvet ant is sort of like nature’s own “Dexter” from the hit TV show “Dexter,” but more messed up.

Don't push his buttons

Dexter and his dark passenger.

Number of legs

Six.

Wikipedia Talk Page Theatre

In which a twist arrives late in the tale:

“The testmaster saw some of these before. They are ginormous. They fly around like crazy and almost fly into you like they are trying to attack. I was so scared that I ran to my car (this was before the testmaster got a DUI). Testmasterflex

Drink of choice

Michelada, served in a hollowed-out carapace.

What if it fought a bear?

It’s the cicada killer, not the bear killer.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The cicada killer is the best at what it does, and what it does is kill cicadas and chew bubblegum – and it has a lot of bubblegum. If you need any, just ask; it will gladly give you some.

But despite that generosity, the cicada killer is still something of a one- to two-trick pony, where its main trick is killing a creature and its whole family.

 

3/10

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Swan

Swan

There’s a rumor that the swan used to be an ugly duckling. Is the lovely curvature of its neck the work of plastic surgeons? Or is it the work of the Original Plastic Surgeon, God Almighty? Do you have a minute to talk about our Lord and Savior? No? Well would you like to hear about the swan’s mating habits?

The swan mates for life, with only one exception: if it doesn’t.

Special powers

It has a long neck for reaching for the choicest morsels of soggy bread.

Weaknesses

It has a long neck, perfect for beheading in a rage when your choicest morsels of soggy bread have just been stolen.

Number of legs

Two.

What is its astrological sign?

Gamora.

Varieties

There are five main swans. They are…

  • the tundra swan (the quiet one)

  • the trumpeter swan (the obsessive musical one[1])

  • the mute swan (the other quiet one)

  • the black swan (the bad boy)

  • the whooper swan (cool but rude)

wheee

Babies get to ride it. Just one more reason to be jealous of babies.

What if it fought a bear?

It is said that the swan, before it dies, will sing for the first and last time. When the swan song is heard, the bear will come.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

When you need it, the swan will be there for you. Forever. Unless it isn’t.

 

 

6/10

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