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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Goat

Goat

By the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram – proof that people dumb enough to believe in astrology don’t understand what different animals are. 2015 is gonna be a big year. I have a number of Bold Predictions for 2015, which I would like to list now:

  • We’ll hit all 12 months again, in – and here’s the spooky part – the exact same order as last year.

  • Sisqo will sing “Toyotathon-th-thon-thon-thon.”

  • The new Helen Thomas (beloved stalwart White House press conference presence) will be a man named BuzzgrindTommy.

  • Pink Floyd will finally get the Doors/Eagles style backlash it has delayed for years through a soon-to-expire contract with Satan.

  • The truth about Area 51 (that it is the Seventh Flag of Six Flags) will be revealed.

  • Justin Timberlake will announce, “I brought sexy back and if you aren’t more responsible with it, I’ll take it away again.”

  • A popular news website will publish an editorial positing that “maybe the Kennedys should have cameled less.”

  • A beloved actor who is now almost 90 years old will die.

  • Jeff Dunham will become a martyr for many free speech advocates when he is hospitalized with stab wounds after his new puppet “Satchmo” comes to life.

  • Arbor Day will be fraught with controversy in light of public sentiment turning against trees. A comparably themed day called Freedom Shrub Day will be celebrated.

  • A brave new serialized drama will explore the murder of one woman, and how it affects a grumpy dude, over the course of a short season.
  • 2015 will be Ryan Lewis’s year to shine.

  • The 2016 U.S. Presidential race will heat up when Joe Biden promises “a stunt-ready dirtbike in every garage,” Jeb Bush takes a meeting with a major campaign supporter who turns out to be a sentient tire fire, Mitt Romney calls a taco “one of those delightful spicened rollers,” and Hillary Clinton takes to wearing a black cloak she claims helps her harness “the Darkforce.”

  • The molemen will not reveal themselves fully to land-dwellers, but they will make their presence felt subtly. Pay close attention to the signs.

  • Seahawks over Packers, by just a little.

  • The Grammys will be cohosted by LL Cool J from NCIS: Los Angeles and Yass Cat from the phone application Vine.

  • North Dakota will be canceled due to lack of interest.

This is what happens when you let the goat have a whole year.

Special powers

Not that I dislike the goat, necessarily. It has many things going for it. It produces milk useful to humans. It’s equipped with horns for defense. It can double jump, allowing it to reach the highest platforms on most stages.

I should also note that the goat is a wuminant – its stomach has 36 chambers.

Weaknesses

It will eat anything, even boots or old tin cans, and it doesn’t even put sriracha or something on there first.

The goat’s eyes are unnatural nightmare portals.

aaahhhh

The goat has on several occasions served as the bridge that allowed real evil into our world. We think it’s unintentional.

get killing

There’s some circumstantial evidence that it’s not.

Number of legs

Four.

Number of men it respects

The goat only respects one man.

Police warned angry goat on roof 'only respects one man'

What if it fought a bear?

Step one of fighting the bear is respecting the bear’s ability. That is a step the goat will fail.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Assuming the goat isn’t actually a willing servant of the demonic, it’s perhaps the most charmingly goofy source of cheese that exists. That’s the kind of comfort we’re going to need to make it through the Year of the Goat. A conditional…

 

 

8.5/10

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Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes! The word alone fills most people with fear and anxiety, because they have no experience in dealing with snakes.”

So says the San Diego Zoo website, and I agree. Give it a try! Run wildly into the conference room at your job and scream “Rattlesnakes!” People will be… rattled.[1] That’s because they know nothing about dealing with snakes so they don’t know that the word itself does not carry a magical power. This might not work if you are employed at the snake store.

Meanwhile, if you’re employed at the Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, or Winn-Dixie, you have a very good chance of meeting the rattlesnake as it rotates indecisively among all three for its grocery needs. Asked to explain its behavior, the rattlesnake drawls, “This ‘conomy won’t ever make a fool out of an Alabama lieutenant.” (See Notable accomplishments)

Special powers

The rattlesnake is venomous. That’s pretty common for a snake. Less common is the rattle at the end of its tail for which it is named. The rattlesnake uses it to warn others away and to lay down sick beats.

Also, it can see your heat signature like a dang Predator.

See like a Predator

But without the predilection for murdering future governors.

Weaknesses

The rattlesnake does not employ constricting in its killing, nor in its personal life. It is not a hugger.

It gasps “Lord almighty it’s Spook’ums” every time it sees the Scream mask.

Jeepers.

Jeepers.

Number of legs

No.

Notable accomplishments

The rattlesnake has been honored with the title of Alabama lieutenant – a sort of off-brand Kentucky colonel. The position’s duties include wearing a seersucker suit, drinking juleps, and keeping the secret of Boggy Cove. The rattlesnake innovated what it calls the tequila julep, a cocktail which is several ingredients more complicated than it sounds. The International Bartenders Association condemned the drink as criminal.

In high school, the rattlesnake was voted Most Likely To Be Run Over By An ATV He Or She Is Driving On Four Separate Occasions. This prognostication proved false for two reasons. Firstly, this has only happened twice to the rattlesnake; in its third ATV accident, it could not be called the driver. Secondly, one of the rattlesnake’s classmates surpassed it, having run over himself with an ATV six times.

The rattlesnake is a beloved referee/emcee in a local independent wrestling organization. It holds the high score in Beer Beer, a variant of Beer Pong that replaces the pong elements with more beer.

What if it fought a bear?

The rattlesnake has seen the Power Team perform two dozen times, so it’s picked up some moves.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The rattlesnake is just a good ol’ boy. Never meaning no harm. Giving a fair warning before it engages in its combat dance. I do advise against going drinking with it.

 

 

7.5/10

 

Programming Note: Rate Every Animal will take a couple weeks off for the holidays. Please join us when we return in 2015.

 

 

[1]Sunglasses spontaneously appeared on my face as I wrote this.

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Pony

Pony

When a horse refuses to grow up, it becomes a pony. There are many reasons this could happen, including societal pressures, the influence of Peter Pan, or a trainer pressing B during the evolution animation.

Whatever the case, the pony has its own vibe, and is worth discussing on its own merits and failings. For example, the horse has extremely poor instincts when it comes to clothing choices.

a horse in space clothing

“I think I look fine,” it said like an idiot.

By contrast, the pony is a real fashion plate.

Shetland ponies in sweaters

They look good and you know it.

As a special treat for our readers, I now turn it over to the pony for some timely fashion tips:

“Thank you, human Nathan.

Readers, it is almost winter. All fall, the trend has been earth tones and wind tones. The new colors of the season are green and ultraviolet. Be sure to also wear patterns for the winter: polka dots will let heat escape. Trap it in with the interlocking squares of a plaid. That’s not just fashion; that’s science. Trust me. I’m the pony.”

Special powers

Pound for pound, the Shetland pony is stronger than any horse, or as it puts it, “PONY STRONGEST THERE IS! PONY SMASH!”

It no longer ages.

Weaknesses

The pony is constantly beset by its rival in the fashion world, the Japanese macaque. Try as the pony might, it cannot escape that monkey.

remember the internet monkey?

It looks good and you know it.

Its eternal youth means it is eternally kind of snotty.

Number of legs

Four.

Online presence

The pony has exactly one Yelp review, of a music venue. It reads, in its entirety, “It was just a bunch of human men with instruments, not a train at all. I give this concert zero stars.”

Celebrity birthdays

The pony shares a birthday with…

  • Tom Hanks, who loves to play Tom Hands, a game of his own design

  • ALF, which is not really his name, but an acronym short for Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

  • Benedict Arnold, a blacksmith who had to explain no, he’s not that one so many, many times.

Shots fired at the Wikipedia page for Shetland pony

“American Shetland Ponies are more refined than the traditional Shetland.”

You know where you are right now, traditional Shetland? You’re on blast, and some American Shetland-loving Wiki user just put you there.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has no chance against the pony’s strength and low center of gravity.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

No matter what year it is, the forever-young pony hasn’t heard of the good music thing you like from several years ago. This, as we all know, is the worst sin anyone can commit. But dang if it doesn’t look good.

pony in human shoes

Accessorize sparingly, but boldly.

 

 

 

7/10

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