Category Archives: moderately noble

Nudibranch

Nudibranch

The nudibranch is happy you’re here.

“Welcome to my rating.”

“Welcome to my rating.”

Special powers

The nudibranch is very colorful.

nudibranch1

I don’t know if that really counts as a “special power.”

nudibranch3

But I like it.

nudibranch4

Weaknesses

The nudibranch’s simple eyes are useful for little more than distinguishing dark and light.

Furthermore, it lacks the protective shell that often comes standard in animals of this sort. And regardless of how much the nudibranch talks it up, optional satellite radio is not a satisfactory substitute.

Number of legs

None.

Role models

Just one: Turok the Dinosaur Hunter.

Aliases

Nudey, Dude-ibranch, Rude-ibranch, The Turok Liker.

Hobbies

It’s not exactly a hobby, but the nudibranch spends a LOT of time emulating Turok the Dinosaur Hunter in every aspect of its life it knows how.

Favorite video game

Bubble Bobble.

Super Bowl Storylines To Watch

  1. Which teams are playing?

  2. When is the game and how can I watch it? Or is it on the radio?

  3. Who has the “joe-mentum” going into the game?

  4. Which player likes Skittles the most?

  5. Will this be Peyton Manning’s last Coldplay concert?

  6. Can Carolina’s defense contain their excitement when they hear the pre-game music or will it get them too hyped and they’ll have to lay down and calm down?

  7. Where is everybody running so fast?

  8. Why are the bees disappearing?

  9. Who died and made special teams so special?

  10. What are the names of everyone who has ever died?

What if it fought a bear?

The nudibranch’s combat focus is purely dinosaur-based. The bear would confound it.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

Have fun watching the big game!

 

 

9.5/10

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Pill bug

Pill bug

Let’s get it straight. The pill bug is no insect.

So what is this?

So what is this?

It is a land-based crustacean. While most other crustaceans live in the ocean or on the beach, the pill bug lives under a tree that fell over. That’s just poor judgment.

Special powers

The pill bug can curl up into a ball for defensive purposes and purposes of rolling around.

It can also uncurl.

It can also uncurl.

Weaknesses

Its poor judgment.

Number of legs

Fourteen.

Aliases

The pill bug is known to scientists as armadillidium vulgare. It is known in the flea circus as The Living Ball. It is known to its college friends as the potato bug, due to something crazy it did in the horticulture lab. It is known to its elementary friends as doodle bug, because young kids are bad at names. It is known as the sowbug to people who met it through a mutual acquaintance it didn’t expect to see again and gave a false name to years ago. It is known as the roly poly bug to its most intimate friends.

Other ratings of the pill bug

When asked to weigh in on the pill bug, 2016 presidential candidates had diverse opinions.

Marco Rubio: “The pill bug has been nothing but a disaster for America.”

Hillary Clinton: “I mean, maybe it’s not fun to have a pill bug. Maybe it’s more fun to have a dog or a cat. But you just have to suck it up and accept that sometimes your apartment complex doesn’t allow larger pets and it’s the most practical option. Thank you for your question, human friend.”

Rand Paul: “I don’t need the federal government coming in and telling me what is and isn’t an insect. To me, the pill bug is an insect, and if you want me to think otherwise, then get the people of America to pass a Constitutional amendment that says so. Until then, it’s my protected right.”

Jeb! Bush: “Uh, pass.”

Ted Cruz: “They are, however, cherished among children, who enjoy keeping them as pets.”[1]

Chris Christie: “On 9/11, the pill bug was nowhere to be seen. Not me, I was there when the first tower was hit right here in downtown! New! Jersey! Let me hear you! The Jerseyboys ride again!!”

Mike Huckabee: “I think we were too quick to rush to judgment about Charles Manson.”

Deez Nuts: “You know what else is roly poly?”

Bernie Sanders: “Look, it is outrageous that here, in the richest country on the planet, when 80% of species are insects, that we are calling a crustacean a bug. The bottom 2% of 31% of fallen trees, in real numbers, year over year, accounting for inflation, are home to 89% of pill bugs with on average 95% of their expected legs still attached. I don’t think it should be radical to point that out.”

Ben Carson: “You know… [unintelligible] a bug and it’s segmented [unintelligible]. I think it’s ridiculous [snoring].”

Jim Gilmore: “I am Jim Gilmore.”

Donald Trump: “The pill bug’s a loser; nobody respects it. Quite frankly, a lot of these crustaceans, they’re idiots, they’re parasites, they’re snapping people on their little butts with claws. And some, I assume, are nice. What I would do is get rid of the pill bug, get it out of here. And the second part of my plan is to solve all the problems.”

What if it fought a bear?

The pill bug can wait the bear out in a timed match, but it has no hope if it needs to get a KO.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

I’m aware I am stepping in a hot political controversy by taking a stance on the pill bug. But that’s the kind of risk I accepted when I decided to get into the animal-rating game. So get ready for a hot take…

 

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

[1]This quote turned out to be plagiarized word for word from Wikipedia.

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Jorunna parva

Jorunna parva

Both great successes and serial killers inspire copycats. We still don’t know which of those the rabbit is. The existence of its copycat the jorunna parva gets us no closer to figuring it out.

What... are... you...?

What… are… you…?

It is a sea slug.

Special powers

Those little protruberances that look like rabbit ears are sensory organs that guide it to food, mates and the best deals on mobile phones and accessories.

It’s big in Japan.

Also, I have bad news for would-be predators of the jorunna parva: it is extremely toxic.

Weaknesses

Because of that toxicity, it rarely gets hugs.

It’s not particularly mobile. It just sort of scoots along the ocean floor, never once jumping or running or dancing. It didn’t get Footloose at all.

Its hero worship of the rabbit runs deep. If the rabbit says it’s cool to do something, the jorunna parva will do it if it can. That’s fine when it comes to innocent stuff like eating carrots, but could easily lead the jorunna parva astray.

Number of legs

None.

Celebrity birthdays

The jorunna parva shares a birthday with…

  • Nate Silver, who grew up calling his birthday “numbers day” for the number on the cake and never stopped calling it that and it’s pretty weird now.

  • Shelvin Mack, professional basketball player and amateur Level 28 Ranger in his weekly D&D game.[1]

  • Keith Villa, founder of Blue Moon Brewing Company, who in the early days of his company would bring bags of oranges to bars to tell the bartenders about them. “Here comes the orange bag man we call Keith,” the bartenders would say. “He was born in a bag and he thought an orange was the sun.” And they were right.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear shouldn’t even touch the jorunna parva.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The jorunna parva is the most charismatic sea slug, but that’s fainter praise than it deserves. I just hope it’s not idolizing a killing machine.

 

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Elven Shelvin, they call Mack. His character, they call Skleet LaRue.

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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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Goose barnacle

Goose barnacle

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. There are two sides to every coin.[1] For every Gallant, a Goofus. For every butterfly, a moth. Most anyone will agree that the barnacle goose and the goose barnacle have just such a yin-yang relationship. Where no consensus can be reached is the question of which is yinnier and which is more of a yang.

barnacle goose

goose barnacle

You be the judge.

Special powers

I’ve looked at a considerable number of pictures and diagrams of the goose barnacle and I still don’t fully understand how its crazy body is set up. To put a positive spin on it, we could say it has the advantage of surprise.

Weaknesses

We know that the barnacle goose is literally unkillable, so we can infer that the goose barnacle is very much mortal.

Number of legs

Who knows, man.

What’s its astrological sign?

Aloysius.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear is big enough, the goose barnacle would probably just try to stick to its side.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

I can make neither heads nor tails of the goose barnacle. I’m not sure it has either of those things.

One diagram pointed out its penis and I haven't slept since.

One diagram pointed out its penis and I haven’t slept since.

 

 

5/10

 

 

 

 

[1]Seriously! Turn any coin over if you don’t believe me. I’ll wait.

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Rabbit

Rabbit

Easter is this Sunday, and with it will come the Easter Bunny. But did you know that the Easter Bunny is actually a rabbit? I know, bunny’s right in the name, but it turns out he has nothing to do with Playboy.

Not all rabbits are immortal beneficent givers of eggs and candies, however. The rabbit is also capable of evil, as the recent spate of theatrical rabbit-on-rabbit serial killings shows.

half a rabbit

This is its design.

And the Easter Bunny shouldn’t get off with its motives totally unquestioned either. I mean, where is it even getting those eggs?

Special powers

The rabbit has extremely lucky feet. It has never tripped in its life. Once it slid on some ice into a curb and it seemed like it was going to trip, but at the last possible moment it did the Charleston instead.

It sleeps with both eyes open because it trusts no one.

When the rabbit wears a dress, wig and makeup – and believe me, given enough time, it will – it becomes irresistibly attractive to anyone normally attracted to human women.

Bugs Bunny has constant access to false busoms

The sexiest.

It is incapable of vomiting.

Weaknesses

The rabbit’s tail is made of cotton, the favorite fabric of Zooey Deschanel and states’ rights enthusiasts. Though luxuriously soft, it is also functionally useless, tailwise.

It eats its own poop. It’s like, hey rabbit, just absorb the nutrients right the first time, dummy. Duh doy. Seems obvious to me.

It is incapable of vomiting.

Number of legs

Four.

Nomenclature

The male rabbit is called a buck; the female is known as a doe; and the child is a kitten, in a set-up identical to a deer couple who adopt a cat.

What if it fought a bear?

The best rabbit is immortal and has nothing to fear. The worst rabbit can split the bear in half. Between these points is mostly just easy rabbit meat.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

So we don’t know where the Easter Bunny gets eggs from. But whatever its source, is it getting exactly the right number for the houses it breaks into? Surely there are extras to account for any eggs broken in the distribution process. So what happens to the leftovers?

"He's eating them."

I have a theory.

The rabbit: Could its greatest paragon also be its worst monster?

 

 

 

8/10 or 1/10 pending further investigation

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Leaf-rolling weevil

Leaf-rolling weevil

It has always been its passion, but leaf-rolling just wasn’t paying the bills for the leaf-rolling weevil. In this economy, there simply aren’t that many jobs for leaf-rollers.

leaf-rolling weevil seeks work

“Leaf-rolling? In THIS economy?” HR reps would say to it.

The leaf-rolling weevil tried adapting the principles of leaf-rolling to other seemingly related pursuits in the employ of the musician Snoop Dogg. It was fine for a while, but ultimately the leaf-rolling weevil felt wrong tainting the purity of leaf-rolling. This same concern also caused it to leave its position as origami instructor at the adult learning annex.

At this point, the leaf-rolling weevil went into a career totally separate from its passion: screenwriting. It is currently on staff at CBS’s “Under the Dome,” and continues to practice leaf-rolling as a hobby with the local leaf-rolling club.

Special powers

Obviously, it is the best at leaf-rolling. You might think you know someone better. You would be wrong.

It is far from the best, but it’s pretty decent at writing.

When riding a tiny weevil-sized motorcycle, it can totally pop a wheelie whenever it wants.

Weaknesses

The leaf-rolling weevil is a real blabbermouth when it drinks. I used this to my advantage on a night out with it to get the real scoop on upcoming “Under the Dome” plot points. Now most entertainment journalists[1] are short-sighted and only try to pry details about the next episode or season. All we have to do is wait a week or a few months and we’ll find that stuff out anyway! No, I shot much higher in my interview with the weevil and I got spoilers from Season Four of “Under the Dome.” Now that’s useful information! Now, without further ado, here are a handful of facts about Season 4 of the #1 dome-drama (or “domedy”) on television. SPOILERS AHOY!

  • The townspeople are upset to learn that dogs are free to move back and forth through the dome’s walls. “How did we not notice this before?” moans a flustered Dean Norris.
  • It will be discovered that the dome inside Mike Vogel‘s head was not planted there by the dome: Barbie has been a half-human half-dome hybrid the whole time!
  • The teens take up skateboarding up the walls of the dome, which they call “going full Bart.”
  • Panic sets in on the populace as the local diner runs out of bacon. The role of Panic is played by special guest star Harry Styles of One Direction!
  • Rachelle Lefevre, pregnant in 2016, will be shot hidden from the stomach down by a small dome.
  • A special flashback episode reveals that, ironically, every single character at some point in 2011 scoffed at the mere idea of domes.
  • Struggling to control the police force and volunteer army, sheriff Natalie Martinez clones herself to better cover the workload, only to discover wacky consequences!
  • The townspeople are forced to team up with the dome against a larger, more advanced dome.
  • The radio station starts a prank war with a stuffy public radio branch which begins operating across the street.
  • Can you say musical episode?!
  • The town of Chester’s Mill go on vacation to Disneyland Paris, only to find that the dome has booked the same trip! Special guest John Cleese.
  • Junior strings together a taunting message “UP YOURS, FUZZ” entirely out of the intestines of his victims. The homicide detective declares it “Classic Poe,” before revealing HIMSELF to be a secret member of Junior’s cult and killing a city council member (who is an even more secret member of Junior’s cult), only to be stopped by Barbie (who, in a twist, is revealed to be a sleeper agent of Junior’s cult, not even aware he’s a member).
  • After their thrilling escape, Dean Norris will realize that the entire town of Chester’s Mill has to go back… UNDER THE DOME!

Number of legs

Six.

Giraffe variety

There is a special kind of leaf-rolling weevil which has taken the giraffe as its hero and its moniker. The giraffe weevil emulates both the giraffe’s happy-go-lucky persona and its long delicate neck.

giraffe weevil

Both things come off a little forced.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear could snap its neck, giraffe-like or not.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

I’ve derived great pleasure from this weevil’s leaf-rolling work, amateur or professional. All these Under the Dome Season 4 spoilers have just gotten me excited for Season 5![2] And I owe it all to the leaf-rolling weevil.

 

8.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Is that what this is?

[2]I hear we meet Barbie’s brother Skipper!

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Babirusa

Babirusa

At first glance, one might guess that the babirusa is just another mutant pig. Its fun-to-say name means “pig-deer,” in reference to its obvious pig nature and its four prominent tusks, which reminded people of deer antlers.

babirusa

If you squint.

It is not just another mutant pig, despite appearances. Nor was it invented by the effects wizards of Weta Workshop for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, despite appearances. The babirusa is its own bona fide species.

Special powers

The babirusa’s upper tusks are used for defense – to shield its face from damage. Its lower tusks are kept sharp for offense. A third set of tusks are rumored to exist for special teams, but no one has ever provided hard evidence of them.

It is an absolute wiz at an abacus. Unfortunately for the babirusa, in today’s modern age, this is one of the least marketable skills possible to have. The babirusa is convinced the abacus will come back as “retro-cool” in 2014. Though I’m loathe to admit it, that actually sounds pretty plausible.

Weaknesses

This is kind of a big one. The babirusa’s tusks, if not worn down, will grow to pierce its own skull.

come on now

what the heck

Why is this? What do the babirusa’s own tusks have against it that they will by default attempt to murder it? Did the babirusa have its upper tusks surgically transplanted from a serial killer? The babirusa denies this, but offers no explanation of its own.

Number of legs

Four.

Judgmental Wikipedia quote

“The female babirusa has only one pair of teats.”

Let’s see you do better, Wikipedia.

Online presence

The babirusa accesses the internet through the kid zone using AOL keywords “DIGIMON” or “CRISPIX.”

Favorite video game

Bomberman

What if it fought a bear?

Two tusks to defend, two tusks to stab that bear.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

The babirusa has many of the qualities of a pig, and what it lacks in tech-savvy, it more than makes up for in tusks. Just make sure you wear those bad boys down, babirusa. You’ll look like a real chump with your own tusk in your head.

 

 

9/10

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Dragonfly

Dragonfly

I’ve already addressed one non-dragon “dragon.” Today I write about another: the dragonfly.

pink dragonfly

This one DOES have wings, but doesn’t give a friggin’ dang about gold.

The dragonfly isn’t always a beautiful pink beast of the air. It begins life emerging from an egg, which is really biting Lady Gaga’s style, but her team[1] hasn’t been litigious about it. At this point, the dragonfly is just a nymph, a larval stage which floats about and fires its nightmarish hydraulic jaw into unsuspecting victims at range. Eventually, when it has killed the last teen camper in the pond, the nymph leaves the water and allows its dragonfly self to crack out of its shell. At this point, it must inflate its wings at the nearest tire shop. Only then is the dragonfly truly an adult. Only then can it wait seven more years to be able to rent a car.

Special powers

Well, there’s that crazy projectile monster jaw as a nypmh. As an adult, the dragonfly boasts large[2] compound eyes with as many as 30,000 lenses and dozens of in-eye image-altering tools and filters. Its perhaps most impressive accomplishment is the ability to fly any direction, including backwards. It can even just hover in place if it likes. I won’t pretend I’m not jealous.

Another fascinating power the dragonfly has is its resistance to cosmic threats.

dragonfly in rain

The dragonfly enduring a harsh meteor storm.

Weaknesses

The dragonfly’s complicated eyes prevent it from enjoying 3-D movies and video games, but it already bought all the equipment. This is what happens when you get shop online late at night, people.

Number of legs

Six.

Horrifying Wikipedia quote

“They breathe through gills in their rectum, and can rapidly propel themselves by suddenly expelling water through the anus.”

Differences from the damselfly

The dragonfly is different from the damselfly. The damselfly is smaller & holds its wings at rest together alongside body as opposed to the dragonfly, whose idle wing strategy can be better described as “letting it all hang out.”

Unsolved mysteries

The obelisk posture is a handstand the dragonfly does on sunny hot days. Scientists and religious leaders wonder: Is it a martial art? Is it a yoga? Is it true that one day when every dragonfly strikes the pose at once, the sky will crack open and phase two in the grand scheme of the dragonfly will be loosed upon our world?

What if it fought a bear?

The devil uses dragonflies to weigh souls. The bear’s soul is not particularly strong, but the dragonfly is uninterested in doing anything but getting a measurement. We’ll call this one a draw.

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

In the American South, the dragonfly is called the snake doctor. It is rumored to float around, mending the snake’s wounds. This is not a role the dragonfly plays in real life, although it is an essentially accurate description of the two animals’ relationship in their role-playing campaign.

I’m certainly concerned about the young dragonfly’s horrifying and possibly sinister obelisk worship. But I think this anecdote about the dragonfly’s gaming selflessness illustrate that the dragonfly does have other sides to its personality.

The dragonfly: It’s nature’s helicopter.

 

6.5/10

 

 

 

[1]Feinman, Stiles & Monsterbot, Attorneys at Law.

[2]I mean, relatively. It’s still bug-sized, you know?

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