Tag Archives: Benjamin Franklin

Cougar

Cougar

Picture a jaguarundi. Now imagine something similar, but twice the size. What is this creature? It’s a mega-jaguarundi. But if you multiply the mega-jaguarundi by nearly five factors, now you have the cougar.

Special powers

The cougar is a big cat, so it does big cat stuff. I’m talking claws, speed, strength, agility. Its main power, however, is political. Each term, the vice president of the United States of America selects a cougar.

vice presidential cougar

Harry Truman’s cougar, Hairy S Puman.

The vice president’s pet cougar is not, contrary to popular belief, mentioned at all in the Constitution. It’s merely a tradition started by John Adams, our first and – for now – last Federalist vice president. He wrote that “As the lion is the king of the African jungle, so the puma is the vice president of the American forest. I can think of no more fitting beast to have at my side.”[1]

It’s all very similar to how presidential term limits of eight years were started unofficially by George Washington, our first and – for now – last cyborg president. This caused one angry Bostonian essayist to write that at that rate of change and the life expectancy of the time, “a man could live through THREE different prefidents! Fuch upheaval if unheard of. Fincerely, Fiffy Fpacek.[2]”

Weaknesses

Some of the cougar’s fancier powers were stolen by the loathsome thief Pumaman in a bid to become a superhero.

Puma Man

This is the face of a bandit.

Not living up to its full potential is not the cougar’s only weakness. There’s also its disastrous, scandal-tainted run as the mayor of Cougar Town. To this day the Cougar Town city council is distrustful of felines.

Number of legs

Four.

Known aliases

The cougar goes by many names. These include, among others:

  • the puma
  • the mountain lion
  • the panther
  • the ghost cat
  • the catamount
  • Catmandu
  • Doc Giggles
  • Maurice
  • Countrykitty1138

What if it fought a bear?

The bear has an immediate advantage in that it long ago got its powers back from Major Ursa the Human Bear.[3]

Is it noble?

Moderately.

Final rating

Look, I like big cats. The patriotic part of me likes that America has one. Still, I must be honest and unbiased. The cougar abandoned its child the jaguarundi, and it really set the Cougar Town economy back a few years. “Ghost cat” is kind of cool though.

 

6/10

 

 

 

[1]Adams also liked how silly it made Ben Franklin and his turkey look.

[2]I know. It’s a coincidence.

[3]Check Tales of the Remarkable #61, true believers! –Smilin’ Stan

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Blanket octopus

Blanket octopus

When you see the blanket octopus, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for some kind of seafaring sentient kite.

blanket octopus

Not a kite.

Benjamin Franklin did. When a bolt of lightning gave him the ability to communicate with water-dwellers, he first sought out the friendship of the blanket octopus, thinking it some kind of magical new kite.* It didn’t work out between them, in part because Franklin was still quite lightning-mad in the immediate aftermath of his accident.

Special powers

It is invulnerable to the poison of the jellyfish’s cousin the man o’ war. As a result, the notoriously catty jellyfish family despise the blanket octopus.

The blanket octopus is also a skilled ventriloquist (see Male/female relations).

Weaknesses

The blanket octopus is one of the sea creatures most susceptible to becoming threadbare.

Number of legs

Eight.

Male/female relations

In an incredible case of sexual dimorphism, the female blanket octopus is about six and a half feet long whereas the male blanket octopus is actually an inch-long bit of cloth that the female operates like a puppet.

Athletic achievements

Though one might think the blanket octopus would be good at ribbon dancing, it did not even medal in the event in the Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul. It did however get a bronze on the uneven bars. Some blame rhythmic gymnastics’ harsh French judge, who was a jellyfish.

What if it fought a bear?

Bears can be made into rugs. Blanket is the level at which the blanket octopus begins. Rugs always beat blankets on the rare occasions they fight. Advantage bear.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The blanket octopus isn’t as comfy or airworthy as one might hope, but it’s really quite nice. Unlike the spiteful and ignorant denim jacket squid.

 

7.5/10

 

 

*Dude loved kites.

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Turkey

Turkey

On this Thanksgiving, I want to spotlight the delightful animal at the center of the holiday:

The yam.

yam

This bad boy’s getting at least an 8.5.

This bad boy’s getting at least an 8.5.

Thanksgiving fools! Everyone knows the yam is a sucky animal. It maxes out at a 2. The true subject of today’s post is the turkey. Will it surpass 2? Let’s find out.

Special powers

The turkey is, first and foremost, delicious. I guess that’s not really a power, but it is a fact.

Weaknesses

The turkey’s wattle is a big exposed hunk of flesh that may as well have “Hit Me” written on it – and on several occasions, has. In combat situations, its only move is to flap its wings frantically, which doesn’t stop attackers so much as decorate them with shiny feathers.

Number of legs

Two.

The turkey in U.S. government

Many know that Benjamin Franklin, electrical wizard, was the turkey’s greatest supporter in the debate over what animal would become America’s national emblem. What they may not know is that John Adams had to recuse himself from the discussion on account of being the turkey’s cousin.

The turkey learned its lesson from its failed campaign to represent the nation, however. Nowadays, its lobbying powers in Washington have expanded tremendously. The President even holds an annual press conference just to reaffirm that the turkey is worth keeping alive.

It should also be noted that the turkey was briefly mayor of Peoria, Illinois.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear would look very festive afterward (see Weaknesses).

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

The turkey has a very mixed reputation. A turkey is a bowler term for something good, but it’s also a person term for something bad.

Black Lightning

Look at those guys. It’s hard to disagree.

Everyone gets excited about it twice a year (Thanksgiving and whenever it’s the footlong-of-the-month), but the rest of the year the turkey is a punchline. You may suspect the date to influence my decision, then. You would be wrong, sir/ma’am/decline to specify. I am not a slave to “Gregor” and his “calendar.” I am my own man. And the turkey is its own bird. But it’s not a great bird to be.

 

4.5/10

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Electric eel

Electric eel

The electric eel is yet another animal with a misleading name. It is not a true eel; they are all Amish in fact. The electric eel is more closely related to the knifefish (which is itself most closely related to cutlery). So what kind of creature are we dealing with that is just two degrees from silverware and calls itself an eel without raising the requisite barns? As it turns out, a surprisingly powerful, not so surprisingly shady wizard.

Special powers

This one should be obvious. It generates and directs electricity. Of course, this raises an important question: what is electricity?

lightning

Is it a monster?

Well, allow me to explain. Electricity is a savage, unspecific kind of magic. Other kinds can perform complex tasks such as time travel or turning regular hats into top hats.* Electricity is only good for a few things:

  • The harm of humans & animals
  • The operation of machines
  • The pleasure of Nicola Tesla
  • Dalek food
  • Rarely, the bestowal of superpowers

Many know that Benjamin Franklin was the first wizard to accidentally harness electricity. Though he is now remembered for the other positions he held, he was at the time focused on being the greatest kite fighter in the colonies. A key battle of the Revolution was decided by two representatives engaging in a kite duel, with Franklin standing for America against the Kite Baron Reginald Faulkner. Franklin was so traumatized after killing Faulkner that he retired from kite fighting and devoted himself full-time to sleeping with French women.

In the year 1750, however, none of that had happened. Franklin was still happily flying kites equipped with his trademark key-blades. One stormy night, lightning struck his kite – and consequently, him. This of course gave him superpowers (see also Barry Allen, Billy Batson, Albert Einstein**). Specifically, the power to commune with marine life (see also Blade the vampire-slayer). With this, he was able to learn the secrets of electricity from a loose-lipped eel.

Weaknesses

The electric eel suffers from a terminal case of loose lips.

Number of legs

Not even one.

Professions

Like Benjamin Franklin, the electric eel has held many jobs. These include disastrous runs as dishwasher, human resources representative, and pharmacy technician as well as more successful stints as insurance claims adjuster and Miami area bounty hunter. It is a restless beast; it’s only a matter of time before it switches things up again.

Cinematic connections

Because of its physical similarities, the electric eel once spent a number of weeks living among the aforementioned true eels as a way of staying safe in the wake of a murder it witnessed. It sold a screenplay of its experience in Hollywood, and it eventually became the Harrison Ford vehicle called – you guessed it – K-19: The Widowmaker.

Electric eel

Pictured: Harrison Ford

What if it fought a bear?

The electric eel has a good chance of electrocuting it to death. Or possibly until the bear is given superpowers.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The electric eel is a shiftless, irresponsible creature who does not take seriously its great powers. However, were it not for this animal, we would not have modern conveniences like toasters and 2-XL.

2-XL

Legacy of the eel-Franklin friendship.

 

5.5/10

 

 

 

*Some very powerful magics can even go the other way!

**Hence the hair.

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