Tag Archives: criminal

Mudskipper

Mudskipper

The mudskipper rejects your preconceived notions. It won’t fit in your neat little boxes. Fish live in the water, you say? Screw your labels; I won’t do what you tell me, says the mudskipper. The mudskipper is straight up amphibious.

A creature of both water and earth. Ponder the duality of mudskipper. (Photo by K. Leonard)

A creature of both water and earth. Ponder the duality of mudskipper. (Photo by K. Leonard)

Special powers

Seriously, the mudskipper is a fish that can get up on land and walk around on its pectoral fins and breathe. It stores water in its gill chambers, trusty waterskin, and an adorably small flask so as to be both hydrated and aerated for its jaunts to the surface.

It puts the principles of good home decoration into practice in its burrow designs.

The mudskipper’s eyes give it an incredible field of vision – nearly 360 degrees. Don’t even try to do the thing where you tap it on the wrong shoulder. It sees what you’re up to. It’s seen all your tricks…

Weaknesses

…It’s seen perhaps too much.

The mudskipper made a Neopolitan pizza with non-standard mozzarella and was convicted of pizza fraud.

It is extremely bad at singing karaoke and doesn’t know it.

“UNDAH PRESSURE!”

“DON’T GO BREAKIN’ MY HEART!”

Number of legs

None, technically. But two, kind of.

Celebrity birthdays

The mudskipper shares a birthday with…

  • O. Henry, the writer who revealed on his deathbed that the O in his name stands for “Original Twilight Zone.”[1]

  • Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, hero airline pilot who secretly hates birds with every fiber of his being. “Y’ see this?” he screams every time he takes off. “You’re not better than me, you flapping sky garbage!”

  • Emperor Norton, the United States’ only emperor.

What if it fought a bear?

The mudskipper would refuse to fight.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I’ve forgiven the mudskipper for its cheese crime. I gotta take my hat off to it for breaking down boundaries for fish. It’s a true pioneer and it doesn’t care how silly it looks in the process. Skip on, mudskipper

 

 

9/10

 

 

 

 

[1]What a twist!

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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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Pen-tailed tree shrew

Pen-tailed tree shrew

We pretty much all eat some fermented nectar of bertam palm flower buds. Most of us do so in moderation, however, given the nectar’s 3.8% alcohol content. Not so the pen-tailed tree shrew. This tiny Malaysian critter is guzzling alcoholic goodies on the reg. Just pounding them in massive quantities like it’s pledging a frat whose Greek letters spell SPRING BREAK.

Special powers

Despite this heavy imbibing, the pen-tailed tree shrew doesn’t get drunk. It mostly uses this ability to hustle other animals in drinking games.

There’s also the matter of its tail, which doubles as a writing utensil. Just when you think your confiscation of its marker has stopped it from scrawling “PEN-TAILED TREE SHREW WAS HERE” on every available surface, out comes that tail to finish the job – and that’s a wordy message to have to scrub off later.[1]

Weaknesses

Some would argue not being able to get drunk is a weakness. It certainly takes away one excuse for the pen-tailed tree shrew’s graffiti tendencies.

So sober right now

In full control of its faculties.

All would agree its miniature size is frequently a disadvantage. Its stature renders it ineffective at tennis, basketball, baseball, American football, Canadian football, Australian rules football, Venusian gravity football, rowing, snooker, and other sports. Shelves without obvious climbing paths are challenges for the pen-tailed tree shrew. It struggles to see at concerts. It hates taking pictures with its girlfriend when she wears heels.

Number of legs

Four.

Drink of choice

Bertam nectar. Haven’t you been listening? Oh, you’ve been reading? Well, still.

What if it fought a bear?

Unless it’s a Marion Ravenwood style drink-off, the bear would be victorious. If it is a Marion Ravenwood style drink-off, the bear might still win if it collapses on top of the pen-tailed tree shrew.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

A wily, ever-binge-drinking, ever-sober graffito, the pen-tailed tree shrew is a good acquaintance to have. But it’s not the kind of friend you want to see every week, nor invite over to your place.

 

 

7.5/10

 

 

 

[1]It isn’t the only message the pen-tailed tree shrew broadcasts via its vandalism, however. Other briefer missives have included “GO MALAYSIA,” “ABBA RULES” with the As replaced with anarchy symbols, and “BONERZ.”

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Kangaroo

Kangaroo

There is much to unravel with the kangaroo. To get at all the secrets its pouch conceals, we will have to go deep into the subject.

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

WE HAVE TO GO DEEPER

Captain Kangaroo

I N C A P T A I N

The kangaroo got its start with the kangaroo rat in the mean streets of London. There the two of them ran cons masterminded by the kangaroo rat, with the kangaroo acting largely as muscle. One of their favorites was to enter the kangaroo in boxing matches, only to manipulate the outcome through cheating or taking a fall. Honestly, though, the fact that any Londoner wanted to punch a kangaroo speaks ill of them.

Eventually, Scotland Yard got wise to one of the duo’s more elaborate schemes and arrested them. The plan called for them to ransom Big Ben’s hour hand, so it was probably doomed from the start. The kangaroo rat had started to sample hard drugs at that stage, and its masterminding was beginning to suffer.

And so, the kangaroo was exiled to Australia, where it found itself quite at home among fellow criminals and road warriors. In modern times, it is considered a pest by most, but it’s still on good terms with the road warriors.

Special powers

The kangaroo is an excellent boxer. Its special feet allow it to jump at great speeds and for long distances without tiring. Its pouch hides a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, which would blow your head clean off.

Weaknesses

It is not the sharpest. It went along with all the kangaroo rat’s plans, even the drug-addled, obviously dumb ones. This ties into another weakness it has: the inability to tell right from wrong.

Kangaroo

“Duhhhh, what’s morality?” That’s what you sound like, dummy.

Number of legs

Two, kind of. Kind of four. If three, your kangaroo may be injured.

Libelous statement on Wikipedia’s talk page

“This is an ancient system that can also be seen in reptiles today (evidently the kangaroo was to lazy to evolve out of it). Hitthat (talk) 21:09, 5 March 2010 (UTC)”

Spectral presence

People have been perplexed for years by the appearances of the phantom kangaroo, a marsupial apparition which sometimes bounces through this mortal plane. How can this ghastly thing exist while the kangaroo is alive and well?

The answer is still not completely confirmed, but the phantom kangaroo’s distinctive scar on its left eye seems to indicate that it comes from the future or some kind of parallel universe.

Known aliases

According to Wikipedia, “Kangaroos are often colloquially referred to as roos. Male kangaroos are called bucks, boomers, jacks, or old men; females are does, flyers, or jills, and the young ones are joeys.

In other news, Australians have a lot of time on their hands for talking about kangaroos.

What if it fought a bear?

Assuming there’s no money in losing, the kangaroo would win.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I am a harsh but fair judge… unlike the kangaroo court, the kangaroo’s failed attempt to fashion a working tribunal to execute the kangaroo’s will under the guise of justice in the lawless Outback.

The kangaroo is very charming. I’d love to give it a higher rating. But it has made too many poor decisions, and understood none of them. Have fun with the drifting biker gangs, kangaroo, but keep your criminal ways out of my society.

 

4/10

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Kangaroo rat

Author note: Rate Every Animal will be moving to an every-Wednesday update schedule starting this week, unless I decide to change it back. Thanks for reading; please continue to do so!

Kangaroo rat

The kangaroo is considered as vermin. When you add in the rat factor, that makes the kangaroo rat a pest twice over, which is a classic case of what’s known as “double jeopardy.”

We all know that the kangaroo and kangaroo rat were exiled to Australia as punishment for their crimes. But while the kangaroo found a place among the felons, scoundrels, and road warriors Down Under, its accomplice was still found undesirable. So, the kangaroo rat traveled to somewhere it could escape its reputation: the American Southwest. But old habits are hard to kick and you can’t hop away from your past forever. Soon the kangaroo rat was nose-deep in debt and meth.

kangaroo rat

He can get out – for good this time – with just one last scam…

Special powers

The kangaroo rat is greatly skilled in abilities that would normally make it one of the great magicians: sleight of paw and astral projection. These talents are tragically wasted on its confidence schemes.

Weaknesses

It has a horrific driving record. The kangaroo rat is on its third truck since moving to the States and not even extensive Australian-style modifications can protect a vehicle from the kangaroo rat’s carelessness on the road.

Homemade tank, Vietnam

Pictured: Truck #2

Above is the second American truck, shortly before being rolled by the kangaroo rat due to driver distraction. Also, his jury-rigged controls don’t always reach the brakes.

Number of legs

Four.

Can it be redeemed?

I believe so.

What if it fought a bear?

In the middle of the kangaroo rat mouthing off, the bear would destroy the little squirt.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The kangaroo rat doesn’t need to be a crummy little grifter. But until it believes that, that’s all it will be. Well, that and very cute.

Enjoy its tiny bipedal ways; just consider keeping your wallet in your front pocket.
 
 
5/10

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Toad/frog

Toad/Frog

Did you know that scientists do not believe that there is a hard and fast distinction between the toad and the frog? This is playing perfectly into their confidence schemes, which frequently require them to play the same person in multiple locations at the same time. This gambit is known in grifter circles as the Reverse Mrs. Doubtfire. This scam has been notably mastered in numerous variations by the Olsen and Lohan twins.

I Know Who Killed Me

“I Know Who Killed Me” has been called the “Parent Trap” of film.

Special powers

The toad exudes toxins through its many warts, which can cause its enemies to hallucinate (whereupon the toad escapes its disoriented predator), paralysis, or even allergies to wheat.

Nobody believes me, but I swear to you the frog can sing and dance in the grand tradition of American musicals. I’m telling you; he was just doing it before you came in.

Weaknesses

The toad has a crippling weakness to being run over by automobiles, as depicted in the popular arcade game Q*bert.

The frog is hopelessly (and because of a long-running advertising campaign, ironically) addicted to Keystone Ice.

Number of legs

Four.

Where are their vocal sacs?

Neither frog nor toad has external vocal sacs. As a result, both sound like they are mumbling to themselves and do very poorly as stage actors.

toad

Speak up, son.

Explosive properties

The toad is one of the few animals with a built-in self-destruct mechanism. If sufficiently threatened, it will build up gases within itself, then release a hidden flap in a particular wart, the location of which I will not reveal here because of my ongoing blackmail efforts against the toad. At any rate, the addition of oxygen to the mixture triggers a powerful explosion.

The frog must be exploded through traditional means.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

No on both.

What if it fought a bear?

The toad and frog are not big on direct confrontation. They are cowardly, slimy* con men. However, the toad could blow up in the bear’s face in an act of mutually assured destruction.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The frog and toad are scoundrels, and not in the cool way that eleven-fingered thief Danny Ocean is.

Danny Ocean

“Guess how many toes I have! The answer is surprisingly low!”

I must, however, give them due credit for their mastery of Tin Pan Alley standards and inducing others to trip balls, respectively.

 

6.5

 

 

 

*Not intended as a slur against amphibians.

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