Tag Archives: possible murderer

Man o’ war

Man o’ war

When an animal also goes by the floating terror, there are going to be a lot of expectations on it. Will the man o’ war live up to either of its dramatic names? You be the judge.

Well, actually, I will be the judge but please feel free to write your own score down at home and show it to no one.

Well, actually, I will be the judge but please feel free to write your own score down at home and show it to no one.

Special powers

The man o’ war is equipped with a venomous sting.

Weaknesses

It has an extremely limited capacity to move itself. It floats on the ocean surface, subject to the whims of the winds and waves. It can manipulate gases inside itself to sink a little and use a “sail” on its body to give itself some direction. That is better than a stupid plant, but pretty pathetic for an animal.

Number of legs

Not applicable.

Nemeses

The man o’ war particularly despises the blanket octopus for its immunity to its venom, the loggerhead turtle for having skin too thick to sting (and for eating the man o’ war on the regular), and Meghan Trainor for canceling her planned concert in international waters in the mid-Atlantic. To a lesser (but still substantial) degree, it also hates everyone who has ever lived.

What is its secret?

The man o’ war’s deep secret is that it is not actually a single organism, but instead a colony of specialized “zooids” which cannot truly function individually.

What if it fought a bear?

That bear’s getting stung. Unless the wind gently blows the man o’ war somewhere else.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

It planned on trying to sting Meghan Trainor; I just know it. Fortunately for her and all us would-be victims, its aggression is balanced by its inability to move sizable distances with purpose. It is by far the animal most like if a piece of day-glo driftwood was holding a poison-tipped shiv and seethed with hatred at all life.

 

3/10

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Praying mantis

Praying mantis

As one might guess, the praying mantis is very religious. Exactly what old god it prostrates itself before is known only to itself and to its victims when it whispers this secret just before biting their head off.

Special powers

The praying mantis is an expert in camouflage and cleanliness.

found you

I was lucky to find it and take this picture.

It is also very, very good at murder.

Weaknesses

The mantis is a Level 150 Nexus Paladin in its religion. That sounds impressive[1] until you hear that some of its peers at church are nearly Level 300. Don’t ask the mantis about it, though. Even hearing your question will taint the mantis’s aura with negativitatrons.

Number of legs

Six.

Fierceness factor

High.

Mating rituals

The female is larger than the male. It often starts eating the male immediately following coitus, as is its religious right. It is a voracious user of Tinder.

What’s its astrological sign?

Alibi. This is folded into its own belief set – how I don’t pretend to know.

What if it fought a bear?

It is a bug, and thus squashable.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The mantis doesn’t look so much like a real creature as it does concept art for a somewhat implausible movie alien. That’s pretty cool, if a little scary. Fortunately any fright is mitigated knowing that (a) it is far too small to bite my head off, and (b) we’re Facebook friends so I won’t come up on its Tinder.

That secretive religious stuff and all the murdering and cannibalism, though. That’s sketchy as all get out.

 

 

4.5/10

 

 

 

[1]If that’s the right word.

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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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Quail

Quail

The quail and mankind used to be friends a long time ago.

"You wanna go cruise for babes?"

But I haven’t thought of you lately at all. (Photo from Des Moines Register)

Now, of course, humanity’s BFF is the dog. But in the long-distant past, that role was filled by the quail. Accounts differ as to what exactly broke up the then-inseparable pair. One story is that the quail ate something in the fridge that man was saving for later. One rumor is that man said something bad about the quail’s girlfriend, or possibly its fondue start-up business. Some say the break-up was caused by a betrayal in a game of foursquare, though there’s no consensus on who was the betrayer.

Special powers

Look man, what do you want? It’s the quail. The only power we thought it had was loyalty and if the story about the fridge is true, we know that’s not so. We wanted the rest of that chicken wrap for dinner, quail! We wanted it so bad.

Weaknesses

The qual is subject to the whims and orders of the king quail.

A certain kind of quail was, in punishment for the crime of murder, cursed to forever repeat the name of its victim, Bob White.

Number of legs

Two. Plus two wings.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Asks

“I Would Like To ?buy Fresh Water Drinkers For thirtytwothirtyfour Naseby 4rd B’ham Beight threHe For Sabina Insha Allah I Will Pay When zit -arrives”

What if it fought a bear?

The quail would challenge the bear to a game of foursquare. The bear would maul it instead.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

We may not remember exactly what you did to us, quail, but we will never forgive you. The dog is way cooler than you, anyway. It would never eat our wrap. It… It puked on the floor and now it’s eating the puke.

…The point stands.

 

3.5/10

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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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Dwarf pipe snake

Dwarf pipe snake

The dwarf pipe snake is easy to understand. All you have to do is picture the Asian pipe snake, but pretend it doesn’t have a chin groove. You’re almost there, but also…

Actually, forget it. Who can think about the dwarf pipe snake at a time like this? We are in the middle of award season, and it is getting heated. I’m talking about the Globes, the Grammys, the Latin Grammys, the Prussian Grammys, the Venusian MegaGrammys, the PGAs, the DGAs, the SAGs, the J*A*Gs, the People’s Choice Awards, all leading up to the Oscars just a mere seven months from now. There’s a lot to analyze, so let’s take a look first at some animals who are top contenders this year.

Top contenders

As always, the blue whale is a heavy[1] favorite in all the music categories. It should win all manner of Grammys and get ever closer to its goal of filling its bathtub entirely with the things. And it has one big bathtub, friend.

Speaking of music, the drake has a strong possibility of winning Best Rap Song for “Started From The Bottom” about finding a choice piece of bread that sank to the lake floor.

male duck

“You’re a good hen and you know it.”

Everyone is looking to the porcupine to win Pointiest Quills, and not just because the voters are all petrified it will kill someone if it loses. That award genuinely seems tailor-made for it, honestly, especially the part where its name has already been etched into it by the sculptor at quill-point.

Achievement in Noses is the proboscis monkey‘s to lose.

And of course, the tree frog is expected to take home Wackest Living Creature for the ninety-sixth year running.

Dark horse picks

If you’re going to win your office awards pool, you can’t just pick the big names everyone expects to win. You need to select some lower profile animals who have a good shot at pulling off the upset.

Animals like the mule. It doesn’t have the pedigree of some other nominees, but don’t underestimate the appeal of youth and a good personal story. It just might surprise people and knock off an obvious favorite like the dark horse.

black horse

It’s hard to beat.

I freely admit this is a long shot, but if Tim Allen does rush in from nowhere to slam K.K. Barrett from the top rope and win Best Production Design, a category in which he is neither nominated nor eligible, I will win $956 million. I couldn’t afford not to place that bet.

Snubs and flubs

The various bodies that hand out awards this time of year aren’t infallible, I’m afraid. After all, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was made up by a sixth-grader and has only continued to exist out of momentum. That’s just one example. The others have their own problems[2], and so have fallen into some serious flubs, not to mention snubs as well.

Foremost among these is totally ignoring the cat for its supporting performance in Inside Llewyn Davis. You know how people sometimes say New York City is like its own character? Well, the cat is a million times better in Inside Llewyn Davis than New York is in any movie, though maybe not Barkhad Abdi good. But still, it deserved a nomination.

what an odd couple

Shame on you, Oscar.

Consider next the ridiculous nomination of the bat for Achievement in Fruit-Eating Among Mammals. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I think the bat isn’t a world-class fruit-eater. I vote to induct it into the Hall of Fame every year I can. My issue is that as you can tell by its wings, the bat is clearly a bird. Duh-doy.

Speaking of categorization controversy, there has been much talk of the California condor being deemed ineligible in the meat-eating categories because, according to the academy, its meals are derivative of another animal’s kill.

What to watch for

Awards season isn’t all just a list of winners and losers nominees. Much of the excitement[citation needed] comes from the ceremonies themselves. Who will wow on the red carpet? Who will beach themselves on the red carpet and nearly asphyxiate to death? Will someone make a hilarious and timely joke about Kanye West upstaging Taylor Swift five years ago?

The chamois is sure to pull some kind of mysterious stunt to promote its next project.

The whole fashion industry is on the edge of their seats to see the swan‘s wardrobe after last year’s “human” dress that got everyone talking (none of it complimentary). But hey, she felt like a princess, albeit a creepy Thomas Harris nightmare princess. It will be a hard act to follow at any rate.

Keep an eye on the presenters this year. If you look closely, you may find that a full 58% of them forget to read the teleprompter out loud and instead just mouth the words along with it. Thanks to tape delay, these presenters can immediately dub themselves before the East Coast feed even notices.

Final rating

The dwarf pipe snake is boring.

 

2/10

 

 

 

 

 

[1]Both figuratively and literally.

[2]Word is, J.D. Power killed and ate two Associates this year.

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Antlion

Antlion

I know, I know, but the antlion is not the lion of ants; that would be the flea circus staple Teddy the Ant with a Mane. The antlion is named so because – at least as a larva – it loves to eat ants.

Special powers

It does so by digging a pit in sandy ground, burrowing in so only its monstrous jaws are exposed. There it waits with a sniper’s patience for an unsuspecting ant to tumble into its sinister trap, at which point it can inject venom into its victim so that it won’t be able to struggle while the antlion empties it of everything within its exoskeleton. It is sometimes known as the doodlebug.

antlion larva

So cute.

As an adult, the antlion changes drastically. It becomes much more like a damselfly. Instead of hiding itself in sandy deathtraps, it flies through the air leaving skywriting messages like “I regret nothing,” “They all deserved to die,” and “Break free from old wireless rules with T-Mobile.”[1]

Weaknesses

The antlion larva has no anus. It stores up all the waste of its whole childhood – which, again, consists of all the guts of every ant that has ever stepped too close. What sinister purpose it’s saving it for I hope we never have cause to learn.

Also, its dramatic evolution into its final form can be interrupted against its will with a mere press of the B button.

antlion all grown up

ANTLION learned FLY!

Number of legs

Six.

Number of anuses (in larval form)

Zero.

Do I have a diagram of it using its deathtrap?

like so

Yes.

What if it fought a bear?

The antlion is fearsome, but there’s a drastic weight class difference here that puts it at a serious disadvantage.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

I know we all love sandy pits. But trust me, you don’t want to find yourself sliding down one into the waiting jaws of the young antlion. Nor do you want to find yourself the subject of a scathing message in the clouds by the adult antlion’s hand.[2] That’s why you should always thoroughly vet any unfamiliar sand pit before you dive into it for the first time.

the more you know

 

 

8.5/10

 

 

 

[1]You too can hire out its services for the right fee as long as you’re cool with being associated with an gleefully unrepentant ant-murderer.

[2]Not an actual hand.

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Old World vulture

Old World vulture

As I lay here dying at the top of a Tibetan mountain, abandoned here like a twisted version of jhator, the ritual sky burial practiced here, I find myself reflecting on the Old World vulture.

Indian vulture

I also reflect on the blood leaking fast from my extensive wounds.

If you don’t know much about sky burial, the whole idea is that a body is given up to the vulture in the sky rather than a box in the ground. However, it is usually done with bodies that are already dead. That is not the case with me today. While perfectly viable for corpses, I – as a still living person – am finding it extraordinarily painful.

Special powers

If you provoke or frighten the Old World vulture, it will vomit on you. That’s what we in the business call a power move. I tried to struggle more at first, before my strength had deserted me, which is why I am covered in defensive vomit now. The Old World vulture’s remarkably powerful stomach acid, capable of killing most any disease, is having quite the corrosive effect on my open wounds.

The Old World vulture also pees on itself to cool down and stay clean. Is there any bodily fluid it can’t find a use for?

Weaknesses

It’s got a big ol’ bald head. The Old World vulture insists that this is a benefit that allows it to keep its feathers clean as it thrusts its head deep into my flesh. “C’mon, bro,” I gurgle through the blood filling my mouth. “Nobody’s buying it, baldie.”

Number of legs

Two.

Vocalizations

Unlike many birds, the vulture has no song. Intermittent grunts and hisses are the soundtrack to my slow, slow demise. This is my death song.

Magazine subscriptions

Time, Life, Mile, Mite, File, Flight, Milf, Better Homes and Gardens.

What if it fought a bear?

It is hard to tell as my vision grows gray and dull.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

I plead with my last breaths to the vulture king to end my suffering. If he knows mercy, I may live to rate again. Until I see evidence of such mercy, I must rate the vulture a…

 

 

1/10

Would not die by again.

 

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Rock lobster

Rock lobster

Today’s animal is inescapably connected to a famous B-52s song. That’s right; I speak of none other than that proprietor of the Love Shack, the rock lobster! It is so named because it really rocks on a Stratocaster. Of course, it is also a lobster made of rocks[1], but that’s just a coincidence.

ROCK LOBSTER!

The rock lobster: surprisingly lifelike!

Special powers

While its exterior is made of solid rock,[1] the rock lobster has a heart made of gold.

Furthermore, it can navigate its ocean habitat by detecting Earth’s magnetic field. Most animals just, like look around or smell or whatever, but the rock lobster can be kind of ostentatious.

Weaknesses

Being made of gold actually makes it very difficult for the rock lobster’s heart to work properly.

Number of legs

Eight plus two claws.

Drink of choice

When going out, it prefers to mix one part ameretto, one part white crème de cacao and one part Baileys Irish Cream into a concoction which the rock lobster calls a “human.” When staying at home, it will knock back a couple ‘Stones.[1]

Professions

As I mentioned, the rock lobster owns and operates the Love Shack. It doesn’t do a terribly good job, though. Consider the poor condition of the business’s sign and said sign’s distance from what it’s advertising – which brings up the issue of the Shack’s less-than-ideal location. Due to the rock lobster’s policies, only non-fool clientele who care to drive miles upon miles and knock extremely hard on the establishment’s door can enter. That is, frankly, a niche audience from which to extract jukebox money.

What if it fought a bear?

It’s a bad idea to bite into hard mineral.[2] But these two are more likely to work together to bash a salmon to death. The bear finds it delicious; the rock lobster just enjoys the thrill of murder.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Truly, just as Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson sang, the rock lobster can roam if it wants to.

 

4/10

 

 

 

[1]They’re minerals, Marie!

[2]Was that so hard?

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Great tit

Great tit

Look, I didn’t set out to rate the great tit today because I’m an immature child who’d get amusement from a “dirty” name. I’m rating the great tit today because it is a bird worthy of real discussion.

That said, here is a picture from its Wikipedia article, along with its actual caption.

“A pair of Great Tits”

“A pair of Great Tits”

There. Now that that ugly bit of business is out of the way, can we get to brass tacks? Wait, I’m sorry. I thought I was doing my fastener-rating side blog for a second.[1] What we should actually get down to is the great tit.

Special powers

Or should I say up? Perhaps, since the great tit has the ability of flight, and can often be found soaring over our heads. Don’t look up though; it might be pooping.

Weaknesses

The great tit’s Cockney accent is nigh impenetrable.

Furthermore, it’s a real jerk about pooping just anywhere it likes.

Number of legs

Two, plus wings.

Diet

The great tit mostly prefers to feed on insects. That doesn’t mean that it won’t branch out if sufficiently pushed. Infamously, one harsh winter, the great tit grew desperate for food and began slaughtering bats and eating the brains out of their crushed skulls. In the 1940s in Britain, it killed and fed on milkmen in the same fashion. Eventually spring came and the insects returned, but by that time it was too late. The great tit had a taste for murder, and only the efforts of profiler Will Graham could stop it.

What if it fought a bear?

It did, and it ate the bear’s brain with caterpillars and a nice Chianti.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

The great tit is a favorite subject of study of bird-watchers and Quantico trainees alike. It has lovely feathers and a lovely singing voice, even if you can’t make out the lyrics (see Weaknesses). And its insight may be just the thing we need to capture other brain-eaters.

 

6/10

 

 

[1]Spoiler alert: This week’s feature is the brass tack!

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