Tag Archives: the aardvark’s cheat

Zebra

Zebra

When I began this internet web blog four years and 199 animals ago, I started with the aardvark. I did so because the aardvark is the first animal alphabetically, and I had to start somewhere. [Ed. Note: You did not have to start. We all wish you hadn’t.] Today, with my 200th animal rating, to celebrate the site’s fourth anniversary, I am featuring the other side of the coin dictionary: the zebra.[1]

There’s a critical question that comes with the territory when discussing the zebra. Namely, how do I tell it from the horse? Well boy have I got a lifehack for you. Just check for protruberances on the back of its hind legs called chestnuts! The horse has them on all four limbs, but the zebra only has the front two.[2]

Also, it has stripes.

Also, it has stripes.

Special powers

In a herd, the zebra’s stripes can create a disorienting effect that makes it hard to zero in on any one zebra. This is why the zebra is known as “the sniper’s foil.”

Furthermore, the zebra is capable of breeding with similar species, leading to the creation of the zorse, zony or zedonk (known collectively as zebroids).

Nice leggings, kid!

Nice leggings, kid!

Weaknesses

It can’t change its stripes.

Number of legs

Four.

Favorite video game

PaRappa The Rapper.

What if it fought a bear?

The bear will have to catch it first.

Is it noble?

Yes.

Final rating

“Zedonk” is one of the greatest words, and we owe its existence to the zebra. Beyond that, it’s just a rock-solid animal. It doesn’t have the incredible career of the horse, but it looks considerably cooler and won’t sell out its principles for an apple.

 

 

10/10

 

 

[1]To be clear, this is not my final animal rating. Fingers crossed that I don’t ride a rollercoaster that flies off the track and explodes before next week, despite what the prophecy predicts.

 

[2]I got this pro-tip from the Kingfisher Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals, in which “chestnuts” happens to land on a line-break and is essentially rendered as “chest-nuts,” which makes the word look a million times grosser.

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Aardvark

Aardvark

Hello. Welcome. Hellcome.

Oh boy. I’m sorry; that went to a bad place quickly. But I’m going to keep going. I can’t keep filling the waste bin with blog false starts. It’s not my place to put that on my garbage man. And besides that, all those half-blogs are just going to pile up in the landfill. These things take centuries to break down.

You are reading the inaugural post of Rate Every Animal, the blog where I rate every animal.

Now I know what you’re thinking. 1) “How is this different from every other animal-review site?” and 2) “Is he psychic?” The answers to these questions are “no” and “a personal touch” – not necessarily in that order.

I hope to get deeper beyond the usual criteria into my own emotional reactions and free associations with each animal I cover. This does not mean that I will skimp on sharing my deep knowledge of the facts about them. For instance, did you know that the aardvark has control over four of the five elements? Can you guess which is the odd element out? (Hint: It’s not wind, earth, fire or love!)

That is a sampling of the kind of insight I will provide in my efforts to review every animal, but it is also a segue into my first subject: The aardvark.

The aardvark is not a noble animal. This is key to understanding it.

I’m not going to shy away from the elephant in the room.* The aardvark is famous for being the alphabetically first animal. I like to think you are secure enough in yourself to admit that this fact is the first thing that came to mind when you read the word “aardvark.” The aardvark named itself so in a blatant act of self-aggrandizement and overcompensation, well aware that were it not for this name, it would be no better regarded than the lowly tapir.

Disgusting.

I cracked open my American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language to measure the success of the aardvark’s cheat.** Items that appear before “aardvark” (ignoring letters, prefixes, and acronyms) include Aachen, Aalborg and Aar. I think we can agree that Charlemagne, Denmark and the Swiss are all guilty of “the aardvark’s cheat.”

Special powers

The aardvark possesses a number of powers, one of which I alluded to earlier: It holds command over all the elements except for water. It also boasts powerful claws, which it uses to break into termite homes and eat their residents. The aardvark’s teeth never stop growing, which is why any time an aardvark grave is exhumed, all that remains is a giant pile of gnarled teeth, like a gruesome Cheshire smile.

Weaknesses

Its inability to command water.

Number of legs

Four.

Do I own a Beanie Baby of it?

I do not. In fact, I don’t believe the aardvark was featured in any of the first generation.

What if it fought a bear?

Due to the aardvark’s command of fire and trickster nature, it is my finding that a bear would be defeated by an aardvark in a street fight, but not in any professional settings.

Is it noble?

No.

Final rating

Fitting with the aardvark’s shortcut-taking nature, termites are a coward’s prey, but it is good that someone is eating them, as I enjoy a number of items made in part or wholly of wood. I also respect its capacity for love, which perhaps someday will open up the possibility of redemption. As it stands, however, the aardvark is a scoundrel.

 

3.5/10

 

 

*Metaphorical. It is an aardvark.

**I am trying to get this phrase to catch on like “Seward’s folly” did.

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