Re: Skunk in Public

1

I will also accept proposed skunk names.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:14 PM
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Have you considered hiring it as a sort of skunk consultant?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:16 PM
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I hadn't even considered the valuable information skunks might have about the railroad system.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:22 PM
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Pepper spray it like an uncooperative hobo. It'll stay away.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:28 PM
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3: no, man. That skunk is an expert in... well, getting people to slam their doors, I guess. Anyhow, always money in that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:32 PM
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Don't listen to gswift. Skunks gain the odor of things that spray them, so you would have a mutant capsicum skunk stalking you. Spray it with something pleasant, like maple syrup or supermodel urine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:33 PM
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I'm not convinced I need to dissuade the skunk from patrolling the area. For all I know, skunks perform a valuable public service, such as spraying drunken fratty douchebags.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:46 PM
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8: skunk bong woooo!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 8:47 PM
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9

Yes, startle the skunk. This is an excellent plan.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 4-13 10:29 PM
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10

9 to 1.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:01 AM
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Everybody else was thinking 9, but just didn't say it, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 2:40 AM
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My neighborhood has skunks -- I think they live in the park, but they wander the streets. It's been years, and I haven't heard of any spraying stories (or smelled the aftermath on the street). The body language when the skunk is feeling threatened and considering taking action is pretty clear, and gives plenty of time to back off.

And they're really cute.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 6:11 AM
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13

Who wants to sex Skunktumbo?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 6:14 AM
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We get a lot of run over skunks down here, so I gather they're terrible at crossing streets.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 6:18 AM
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Name the skunk Pepe and reserve a spot for it in a local church.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 6:40 AM
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LizardBreath is right. Skunks know perfectly well they are fearful and terrible animals and they tend to be a little condescending to their fellow creatures as a result. As long as your new neighbor doesn't start stamping his forepaws in a pointed way at you then he's not bothered. Or, worst case, he spins around for his tail to face you, which is the last warning he will give.

You can rest assured he knows that you are more scared of him than he is of you and go about your business, basically.


Posted by: winna | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 7:09 AM
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There used to be an albino skunk in Somerville that I would encounter on my way home late at night.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 7:15 AM
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Or, worst case, he spins around for his tail to face you, which is the last warning he will give.

...before he starts twerking.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 7:22 AM
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We used to have a whole family of skunks near our house. The mother was feeding her family primarily by raiding our garbage bin. The baby skunks were pretty cute, and they seemed harmless enough until one of the adults somehow found its way into our basement and sprayed the cat. This was in the middle of winter, so we had to open every window in the house for days while we had a newborn baby at home and it was freezing outside.

I did have to consolation of learning a little more about Massachusetts insurance law, specifically the provision that excludes vermin damage from homeowners policies. I also learned a genuinely useful tip (thanks, Internet) for getting skunk smell out of pet fur: a mixture of dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.

Animal control eventually came and removed the whole skunk family to the wilderness somewhere.

Then I found five dollars. Hah hah, not really. Then I paid a bunch of money to get the rugs professionally cleaned.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 7:54 AM
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The skunks in my old/LB's neighborhood were kind of bedraggled looking and I most often saw one trying to burrow into a trash bag on a curb and they were all the cuter for it. They were one of my favorite things about the neighborhood. (Yeah, there were not many things I liked about the neighborhood.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 8:22 AM
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most often saw one trying to burrow into a trash bag on a curb

My neighborly skunk was rooting around under the porch of the house right next to me, and I heard it and started to walk over. The skunk emerged, and in the darkness I first thought it was a cat. It was not a cat.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 8:47 AM
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22

Are you sure it wasn't a black cat that got a stripe of white paint on her back?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 8:49 AM
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A rabid skunk spent its last days in our courtyard at work. It charged and sprayed two people before dying of rabies under a bush. The last day we got a bunch of excited emails about rabies and where the skunk was now, which I forwarded to some friends.

I accidently hit Reply All to the last one, so the whole building saw my commentary. Then I got a few emails from people saying they had been doing the same thing, so I figure it was OK.

A couple days ago, I saw a large black widow making her (injured) way across a ramp in broad daylight and I wanted to joke about how she was rabid to be out in daylight but there was no one who would get it so I just squished her (it is the ramp to a daycare).

That's all.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 10:04 AM
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The ramp was in the sme courtyard. That is relevant. Because the widow could have gotten rabies from the skunk.

I also learned during the incident that a quarter of the squirrels in downtown carry rabies.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 10:30 AM
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removed the whole skunk family to the wilderness somewhere

Maybe near the skunk farm upstate.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 10:52 AM
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I also learned during the incident that a quarter of the squirrels in downtown carry rabies.

Seriously? Whoa.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 10:55 AM
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I just rescued a skunk! This was a week ago. There was a skunk in the street in front of my house, with its head trapped in a styrofoam bowl, stumbling around cause it couldn't see. I pulled the bowl off. I felt very brave, but actually I was mostly drunk.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:08 PM
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I just rescued a skunk! This was a week ago. There was a skunk in the street in front of my house, with its head trapped in a styrofoam bowl, stumbling around cause it couldn't see. I pulled the bowl off. I felt very brave, but actually I was mostly drunk.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:08 PM
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29

Still drunk?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:14 PM
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21: The skunk emerged, and in the darkness I first thought it was a cat. It was not a cat.

I find this mostly happens with raccoons. What ho! I say to the thing that seems like it's probably a cat: Oh! You are not cat. You are raccoon. Hi.

Then I hiss at him or her, and stamp my feet, if the hissing doesn't work. Maybe that's not good strategy for skunks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:27 PM
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29 Still drunk?

Two skunks.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:29 PM
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You are not cat. You are raccoon.

I always tell myself that whatever it was, it was not a rat. I use the same part of my brain that I use to tell me I'm going to buy a large bag of Swedish Fish because that way it will last me all week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:37 PM
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33

31: Two skunks, one bowl.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:38 PM
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34

stumbling around cause it couldn't see

Goid, the other day I saw the awful thing of a groundhog, I think it was, that had probably been hit by a car, flailing around in the middle of the road. I .. didn't know what to do. It was trying to get up, then falling over on its side, and its back, and desperately waving its legs in the air before trying to get up again, and falling over again.

I ... didn't know what to do. All the other cars were carefully slowing down and over to one side to give the groundhog space. I did the same. I cried a little bit. But I couldn't think what else to do. Vaguely thought of turning around and running over him to put him out of his pain, but I couldn't do that.

winna, is there something helpful someone should do in that case?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:38 PM
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35

Oh. "Goid" should obviously be "God"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:39 PM
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36

Thanks, but I don't need the responsibility.


Posted by: Goid | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:44 PM
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37

I will also accept proposed skunk names.

Jeff Baxter.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:56 PM
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38

I'd go for Spanky. Hey Spanky!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 12:57 PM
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39

I saw a fox twice in one week this year while driving at night. Never before or since. The two locations were at least two miles apart, so my hypothesis is that we were briefly a waypoint in the fox migration.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 1:03 PM
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I see foxes all the time, even though we aren't in central London. They clearly use our garden, and I've seen fox cubs playing in our neighbour's* garden at night. If I hear the gate in the alley between our houses rattle at night, I know it's foxes slipping through.

* they have a security light. They no doubt play in ours, but I'd never see them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 1:06 PM
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34 -- Groundhogs apparently not included.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 1:08 PM
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I nearly ran over a coyote not long ago a few blocks away in my city neighborhood. Several live around here, apparently, but not enough to put a dent in the domestic cat population.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 1:32 PM
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FWIW, a friend of mine has pet skunks [and also pet m/ eerkats]. I think, although I may be wrong, she's only had one spraying incident.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 1:40 PM
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44

Maybe near the skunk farm upstate.

Those are in California. Massachusetts decriminalized the possession, not the cultivation.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 1:58 PM
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45

Does meerkats' characteristic vigilance extend to Googling themselves?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 2:00 PM
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The problem with skunks is that they haven't figured out how to organize effectively. A single skunk can be avoided without too much trouble, and as Pepe Le Pew illustrated (and lives on in re-runs, though I doubt he'll ever be drawn fresh again) they are always looking for love.

What skunks need is a long intensive immersion program in an old fashioned United States 6-12th grade school, where team sports are extremely valued.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 2:04 PM
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Re 45

Fairly sure my friend does.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 5-13 2:40 PM
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34 - I saw a squirrel in similar circumstances the other day. I was on the other side of the road so couldn't run it over even if I wanted to. Very sad though.

We went to the zoo last weekend and now the kids want a pet capybara. We'd have to dig a pond though, so I don't think it's practical.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 2:58 AM
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I suspect Capybaras are a bit high maintenance, plus I'm not sure how they'd cope with English winters- Americans who keep them tend to live in the south. Have you seen the website?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:05 AM
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Capybara sightings continue in Barnet: possibly this is/was the only one in the UK wild; it may indeed not have survived a winter.

The invasive UK coypus of a decade or so back are now "extirpated" (acc.a PDF report I just found) but Chinese muntjacs live wild and noisy in the woods of Oxfordshire. My friend H grew up nearby and says in the mating season they sound like giant alien babies loudly strangling one another.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:24 AM
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Actually -- read the story before you link, not just the headline! -- it mentions a not very convincing sighting of two together in someone's garden (unconvincing bcz they are not really "little brown animals", they're quite big).

I saw a water kelpie when I was a kid (or anyway a quite pony-sized sleekly wet unidentified black animal, walking along a rural Shropshire roadside at 4 in the morning). It *might* very been a very large very weird-looking dog.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:31 AM
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The invasive UK coypus of a decade or so back are now "extirpated"

This is true. They threw an amazing amount of money at the problem because they were destroying river and canal banks to the extent that it was becoming an economic problem. Muntjacs, however, are well established in several areas.

I must have mentioned my friend who came back from the pub and found she was being followed down the garden path by a coypu. It does weird things to your head, if you're seriously drunk and realise you're being stalked by a 15lb rat.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:36 AM
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It *might* very been a very large very weird-looking dog.

A gigantic hound?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:39 AM
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Whee, insomnia. I should try to get back to bed, now that I've spent the interval from 4:30 to 6:30 AM on Sunday morning doing tedious course-related tasks I'd been postponing for weeks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:41 AM
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Near Wales -- actually on the Welshpool road -- where the kelpies are grey rather than white and sky-blue, and called Ceffyl Dŵr. Or else a very pony-looking and water-doused Gwyllgi.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:48 AM
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My friend H grew up nearby and says in the mating season they sound like giant alien babies loudly strangling one another.

To be fair, so do foxes.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 5:14 AM
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There are many kinds of alien.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 5:51 AM
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re: 50

Yeah, I used to live in student accommodation in Oxford that had muntjacs in the grounds.

re: crypto-zoology: I saw what looked like a very large black cat from the window of a train: in between Reading and Oxford. I'm assuming it was probably a greyhound or similar slinky looking dog and the motion of the train fooled my eye, as the animal was large and sleekit looking, low to the ground. It was definitely big, though, it wasn't a domestic cat and a trick of perspective.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 7:37 AM
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Ok, a "Coypu" is a Nutria. Not as weird as the "flapjack" for granola bar thing but still good to know. Are there possums in the UK? That kind of fills up the super creepy yet common night mammal quota around here.


Posted by: Robert HalfordI | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 7:50 AM
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Ugh, the worst is when you see a possum running past with all of its nasty possum babies clinging to its sides.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 7:59 AM
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Anyhow check out Gary the Capybara. He has a jaunty hat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 7:59 AM
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Ok, a "Coypu" is a Nutria.

For good and sufficient reasons. Also Coypu is what they're called where they come from. God knows who invented "Nutria".

There are no marsupials in Eurasia. There were feral wallabies in England for a few years, but they didn't survive.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:01 AM
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Loads of muntjac round here too. Most impressively, I think, in the cemetery (at Cemetery Junction, that Ricky Gervais's film was named after), which is a large isosceles triangle, with two long sides being busy main roads, and a short side being the back of people's houses. They must be confined to the cemetery.

I'm not really going to get a capybara. They seem quite aggressive, for a start. But zoos over here generally have a surplus, so they must do ok here.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:02 AM
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64

Halford's Gary and Chris's Giant Hamster link are about the same person/capybara.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:06 AM
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||

I'm curious to see what results from observing that the person sitting at the next table in this coffee shop appears to be reading this exact thread.

|>


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:25 AM
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62: Well, based on what you link to, people in this country called them "Nutria" because they sort of resembled the "Nutria" (otters) that they were familiar with in other countries. Exactly like how we called an animal the "elk" because it resembled the European elk, and then found an animal that was virtually identical to the European elk, which then had to be called the "moose".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:32 AM
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65 Babies?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:33 AM
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68

Not my preferred gender. I was hoping for panicked rubbernecking, but they closed their browser sans refresh.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:37 AM
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69

Well, they'll have to check again sometime. Hey, you, in the cafe: own up!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:39 AM
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70

Where are you, lambchop? It might be quite easy to resolve.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:59 AM
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68: Obviously a private eye.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:13 AM
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72

Or official law enforcement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:13 AM
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73

71 -- in the West Wing's Situation Room, obvs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:23 AM
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That would have been only mildly lame if it had gone to 70.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:27 AM
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73: which, forced to fund itself during the shutdown, is now more of a Situation Café?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:28 AM
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76

Or official law enforcement

It isn't me, unless lambchop is hiding somewhere in my living room.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:29 AM
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77

I'm in Moby-ville, as it happens. (Party in question has left the premises.)


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:33 AM
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78

"I'd like a tall Americano, um, video from that Predator, SecDef's probabilities on our contingency plans and, oh, yum, one of those scones. And do you have the bathroom key?"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:38 AM
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77: Wasn't me. I was home until ten minutes ago. Now I'm at a soccer field.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:43 AM
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78 -- the long-time wish of thousands of schoolteachers with bumper stickers has apparently come true.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 9:49 AM
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I was reading this thread in public near Moby-ville, but on a phone and and on a bench at my gym.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 2:37 PM
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80: what?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:09 PM
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83

it is a great day


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 3:14 PM
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I always thought it would be bad if the ratio of the price of bombers to baked goods got small enough that would be possible. Either really cheap destruction or famine prices for food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 4:28 PM
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83. which, a few years ago when I saw a sign for a bake sale run by an Air Force office, I cracked up laughing. (They were raising money for some office MWR thing.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 4:59 PM
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83 et seq: ah, i got it. Tweety's comment didn't evoke "bake sale" for me.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 5:57 PM
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Scones are definitely baked, in fairness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 5:58 PM
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I also systematically misread halford's comment--like *hypnotized to see something that wasn't there* misread.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 6:02 PM
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Topically (sort of), I just walked by a giant raccoon on my way home. I know the raccoon is here, but I've never seen him or her before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:33 PM
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The Flip-Pater and Flip-Stepmother reported a family of skunks living in the (not particularly dark, dreary or misty, but, you know, beggars, choosers, etc., etc.) woods around Schloss Flip-Pater and regularly strolling across the yard. True to sentimental character, the Flip-Pater described the baby skunks as "cute as the dickens." (His actual words. He may have been wearing a bow tie. Look, I don't bother you about your parents' eccentricities.)


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10- 6-13 8:41 PM
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Everyone post about their parents' eccentricities!

I submit this (a 26 second video).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 12:45 AM
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92

Everyone post about their parents' eccentricities!

I submit this (a 26 second video).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 12:45 AM
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Everyone post about their parents' eccentricities!

I submit this (a 26 second video).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 12:45 AM
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Sorry, that was me being incompetent and unobservant, rather than amusingly eccentric.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 12:46 AM
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I always thought it would be bad if the ratio of the price of bombers to baked goods got small enough that would be possible.

Yeah, there's a bit in (I think) Machiavelli where he says "people always bemoan the cost of armies, but do we really want it to be cheap and easy to make war and besiege cities?"

The bake sale/bomber thing, or close to it, happened a lot in WW2, when combat aircraft were cheap enough that you could have a whip round for one. A Spitfire cost £5000 in 1940 money - well within the reach of a competently organised church jumble sale, and you would then have your name painted on the side.

Which makes another good point: if you are at the stage where having bake sales to raise money for bombers seems appealling, then it is probably because your country is in grave danger of invasion.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 2:09 AM
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91-93. OK, I admit that's moderately eccentric. There was presumably some context?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 3:17 AM
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||

This seems to be as good a place as any to mention that I had a dream last night in which snarkout, identified only by Unfogged handle, had published a series of four novellas, each of which was very specifically thematically organized around a different scientific principle or theory. The novellas were published by an elegant boutique press called Northwest, and they included really effusively complimentary blurbs and introductions by Julian Barnes, who was apparently snarkout's good friend. Seriously, Unfogged, what the hell?

|>


Posted by: Stranded in Lubbock | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 6:35 AM
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That wasn't a dream.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 6:37 AM
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99

Well played, sir.


Posted by: Stranded in Lubbock | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 6:38 AM
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100

That's not the first time that was linked here. I can't remember who put it up first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 6:41 AM
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98-100: best line from Amazon reviews: "Don't worry, it's not bestiality because she's a dinosaur too. At the end of the book she learns she's a Megasoreass."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 7:34 AM
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Is it time to link to Herpy again?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 7:35 AM
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At the end of the book she learns she's a Megasoreass.

How about a spoiler alert next time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 7:43 AM
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Like anyone is going to forget Herpy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 7:44 AM
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A Spitfire cost £5000 in 1940 money - well within the reach of a competently organised church jumble sale....

Bertrand Wilberforce Wooster bows to no man in his respect for the power of the skies, but anyone can tell you my Aunt Agatha is a more terrifying combatant than any flying contraption. I would suggest dropping her on Messrs. Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels, but she hates to travel.


Posted by: OPINIONATED BERTIE WOOSTER | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 7:56 AM
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96 - I have no fucking idea.

97 - snarkout, get cracking!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10- 7-13 10:05 AM
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