Saturday, September 25, 2010


A far cry from the original Piranha, this was more of an action spectacular, with all manner of drunken college students being PUT TO THE MUNCH by our toothy sisters. WHAT FUN IT ALL WAS:

>> ALL THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS were in place. Richard Dreyfuss on the wrong end of a fishing pole: check. Ridiculous pseudo-scientific explanation for Pirhanas invading a desert lake in the American Southwest: check. Exposition Boy in the form of an elderly pet-store owner who also happens to know the entire paleontological history of the Piranha family and has pertinent fossils to put in front of the camera: check. Local sheriff who knows to ask the owner of the pet store for an explanation: check. Drunken nubiles in bikinis: check.

>> I was told to expect that the Piranhas would be used only as an excuse to nibble off the bikini tops of said drunken college girls. I actually brought a pad and paper to make hash marks, ready to record each time this happened. IT NEVER DID.

>> I was told to expect wild, crazy sexual inappropriateness from certain of the lead females. NEVER HAPPENED.

>> I was told to expect lots of blood. THIS, THEY DELIVERED. Remember the Bradford Dillman original? OF COURSE YOU DO. The modest amount of gore in that old classic was well-placed and well-timed to be shocking. This movie was a regular splattterfest, with kids getting eaten to the bone everywhere you looked. I was getting a little tired of it by the end, to tell you the truth. There was THAT much of it. AND YOU KNOW HOW I LOVE TO SEE HUMANS GETTING EATEN BY FISH.

>> The story didn't let up for a second. No long discussions about inessentials, no big clouts of time wasted on human drama -- there was barely enough story to introduce the fish, and then they let it all rip. Literally. Heh.
>> I LOVED THE FISH! They were extra-gnarly, great big mothers with teeth reaching from here to there and spines everywhere, gill covers flaring like a Cobra's hood, and they moved like greased lightning. They looked so cool, I didn't even care that they were computer-generated cartoons.

>> And what are they doing here? THE EARTH CRACKED OPEN AND THEY JUST SWAM IN, reminiscent of another Bradford Dillman classic, Bug. You remember that one, don't you? OF COURSE YOU DO.
Anyway, I recommend this one. It's a hoot. I think the only person in the story who got recruited PROPERLY was the pet-store owner, but it's always fun to watch drunken teenagers get eaten by fish, right? RIGHT.

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This was published by, and copyrighted to, W.H. Freeman and Co., New York, in 1997. The author is Geerat Vermeij, a doctor of SNAILS teaching at the University of California at Davis. I MEANT TO READ THIS RIGHT AFTER IT FIRST CAME OUT, when I spotted it in a catalogue. I misplaced the dang thing and NEVER HEARD ANOTHER WORD ABOUT THIS BOOK from then until now. I just couldn't remember the title. Nothing about the phrase "privileged hands" reminds me of SNAILS.

So, OK, this is the autobiography of Dr. Vermeij, who was in elementary school one day in the Fifties -- not yet a doctor of anything -- when his teacher brought in some SEASHELLS she'd picked up on vacation in Florida. He investigated them in an unguarded moment, and FROM THAT MOMENT ON, knew exactly what he wanted to be: a conchologist. He went right out and did it, too; it only took ABOUT TWENTY MORE YEARS of study, shell collecting, world travel and other minor hassles, like the day he was debriefed bitten by a Moray.

What is supposed to make this story so remarkable is that before he ever entered that kiddie classroom with the seashells sitting on the counter, he was blinded by German measles. Even now, people might assume that any sort of challenging career would be out of the question for him. Vermeij didn't think that way, so he went right ahead. He has been a bit of an advocate for the blind in his own way, without making a big deal out of it. He says in here that he doesn't want to be seen primarily as a blind person. And he isn't. He's primarily a guy who's way, way too focused on Snails.

What HE TOTALLY LEAVES OUT is the REAL MESSAGE of his life: WHEN DAGON CALLS, YOU GOTTA GO. No matter how you slice it apart or wrap it up, this story could only have ended one way. You know I hate to say this, but even a blind man could see it coming. Vermeij didn't choose the shellfish; the shellfish chose him. He describes himself in that classroom, finishing his work before all the other kids and being drawn helplessly towards the shell display. He puts his hands on them...and something happens. His fate is sealed. HOW COOL IS THAT?

One thing I really liked about this story was the way he and his recruiters WORKED TOGETHER on bringing Snail consciousness to the forefront of his life and the lives of others. The (chuckle) scientific community has slowly started to understand -- largely because of this team effort -- the importance of Molluscs in natural selection, and the brutal competition between those ladies and their fellow recruiters, the Crabs. Don't think it was an easy sell. The author himself tells you, again and again, "I should have figured out this point years before, but until that day when I had the Clam in my hands, it just never occuured to me." He wasn't the only one working hard, either. If you think being plucked out of the sea and sizzled out of your shell with a hot needle is easy, TRY IT sometime. One recruiter after another submitted to this treatment in order to GET THE JOB DONE. It's a remarkable effort you rarely get to see from the point of view of the Naked Ape recruit.

Oh, if only he had written this a few years later! He could have called his book The Snail Whisperer.

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Friday, September 03, 2010

A Few More Jellyfish Tidbits For You

It looks as if the havoc wreaked by our most diaphanous and pulsating operatives has finally made Smithsonian! It was in an article in the July/August 2010 issue ("The New King Of The Sea," Abigail Tucker, pgs. 26-35) that I found the items I mentioned in the previous entry, A NOTICE TO ALL NAKED APES that Jellyfish were attacking the infrastructure in Manila and bumming out underwater diamond miners. There were more than a few other delights in there, like the Japanese fishing vessel that capsized and sank while attempting to haul aboard a catch of itty-bitty Nomura's Jellyfish. That is just one of the highlights. SEEK IT OUT AND READ IT.

CLICK HERE to behold the Jellyfish selections from a delightful blog called Pink Tentacle! Click on the tentacle at the top left of the page to see EVERYTHING THEY HAVE TO OFFER. There are a few nice shots of the dreaded Nomuras in that selection.

The Jellyfish recruiting techniques under development in Japan are simply amazing! Has anyone on this continent tried the Jellyfish caramels described at Pink Tentacle? Or the Jellyfish cookies?

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Progress Notes On The Revolution

Pakistan under water -- check!
Jellyfish have successfully sabotaged underwater diamond-mining operations, AND shorted out the electricity for ten minutes at some sort of government meeting in the Philippines -- check!
The 3-D remake of the classic fish-terrorism epic Piranha is running now in your local theater -- check!
30,000 Chinese trapped by flooding only a month ago -- check!
The month before that, 16 Arkansan Naked Apes were drowned in flash floods -- check!
Hurricane Earl is bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard as I write this, with winds of 135 MPH -- check!
These are JUST LITTLE REMINDERS for the Shaved Monkeys -- we will DROWN YOU ALL when we are GOOD AND READY. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP US.
Brava, ladies. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"Johnny Gatorseed" Updates!


Only THREE of our amphibious operatives have been captured -- oddly enough, all of them in the same week. Two Alligators were found in the Chicago river, and one was spotted cooling her heels under a Datsun on a side street in NYC. Much was made of the terrifying size of the two Chi-town operatives (the larger was 3 feet long). They already seem to have forgotten the FIVE-AND-A-HALF-FOOT BEAUTY who turned up a couple of years ago in obscure Lobdell Lake near Flint, Michigan. The new "captures" (chuckle) are now attracting ALL MANNER OF VISITORS, FANS AND NEW RECRUITS awed by their scaly, urban unlikelihood.

OF COURSE THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. Many, many other Alligator operatives are moving into position across the Midwest, the Eastern Seaboard, the Deep South of course...WAITING FOR THEIR MOMENT TO STRIKE. This is really just like the Snakehead Operation we are implementing in various freshwater cabals surrounding the spiritual home of what the Naked Apes call the Free World -- Washington, D.C. And, of course, my personal favorite (because THOSE ARE MY PARENTS) -- the Walking Catfish operation in Florida.



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