Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cats Love Rollerskates...

This may be a teeeeeny bit like kinda-sorta-almost cheating on the 30 Day Blog-a-thon for Charity, but I'm going to consider the rather four lengthy interviews I wrote up earlier to be today's post, even though it's going to be on a different blog. I won't spoil the suspense, but let's just say it involved interviews with a cat and a Roller Girl (I should clarify, NOT a cat on skates, although that would be awesome).
Spoiler Alert: The cat may or may not be the one you've read about in one of this blog's most inexplicably popular posts. Like the bit with the toilet paper holders, it's not very funny or interesting (something I dashed off one day after taking some pictures of a neighborhood cat), but, turns out, people on the Internets love to look at pussies. Cats, that is. Oh, wait...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Clown Wants to Help You Get Pregnant...

They say that laughter is the best medicine—and , apparently, it can also get you pregnant. You know, like French kissing??

According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, clowns are now a staple of fertility wards, and are on hand after IVF procedures to help lighten the mood.  So, if you’re struggling with fertility issues, here’s hoping you’re not also struggling with a crippling fear of clowns…

When I read the headline, I imagined a clown bursting into the room. “Hiya, Kids! I’m Blasto the Blastocyst-Loving Clown! I’m here to impregnate your head with laughter!” Then, I guess, Blasto the Clown would twist up some balloon fetuses? Or maybe balloon sperm? (Actually, that would be pretty awesome...)
The article featured a professional medical clown, Nimrod Eisenberg, received his bachelor’s degree in Medical Clowning at the University of Haifa (presumably with a minor in Disappointing His Mother). According to Eisenberg, medical clowning is a big thing in his native Israel, “where anyone who wants a clown can have one.”

More disturbingly, it seems that medical clowns are sometimes even used as a replacement for general anesthesia. (I had no idea Barnum & Bailey had branched into Managed Healthcare, but why not?). “We would knock you out for this appendectomy, but look! Blasto's friend, Gastro the Gastroenterology Clown is making a hilarious little balloon appendix for ya instead!”

Of course, if you really want a clown to get you pregnant, you might also consider the “soup to nuts” option (no pun intended), and go with this guy:
Sugar Weasel: "More fun to ride than a pony."
(Photo via The Stranger, via Concierge du Monde.)
Sugar Weasel (pictured above) is a straight male escort clown residing in Austin, Texas, here to fulfill your wildest nightmares dreams. Read all about him here, or on his website. NSFW, unless you work in a clown-prostitute-friendly kind of office (so, everyone in Seattle, at least, should be fine reading this at work).

If you ask me, it's NSFE (Not Suitable for Eyeballs), so consider yourself warned...

Monday, May 28, 2012

King Tut's Storage Unit, Part 2

Shown Actual Size (assuming you're seeing this
on a device that shows it as three inches wide...)
Okay, so I’ve been thinking about the King Tut exhibit. All the people I know who saw the exhibit in the 1970s raved over it. Raved.  And these weren’t sheltered, never-been-to-a-museum yokels who wandered in by accident because they thought there would be  roller coasters and/or funnel cake at the end of the line.  It must’ve been better than the current exhibit--which, in its defense, is not billed as a replica of the first--now at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, right? Granted, in the 70s, people also had a penchant for orange polyester pantsuits, men with perms, and macrame owls, so maybe there was just something in the quaaludes (whatever those were) that made them think that the original display of Steve Martin-song-inspiring-artifacts was somehow more awesome than it was.

I should clarify. The current exhibit isn’t awful. There are a few pieces that make it entirely worth seeing. It’s just not worth $32.50 (the weekend rate; $27.50 on a weekday, a point that isn’t advertized on the Pacific Science Center’s signage). For $32, you can do a lot of things. Heck, for that exact amount, a guy named Derek Erdman will personally deliver a piping-hot bowl of Pho to anywhere in Seattle (Pho not included).  
Tutankhamun's tomb, 1922 (or is it the storeroom at World Bazaar?)
Of the 130 objects in the current exhibit, only 50 are related to King Tut, and “less than half” of those are from the exhibit folks enjoyed back when . This marketing message is repeated more than once in the promotional materials. What they don’t say is that a lot of the really cool stuff from the original show didn’t make it into this version—and, understandably.  Considering how much of Egypt’s patrimony (matrimony??) is on display, or deep in the basements of European and American museums, it makes sense that they would be a bit edgy about sending away their most iconic treasures. We’re probably not going to send the Liberty Bell, the Declaration of Independence, and all the remaining Tribbles from Star Trek: The Original Series off to Abu Dhabi for tourists to gawk at our “cultural heritage.” So I don’t blame the Egyptians for keeping the good stuff at home.  

What we don’t realize is that, in addition to all the treasures you find in any given pharaoh's tomb, there’s also an awful lot of crap. Basically, the tombs were as basically a mini-storage unit for the afterlife.  In the black-and-white photographic murals shown at the exhibit, you see the tomb as Howard Carter found it in 1922. It was like discovering someone’s garage that they’ve “been meaning to clean out” for a few thousand years.  

Instagram photo before a Portland garage sale, or tomb of a "god on Earth"?
The treasures in this exhibit have been described as “more muted” and “human.”  In other words, less bling and more “everyday objects,” like a marble toilet seat (dead serious; wish I’d taken a picture) for the afterlife. For instance, on display at the current “King Tut” exhibit is a bed, possibly--or maybe not?—belonging to the Boy Pharaoh (doesn’t that name sound like he should be wearing a leotard with his underwear on the outside?).  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it was something someone picked up at a yard sale in Portland. There was also a rather fascinating travel-sized board for a game called Senat, complete with wee chess-like pieces. This was billed (seriously) as “the ancient version of an X-Box.  I had to wonder if this was pandering Seattle’s “tech crowd” (I guess ‘cause those IT types are WAY too stupid to get any reference that doesn’t directly refer to video games!). 

One of the most amazing items was a wee sarcophagus (pictured above) that once contained the boy pharaoh’s stomach. In the publicity stills, you think it’s a full-sized sarcophagus, but it’s about nine inches high, and, for my money, even more adorable than the real thing. His stomach got its own coffin!  Little things that look like bigger things are so cute! Plus, just the right size to make a replica you could buy in the gift store! 

In April 2010, Zahi Hawass, the ubiquitous, then-Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that the exhibit’s U.S. tour had earned $100 million for Egypt (not clear what part of Egypt). If it’s to help preservation efforts, I don’t so feel ripped off.  

Still. $32.50?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

King Tut's Storage Unit, Part 1

When Chihuahuas* were worshiped as gods...

Today, I went to the King Tut exhibit (Official Tagline: "OMG, last chance EVAH!") at the Pacific Science Center. Seattle is apparently the last stop on the World Tour. I'm sure the artifacts are exhausted after partying on the road for three years. Maybe that's why I got the impression that this exhibit was just phoning it in?

I was dying to see the exhibit for two reasons. First, I'm kind of an Egyptophile (a misleading term, since I've never molested any Egyptian artifacts). Also, I grew up hearing tales of the King Tut exhibit that came to the U.S. back in the 70s. My parents both went to see it in Atlanta (is that right?). My mom was impressed by the opulent artifacts, their historical significance--all that. For my dad, however, the legendary wait to get into the exhibit became his Gold Standard for Lines That Take Far, Far Too Long.

Even years later, every time he would stand in a line that lasted longer than 3.5 minutes, Dad would say, "There better be a sarcophagus of a pharaoh at the end of this line!"  This was unlikely, given that we were probably in the Express Lane at a Winn-Dixie in Jacksonville. But, somehow, the joke never got old.

I thought of this old hardy-harr earlier today, while navigating the crowds at the 21st Century version of the King Tut exhibit (Tut 2.0?).

"We're about to get to the good stuff!" I said to my friend Tammy, whom I'd cajoled into accompanying me to the exhibit. I didn't say, "There better be a sarcophagus of a pharaoh at the end of this line!" because a) I don't want to turn into my dad just yet, and b) unlike at Winn-Dixie, I assumed there was an actual sarcophagus of a pharaoh at the end of the line.

"It must be right around this corn..."  At that moment, we ran smack into the inevitable the gift shop that signals the end of virtually every traveling exhibit. As someone who loves to waste money on fake Egyptian shit (I'm not even joking; the nice people at The Met can tell you...), I was even disappointed by the gift shop. Not even one inflatable miniature sarcophagus desktop punching doll? Really?

Sure, there are some interesting pieces in the exhibit. And it's worth seeing. Whether or not it's worth $32.50 (the weekend rate; $27.50 on weekdays) is another question. For that amount, they really should throw in dinner, or some drinks, or at least a reach-around.

*Okay, fine, it's not a chihuahua. But--in honor of my anonymous charitable benefactor--wouldn't it be pretty to think so?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sun Drunk Love

Today was one of Seattle's six-or-eight beautiful days of the year.When the sun comes out in Seattle, the city snaps into a sort of Emergency Mode. It’s like a snow day in the Northeast, or when there’s a tornado warning in the Midwest, or a Hurricane Alert in the Southeast.
The Emo Cotton Ball doesn't want to do anything but sit around listening to Bonny Prince Billy...
“I always feel different when the sun comes out,” a friend said recently.  Like me, my friend grew up in a relentlessly sunny corner of this little blue dot we call home. “It’s like, whatever I’m worried about, or in a bad mood over, it just doesn’t seem to matter any more.”

I feel exactly the same way--utterly transformed by the weather, to the point that I wonder if it’s not a sign of something being wrong with me. But then, I start to think that I have some sort of meteorological version of Stockholm Syndrome.

Remember that Zoloft ad (maybe it still exists; I don't watch a lot of TV ads any more) with the cotton ball who's all sad, and the rain cloud follows him around (rain clouds are totally creepy stalker types)? That's exactly how I feel when the weather is dismal.

But then, when the sun comes out, it's like the metaphorical cloud is lifted with the actual cloud. If you're bummed out by this, doctors will tell you you need Zoloft. But, maybe ... instead of being crazy for being happy in nice weather, I'm...normal? Maybe the weather is the asshole in this analogy, not me?

Friday, May 25, 2012

This cat has really had it with these "placeholder" posts.

My Life as a Rock & Roll Widow...

GENTLE READERS: I wrote this last night, but forgot to hit the “Publish” button before going to bed. I’ll do another post today (Friday), so the Chihuahuas won’t have to suffer the scourge of illiteracy…Blog-a-thon is still on, yo!

Today is Day One of ten in My Life as a Rock & Roll widow. You see, Paul’s band, Kids on Fire (the band name “Middle-Aged Software Developers,” I guess, was already taken…) is on their World Tour (as in, all the places on the tour are in the world).

Whenever Paul leaves on his World Tours and such, I realize that -- as much as I’m his Official Meal Coordinator™, he’s my Official Social Coordinator™.  Unlike me, Paul is great about scheduling social activities. And he has excellent taste in friends, so it’s too easy not to just latch on.
My strategy for making friends, only without the digesting-them part...
Back when I was single, I had the similar habit/luck of having a few good friends who, in turn, had MANY cool friends and regular social engagements. Thus, I could easily avoid having to organize or actively seek out social activities of my own. Even now, the thought of asking people to hang out is mortifying to me. This is doubly true for people I don’t know well, which throws a wrench into getting to know people, if you never ask them to hang out.

I always think that, if I invite people to do something, I’ll make them uncomfortable, or feel obliged, or think I have some weird ulterior motive. Maybe they’ll worry that I’m going to ask them to buy and/or sell Amway products (is that still a thing?)? Or tell them about the joys of Scientology? Or propose a three-way with them and a mature billy goat? 
 No mature billy goats were molested in the making of this anecdote.
My social dysfunction is all the more strange given the fact that my jobs over the past 10 years have involved nothing but schmoozing and asking people to go out of their way to give their time, money, etc. to help with some sort of cause or project.  Somehow, bothering people in the name of charity/work never phased me in the slightest, but asking people to, say, go grab a coffee or beer sometime, always seemed (and seems) downright terrifying.

Yes, I’d rather ask semi-strangers for $20,000 (for a cause) than invite a friend to dinner. Is that weird?  I’m like the social version of a Venus flytrap. I just wait for opportunities/invitations to come to me.

Okay, this post is annoying. Like, really. It’s annoying to me, and I’m writing it. But, it’s the Blog-a-thon, and I don’t want to let the Chihuahuas down, so you’ll just have to suck it up, yo. Next post will be much less angst-y. Pinky-promise.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blog-a-thon: Redux

The Blog-a-thon is back on, bitchez!

Due to the generous underwriting of Anonymous—who pledged $100 in support of an organization that promotes the welfare of physically and mentally handi-capable Chihuahuas—I am officially re-launching the 30 Days of Blogging. Whether you like it or not.
This little guy is depending on me. Otherwise, he may never learn to spell.
Now, don’t be jealous of all the attention Anon is getting. Or of all the endorphins that are undoubtedly running through his/her brain as a result of this rock-star pledge. You, too, can have a feel-good chemicals pumping through your veins by stepping up TODAY and making your pledge in any amount!

Come on. You know you want to.
This manatee knows you will make a pledge today (via:
Why the Blog-a-thon? By knowing some manatee/chihuahua/polar bear, etc. is depending on my blogging to get the money, I’ll be sure to write some stupid post each and every day.

Who gets the Blog-a-thon money? You choose. It can go to orphans, dolphins, canine literacy, whatevs. Just not any group that's actively trying to prevent two same-sex manatees (or any other same-sex mammals) from getting married, plzkthx.

What do you get for your pledge? Every day, you’ll have a few minutes of salient commentary on the issues that matter to us all, such as the refinancing of the Euro and/or rising tensions in Yemen and/or videos of Adorible Kittehs With Heads Stuk in a Box!1!!
I’m here to help YOU meet your needs as a procrastinator. Won’t you be here for [insert charity]? Say, the Association to Prevent Procrastination? (Does that exist?? I was going to Google it, but I haven’t gotten around to it…)

Like the manatee above, I believe in you. And I thank you for your generosity. 

And did I mention that your hair looks great today?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Damn Manatees, and other would-be band names

So, the blog-a-thon is on hold until I get some pledges for the damn manatees (see previous post). I'm serious, y'all.

An aside: as far as I know, there's not a band called the Damn Manatees -- a fact that makes me wish to god I could sing or play an instrument. Of course, a total lack of musical ability never stopped the likes of Jerry Garcia, so there's still hope that someday I, too, will have an ice cream named after me.

In the meantime, if you're still hungry for content written by the future Vocalist and Lead Triangle Player for The Damn Manatees (oh, who am I kidding? It would have to be the bass triangle), check out this week's Crow interviews over at Capitol Hill Seattle, this blog's hipper and more popular counterpart.

It'll be like when you were in high school, and in the summer you visited your cool cousin who had a fake ID and could drive a car...if he/she had been a website.

And, if you're wondering about my alter-ego as The Crow -- YES, I do all of these dressed like Brandon Lee in the role by the same name. Occasionally, even in the funeral home-turned-hipster-bar where Steve McQueen once carried Lee's father's coffin to a hearse.

Me, ready for some local on-the-street interviews...
Amazingly, there are people (based on the comments) who didn't seem to get that I made up the first interview out of whole cloth (with the permission of the guy whose photo I took, whose ride showed up pretty much immediately). I would've thought the italicized, "so I can just make something up?" would've been a clue. Or possibly repeating, at the end, "Are you sure you won't mind if I make up an entire conversation?"

I guess that was too subtle...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Do you hate manatees? If not, act now!

Yes, I disappointed The Broken-Legged Frog (or possibly Toad) — I lapsed on my 30-day Blog-a-thon.

But in my darkest hour, this LOL-manatee gave me the self-esteem to carry on:
"And I read your blog," Manatee added. (via
I think my flash of apathy came about because the Blog-a-thon—unlike a Tele-thon or Walk-a-thon or Toyota-thon—isn’t rallying around sick children, or stranded polar bears, or discounted sedans.  Maybe it comes from my years in the Girl Scouts, or from working in nonprofit fundraising for so long, but I always see the potential in turning virtually any activity into an excuse to raise money. Drinking beer in my backyard on a nice day? If it’s for charity, heck, I’ll stay out there all day long! If not, I’ll … well, nevermind.

Same goes for blogging. So, I’ve decided to re-start the Blog-a-thon, and this time, make it for an actual charity. Tonight, Paul and I are going to the local League of Conservation Voters “Evening for the Environment” (apparently, Daytime totally hates the environment...) with our friends Sarah and Keith, who is on their Board. Seems like a good cause, so I’ll blog to raise money for them and/or (reader's choice!)  Save the Manatee, in Florida. 
From the video series "Manatees Gone Wild!" -- drunk make-out sessions w/divers.
 <maudlin storytelling voice>
If I can be like the actors breaking the fourth wall after a Very Special Episode of “Growing Pains,” I have to say that, as someone who grew up (mostly) in Florida, I really do love manatees, and there are a lot of simple ways that we can help protect them. I remember once, years ago, being out in a boat on the St. John’s River, when a stupid phallic-shaped speedboat going at least 80 MPH hit a family of manatees that we’d watched swim past only a short while earlier. Everyone yelled waved, but the boat didn’t slow down, despite the fact that it was close enough to shore that they shouldn’t have been going that fast in the first damn place. One of the manatees died, but I’m pretty sure the boat owners didn’t suffer any consequences other than spilling the Bartles & James wine coolers they were probably swilling.
</maudlin storytelling voice>

Will you pledge any amount in support of this project? If not, I’ll have to assume you hate me (and/or Manatees, and/or the Earth). 

Please help me to avoid procrastination save Sea Cows (not to be confused with “Chicken of the Sea”)! 

Or, for all you Pacific Northwest types, your contribution to the League of Conservation Voters  money may help curb environmental changes that are affecting those adorable polar bears. And possibly help less-cute wildlife, although we don’t have to pretend to care.
You may even help this fish fulfill his dream of winning a James Brown look-alike contest...
Here’s how it works. Pledge in the Comments to give to either charity (or both!), in any amount (you don't even have to specify, if you don't want to). I won’t collect any money--I'll just trust you to go directly to their site and throw in some coin if/when I rise to the challenge. The manatees feel confident that you can do it --and, by the way, they think your hair looks really nice today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Space Pizza Hut

So, the top of the space needle is now a shade of burnt umber, i.e., "orange." This dye job, like an aging husband buying some Just For Men hair dye, was in honor of the monument's big 5-0. It seems that the icon is having a bit of a midlife crisis, and is trying to relive its Mad Men-era youth (also, the building has started drinking at around 10 in the morning...).

I'm now calling it the Space Pizza Hut, since it looks like the home of everyone's favorite pizza stuffed with hot dogs.

According to The Seattle P.I., Prince Charles -- or possibly his father, Prince Philip -- turned his nose up at the color choice back at the time of the World's Fair, opining that it looked like "the protective paint used on bridges."

Royal *snap*! You tell 'em, Prince Charles-or-possibly-Philip!

At the time, I guess Prince Whatever was a guest judge on the now-forgotten TV sensation, "American Icon" -- a show where European royalty tears down the merits and self-esteem of aspiring U.S. monuments. Other judges included Princess Caroline of Monaco ("You call that an arch, St. Louis? I can arch my eyebrow better than that!) and King Juan Carlos of Spain ("Statue of Liberty? More like, Statue of Flab-erty! Loose a few tons,then we'll talk!").

Friday, May 4, 2012

Local Mouse Discovers One Weird Trick to Increase Testicle Size!

Not the only mouse with serious cahones...
Turns out, vanilla yogurt isn’t just for women who want to go on national television and talk with Jamie Lee Curtis about their poops! A recent MIT study, briefly summarized in Scientific American, suggests that yogurt consumption may lead to larger testicles in mice. The article reports:
First, the scientists noticed that the yogurt-eating mice were incredibly shiny...these animals had 10 times the active follicle density of other mice, resulting in luxuriantly silky fur.
Then the researchers spotted some­thing particular about the males: they projected their testes outward, which endowed them with a certain “mouse swagger,” Erdman says. On measuring the males, they found that the testicles of the yogurt consumers were about 5 percent heavier than those of mice fed typical diets alone and around 15 percent heavier than those of junk-eating males.”

The yogurt-swilling mice with the "luxuriantly silky fur" (who probably spent HOURS looking at themselves in the bathroom mirror, and wore way too much hair gel) also impregnated females more successfully and produced more offspring than the control groups. 
 What the yogurt-eating male mice turned into,
only with silkier hair.

When asked if they would go on TV to endorse Activa, one of the male mice rendered more masculine by all that vanilla yogurt swaggered over. "Yo, Jaime Lee Curtis can lick my freakishly enlarged ball sack." The mouse then hopped on his Harley and needlessly revved the engine. 

"Bring me a beer, bee-atch," said Macho Mouse. "And a vanilla lowfat yogurt.
And make it snappy."
Reading about this study, all I could think of was the poor grad student whose job it was to calculate the mass of mouse testicles all day. She or he had worked hard for years and years to get to MIT, probably sacrificed having any kind of social life in high school, only to be measuring rodent ball-sacks. Hopefully the grad student at least bought the poor mice a container of Activa first...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ken & Ric Burns: Documenatrians & Anti-Blogites

As you may have (not) noticed, I accidentally skipped two days in my 30-day Blog-a-thon.But it's not my fault!! I place all the blame on documentarian Ken Burns' mother. Why? Because she raised not one, but two sons who love nothing more than to make documentaries that suck viewers in, only to make them fall into a deep, unshakable sleep on the couch, and thus neglect to write a blog post.
Mrs. Burns, what did you to your sons that made them grow up to make documentaries
that are the media equivalent of an Ambien with a chaser of vodka?

The other night, Paul and I were watching a documentary about the Donner Party, directed by Ken Burns’ brother, Ric Burns (that is, he directed the film, not the band of 19th Century pioneers-turned-cannibals). Before watching this, I had a momentary fantasy that the younger brother of The Civil War documentarian would churn out a fast-paced, MTV-style bio-pic that involved a few car chases and maybe even some gratuitous nudity. You know, like in the movie Adaptation, when Charlie Kaufman’s twin brother decides to become a screenwriter, and turns a quasi-plotless book, The Orchid Thief, into a hackneyed thriller about murder and adultery.
Ric and Ken Burns, trying to figure out how to make the Donner Party
story appeal to today's younger audiences...
No such luck. As it turns out, Ric Burns makes documentaries that are stylistically indistinguishable from his brother’s. (Spoiler alert: they're 100% car chase free). That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ken Burns’ documentaries are always very interesting, but when watching them, I generally feel fascinated and uncontrollably sleepy in equal parts. I think this has something to do with the sad, slow fiddle music that’s always playing in the background of his films. Regardless of the subject matter, it always seems like you’re watching a documentary about The History of Sad, Slow Fiddle Music.

Then, there’s the endless series of black & white photos of people who look about 85 (a hard, heavy-drinking, heavy-smoking 85), until the narrator tells you that they died when they were 32.  This is interspersed with the melancholy commentary of grim scholars--mostly white, Metamucil-and-Viagra-target-market-aged types who talk very slooooowly, as if they were being paid by the second.

I have a theory that you could drink an entire case of Red Bull and then do twelve lines of pure crank (whatever that is), then throw on a Burns Brothers documentary, and you'd STILL be out like a light. Essentially, these films function as a surgical-grade anesthetic.
Medical professionals deciding which Burns documentary to show a patient prior to his appendectomy.

"Do we have to watch this?" I asked Paul, when we got to about Hour 55 of the Donner Party documentary. He hit the pause button.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the Donner Party, because it could’ve been me.”

“Wait. It could’ve been you? How so?"

“When I lived in California, we would always take the Donner Pass whenever we’d go skiing.”

“Wow. Just think. If you’d have run out of gas, you might’ve been stranded … at least several miles away from a Carl’s, Jr.! You’d have had no choice but to resort to cannibalism.”

"You don't know what it's like. Even now, the roads are pretty treacherous."

"Which means you were probably at least ten miles from the nearest Crate & Barrel. So, when you and your fellow skiers had to eat each other's livers to survive, you'd have had to drink your Pinot Noir from ... a plastic cup! Like an animal! You'd be reduced to savages."

In revenge, Paul hit "play." And I fell fast asleep, and dreamed that I was in a snowdrift and someone was trying to eat my leg. I don't remember if they had wine, or what kind of glassware it was served in.

But I'm guessing it was plastic.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OMG Cute Animalz!!!

Okay, I would write a full-length blog post tonight, but wouldn't you rather watch a video of tourists cooing over sea otters holding hands in an aquarium?

The people in the background are freaking out about how "sweet" the otters are, presumably for their display of affection. I'm not saying this isn't cute. It's a cute bomb with a mushroom cloud over it. But you have to wonder -- if these were ugly creatures (squid, cuttlefish, elderly German tourists in teeny-tiny bathing suits...) "holding hands" while floating around in the water, would we be oooohh-ing and aaaaah-ing, or looking away in disgust?

For instance, what if it were two blobfish holding fins in the water on a fine day?
Neither a German tourist on Corfu, nor my Great Uncle Hank...
The above "blobfish" is just as sexy as his name. Put a Barcolounger underneath him, give him a pair of plaid pants that start right under the chin, and a Big Gulp-sized tumbler of Jack Daniels, and he's a dead ringer for my late Great Uncle Hank. But floating around and being affectionate at a public aquarium would've probably gotten him arrested. Now, does that seem fair?

Or, take the poor coelacanth. When these prehistoric-holdover fish get their heads stuck in Kleenex boxes, don't expect the video to get 17 billion hits on YouTube. These "living fossils" were thought to have been extinct for 65 million years, until they one was caught by a fishermen in the 1930s. For scientists, this discovery was  like finding out that a celebrity you thought died before you were born is actually still alive. (BTW, did you know that, as of this writing, Ernest Borgnine, "The Coelacanth of Celebrities," is still kicking at 95??)

The Ernest Borgnine of the Sea
Supposedly, the fish is an endangered species, but because it's not the kind of critter anyone's going to use in an unintentionally ironic ad campaign (ever wonder how much Coca Cola, Inc. has contributed to global warming, polar bear lovers?), the general public seems to care about its continued existence about as much as we care about Tom Arnold's film career (to make a reference as outdated as the above fish). Coelacanth -- it's your own fault for not being cute and fluffy!

Or maybe the Coelacanth should just find a better agent?