Was riding my bike with my dog tonight and in the alley ahead, I saw what looked like a cat. Sasquatch, my dog, loves cats. They don’t love him. I saw him perk up immediately. But then I saw the telltale waddle and knew it wasn’t a cat. It was a skunk. There aren’t many animals around here, but there are some skunks and raccoons.
Skunks are just…terrible. They’re absolutely lousy wild animals. If you’ve ever seen them, they’re slow, they don’t seem to know how to walk, like they’re figuring it out every step of the way, they aren’t very bright, don’t have any great senses or instincts or cunning. They got one thing. And that’s allowed them to be pretty much super badasses of the small animal kingdom.
That’s evolution handing out a golden ticket and the recipient just half assing it from then on. Without their stink, skunks would be some long lost fossil that died out eons ago. And there is a bit of a cautionary tale in that. Like giant pandas are just pathetic as bears. They’re bears! Could be medium-sized in the ursa world like a black bear. But no one is running terrified from a panda. The things can’t even eat bamboo without falling over or landing on their heads.
Skunks and raccoons. Compare all the traits that raccoons have and contrast with skunks. Raccoons are, as I saw on a recent documentary, the only wild animal that has flourished with human advancement. I had a friend who was relating how they kept trying to keep raccoons out of their private corn patch. They had acres and acres of regular corn, but this special section they wanted to protect. And raccoons just ate it to pieces. They were climbing on roofs and doing Indiana Jones maneuvers to get that corn. Raccoons have to be really pissed off they share the world with skunks. That’s like a PhD animal, that’s also an Olympic athlete, and also a ninja. And a skunk just smells bad.
It’s the pretty girl/boy syndrome. Where some beauteous individual never develops any other attributes because…they don’t have to. The city I live in is kind of like that. There is no culture here. No museums. No great man-made anything. We have a beach, an ocean, and year-round perfect weather. What are we going to do with a museum? /twirls hair
Being well-rounded is the way to go. Sure, if you’re 7’3″, you can be a center in pro basketball and make millions. Assuming you can at least jog for 15 minutes and raise your arms. You got players who trained every day for decades and they lose out to someone with a gland issue. But that tall center isn’t going to be able to bounce back like the guy who worked at it. He won’t have the other skills. Yeah, it’s super easy to be born beautiful, born freakishly tall, or born with the ability to spray ultra-stink at your enemies, but at least some of those things don’t last.
Though we did take a detour around the skunk.