The Alice Echo-News Journal reported that Freer, Texas police Sgt. Tomas Hinojosa spent a few days hospitalized in intensive care because of a rattlesnake bite. From a dead snake.
Hinojosa, on a call of a rattlesnake in a hotel, immobilized the snake with a snare pole and killed it by cutting off its head. He then cut off the rattles at the request of a bystander. When he went to put the remains in a bag, the head struck him on his pinkie finger, which quickly turned blue and, he said, “started burning.”
The officer is expected to make a full recovery, but he is lucky not to lose his finger. “Just ‘cause something is dead,” he commented, doesn’t mean it’s not going to react.”
“Right,” my Republican cousin Ray Sixkiller interjected. “Jeb Bush’s campaign proves that every day."
How do you know you are in Texas? Several media outlets described the scenario above as a “rattlesnake call” without further explanation and Sgt. Hinojosa had a snare pole in his cruiser.
Aim for the Head
CNNwire reported that an annual street festival in Ft. Myers, Florida called Zombicon was attacked by a mass shooter who left one dead and four in a hospital with gunshot wounds. Police made no arrests at the scene and were broadcasting a plea for information.
“There is no truth to the rumor,” Cousin Ray cautioned, “that the body of the one fatality was missing from the morgue.”
Lone Ranger, Vampire Slayer
I’m an independent and Cousin Ray is a Republican, so we are on a lot of GOP mailing lists. It’s interesting to watch the kinds of marketing campaigns that are aimed at Republicans.
As anybody who follows Glenn Beck knows, the political right is always forecasting that the economy is going to blow up and so we keep getting ads touting gold and silver as the only safe assets to hold.
The latest ad is from an outfit called International Coins and Currency, and they are selling silver bullets for $29 each. Each bullet is molded to look like .45 caliber ammunition that they associate with the Colt semi-automatic pistol that was the military sidearm before 9 mm took over the world.
Cousin Ray was more interested in protection from vampires and werewolves, so I didn’t have the heart to tell him there is no primer or gunpowder in these items. They are just solid silver, but they look so realistic that if any burglar gets into your treasure chest, he may be scared off by thinking he’s about to steal from The Lone Ranger.
Last year about this time, Live Science carried a roundup of vampire news. The new one to me was that when pursued by a vampire, you may escape or at least get a head start by throwing a handful of salt behind you, because the vampire is required to count the salt crystals before continuing the pursuit. It did not say why the vampire is so required.
Just in case readers have a problem with bloodsuckers, Volume 65, Number 5 of Archaeology contains instructions about “Vampire-Proofing Your Village.”
“I presume it was coincidence,” Cousin Ray concluded, “that the sponsored content on the Live Science website below the vampire news was headed ‘Top 10 Banks in the USA 2015?’”
Rise of the Machines
The United States, being the foremost arms dealer in the world, is ill equipped to criticize other countries in the business. One weapon the U.S. has been stingy with is the drone that does so much heavy lifting in the Middle East, which has opened up a huge market for the Chinese CH-4, now in the arsenals of Iraq, Pakistan, and Nigeria. North Korea also has drones but claims they are home produced.
On the home front, the U.S. Navy, having already launched drones from submarines, is now experimenting with swarms of sea drones surrounding aircraft carriers for defensive reconnaissance.
“All that’s missing now,” Cousin Ray pointed out, “is artificial intelligence.”
According to The National UFO Reporting Center, space aliens do not observe Halloween.
I had a theory that UFO sightings would rise around September 11, 2001, because people would have been both more nervous and more observant. Not. Not only is there no spike since the Twin Towers went down, there are actually fewer. September’s numbers did not get matched until May, but the general trend was up.
The first triple digit UFO month is June 1975. The second is June 1976. Then not again until February 1995. Triple digits are now the norm, with the last double-digit month being February 1998.
Danger in Paradise
The plot of Jaws is believable. When public safety collides with the tourist trade, it’s not always clear that safety will prevail. Jaws, like many popular entertainments, stole its plot from a classic. Henrik Ibsen’s play, An Enemy of the People, is essentially the same story of tourism v. safety, and it works because people believe it.
The world-class tourist destination stolen from Native Hawaiians, Waikiki Beach, has not recorded a shark attack in 20 years. Earlier this month, that record was threatened when KHON2 Honolulu reported a 33-year-old local man was apparently bitten on the foot by a shark.
The man with the injured foot was taken to a hospital Saturday night, and the lifeguard patrol was on high alert for sharks the next day. By Tuesday, the Department of Land and Natural Resources had consulted with the International Shark Attack File in Florida with photos of the bite and concluded the culprit was not a shark.
An eel inflicted the nasty bite, according to experts.
“Well, why didn’t they say so?” Cousin Ray heaved a sigh. “I feel so much better.”
Hawaii has had five shark attacks so far this year and one fatality. That is a lot. By comparison, shark attacks average about 75 a year worldwide with six fatalities. The U.S. will normally see 16 and one fatality.
Cousin Ray looked up from his computer screen. “Did you know that since 1959, human beings have killed about 100 million sharks?”
Did I ever tell you my cousin is a pretty traditional Cherokee?
Hard to Swallow
In other predator news, former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle has begun making payments to his victims in advance of his federal court sentencing on November 19 on charges of child pornography and having sex with minors. He is expected to pay out $1.4 million.
He faces time in the Club Fed between five and 12 1/2 years. He’s not expected to get any slack for founding the Jared Foundation to fight childhood obesity, since tax documents show it raised $650,000 but spent only $145,647 fighting childhood obesity. The director, who is a co-conspirator in Jared’s child pornography indictment, was paid $180,000 in the same time period.
Cannibalism on a Bun
Clear Food is an outfit trying to bring DNA analysis to bear on our food supply. Their first report is about hot dogs which, in terms of food impurities, are probably low hanging fruit. Clear Food tested 345 samples of 75 brands bought at 10 retailers. The takeaway that is easiest to stomach is that purity was unrelated to price. It was all downhill from there.
Clear Food found human DNA in two percent of the hot dog samples, but 2/3 of the hot dogs containing human DNA were vegetarian. In all, 10 percent of the vegetarian samples contained meat, but it was not all human meat.
Vegetarian samples also accounted for 67 percent of what they politely called “hygienic issues.” In addition, some labels on vegetarian sausages exaggerated the protein content by as much as two and a half times.
Cousin Ray said he always wondered about the nutritional value of long pig.
Before Cousin Ray starts in with long pig recipes, I need to warn Jews and Muslims about ordinary pig. Clear Food found pork substitution in 3 percent of the samples, usually substituted for chicken or turkey. That may not sound like much, but it’s too much if you think eating pork will put you on God’s bad side.
On the other hand, kosher hot dogs came up looking good.
“So,” Cousin Ray asked with a sly smile, “observant Muslims should buy only Hebrew Nationals?”
Jobs for the Newager Clan of the Wanabi Nation
The New York Times reported that ghostbusters are in high demand in the secular nation of Norway, and next month there will be an “Alternative Expo” in Oslo where professionals can hawk their wares, “a jamboree of the occult featuring Tibetan eye-readers, New Age crystal collectors and hundreds of other practitioners of alternative faiths.”
This kind of thing is fertile soil for fake Indians, so Cousin Ray figured being a real Indian would give him a leg up in the market. While waiting for a return call from his nephew at the travel office over in Tulsa about the cheapest airfare to Oslo, Ray was asking for advice.
“You know and I know,” he said, “that the Cherokees killed Spearfinger before the Trail of Tears and all that’s left of her is a rock formation in the homelands. But she’s such a scary supernatural being…and nobody in Norway will know she’s dead. It should be real easy to ghost-bust a spirit who was busted before I was born, right?”
I started to try talking Cousin Ray out of stealing from gullible people, but he is a Republican, and I figured the cost of a plane ticket to Oslo would put a stop to this fandango.