Nov 12, 2008

The Armadillo Party

I think that the Armadillo is what I have in mind as a fitting mascot for a new political party.

Have you ever dealt with an armadillo?

Possibly, you've startled one and seen it do its famous defense move by curling into the biological equivalent of a bowling ball. You may have dealt with one, but they rarely pay much attention to "dealing with" you. They're mostly a live-and-let-live critter. Unless you're a noisome little insect. I think that makes them Free Market, Small Government, States' Rights supporters.

Curling up into a defensive little fortress of armored plates just makes good sense when the Media is out to play gotcha, make you answer questions that are patently stupid, or generally try to get you to talk. Who needs talk? Who needs answers? Why explain anything? Being physically unavailable and hiding the soft underbelly isn't a cowardly act, but a brilliant tactic. The ADHD Media simply skulks away looking for livelier prey. Like... a possum playing dead.

The times I've ever encountered an armadillo, and here where I live you do, they have jumped straight up into the air and then taken off for parts unknown. I remember once, as a girl, my brother grabbing hold of an armadillo's tail. It was pretty pointless, as the varmint completely ignored my brother, kept his forward progress by digging in the enormous claws and kept moving towards his only escape route: the river. It really didn't matter how we tried to torment to little guy, he just had a goal in mind and pretty much was unmoved by our efforts.

We finally let him go and watched as he paced himself evenly in his haste. He jumped into the water from the seawall and proceeded to swim with great alacrity and aplomb. (Armadillos are good with words that begin with "A" apparently.)

I remember watching the old Wild Kingdom series. Marlin Perkins' sidekick (Jim?) once tried to capture a giant armadillo, the kind found in South America. The damn beast pulled him along and began to dig a burrow and pull poor Jim into it. Quickly.

You gotta admire that kinda focus and determination. "You keep bugging me and I'm taking you down with me, sucker! You'll never see the sun again!"

Plus, an armadillo is Jeff Goldstein's muse and "printer's devil, " moving about Jeff's blog and generally drinking his weight in tequila, only to stubbornly remain irascible and curmudgeonly. A mean drunk. The 'dillo perfectly reflects Jeff's fine sensibilities and rock-steady reluctance to give a flying 'eff about what others think.

It's shown itself to be a sturdy, unchanging creature throughout the millennia. If you can just keep it from crossing the aisle to look for grubs and hormigas, it can easily avoid becoming political roadkill.

(That little leprosy problem is totally curable these days, too. Honest! I read that in People Magazine, I think, just last week. In the doctor's office. Yeah, that's right... )


Irrelephant said...

An armadillo. Joan, have you see the therapist lately? I think it's time for a nice lie-down. *G*

I heard, more years ago than I care to count, that armadillos didn't live west of the Mississippi until enough SWAM ACROSS THE MS RIVER to get here. That's some mad skillz there.

And speaking of leprosy, you really ought to tour the leprosarium here at Saint Gabriel. Dozens and dozens of Two hundred year-old oak trees and some of the most beautiful grounds you could possibly imagine.

Plus the soup is good.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Thank goodness somebody knows I'm kidding!

But, come to think of it, the AP abbreviation would lend all sorts of negative cred.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

LOL! They are good with a's.
I'm just glad you didn't pick the manatee as our mascot.

pamibe said...

I watched my cousin corner a benign looking specimen in a horse trailer... until all heck broke lose and the armored beast started hissing through spiked teeth and throwing himself at my cousin.

His father, my Uncle, just chuckled. Cuz was black and blue. Oh, and the things will bite.

John Holton said...

The only time I've seen armadillos was in Texas, where Texans use them as speed bumps. That being said, they do have tremendous focus and concentrate on the task at hand, so not a bad choice.

By the way, Marlin's partner was Jim Fowler. We used to watch the show for Marlin's segues: "We saw that buffalo stomp that water moccasin to death to protect her young. Mutual of Omaha will stomp you to death if you don't pay your premiums."

Mark Alger said...

You're kidding? Shucky-darn! I thought it a pretty good idea.


Joan of Argghh! said...

Mark: Well, hey, if an idea gains traction, then of course, it's brilliant!

John: LOL!

Pam: I think 'dillos and possums are two of the meanest critters when backed into a corner. Are they bluffing? Wanna find out? Which again explains why I don't have a job. I will NOT be backed into a corner and attacked.

Ex-Dissident said...

Well if you want an all-american animal for a symbol, pick the bald eagle. This way, some white haired guys will have a chance.

Ex-Dissident said...

I also like the image of the grizzly bear. Lets get smokey to work for us.

PeggyU said...

I've never seen an actual armadillo in the flesh.

Velociman said...

My dog spooked a dillo last winter when the kids and I were hiking a trail in George L. Smith State Park. The damn thing bolted like Carl Lewis towards us on a tangent to his hidey-hole, where he mercifully disappeared like Alice. This thing was leaping fallen tree trunks and farooking flying. I ws very impressed.

On another note, there is (or was) a hole in the fence along I-95 near the Jax airport. 50 or 60 dillos used to hang out on the side of the interstate, milling around like drugstore cowboys. It was a veritable nest of 'em. Creepy, and yet awesome.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Hey Vman, the 'dillos are gonna be hopping in a few minutes. Ya'll step outside and catch the Shuttle launch.

Oh wait. You're all shut up in in the mountains. Heh.