8

Why There is No Animal World Cup

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We have noticed a lot of human interest around something called the World Cup. It is supposed to be the most watched sporting event in the world. We were a little confused at first. We call it soccer over here, but everyone else calls it football. Which kind of makes sense. A bunch of sweaty men play it with their feet.

After watching for a while, we noticed something interesting. The players use their feet and heads to move the ball. The only one who can use his hands is someone called a goal tender.

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This was the perfect game for animals! We have paws or hooves, not hands. So why wasn’t there an Animal World Cup?

We went to the source of all information, Google, and typed in “Animal World Cup.” The only thing there was a bunch of sweaty men playing soccer/football.

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We tried “Animal Soccer/Football” and got local youth leagues. “Professional Animal Soccer” got no results. How very strange.

We sent our reporter Freddie Ferret out to find out what was going on. Here’s what he uncovered:

Animals have always played a game similar to soccer. It was most popular in places with large fruit or vegetables that could be used as a ball. Players were ejected for eating the ball.

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The main rules were that players could only use their head and paws to move the ball. The “goalie” was allowed to use his entire body to stop the ball. The games would start at mid-afternoon and end at dusk.

For years, the animals played soccer uneventfully. However, one day the gorilla coach had an idea. His players had only been using their hind legs to play. Why not try using the front ones?

The idea was brilliant. The gorillas were unbeatable. The other animals sued to keep the gorillas from using their front paws.

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“That’s not fair! You’re using your opposable thumbs. You can hold onto the ball.”

“The rules say we can use paws. These are paws.”

The judges weren’t sure what to do. Technically, the gorillas were right; they were using their paws. Realistically, the other animals were right; opposable thumbs made the paws closer to hands.

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The judges went with the rules. The gorillas’ paws were allowed. However, they reminded the other animals that there was no rule about only having one species on a team.

Every team tried to get at least one gorilla to join them. Of course, there were not enough gorillas for all of the teams. So the teams tried to lure them with bananas, ants and other treats.

Chimpanzees and other animals with opposable thumbs were also in high demand.  Teams had to hide their prized players or another team would bribe them away.

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Soccer wasn’t fun anymore. All the focus was on the star players. Soon the other animals wanted to ban any player with opposable thumbs or force them to play in their own league.

Simians, pandas, koalas, and possums were outraged. They claimed species-ism. They all went back to court. This time the judges determined that there was no fair way to answer the question and banned all competitive soccer between adult animals.

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For a while, the animals grumbled and blamed each other. As time passed, they decided that the judges were right. They shouldn’t fight each other over a game.

It passed down from generation to generation that animals only played soccer for fun. Before long, it wasn’t questioned. It just was.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

(For the record, the trophy for the winner of the World Cup looks nothing like a Cup.)

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15

2018 Animal Olympics Coverage Team

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It’s almost time for the Winter Animal Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. We noticed that the humans put out an announcement introducing their coverage team. We decided that would be a good idea, so here they are:

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General Coordination and Coverage – Riki T. Tavi (mongoose) – our Asian Correspondent

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Interpreters  – Lexi (German Shepard) and Yuma Cho (Raccoon Dog) – you may remember Lexi as the ace translator we discovered during the cat food crisis a couple of months ago.

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Cross-Country Tracking – Harold Hare – member of the gold medal-winning 2014 Snowshoe Hare team.

What it is: Teams compete to see who can locate the most food on a prepared track. There are separate events for carnivores and non-carnivores.

Favorites: badgers, hares, wolverines

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Freestyle Skiing – Margaret Malamute – member of the 2014 Olympic Mixed Sled-Dog Team

What it is: Teams compete for a combined score based on how quickly its members get down the mountain. The skier must remain upright and no equipment is allowed.

Favorites: Dall sheep, reindeer

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Freestyle Sledding – Edie Ermine – gold medalist, 2014

What it is: Teams are scored on how quickly its members are able to get down the mountain in the same position (back, front, sitting).

Favorites: ermine, seals, penguins

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Ice Hockey – Bruno Brown Bear – member of the 2014 Brown/Grizzly Team

What it is: Teams compete to see how many chunks of ice they can get into their opponents goal. Players will be ejected for drawing blood on an opposing team member.

Favorites: polar bears, black bears

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Luge – Penelope Penguin – silver medalist, 2014

What it is: Teams are scored on how quickly its members can get down an iced track on their backs

Favorites:  penguins, polar bears

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Raptor Grab – Arnie, member of the 2014 American Kestrel team

What it is: Teams compete to collect the largest number of fish in the shortest period of time. Points are deducted for bringing back game not marked with the Olympic. Participants are disqualified for bringing back prey that is not a fish.

Favorites: Red-Tailed Hawks, Golden Eagles

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Sleigh Pull – Rodney Reindeer, gold medalist in 2014

What it is: Teams of four animals compete to pull a sleigh of two (friendly) adult black bears. Participants are disqualified for tipping the sleigh over. Note: bears may not be as friendly at this point.

Favorites: caribou/reindeer, moose

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Underwater Relay – Oscar Otter, bronze medalist 2014

What it is: Teams of four animals compete to finish a circular obstacle course underwater with each member completing one quarter of the circuit. The winner is the fastest team with the fewest missed obstacles.

Favorites: otters, seals

We animals don’t tell time like the humans do. So just remember that all of the competitions will be during the day. But when it’s daytime in South Korea. So you might just want to set some kind of recording device or leave the channel on all the time.

See you in February!

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4

Breaking News; Film at 11

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It’s been a pretty exciting day in Cheeseland, and we’re here to bring you the latest on the following stories:

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Cat Burglars Break into Another Animal Mart 

The stealthy felines are at it again. Early this morning, security cameras captured two cats running away from the store with what appeared to be a trout apiece. Unfortunately the video is rather fuzzy, so it’s unclear what they actually look like. A passerby said that one was a tabby and the other a calico. Police are requesting the public’s assistance. If you have any information, you can call 555-HELP.

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Iguanas in Need of New Home

Two young iguanas have left their humans after an extended dispute over the reptiles’ diet. It appears that the humans insisted on sharing their own tastes for arugula and bean sprouts, while the iguanas wanted collard, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens.  They all agreed on kale and beans, but the iguanas were feeling more lethargic than normal for their species. Animal Aid is hoping to find a reptile family that can foster them. Please note that the two have not reached their full size and could potentially grow another foot in length.

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Dry Weather Affecting Berry Crops

The unusually dry spring and early summer has resulted in a markedly smaller berry crop this year, particularly strawberries and raspberries. As a result, animals that rely on these fruits as a staple in their diets are having a hard time finding them. The berries that are available are extremely expensive. Some bears have been seen foraging in human orchards. We recommend that you go to our website to find the best prices and alternative food sources.

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Protection Against Fleas and Ticks

As you are probably aware, July 21 – 28 is Flea and Tick Awareness Week this year. Unfortunately, the more appropriate dates in May were taken over by the Cicada Welcome Celebration. You can get a free exam at the Health Center all week, as well as information on non-chemical treatment and prevention options.

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Rabies Hospice Center Needs Your Help

Since there still is no cure for rabies, the best that we can do is try to help these animals in their suffering. Since each patient must be kept in isolation, it can be an expensive undertaking. Any financial donation is welcome. The Hospice says that they are well-stocked in poison for those who wish to end their own suffering. Please visit our website for more information on how you can help.

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Preparation for Winter

If you are an animal who hibernates or goes into torpor, it’s not to early to start thinking about your needs for this winter. The Center for Seasonal Studies at the College of Animal Wellness is offering a free seminar on the necessities for survival.It is open to anyone interested in the subject, The seminar is free, but space is limited. Registration is required. Contact the Center for further information.

These are just the highlights of the stories. Join Biff and Buffy tonight at 11 for these stories and more, plus the weather and sports.

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(all pictures courtesy of Google Images)

7

Cheeseland News Classified Ads

 

Image result for help wanted sign clipart   Help Wanted

Dam Builders. We are looking for some strong beavers who don’t mind working hard for the community. We are building dens for beavers left homeless by the recent storms. Must have good dental hygiene. We provide temporary housing. Potential long-term position for the right candidate.

Guard for senior mouse village. Must be alert and flexible in ability to respond to a variety of dangers. Experience preferred. No carnivores please.

Locksmith. Looking for someone who can make our house child-proof. Particularly young, blonde females. Something easy to use with paws. Must not be afraid of the woods or large bears.

 

Image result for for sale sign clipart  For Sale

Cat door. We have finally trained the humans to let us in and out on demand. Some damage from dog trying to squeeze through. Newer model. Both entrance and exit functional.

Empty nest. Perfect for those couples who were surprised to find out that they need a permanent abode for the season. Secluded location, safe distance from the ground. Furnished with rabbit fur and dryer fluff. No leaks. Sheltered from the rain.

Running wheel. Husband wanted to run to keep in shape. Ran after girl next door instead. Barely used. You won’t find a better deal.

Sheep’s clothing. Full set, size XXL. Slight smell of wolf should disappear with airing.

 

Image result for heart clipart  Personals

Image result for calico tomcat  Handsome Calico Tom looking for beautiful young kitties seeking fun and adventure. Weight proportional to bone structure. Not looking for an exclusive relationship.

Image result for brown bear  Lonely Male Brown Bear looking for ongoing relationship with a kindred spirit. Someone who likes long walks in the woods and long naps together. Ideally you will also love fishing and tree climbing. Not interested in an aggressive partner. No taste for humans.

Image result for gray squirrel  Female Gray Squirrel looking for foraging partner. Someone to gather nuts with and play chase around the woods. Must have good memory. Potential winter nest for the right guy.

 

Image result for money clipart   Business Opportunities

Perfect opportunity for feline entrepreneurs. Get in on the ground floor of Catnip Unlimited. Develop your own field of specially developed, extra-potent catnip. Easy to grow, easy to sell. Franchise opportunities available in many locations. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Potential franchisees will be subject to a background check for history of addiction.

Always wanted your own humans but didn’t know what to look for? Try time-sharing with other animals. You can buy into this unique arrangement for a small down payment. See whether you like living alone with humans, with of other species, or fellow animals of your own species. Our humans have been carefully chosen for their ability to get along with a variety of animals.

Are you tired of your food and belongings smelling of human? Need some extra money for the holidays? Become a Human No sales agent. Practically sells itself. Comes in a variety of scents. Will remove even the most pungent smells. Makes your home smell like home again.

5

Presidential Debate – Invasive Species

In honor of Super Tuesday tomorrow, we are presenting our first debate. The topic is immigration reform.

Moderator: Welcome to our first debate of the election season. We’re honored to have you with us. The format of the debate is that I will ask a question of one of the candidates who will then answer the question. The other candidates will be given the opportunity to respond. No hissing, spitting, biting, or eating. We do not want the voter to confuse us with the Republicans or Democrats.

Let me introduce you to the candidates:

  Charles Scruffikan from Detroit, MI

  Edward “Biff” Kellingham III from Braintree, MA

  Creamsicle from Los Angeles CA

  Jaime Tiggs from Washington, DC

(polite applause)

Moderator: Mr. Kellingham, let’s start with you. How do you feel about the country’s immigration policy?

(Biff looks confused.)

Biff: Would you mind clarifying the question?

Moderator: Are you in favor of allowing foreigners into this country, either illegally or legally?

(Biff still looks confused.)

Biff: Where would they be coming from?

Moderator: Mainly Central America and the Middle East.

Biff: Oh, OK. You’re talking about Chihuahuas and Caucasian Mountain Dogs. That type of thing. I’m definitely against it. We already have way too many dogs here.

(The other cats nod vigorously. Now the moderator looks confused.)

Moderator: No, I meant people.

Creamsicle: I don’t mean to interrupt, but you mean that we would have to decide one by one who gets to come into the country? I mean, how else would we know if they are cat people?

Biff: I agree with Creamsicle. There is no way that the immigration question can be about people.

Charles: I think I know what the humans are talking about. We have zebra mussels invading the Great Lakes. I definitely think we should get rid of them and not allow any more in. They impact the fish population.

Biff (nodding): That makes sense. My favorite trout is getting hard to find. Some other breeds have invaded the water and bred with them.

Creamsicle: And those fish that walk out of the water. They’re really creepy.

Jaime: In Florida, my home state, boa constrictors have invaded the swamps. They eat anything around them. They’ve even killed a couple of alligators.

(The other cats look horrified.)

Jaime: Not only that. There’s all kinds of plants that are coming in from somewhere and killing off the natives. Pretty soon it won’t even look like the Everglades.

Biff: And there are all those plants and trees the rich people imported that are taking over the East Coast.

Creamsicle: And the West Coast.

Charles: We have purple loosestrife taking over all the land it can get.

Jaime: And kudzu is all over the South.

Moderator: I think we can all agree that those are problems. But what about the people?

(The cats stop talking and look at him.)

Jaime: Obviously the humans are going to have to figure that out. We’ll be much too busy.

(The others nod.)

Biff: I heard that if you stand still too long, the kudzu will grow over you.

Charles: I think we’ve handled this question. What’s next?

Moderator (shaking his head): I think we’re done for today. Remember to prep for the next debate. We’ll be talking about the budget.

(More applause and the lights are turned off.)

Biff: Anyone interested in a nice bowl of cream? It’s on me.

Creamsicle: Ooooh, yummy!

(The cats all walk off together talking and laughing.)

Ed. Note: Exit polls show a great deal of indecision about who won the debate. The only comments were on the candidates’ looks and speaking voices.

 

 

4

Maybe I Need a Stronger Scent

A while back, I saw a Jack Nicholson film, “Wolf”. It’s about a guy who hits a wolf with his car. He feels badly about it and gets out to check on the wolf. Unfortunately, it bites him. More unfortunately, it’s a werewolf. Of course, the guy starts turning into a werewolf himself.

One of my favorite scenes takes place in the corporate mens’ room. The company has been taken over, and his job was given to a favorite of the new company. He manages to get his job back. Then he sees his rival at the urinal. He goes over and urinates on the man’s very expensive shoes, marking his territory.

I was reminded of that scene last week. I have not been working weekends for a while, which was really nice. But then I discovered that no one from our department was helping unload the truck on Saturday mornings. Our biggest load day. No wonder everyone hates the deli. (Fortunately, no one ever remembers I’m part of the deli.)

I asked the Team Leader (TL) about it. “I don’t have anyone coming in that early.” Ummmm. Maybe you should schedule someone that early?

Short version – I said I’d work 1a – 9:30a. There was another woman who worked cheese during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. We’ll call her “J”. TL had thought it would be a great idea to have our schedules overlap by several hours. Just what the customers want on a busy Saturday morning – empty shelves and two people in their way trying to fill them.

Luckily she settled for a half hour overlap the first day. I had heard J was not the most pleasant person to work with. Oh, goody.

First thing she does after she comes in is moves one of my carts. “This is the way I work every weekend.” Okaaay. And I volunteered for this.

I’m hanging cheese, and she comes over. “I thought you were supposed to leave at 9.” “No, 9:30.” “TL told me 9.” I realized that it would irritate her more to be cheerful, so I said, “Well, the schedule says 9:30,” very sweetly. She stomped off.

This past weekend, J had something to do so we overlapped three hours. I taught her how to unload pallets, then left to do other things in the deli. I think I ceded my territory to her.

Not that this is the first time. I volunteered to do markdowns in the deli a couple of times. It’s now my job. Same with inventory checks.

They lost another stocker yesterday. After only 10 days. So I’m back to unloading meat and salads. And chickens. I hate chickens. “I don’t have anyone else to do it.”

Why can’t TL do it? In the past she’s told me, “Men should do this. It’s not a woman’s job.” Mmmm-hmmmm. Insulting to me and women in general. Not really that easy to do.

And TL wants me to help the guy on Friday with the deli load – “He’s so slow.” After I do the cheese load. And her markdowns. And her inventory checks. And set her stock.

Kicked out of another watering hole.

It’s not like it should surprise anyone. I’ve told you in the past about the animals around our yard not being afraid of me. I even had a woodchuck stare rather than run.

Apparently it’s gotten around the neighborhood. It’s still (very) dark when I go to work. The animals are wandering around, getting things ready for winter. In the past week, I’ve had two possums sit in the middle of the road (one was even on the line) and watch me go by. They must have gotten off the road shortly afterwards, since there were no bodies later.

Same with a little raccoon. He wandered onto the road and sat to watch me drive by. I think I know how the animals in the zoo feel. Three deer meandered past me on the road.

I would really, really hate to hit anything. But sitting and watching me drive by is embarrassing. I never thought of myself as an alpha- animal, but I think they might be pushing me somewhere south of gamma.

I guess it really doesn’t matter. With my luck, if I marked something it would just attract an amorous bear.