Ricky T. Tavi, our Asian correspondent, received a telephone call from Kommodo Island requesting a meeting. Ricky was ready to go when we had to cancel the interview. Apparently our insurance doesn’t cover meetings between subjects and their known prey. Since we do not employ anyone who is not the known prey of a Kommodo Dragon, we had to do the interview via Skype. Below is the transcript.
Ricky: Good morning. Uh, before we get started would you please remove whatever is between your teeth?
Dragon: Huh? (Looks in mirror and pulls a foot from his mouth.) Sorry.
Ricky: So Mr. Dragon, what would you like to talk about today?
Dragon: Please call me Sal.
Dragon: No one can pronounce my real name (unintelligible series of hisses), so I go with Sal. I invited you here in hopes that you can help rehabilitate the image of the Kommodo Dragon.
Ricky: What did you have in mind?
Sal: For starters, we would like to be invited to join the Universal Federation of Quadrupeds (UFQ). We are the only major group of reptiles who are not members.
Ricky: I believe that may be due to your delegate eating his translator the last time you were invited.
Sal: That was a simple mistake anyone could have made.
Ricky: Well, you know the humans still have a lot of clout since there are so many of them. And the humans are afraid of you.
Sal: I really don’t understand why.
Ricky: Well, they can’t get over the time one of you sat outside the villager’s hut and waited for him to open the door. As soon as the door was opened, he ate the villager.
Sal: That’s one dragon! Humans are so stupid! They think we’re all evil because of one bad event.
Ricky: Well, you do dig up a lot of the dead people and eat them.
Sal: What difference does that make? It’s not like we killed them.
Ricky: Rumor has it that your mouths are full of bacteria that kills your prey even if you can’t eat them immediately.
Sal: That’s what I mean! Those are just vicious rumors that everyone wants to believe.
Ricky: So tell the world the truth.
Sal: We have venom, not nasty bacteria in our mouths.
Ricky: Most of us don’t really see venom as preferable to bacteria. Is it mild?
Sal: Of course not. We dragons are good at what we do. Our venom causes paralysis, extreme blood loss, inadequate clotting, tissue damage, and excruciating pain. What good is venom if it doesn’t get you something to eat?
Ricky: Let’s go in a different direction. What would you like to identify as the positive traits of your community?
Sal: Our children are really smart. They know to cover themselves in feces so the adults don’t eat them. Your children probably aren’t that smart.
Ricky: I believe you’re right. I don’t know of a mongoose child covering itself in feces.
Sal: Not only that. The children are smart enough to climb trees to keep from being eaten. We adults are too big to climb the trees.
Ricky: What else would you like to highlight about the dragons?
Sal: Our females can reproduce without a male. That’s something none of the rest of you can do.
Ricky: That is impressive.
Sal: And we love to swim. Maybe you could write a story about our swimming skills.
Ricky: You’re right; that might be a good angle. Let everyone know there’s another side to you.
Sal: Yes. We are more athletic than anyone knows. We can run up to 11 mph.
Ricky: Let me look into it. Maybe I can get a crew together and at least make a video for YouTube. With a little luck, it’ll go viral and you’ll get a chance to show the world a different side of you.
Sal: That’s great! I just have one piece of advice for you when you come.
Ricky: What’s that?
Sal: Don’t forget the extra feces.
If you think the dragon is crazy, look here: