9

Peacock in the City

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We are here in South Mumbai to meet Dinesh Mora, star of the hot Indian reality show, Real Peacocks of Mumbai. We arrive at a very exclusive gated community, protected by two Bengal tigers. The one at the driver’s side seems surprised to see a mongoose at the wheel. When he checks his guest list, he starts to chuckle, “Going to Mora’s, I see.”

We find a cul-de-sac of incredibly refined neutral-hued homes. Except the one painted bright pink. We get out, look around and see several limos with their macaque drivers waiting. The closest one is glaring at us. He comes over and asks if we’re friends of Mora. We explain about the interview.

 

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The macaque grimaces. “I should have known. Since he’s moved in, it’s been a circus around here. I don’t know why they let him in. Everyone else here is high-level government; leopards mainly with a few lions. He’s a bird! Parties all the time. And look at that paint! Some royal bird of the gods!”

Andi, the photographer and I nod politely and walk to the door. It opens as we approach. It is Anika, Dinesh’s personal assistant. “Hurry up! Dinesh has been waiting for you!”

 

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We walk into a large open room where a large handsome peacock is having some sort of oil massaged into his chest feathers. “Hello there! I’m running behind. We’ll only have time for a couple of pictures before we go. Remember: left side or full-face only. No close-ups of the tail.” Andi grins at me and takes a few shots.

Dinesh dashes out and gets on a vintage Royal Enfield motorcycle. He wants several pictures on it. “Girls love guys on bikes.” Andi poses him several ways before he roars off. Anika stays to do some work.

 

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By the time we get to the studio, a stylist is trying to undo the wind damage to Dinesh’s tail feathers. “Be careful! You know I have the best-looking feathers here. Damage them and I’ll make sure you never work again!” She calmly continues her work.

“You! Picture girl! Come over here. I want some close-ups.” Andi glares at me and walks over.

 

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I ask him how he likes living in Mumbai after spending the rest of his life in the north. “Well, I do miss Mum and my sisters. I’m trying to talk them into coming down here. I have plenty of room. The house is too big for me alone and I certainly am not ready to settle down yet.” He winks at me.

What does he think of the neighborhood? “Truthfully, I wish I’d done a little more research. I wanted someplace quiet so I could relax, but I might as well be living in a cemetery. Apparently none of them have friends. I can’t help that I eat outside and they have servants to prepare their meals. Besides, I keep thinking one of them is going to eat me.”

 

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He’s called to the set. It’s a pretty typical scene from what I’ve heard. The four guys go to a bar, meet some girls they know. They all get a table. A couple of beautiful peahens walk by. Two of the guys get up to talk to them. Their girls get upset and go up to the peahens. Feathers fly. The guys go home, have a drink and talk about girls.

Dinesh goes back to make-up. He wants more oil on his feathers. “You would not believe how those lights can dry you out.”

 

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A couple of female fans some back. One of them coos, “We’d love to rub oil into you.” Andi almost gags. Dinesh smiles and points at the bottles. The girls get to work.

“mmmm” Dinesh looks at us. “Get a couple more pictures, and I think we’re done. Try to avoid their faces. I don’t want any jealous ladies out there.” He thinks for a minute. “And don’t forget. I have final approval on all copy and pictures.”

We leave without telling him that he never got around to asking for a contract.

 

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Riki T Tavi, Asia Correspondent

(all pictures courtesty of Google Images)

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3

Annual Cheeseland Staff Meeting

Once a year all, the reporters for Adventures in Cheeseland get together to describe major projects they are working on for the next year. George and Lenny are responsible for herding the cats (so to speak).

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George: Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for taking the time to come to Michigan for this meeting. Cat has a few things that she would like us to mention at the beginning of this meeting.

Lenny: First, we have to commit to having something to publish once a week.

(Under his breath: that’s her fault not ours. General snickers. George takes over.)

George: And our readership seems to be trending a little intellectual. She want us to get a little more mainstream.

mehitabel: Not gonna happen.

Ahab: Not with me. I didn’t sign on to be dumbed down.

Google Images

(Agreement around the table.)

George: Cat thought that might be your response. So she hired a freelancer for our first attempt. I’d like you to meet Les Sloth. He is going to the convention with Cat’s daughter to get a first-hand view of modeling competitions. (Groans all around.) He’s posing as her bodyguard and PR rep. If it works out, he’ll be a regular contributor.

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(Les looks around and gently smiles at everyone.)

Ahab: No disrespect Les, but how are you going to guard B? Aren’t sloths rather (searches for correct word)

Les: Yes we are slow. But we are also very cute and that tends to disarm people. While they are looking at me, I have a buzzer to B’s traveling companion who works as B’s wing person. She will be able to talk to people and explain that B is there for work, not socialization.

Ahab: That actually might work. Welcome to Cheeseland.

(The others welcome him as well.)

Ricky T. Tavi: So what are you calling your piece?

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Les: Cat and I agreed on “Slothly Ruminations on Human Behavior.”

archy (snickering): That title should draw in the Twitter crowd.

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George: If that’s what Cat wants, that’s the title.

archy: It wasn’t a reflection on you, Les. You seem like a nice guy.

(Les smiles at him.)

George: So what else is happening this year?

mehitabel: We’re looking into adulteration at a cheese-puff factory. They may actually be putting cheese into some of their products.

“Ace” Sopp: I am looking into a secret group of sub-Saharan animals who are putting together a peace-keeping group to try to help their northern human neighbors.

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Ricky T. Tavi: Unfortunately it appears that there may be some doping on the Bengal Tiger surf team. Since Ahab is the head of the commission for the summer games, we are working together to try to prevent a scandal.

Ahab: Unfortunately, we are finding evidence that the problem may be more wide-spread than we first thought. The human surfing social habits are spreading to the animals.

H. Chris Andersen: I am looking into the beginnings of socialized medicine for animals, particularly in Scandinavia. We are hoping to avoid some of the start-up glitches the humans have experienced. For example, most animals can’t wait several months for tests and surgery.

George: I assume we will be sending someone to the human Olympics this summer?

Ace: Ricky and I drew the short straws because we live in hot climates. I hate dealing with humans. They always act so condescending.

Ricky: Like they’re better than we are. Les, you’re welcome to join us. It’s in your neighborhood and you’re studying humans right now.

Les: I would like that.

George: Great! It looks like we have a good start to the year. Remember to keep us updated on what you’re doing. Don’t forget about the time the Tasmanian devil almost bankrupt us trying to recreate a typhoon.

(They all laugh and adjourn to the dining room.)

2

If Everyone Loves Dragons, Why Don’t They Love Me?

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.

 

 

https://i2.wp.com/cincinnatizoo.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/komodo-web.jpg  (Google Images)

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.

Ricky: 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:

http://listverse.com/2014/07/28/10-weird-facts-about-the-deadly-komodo-dragon/

http://mentalfloss.com/article/63058/10-amazing-facts-about-komodo-dragons

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/komodo-dragon/

7

May I Introduce to You

As promised, we are making some changes to Adventures in Cheeseland.

The 15 or 20 of you who were around during the early days of this blog may remember that the point of the title was that it was going to be about my work in the cheese department of a big block store.

Before too long, I got bored with that idea. It was either because those of us with bipolar minds have a tendency to jump topics or because it was a pretty boring/limited topic to begin with. I imagine it was mainly the second.

Which left me with a rather sizable problem: what to do with a title to the blog that was related in no way to what was written in the blog. I was advised that under no circumstances should I change the name of the blog.

So I’ve been searching for a way to bridge the disconnect. Occasional cheese features? Alternative world where cheese rules?

Hmmmm. Where have I been headed? Eureka!

Welcome to Adventures in Cheeseland: Possibly the Only WordPress Blog Hosted by Mice

We’re adding some new contributors, but will remain basically the same. Without further ado:

Owner and CEO. Editor-in-Chief: Cat (me)

Managing Editors: George and Lenny

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Staff Writers: Super Snoops, Kommando Kitty, and Horatio Hedgehog

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City Desk: archy and mehitabel

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African Bureau: “Ace” Sopp

Asian Bureau: Ricky T. Tavi

European Bureau: H. Chris Andersen

Latin America: Still interviewing. The sloths are cute, but won’t commit to deadlines. The snakes scare the rest of the staff.

Oceana: Ahab

All in all, we’ll be the same strange combination of real reality and alternative reality you’ve (hopefully) come to know and love.