Thursday, September 20, 2007

This one's for Moose...

Not much of a horse
Originally uploaded by alpharat
Moose asked Z, "Why don't people ride zebras?"

Why indeed?

Tell me that riding a zebra wouldn't look wicked-ass cool, especially if one were dressed right. I am thinking that one should either be decked out in a pin-striped zoot suit with two-toned patent leather shoes. I think one could also get away in a totally glam-trash getup consisting of other animal prints, like a leopard-print trench coat, or some other distinctive real (or imaginary) animal print. Plaids would be acceptable as well, as long as they were obnoxious enough. A distinctive wide-brimmed hat would be necessary as well.

That's right, in order to properly ride a zebra, one needs to either be dressed like a pimp or a glam rocker.

Unfortunately, even with the proper wardrobe, pimps and rockers do not ride zebras. Why is that? Surely, given the option, Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie would have made more than a few appearances perched upon a striped steed.

So I consulted the Interwebs. Apparently there are two reasons.

One is that zebras have weaker backs than horses. They have the ability to carry a person, but it has to be a lighter person and it can't do so for an extended period. This still would have allowed for Ziggy Stardust to make brief trips to the pub on his zebra though, were it not for the other reason people don't ride them.

Quoting an expert, one George Hinkey of Nature Australia Magazine:

Generally, zebras are too cantankerous to ride. They are vicious and unpredictable and it takes a lot of effort to train them to a stage where you can saddle or harness them. That is why they have never been domesticated. Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, however, managed to harness a team of four zebras to pull his carriage, which he rode from his zoological museum in Tring, in the English county of Hertfordshire, to Buckingham Palace.

Neither horses nor zebras
Originally uploaded by alpharat
I don't know why an Australian should be accepted as a zebra expert (they have kangaroos there, not zebras, and kangaroos really can't be ridden, even if they are nicer), but I am willing to accept that he knows what he's talking about. Perhaps he has tried to ride a zebra and saw firsthand how mean they are, or maybe he once attended a Shakespeare in the Park performance of Macbeth and sat next to a zebra who talked throughout the performance, and crinkled a candy wrapper during quieter moments of the production, and he made an educated guess that, given the zebra's rude behavior, it probably wouldn't like to be ridden.

And that's a fair assumption. I once went to a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar and at a climactic moment, when Jesus was dying on the cross and the entire theater was silent, a large woman about four rows back was tearing into a package of Reese's Pieces. Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle. Based on that, I assume her to be rude, unaware of public decorum and probably rather opposed to being saddled and ridden to the grocery store.

That's how logic works. Even in Australia.

So, Moose, that's why people don't ride zebras. It's because they are not nice, have no manners, and say mean things about one of America's founding fathers, Teddy Roosevelt. I'm not sure what their problem with Roosevelt is, or even if they all have a problem with him, but I think there was at least one I heard say something about his moustache. That particular zebra also made fun of Gandi's bald head, so he may have simply been especially cantankerous.

I also have a cat that is stubborn and angry, and to this day has resisted any attempt to teach her to make a pot pie. So that would be an answer to the appropriate followup question: Has anyone taught a cat to make a pot pie?

No. No they haven't.

Next question?


Jennifer said...

Well, since cats aren't busy making pot pies for us, why don't we ride them? OR why don't zebras ride them? How much torque does a cat have? How many newton metres greater or lesser is that, compared to, say, a dog?

I think Ange should pimp her ponies. Fred could wear the zebra skin jacket, and George could wear the cheetah. Red horseshoes would be a must for both, as well as purple glittery wide-brimmed hats with electric-blue ostrich plumes, gold lamme saddle blankets, and red patent leather saddles. I think everybody should get to take turns riding them -- naked.

If TFN can put down her cat-o-nine-tails long enough to snap a few pictures, I could steal her camera and post them on Flickr, and FINALLY get on Explore, just like Ange!

Gosh! It's not even Friday, and I'm already having the BEST weekend EVER!

Angeline Rose Larimer said...

Looks as if I need to take a drive to the fabric store.

I think Swiss Family Robinson/Disney examines the issue of zebras refusing to be ridden. Or was it ostriches? Get 'em drunk enough, any zebra will consent to being ridden. I know this because no one I know owns a zebra to test upon this theory.

I would not eat a cat made pot pie. I've seen what Stan leaves me on the doorstep, mistakenly thinking I'd enjoy it. It'd be more like kidney/liver stew, which might be good for me, but if the dang cat won't even eat it...I'm quite hesitant.

Fred has yet to consent to being ridden. Fred says mean things about one's mother when one even gets a twinkle in the eye of putting a leg over him. Fred must be part zebra.

Are you TFN joining us this weekend for naked pony riding? I shall inform Tom, who is currently readjusting the electric fence in a rain shower.
If I really REALLY wanted to be a bad person, I'd go out and flip the switch.