So this past weekend, I’m at the annual ASECS conference—this year in Portland, OR, which is a lovely city with great food and bookstores, which makes up for the fact that it snowed and hailed on my lovely spring wardrobe—and people I don’t know keep greeting me as if they know me, and they occasionally refer to conversations we’ve never had as if we’ve had them, and it’s all quite baffling, until on the second day I find myself riding the elevator with a woman who looks just like me, except distinctly taller, thinner, and better dressed. I have no idea what name my svelte doppelgänger goes by, or what she works on, but I hope she’s brilliant and charming and thus giving me a good name.
Back in the NWA1, I’m back to work, piled in papers, enduring the annual spring onslaught of killer wasps in my office, leaking news of my engagement to D (have you heard? I’m engaged), dreaming of the elusive free hour when I can finally watch last week’s episode of Lost. I have made time, however, to read up on Cracked.com’s 6 Endangered Species That Aren’t Endangered Enough, which boldly suggests that pandas—yes, pandas!—have outstayed their welcome on planet Earth.
“Not the cuddly, wuddly panda!” you exclaim, possibly chewing on a gender-neutral flax-soy bar. Well guess what? The panda is nature’s loser, an animal so far gone that it won’t even have sex without the aid of several Chinese zookeepers. When a species’ sole responsibility is to “get busy” and it still doesn’t bother, then we, as people who have to go to goddamn work every day, lose sympathy.
Speaking as men, we can tell you–when an animal has lost interest in its own penis, it wants to die.
Not having a penis to call my own, I have to take the Cracked boys’ word for it. But, I admit, they make a compelling case.
The Poor Panda: Would Rather Sleep Than Exist
1That’s NorthWest Arkansas, not the other thing.