Lame Animal Totem: Gnu

gnuCompared to former Lame Animal Totems, such as the blobfish, this month’s winner is downright fetching. Compared to most animals, however, it is not. I speak of the the gnu (wildebeest), an antelope that looks as if it were assembled by a committee of people deeply angry at each other, and which could not win a battle of wits with a cantaloupe.

If wildebeest is your totem, you wield the awesome power of extreme awkwardness and profound stupidity combined. Use gnu energy at parties, driving others away from your favorite foods with your honking voice, lack of focus, and random, frightening bursts of sprinting. As a gnu person you should party often, because you’ll probably die young. No worries, though; you’ll leave behind approximately four hundred descendants. Your funeral will be a poignant festival of honking, butting, and sprinting into walls, though none of your descendants will be bright enough to recall what they’re doing there.

Lame Animal Totem: Passenger Pigeon

Happy-Go-Lucky in a Dangerous World
I’m into Passenger Pigeons this month because their closest relatives—Band-Tailed Pigeons—have been showing up at my bird feeders. Scientists are now asking people (this means you!) to put up feeders, because human interference appears to be killing off all birds, everywhere. Buzz-kill, huh? But wait! It gets worse!

Passenger Pigeons were once the most abundant birds in North America, so numerous that flocks of them could darken the entire sky. They were also very friendly, so people used to club thousands of them a day, just to pass the time (this was before YouTube). This continued with undimmed enthusiasm until 1914, when the very last Passenger Pigeon died in captivity. Her name was Miss Martha. (Coincidence? Yes.)

But I digress. If your totem animal is the Passenger Pigeon, you are happy-go-lucky to the point of insanity. You walk through dangerous neighborhoods in nothing but swimwear, carrying wads of cash in your outstretched hands. You accept massages from maximum-security prisoners. You’re sure that your neighborhood serial killer just needs a little yoga, maybe someone to hold a space when he gets triggered. You may well be dead.

Use Passenger Pigeon energy to feel blithely unconcerned during medical testing and political elections. Call on it to help you accept abuse, agree with psychopaths, and always, always blame yourself. And as you hang up your own bird feeder near your own home (please!) expect the spirit of Passenger Pigeon to remind you that it is good to be innocent and hopeful, even in a dangerous world.

Lame Animal Totem: Gophers

Gophers are dirt-brown rodents with tiny eyes who hoard food in their large, fur-lined cheek pouches, bite aggressively when threatened, and use their hairy tails to feel around when they walk backward through their subterranean tunnels. In other words, they’re just like your Aunt Helga. (Remember Helga? She used to come over a lot when read more…

Lame Animal Totem: The Blobfish

The Blobfish is a creature made of gelatinous tissue that allows it to float around the deep ocean floor, compensating for near-total lack of muscle by being totally nondiscriminating in its eating habits. Sound like you? Quelle coincidence! You and I have the same totem animal this month! Blobfish energy is flaccid, weak-willed, and…I don’t know, whatever. read more…

Lame Animal Totem: Tardigrade

The Tardigrade is a truly wondrous creature: an eight-legged microscopic beastie also known as the “moss piglet” that can go without food or water for more than ten years, live in the vacuum of space, stew in boiling water, and keep waddling onward, good as new.  Tardigrade energy is the totem of people who just will read more…

Lame Animal Totem: Turducken

Turducken is a dish consisting of a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, which is in turn stuffed into a deboned turkey. If turducken is your totem animal, you have multiple layers of limp energy with no solid internal structure whatsoever.   Turducken energy is complicated, overstuffed, and excessive. When Turducken waddles onto your read more…

Lame Animal Totem: Aardwolf

The Aardwolf, as I’m sure you know, is a stripy hyena-like creature from Africa that can excrete a full tenth of its body weight in one magnificent defecation. (How much would you excrete if you were an Aardwolf?  Would it be more or less than you can lift?) A single Aardwolf can consume a quarter read more…

Lame Animal Totem: Hamster

Few hamster owners realize that their pets carry the powerful energy of intense passion and artistic aspiration that for some reason always ends up being considered amusing and adorable. If you doubt Hamster’s depth, please click this link to observe the moving death throes acted out by these talented little nuggets of cuteness. If you read more…

Lame Animal Totem: Pacu

Take a look at your teeth. If they resemble those of the pacu fish, pictured here, the pacu just might be your animal totem! The pacu played a starring role in an episode of River Monsters, a television program featuring intrepid angler Jeremy Wade. The aptly-named-Wade went right into bodies of water in Papua New read more…

Lame Animal Totem: Hagfish

Hagfish, also called “slime eels,” are similar to (follow closely, here) extremely slimy eels. Some experts call them “a degenerate type of vertebrate-fish” because they have skulls but no vertebrae. Others just avoid them.   In addition to its degeneracy, Hagfish energy is spineless, squishy, slithery, and rank. If Hagfish is your totem, don’t assume read more…