The Newtown Pentacle

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It’s National Mai Tai day, in these United States.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Increasingly, one realizes the depths of his personal ignorance about common things. Whilst watching, lovingly, my little dog Zuzu sleeping the other night it occurred to me that I didn’t know very much about Dogs from a scientific point of view. This led me directly into a “Wikipedia rabbit hole” during which canid evolution and its various family trees were explored, and soon it was 3:30 in the morning. This is an occupational hazard for the curious.

The next morning, I continued my reading on the Canids of the Holocene era, which led me to the Oligocene and the root ancestry of the Carnivora mammals. Moving forward instead of back in time, I soon found myself reading about the Hyena family, which somehow led to me watching videos of wild animals fighting. It was decided to end my explorations after witnessing a battle between a Hippo and a Rhino. The Hippo won, which was sort of unexpected but there you go.

I was able to control myself and avoid searching for “Tiger versus Hippo” as it might shatter a preconception I have which states that nothing can beat a Tiger in claw on claw combat, with the notable exception of a Russian. Russians and Tigers are probably the toughest bastards on the planet in terms of pure survival skills, IMHO, and long have I argued for the preservation of both specie just in case we are ever invaded by an extraterrestrial civilization.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It would be unexpected, I realize, for some space faring race of conquerors to suddenly find themselves beset by Russian Spetnatz troops riding militarized Siberian tigers. Supposition began to reign, and it occurred to me that the “tough guy” cultures of the Earth – all the tribes of man – would probably lend a unit of paired human and animal predators to the battle for earth. Maori riding rocket propelled tiger sharks in zero gravity, Inuit riding Polar Bears… the mind boggles when imagining units of French Dauphine commandos or Apache wolf riders. Vietnamese guerillas mounted on giant centipedes or Mekong Catfish, Polynesian Frogmen and their cephalopod partners, Bantu special forces with their Hippo armies – the mind boggles.

With the right inducement, we could probably create whole divisions of animalia who would require no human partner at all. It’s their planet too. Imagine units of angry Chimpanzees in space helmets suddenly introduced into the confines of a spacecraft. Chimps are ghastly and powerful warriors.

You don’t mess around with Chimps, as a note, as they’ll eat your face and twist off your junk just for shits and giggles.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A little known fact about Western Queens is that when the Europeans arrived here, Maspeth in particular, but all of the East River coastline was infested with wolves. It was likely the so called “Red Wolf” which was well established on the eastern coast of North America. The Dutch, and later the English, offered bounties to the populace for wolf pelts in pursuance of exterminating the predators which poached from the European farmer’s livestock.

According to my readings, entered into after watching Zuzu the dog snoring away in a corner of the living room, modern day wolves and dogs are both descended from a common ancestor which was far larger and more vicious than anything walking the earth today – a critter adapted for taking down the megafauna of the Ice Age. Who knew?

Happy July 4th weekend, lords and ladies, back on Monday with something completely different at this – your Newtown Pentacle.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

June 30, 2017 at 1:00 pm

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