Monday, July 7, 2008

freak outs and poison rhinos

I went to the Iziko Museum of Cape Town with some friends. It had interesting cultural exhibits on the native people and I learned more about Xhosa, a language with many clicks that to my ear seem impossible to contain meaning. As we looked at ancient cave paintings, my friend Darren kept expressing amazement at man's insistence on art and recording. It came up many times on our wanderings that day.

We had a fun time at the giant taxidermy wing. I went in by myself. The silence and dark lighting made me nervous. I kept turning around to check if certain carnivores hadn't moved. For me the tension broke when I found the hornless rhino. It turns out that thieves had broken through the glass and stolen the rhino's horn. Most likely, it will be sold and ground down into an aphrodisiac powder. A sign on the case warned the thieves that the horn had been soaked in arsenic to preserve it. That made me laugh. Take a powder to get rigid and you end up with rigor mortis instead.

Unfortunately for Darren, his hangover increased his susceptibility to the creepiness of this frozen menagerie. His bloodshot eyes made things waver at the edge of his vision. As he got more nervous, he finally decided to take the plunge and stare down the leopard. He laughed later as he told me, "I bolted."

The score stands:
Stuffed Leopards: 1
Humans: -1 (penalty point for poisonous boner)

3 comments:

crabbyrandy said...

I wonder if that's were the term "A Dead Lay" came from.

Ned said...

I had to check out the online Urban Dictionary to what a "Dead Lay" meant. Now I know. I guess I can go back to bed since I've learned my new thing for the day.

Lex Pelger said...

Don't go "back to bed." I know that just a euphemism for hanky panky on my bed with my mother. Sick.