Thursday, October 4, 2007

Nightmare neighbors

Eh, my neighbors are okay. They make noise now and then, and I'd sell them for a nickel to passing Martian raiders, but even the nastiest neighbors pale before the beasts that menaced the childhood of humankind.

It was wonderful tonight to a)not spray/drip/dribble nasal mucus every five minutes and b)actually have three delicious hours between work and bedtime to do nothing but lie on the floor and watch tv.

I think it's been a month since I last turned the thing on.

Telly, I've missed you so. Tonight, you taught me about horrible monsters that shared the world with my ancestors, long, long ago.

I already knew about saber-toothed tigers and even that terrifying eagle in New Zealand that could, would and did hunt the first people to settle there.

But I did not know about this bad boy:

Megalania, aka the Giant Ripper Lizard. The biggest lizard that ever lived. Makes a Komodo dragon look like a Chihuahua.

900 pounds of angry ugliness. And a mouth that drooled toxic bacteria in its sputum. Kind of like a guy with a bad cold.

On a sunny day, it was unstoppable and it ate people like a preteen camper eats marshmallows and beef jerky.

But it had a weakness -- the same weakness to which all its scaly kin are prone: its cold blood kept it slow in the morning chill. Set a wildfire in the early a.m. and even this monstrous beast was helpless.

Ripper rips no more. Neither does the short-nosed bear, that giant eagle or a whole bunch of other beasts that once cracked human skulls.

We burned them out, starved them out, speared them out, we, the naked ape with the big brain.

(Photo courtesy of the BBC, which must have faced some challenges in procuring it, since the Giant Ripper Lizard's demise predates the invention of the camera.)


Casdok said...

It can be amazing what you learn from the TV!

eastcoastdweller said...

It surely can. I learned last night that the next time I lead the settlement of Australia, I need to bring some lizard-grilling seasonings with me.