Category Archives: Animals

The sperm whale which exploded today

Beware of exploding 50-ton sperm whales

In enclosed spaces, beware of exploding 50-ton sperm whales

Look, because of the flu, I am all over the place. Normal service will be resumed soon-ish.

In the meantime, this is the 11th anniversary of the day a whale exploded in the middle of the town of Tainan in Taiwan.

For some reason, I identity with this biological incident, though I’m not quite sure if it is the whale or the town I identify with.

The sperm whale, weighing over 50 tons, died on the beach and it took three large cranes and 50 workers more than 13 hours to shift it onto the back of a truck.

According to the local Taiwan News, while the whale was being moved, “a large crowd of more than 600 local Yunlin residents and curiosity seekers, along with vendors selling snack food and hot drinks, braved the cold temperature and chilly wind to watch workmen try to haul away the dead marine leviathan”.

When it exploded, the whale was on the back of the truck, near the centre of the town, splattering blood and whale entrails over surrounding shop fronts, bystanders and cars.

There is a rather strange video on YouTube about the explosion.

I think I identify with the whale, though having had flu is obviously somewhat different, even with the addition of a late laxative for constipation.

Apparently the explosion of dead sperm whales is not unusual. It is the buildup of gas inside the decomposing body which causes them to explode.

That much I understand.

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Filed under Animals, Eccentrics, Humor, Humour, Japan

Gary The Goat court victory in Oz soon to become comic Bob Slayer book/film

(This was also published by Indian news site WSN)

Gary The Goat, caught in a media scrum outside court

Gary The Goat, caught in a media scrum outside the Oz court

Regular readers of my blog with a taste for the bizarre have been following the saga of Gary The Goat (best friend of Australian comic Jimbo Bazoobi) for almost a year now.

Exactly a week ago, I blogged that the latest news on Gary was that he was facing criminal prosecution for eating some grass and (police alleged) some flowers outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

Yesterday, he and Jimbo stood accused at Downing Centre Local Court in Sydney of ‘damaging vegetation without authority’.

Well, OK, Gary was accused of eating the grass and flowers. Jimbo was accused of letting him do it.

Police prosecutor Senior Sergeant Rick Mansley claimed Jimbo “knew Gary was hungry and had been reckless in letting him near the flowers.”

Gary The Goat’s lawyer, Paul McGirr, claimed it could not be proved that Jimbo put Gary up to the act. “We can’t guess what Gary might have been whispered in his goat ear,” he told the court.

Gary The Goat was not called to give evidence and waited nervously outside wearing a rainbow hat, surrounded by reporters, while Jimbo faced the full wrath of the Australian constabulary in court.

In the end, after soberly considering the evidence (the police briefing dossier ran to 200 pages), Magistrate Carolyn Barkell found that Jimbo had no control over what the animal might eat and was unaware of his preference for flowers over grass.

“I accept that he did eat garden plants,” she said. However, she found there was no evidence that Jimbo brought Gary there with the intention of vandalising vegetation. “He might have fancied an ice cream,” she said.

Jimbo and Gary The Goat are on a near-constant tour around Australia. As chronicled in my blog, this time last year British comedian Bob Slayer toured with them with such bizarre and disastrous consequences that Bob is shortly issuing an eBook about their exploits. He also filmed a documentary, currently in post-production with Brown Eyed Boy.

Bob told me today: “We have been waiting for the outcome of this court case before completing the film. Now it just got a whole lot more interesting. There are many stories that can be told here. One angle is the cute goat tale, another is all about a billy goat standing up against the nanny state and then a third is how inspiring people like Jimbo are for the world of comedy.

“I believe that Jimbo, just like Kunt and The Gang before him, is one of the true unsung Heroes of Comedy and a real inspirtion. Having spent years on the fringes of the industry forging his own path, he really deserves this break – Jimbo and Gary The Goat are all over the world media today. Will he embrace the industry or elect to carry on doing his own thing?

“Touring with Jimbo in mining towns, farm towns and sheep stations last year, I saw him handle some of the most difficult comedy audiences imaginable and yet end the night smiling, having given them all a great night out. He has filth and shock in his arsenal but, behind that, there is an extremely high level of skill and a brain that is quite simply hardwired for comedy.

“When, in most comedy rooms, you stand up and do material which points out that racism is perhaps not the greatest idea in the world, you can be pretty sure the audience will agree with you. But, really, this is shooting fish in a barrel. How many acts that do jokes on these subjects could have gone into a room that made the Ku Klux Klan seem a moderate organisation and not only made them laugh, but also actually got them to think about their world view? I saw that happen last year.”

After the court verdict was announced yesterday, Jimbo told an excited media scrum outside: “‘Gary’s name has been cleared of all this slander. I just think there’s so many laws and regulations in Australia which are just an abuse of common sense. This is actually an abuse of the laws of nature – a goat eating grass. I’m a comedian – I can come up with jokes, but it’s pretty hard to compete with the cops coming out with this stuff. Gary the Goat taught the cops a valuable lesson and that is Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Gary The Goat made no comment.

I suspect he may have sold rights to his exclusive first-hand story elsewhere.

(You can see a video of Gary The Goat and Jimbo outside court HERE.)

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Filed under Animals, Australia, Comedy, Humor, Humour, Legal system, Police

Attractive Norwich sheep in a pub; Gary The Goat charged in an Australian court

The Bishop of Norwich was in no way connected to the sheep

The Bishop of Norwich was not involved

In May 2011, I wrote a blog about cat wrestling and a sheep in a pub in Norfolk. It seemed like a good idea at the time and is fairly normal stuff for Norfolk.

At the time, Norwich comedian Dan McKee told me a tale about a local pub – the Ironmongers Arms:

“The peculiarities of the old Ironmongers Arms knew no bounds,” Dan said. “The landlord had no tongue, but he did have a pet jackdaw which hopped around the bar and Friday night entertainment consisted of a young lady singing the hits of Tina Turner. She didn’t sing to karaoke tracks but actually sang over the original Tina Turner records on the juke box and she just tried to sing louder than Tina’s vocals…

“Then there was the night somebody brought a sheep in for a pint. We asked him why he had come in with a sheep and he replied: Well, I couldn’t very well leave it at home.”

Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Howard Posner in Norfolk. It read:

“A friend of mine just referred me to your old blog on the tale of the sheep. The sheep was, in fact, stolen from a field on the way back from a rugby game at Beccles in 1976.

“It travelled on the rear seat of a old Ford Cortina. I was in the front seat. The sheep was very placid and was taken into the pub by some of the University of East Anglia’s rugby fourth team (The Rams). I played for the team on and off for three season (two of which went undefeated).

“At the time, UEA’s first team was called the “u’s” and consisted of a lot of lads who were prepared to train regularly and drink a lot. The second and third teams were made up of those who failed in their efforts to get in the first XV. And the fourth team was made up of ‘social’ students, plus a couple of junior lecturers and a chef from the kitchens at Fifers Lane – who had quite a lot of ability but no desire to conform.

“Our pre-match routine was to meet in a pub somewhere and consume beer in such quantities that we would often arrive at the game with less than the requested fifteen players. Luckily, most of the opposition where of a similar sporting standard.

“As the fourth team, we adopted the Ram as our emblem and acquired a rather large advertising hoarding for pure wool with a sheep on it. The sheep was called Louise and we took this with us to all our games and wrote the results on the hoarding.

“On the way back from winning in Beccles on that fateful night, we decided that it would be more appropriate to have a live ram. There were lots of sheep in the area and we ‘acquired’ one. How were we to know the difference between a male and female sheep? We picked that particular sheep because it was the prettiest in the field.

“Our destination was the usual one, the Ten Bells pub, who would not let us in with a sheep. But the landlord of the Ironmongers Arms was happy to allow in at least fifteen drinking men and a sheep. Sadly, the sheep would not drink the beer, which I recall was high quality Norwich Bitter. When it urinated in the bar some of the liquid was mopped up into a pint glass and was quite favourably compared to the Norwich ale in look and smell. As the evening progressed, our numbers swelled and we moved on.

“When Spencer’s night club would not let us in on the grounds that the sheep was not a member, it was taken away. I was told it was released in a field of other sheep (not its own) but there was a tale, never substantiated, that it was actually taken to the Wild Man pub, escaped and was last seen heading towards the Cathedral. I like this version better.”

Coincidentally yesterday, comedian Bob Slayer also updated me on the progress of Gary The Goat, best friend of Australian comic Jimbo Bazoobi.

Bob’s adventures with Jimbo and Gary The Goat as they crossed Australia last Spring were partially blogged about here last year and Bob is about to publish an eBook about their joint exploits.

Gary The Goat reads the charges against him

Gary The Goat reads the charges against him in Australia

As I mentioned in a blog last month, Gary The Goat was recently disgracefully arrested for eating some grass and (police allege) some flowers.

As a result of this arrest, Gary The Goat’s Facebook page, which had 400 likes, zoomed up to 8,500 likes and the first post about the case went viral, had 25,000 likes and was seen by nearly half a million goat-fascinated folks…

The latest news is that Gary The Goat is going to court next Wednesday, accused of ‘damaging vegetation without authority’.

“Earlier this week,” Bob Slayer tells me, “FOUR cops arrived at Jimbo’s place to deliver their ‘brief of evidence’. It is a 200 page document. So far, I’m only half way through reading it.”

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Filed under Animals, Comedy, Crime, Drink, Humor, Humour