Headliners

There have been some interesting stories in the news lately. That’s not all that uncommon, but what is strange is that the headlines on some of these stories have actually been better than the stories. Somebody needs to send some of these to Jay Leno. For example, a Sept. 25 story in the UK Metro was headlined, ‘Great ape fights French tourist.’ Any ape that whips a French tourist is bound to be great. This one happens to be a female orangutan named Delima. And she evidently doesn’t like having her picture taken. The French tourist, a woman named Odile Nordan, really, was poking around at the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre on Borneo Island, in Malaysia, when Delima took umbrage. She attacked Odile and tried to take her backpack away, but only managed to tear the woman’s pants a little. The kicker in this story is what Odile said after the attack. She had been under the impression orangutans were ‘friendly, cuddly creatures.’ She said, ‘It’s a painful lesson to find out the truth.’ Typical bunny hugger epiphany. People who have had no contact with animals often have misconceptions about their attitude toward humans. The New Zealand Herald ran a story Sept. 23 entitled ‘Burglars leave goat behind.’ This one was somewhat confusing, in that it wasn’t initially clear whether the burglars left behind a goat, or ran off without a goat’s backside. The short article explained that part, but raised more questions than it answered. Here is the entire story, word for word: ‘Burglars of a Reefton house stole cash, CDs and alcohol’but left behind a goat. A couple returned to their home at midnight on Thursday to find they had been burgled. The woman, who is terrified of goats, then went into the spare room to find the animal curled up on the bed. Police have spoken to two teenagers, aged 15 and 16, about the burglary.’ See what I mean’ Who did the goat belong to originally’ Did the couple have it or did the burglars bring it with them’ Why was the goat on the bed’ Why would a woman be afraid of a goat, anyway’ Police spoke to the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, but what did they say’ Was it their goat’ Did these kids have a reputation for fraternizing with goats’ And what gave them away, their odor’ I have no idea who wrote this piece, but they should definitely be demoted back to sweeping the floor and packing the mail. There’s so little information in the story it should never have been run. Now we’re all going to have to wait for the movie to find out what happened. And speaking of great ideas for goat movies, someone in Hollywood should definitely look into the story about a goat named Nanny who has been running loose in Decatur, Ala. for some time now. The story, written by Holly Hollman and Seth Burkett, respectively, ran recently in the Decatur Daily, which apparently has a hard time coming up with actual news. The headline read, ‘Nanny goat still on lam, becoming a city legend.’ Aside from the obvious play on words about a goat being on the lam, this headline is pretty accurate. The people in Decatur, the ones quoted in the article at least, seem to be more than a little surprised that there could be a loose goat in their city. Maybe those Alabamans aren’t regular, country folks like I thought they were. And now they have a goat legend to brag about. We won’t be able to live with them. Actually, this goat is pretty impressive. For one thing she has evaded capture for a couple of weeks now. Police have been after her since Sept. 16 when a couple of officers tried to shoot her with a taser. For another thing, she can impersonate a Doberman. As it turns out, Nanny has been on her own for quite a while. She’s been living under a shed behind Professional Compressed Air Services for at least three months, and crossing a busy street daily to graze in a cemetery and drink from a river. And she always looks both ways before hitting the pavement. Nanny walked into the Professional Compressed Air building one day and scared a woman who works there. The woman thought Nanny was a Doberman, which I guess is understandable, since Dobermans and goats look a little alike. Four legs, two ears, no tail, big scary mean teeth. It’s an easy mistake. The part of the story I’m not too sure about is where Jaime Latham, who works at PCA, claims he saw Nanny chasing a coyote through the graveyard. I never heard of such a thing, but maybe the coyote thought she was a Doberman, too. If that part is true, the Decatur cops should be really careful if they catch up with her. They need to call for backup, wear their body armor, and definitely arm themselves with something heavier than a taser. Better yet, they should borrow Delima from the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, and tell her Nanny is a French tourist. I just hope that, when the movie comes out, they get Barbara Striesand or Jane Fonda to play Odile’s part . . . ‘ Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist who would like to point out that no French tourists were harmed during the writing of this column. Write to him at P.O. Box 1600, Mason, Tex. 76856 or jeep@verizon.net.

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