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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

On Her Menagerie’s Secret Service

(You like zombies. You like computers. So you’d certainly like a zombie computer, right?

No, probably not. They’re sort of nasty. But maybe fun to learn about, over at Secondhand SCIENCE. Go on over, and feed your braaaaaaaaaains.)

I was just watching Dr. No on cable. I’d forgotten just how old — that would be 53 fricking years, if you’re scoring at home — it is. As someone who was interested in space as a kid, but grew up with Roger Moore’s Bond (I was in 3rd grade when Moonraker came out, for reference), it’s bizarre to watch a movie where the villain is disrupting Cape Canaveral rockets, before the start of the Apollo program.

I mean, today it would all be done with drones and femtolasers and such. And would probably be sabotaging the Facebook SpaceFace Social Satellite orbiter or something. So it would be dreadfully difficult not to root for the bad guys. Still.

Of course, Dr. No also began the long, convoluted and futile history of sending exotic animals to do an evil assassin’s job. Namely, killing James Bond. In a middle scene, a tarantula in bed fails to subdue Sean Connery, and eventually gets smashed all over a hotel floor.

I mean, we’ve all been there, amirite?

“Just because a critter is poisonous doesn’t mean its vicious and bloodthirsty and has a grudge against Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Obviously, the animals — like the assassins, the henchmen, the hired goons, the masterminds, the evil geniuses and possibly ebola (I haven’t seen a couple of the more recent ones) — always fail. But unlike the evil idiots, the animals aren’t to blame for this failure. They’re just animals.

Spiders and vipers and boa constrictors (oh my) — these aren’t spy killers. Some of them are barely carnivores, for crissakes. Just because a critter is poisonous doesn’t mean its vicious and bloodthirsty and has a grudge against Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Which all comes back to the evil idiots, because — if you absolutely insist on sending an animal to kill James Bond, at least pick a good one. Here are a few suggestions, all better than the feeble attempts thwarted in the movies for the last fifty years:

Rhinoceros:

There’s been at least one snake snuck into a shower 007 was having, and it killed a big old bunch of nothing. But if the baddies had crammed a rhino in the tub? Bye-bye, Bondie. Rhinocerii are ill-tempered, huge and prone to trampling. And what’s more — for the first nineteen films or so, back when smoking was “cool”, James Bond was lighting cigarettes all over the place. Before sex, after sex, during a firefight, while he’s smushing spiders into the carpet, always. And rhinos hate fire. It’d only be a matter of time before some evil henchman has to come scrape Bond guts off the rhino’s shoe.

Jellyfish:

I know what I said about poisonous docile creatures, but this is different. You don’t rely on some snake to slither to the perfect spot or a black widow to bite just right. This plan is simpler — and yet, more diabolical. You take a bunch of lethal stinging jellyfish, seal them in a chintzy waterbed and stick it in Bond’s hotel room. The jellyfish don’t have to sneak anywhere — Bond will come to them. (Probably in the company of some cleavage-laden floozy named Charming Titters or Vagina Ponderosa, if history is any guide.) At some point, the flimsy mattress bursts, and Bond sinks into a stinging mass of death. Honestly, how hard is that?

Africanized bees

Look, I don’t know if they’d kill him. But half of Bond’s deal is looking pretty for the ladies, and I don’t know how you do that with fourteen angry bee stings on the tip of your nose. Lob a hive full of these bastards into the bedroom, and Bond might not be dead — but he won’t be Bond without an epi pen and a gallon of Bactine, either.

Housecats

Cats hate everyone, but they also pick up on people who don’t like cats. And James Bond is no cat lover. He might even be allergic. If you let nineteen cats into his room while he’s sleeping, by morning he’ll either be in asthmatic shock or they’ll have sucked his soul out, as cats are not-so-secretly planning to do to each and every one of us some day. And then they’ll eat his dead British spy face. Because they’re cats.

Blue whale

I’m just saying. Blue whales literally weigh two hundred tons. If you drop a blue whale anywhere on the same city block as James Bond, you’re going to kill him. Instantly. He’ll be a fine paste glommed onto a whale ass. Game over. Do the homework.

So I expect the next couple of Bond flicks will take some of these ideas to heart, and — if they just have to make animals do the dirty double-agent work — we’ll at least see more effective animal assassins in future flicks.

There’s a whole kingdom of critters out there, evildoers. Get your shit together, already.

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