Spring is marked by many natural occurrences; which one you get is determined by geography. In Capistrano, the swallows return. In D.C. and Japan, the cherry blossoms bloom for a few short weeks. And in our national parks, morons try to pet bison.
Now, you know I’m not talking to you because you’re smart enough not to pet a hellcow, but perhaps you have morons for relatives. Perhaps you have a moron-in-law or two? This is for them, and you should feel free to share it, but don’t mention that it’s because you think they’re morons. They will get angry, and then do something stupid. Because they are morons.
(I apologize if I seem cranky, but this drives me insane: don’t bother animals. And what drives me further over the cliffs of insanity is when the idiot who tries to give a bison a scritchy-scratch doesn’t get punished for it.)
For their edification, TotD presents What To Do When Encountering Animals:
Dog Make friends with the dog.
Bison Stay in your car. Or, if on foot, remain at least 500 yards away and preferably downwind. If you accidentally kill a bison (I have no idea how you accidentally kill a bison), then you must use every part of it.
Shark Punch it in the nose.
Anteater Punch it in the nose. (It is much easier to punch an anteater in the nose than a shark.)
Puma Make yourself as big as possible.
Cougar Make yourself as small as possible.
Mountain lion Make yourself as sexy as possible.
Pangolin Exchange addresses and become pen pals.
Humpbacked whale Kidnap and take back to the future in a Klingon Bird of Prey.
Bee Encourage the bee, as we need more of them and they do wonderful work.
Hornet Exterminate the hornet, as they are of the devil and possessed of an assholish temperament.
All other bugs If outside, take care to avoid; if in your house, drop the hammer.
Rattlesnake Pet. (Honest. Rattlesnakes just get a bad rap: they’re the pit bulls of the snake world. Rattlesnakes are actually so sweet and loving, and if you get a chance to see one, then you should pet it. You’ll be amazed at what happens next.”)
Bald eagle Salute.
‘Squatch Take a damn picture. Hell, shoot it. Shoot it and bring back the corpse. And while you’re doing that, take lots of pictures and also some video. Prove to that ex-wife of yours that you’re not an idiot. Become famous. Insert your leaky parts into Instagram hotties and reality TV washouts. Try cocaine just once. Spend all your money on cocaine. End up under a bridge. Find a bridge troll. Take a picture of the bridge troll. Hell, shoot it and bring back the corpse. And while–
Refrigerator-nosed salamander This is not a thing. Stop making shit up.
Tasmanian tiger You should stop playing with the Time Sheath.
Norwegian grey rat Allow to accompany you on adventures until it propagates throughout the entire planet. (TotD is getting word that Europeans have already done this. Sorry.)
Tarantula If you’re a weird creep, then own. If you’re any sort of decent and moral human being, then run screaming. Then, if you have the ability, call in an air strike.
Goose Hire local border collie to chase from the area until it gets the point.
Coyote Do not mistake for dog. Dog rules are 100% not in effect for coyotes. They do not want belly rubs.
Coyoté Pay him $5000 and get in his van; soon, you will be in America.
Walrus Why would you encounter a walrus? Let me be more specific: why would you encounter a walrus and not already know how to deal with it? You should not be getting your walrus-encountering advice from me. It would be professional malfeasance to even suggest anything.
Arctic hare Why are you wandering around the north pole running into animals? Are you looking for the Fortress of Solitude? I’m questioning your lifestyle right now, and I don’t think I want you using a bathroom with my daughter or wife.
Mogwai Don’t get ’em wet, don’t expose ’em to bright light, and don’t ever feed ’em after midnight.