Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Animal Group Names

What's in a name? Groups of animals (and such) have landed some unusual monikers over the centuries. As you read each group name below, focus on the image that pops into your head. Then you can continue reading some of the things that popped up in my mind -- if you're brave enough. (Please note that we are expanding our coverage a bit this week, and not all of these critters live in Montana.)

Red-winged Blackbirds (c) John Ashley
"Descent of woodpeckers."
Poor Woody. He used to live in an ivory-billed tower, now he's just another poor sapsucker like the rest of us.

"Parade of elephants."
Oh sure, it seemed like a great idea at the time, but those little Shriner cars will never be the same.

"Army of caterpillars."
Surrender now or we'll tickle your toes 'till you beg for mercy.

"Congress of baboons."
Couldn't have said it better myself.

"Sleuth of bears."
Ursus Detective Agency -- where everyone wears fake glasses with mustaches to disguise their furry faces.

"Culture of bacteria."
Book-reading, Proust-quoting, and very very small.

"Flight of bees."
We caught the red-eye in from Chicago, and boy are our wings tired.

"Rabble of Butterflies."
Smoking tiny cigarettes, sporting tiny tattoos, and pretending not to care if you notice them.

"Clutter of cats."
At the flip of a switch, the glaring lights revealed the sordid evidence: a shredded 12 lb. Purina bag, four yellow feathers of unknown origin, and the saliva-covered remains of one stolen catnip plant.

"Cartload of chimpanzees."
Memories of away-game bus rides with my Little League baseball team.

"Flock of camels."
Well okay, but can they form a 'V'?

"Herd of chinchillas."
Due to the new OSHA rules in Spain, they will be replacing this year's Running of the Bulls.

"Quiver of cobras."
I don't know about these arrows, Bob. They just won't fly straight -- and they bite.

"Rake of colts."
And when you finish up there, go around and clean up the apples you dropped in the back yard, too.

"Cover of coots."
Ahhh, all warm and -- PPPHHHHTT -- toasty and --- PPPHHHTTT -- tucked in. Just a --- PPPHHHTT -- few loose feathers to put up with.

"Congregation of crocodiles."
Let's all bow our heads now, and have a moment of silence for Jerry, whose chicken addiction led him to the Great Bootmaker in the Sky.

"Pod of dolphins."
Well no wonder you can't hear any music, Don. You stuck the earbud in your blowhole.

"Brace of ducks."
Big shiny metal lining the bills of teenage Mallards.

"Gang of elk."
Hey you! Yeh, you. Why don't you just hand over that salt block now before Big Al here drops a wapiti that you won't soon forget.

"Kettle of hawks."
You the man, Harlan! My tail's turning red -- this hottub was a stroke of genius.

"Bloat of hippopotami."
I think me and the girls are gonna' stay here in the river, Sally, and eat lots of chocolate. I'm just feel like I'm retaining water tonight."

"Band of jays."
I think I've heard of them before. Didn't they use to call themselves the 'Blues Jays?'

"Smack of jellyfish."
Don't you be bringing that junk 'round here, 'less you wanna' dance with the Tentacles Of Terror. Whaddu' say, huh? Huh? HUH?!

"Lounge of lizzards."
What do you say, baby? What's a hot reptile like you doing in a cool joint like this?

"Plague of locusts."
Yeh yeh yeh. Milk spoils, blame us locusts. The kid drops out of school, blame us locusts. The wheat field gets devoured overnight, uh, well never mind.

"Company of moles."
Dang! The competition jumped our ad campaign again. It's almost like they know our next move before we do...

"Muster of peacocks."
Geez, we gotta' move Larry off the Quality Control line. None of the quill pen sets are colorful enough for him.

"Huddle of penguins."
There were two flags on the play, so we'll let them sort it out down on the frozen tundra and come right back, right after this brief message from our sponsor."

"Bouquet of pheasants."
Why yes, Gail, I was hoping you'd notice. It's my new aftershave from Cabela's.

"Rhumba of rattlesnakes."
"You keep stepping on my tail!" "Ohhhhh, I wondered what had you so rattled."

"Shiver of shark."
Just look at you. I told you your lips would turn blue unless you waited an hour after eating before going back in.

"Wrack of rabbits."
"And for supper," Elmer beamed a toothy grin, "a widdle wack of wabbit."