Friday, July 01, 2005

How to choose a pet

Dear Mr. Knowitall,

I am thinking of buying a pet, but I'm not sure what type of pet is right for me. How do I decide?

I've already detailed 3 different pets in other articles. Namely the Snake, the Woman, and the Bonsai Tree. Assuming these aren't the type you would like to get, I'll provide you with a fool-proof way of determining what pet is right for you.

Answer each question and add up your points according to the simple formula listed at the bottom of the quiz. Feel free to fill in the circles with a marker on your monitor. Remember: you must choose only ONE answer from each statement. While it may seem that more than one (or none) applies to you, I assure you that this is impossible.

1. I live in a:

O city (50 pts, 52 degrees Celsius, blue, diamond)

O barn (40 pts, 22 Celsius, white, onyx)

O igloo (10 pts, -87 Fahrenheit, brown, jade)

2. I enjoy:

O ice cream (40 pts, 75 Fahrenheit, purple, ruby)

O ice cream (22,620 pts, 22 Celsius, black, ivory)

O ice cream (47 pts, 21 Fahrenheit, blue, sapphire) *Value Answer!*

3. I never:

O talk (30 pts, 12 Fahrenheit, green, onyx)

O bathe (400 pts, 27 Celsius, mauve, diamond)

O move (10 pts, 29 Celsius, salmon, ruby)

4. If I was a character from a Star Wars movie I would be:

O Han Solo (900 pts, 100 Celsius, white, diamond)

O Greedo (-1 pt, 22 Fahrenheit, yellow, fool's gold)

O Sy Snoodles (60 pts, 72 Celsius, alabaster, pearl)

5. My breath smells like:

O ostrich plumes (40 pts, 22 Fahrenheit, leaf green, jade)

O cat food (40 pts, 27 Fahrenheit, tan, saphire)

O sea salt (40 pts, 42 Celsius, blue, diamond)

6. I always:

O breathe (20 pts, 92 Fahrenheit, black, emerald)

O digest (100 pts, 21 Celsius, red, silver)

O think (0 pts, 1,099 Celsius, seafoam, none)

7. If given a choice between death and getting plastic surgery to look like Christopher Walken I would:

O die (1,000 pts, 1,000 Celsius, chartreuse, diamond)

O look like Christopher Walken (2 pts, 86 Fahrenheit, olive green, sapphire)

O neither (99 pts, 43 Celsius, silver, blueberry)

O I already look like Christopher Walken (41 pts, 66 Celsius, pee-yellow, onyx)

O I am Christopher Walken (10,000 pts, 100 Celsius, burgundy, gold)

8. If I was a character from a movie I would be:

O Han Solo (11 pts, 28 Celsius, off-white, pearl)

O Greedo (41 pts, 82 Fahrenheit, gray, onyx)

O Sy Snoodles (71 pts, 37 Celsius, cherry-red, diamond)

9. I like to read:

O books (84 pts, 2,001 Fahrenheit, rust, ruby)

O magazines (835 pts, 21 Celsius, talcum-blue, onyx)

O novelty toilet paper (26 pts, 12 Celsius, black, sapphire)

10. My favorite food is:

O Macaroni & Cheese with cut up hot dogs in ketchup sauce (623 pts, 82 Fahrenheit, green, sapphire)

O Lasagna made with Velveeta instead of Mozzarella cheese (4 pts, 117 Celsius, white, ruby)

O Uncooked tater-tots (72 pts, 56 Fahrenheit, orange, diamond)

11. I firmly believe that:

O trash cans are sentient robots (44 pts, 1 Fahrenheit, pink, onyx)

O I can survive for years without water (12 pts, 44 Celsius, darkish brown, onyx)

O The F.B.I is secretly run by a ruling elite vampire class whose goal is to create an alien-human hybrid that has all the exotic flavor of Martian blood, but the low fat and carbohydrate quality of human blood. (21 pts, 22 Fahrenheit, red, ruby)

12. If I knew that I was going to die tomorrow, I would:

O liquidate all my assets and shred the cash (2 pts, 91 Fahrenheit, turquoise, ruby)

O go sky-diving into an active volcano and no parachute with lit dynamite strapped to my chest (46 pts, 67 Celsius, gunmetal gray, onyx)

O round up everyone I love and tell them… to late… already… dying… Arghhhghgh! (0 pts, 0 Celsius, blue-green, diamond)

13. If I were a historical figure I would be:

O Han Solo (76 pts, 33 Fahrenheit, flesh color, onyx)

O Greedo (21 pts, 32 Celsius, green, onyx)

O Sy Snoodles (90 pts, 28 Celsius, yellow with blue dots, diamond)

14. My favorite music is:

O Prussian folk rap (42 pts, 72 Fahrenheit, matte gray, onyx)

O Hardcore polka jazz (21 pts, 21 Celsius, pearlescent, turquoise)

O The theme song from The Never Ending Story (99 pts, 89 Celsius, bright yellow, onyx)

15. If I just won a million dollars in the lottery I would:

O fabricate a super villain suit that shoots flames and go around burning down orphanages knowing full-well that there are no actual super heroes to stop me (45 pts, 29 Fahrenheit, chrome, ruby)

O go to Vegas and triple my money in one night (49 pts, 73 Celsius, violet, diamond)

O realize I have multiple personalities because I'm not stupid enough to play the lottery (9,999 pts, 2 Celsius, yellow, diamond)

16. If I was a hot dog I would:

O eat myself (43 pts, 98 Celsius, ivory, ruby)

O eat everyone else (31 pts, 1,022 Celsius, florescent orange, onyx)

O sit still because I'm an inanimate object incapable of thought or movement (780 pts, 29 Celsius, forest green, sapphire)

17. I know for a fact that I could never:

O lift a bulldozer (43 pts, 12 Fahrenheit, natural cotton, ruby)

O kill a skyscraper (21 pts, 67 Fahrenheit, yellow-green, pearl)

O discover the sound of one hand clapping (99 pts, 22 Celsius, earthen clay, diamond)

18. My waistline is:

O 34 (34 pts, 34 Celsius, blue-green, onyx)

O 12 (12 pts, 12 Celsius, white, diamond)

O 97 (97 pts, 97 Fahrenheit, gross brownish green, sapphire)

19. I think modern art is all:

O crap (48 pts, 29 Fahrenheit, warning yellow, onyx)

O so utterly beyond me it must be good (908 pts, 12 Celsius, deep purple, ruby)

O worthy of government funding (0 pts, 22 Celsius, gold, sapphire)

20. Princess Di:

O Was a visionary of unparalleled magnitude and virtue (13 pts, 402 Fahrenheit, blonde, fools gold)

O Got what was coming to her (1 pt, 0 Celsius, pink, ruby)

O Meh (902 pts, 32 Fahrenheit, gray, diamond)

~How to calculate your score~

It couldn't be simpler. Just add up your points, use a color wheel to determine the average color of your responses, subtract the temperature points from that color to adjust for saturation, (or value if you got the "value" answer) and determine the carrot weight of the average gem you got based on the depth of the strata that the gem is typically found in. Clearly there are market factors involved, but I've taken that into account. Now inverse that number if you live in the southern hemisphere. Subtract this number from the first, unless that gives you a negative score, in which case add the age at which you had your first kiss. Now take that number and multiply it by the current temperature on the part of the world that is furthest from your home. You could still end up with a negative number, but that's OK.

~Your score and you~

Now you may be wondering how I've been able to develop such complex, yet stunningly accurate method of pet-to-owner alignment. Sometimes I wonder that myself. But that's not important. What is important is that it has worked with 110% accuracy for every single person who has ever done it.

Here is what you should get for your next pet:

Score =

Less than -2,000: humming bird

-2,000 – 128: kookaburra

129 – 130: kinkajou

120 – 140: luck dragon

142 – 290: 3 legged dog

291 – 311: hyena

312 – 665: camel (two humps)

666: locust with a mans head and scorpion tail

667 – 1,170: a family of squirrels

1,171 – 1,180: werewolf

1,181 – 2,319: manatee

2,320 – 2,450: sylent tiger

2,451 – 2,452: blue whale

2,453 – 3,001: leprechaun

3,002 – 3,037: screeching weasel

3,038 – 3,056: sea monkey

3,057 – 3,111: bald eagle

3,112 – 3,212: giant tortoise

3,213 – 3,214: wooly mammoth

3,215 – 3,498: beached whale (any kind)

3,499 – 5,027: dinoflagellate

5,028 – 5,148: maggot

5,149 – 5,220: fossil of a trilobite

5,221 – 5,345: R.O.U.S.

5,346 – 5,397.2: tumble weed

5,397.3 – 5,397.4: cat

5,397.5 – 6,093: brain in a jar

6,094 – 6,287: rhinoceros

6,288 – 6,299: Venezuelan fruit bat

6,300 – 6,300.1: hamster

6,300.2 – 6,439: aardvark

6,440 – 6,571: swamp water/paramecium

6,572 – 6,573: half a bee

6,574 – 6,661: Sy Snoodles

6,662 – 6,902: naked mole rat

6,903 – 6,903.7: lizard

6,903.8 – 6,993: camel (one hump)

6,994 – 7,188: lion statue

7,189 – 8,981: hydralisk

8,982 – 8,999: Bjork

9,073 – 9,073.3: gerbil

9,073.4 – 9,175: fire ant

9,176 – 9,233: polar bear

9,234 – 9,999: penguin with a cyber-eye-monocle and missile backpack

10,000 and higher: pet rock and/or pinecone done up like an owl

Too cool for math: snake

Now that you know what to get, it's time to procure it. One thing you may have noticed about this list is that the amount of people who are actually appropriate for the standard pet (i.e. dog, cat, hamster, etc.) are very, very few. (Less than 1% of the population!) This explains why so many people watch too much TV to get away from their mismatched pet. If only they had learned from my wisdom they wouldn't be forced to escape their inappropriate pet by force feeding themselves more C.S.I. and Baywatch reruns than they could possibly handle. Anyway, my point was that getting your ideal pet may require some work beyond driving to your local pet shop. For instance, most pet stores don't carry endangered or protected species. At least that's what they try to lead the authorities to believe. But if you know how to talk the talk, you can usually get access to their secret warehouse full of these things. For instance, let's say your ideal pet is a bald eagle. Being a protected bird, no store is going to advertise them in the front window. So you'll need to talk to an employee, ask to speak to the manager privately, then say something along the lines of, "So I hear bald eagles are illegal to buy or sell. That's a shame… By the way, I'm NOT a cop." It's important NOT to say the words, "I want to buy a bald eagle." If you are one of the rare folks who should own a wooly mammoth, say something like, "They SAY wooly mammoth are extinct!" Then snicker derisively. The manager will then probably chit-chat with you a bit to scope you out and make sure you're not a cop. Then let you into the secret elevator they have hidden behind the Alpo poster in their office. You will descend to their secret subterranean market of rare and exotic pets. Of course paying for black market pets can be pricey, but trust me, it's worth it.

Now that you have your pet I'll tell you the best way to deal with them effectively. Since I have a fairly diverse and long list, I can't detail them all, so I'll group them into categories.

  1. Mammals. As you should know from your days of elementary school, mammals are animals that melt if they touch water. These include camels (two humps), hyena, aardvarks, and screeching weasels.
  2. Fish. Fish are all animals that live in the water like whales (excluding beached whales), manatee, and polar bears.
  3. Fantastic. Fantastic creatures are thought to exist in myth only. But if you've ever been to the secret exotic animal bizarre under the Petco at the Factoria Mall in Bellevue, you won't believe that any more! These include leprechauns, luck dragons, werewolves, and Bjork.
  4. Tiny. Tiny animals are the small ones. Some are so small you need a microscope to see like; the dinoflagellate. Some are just small. Like the fossilized trilobite, the maggot, and the sea monkey. Which aren’t actually monkeys! (We all know that monkeys are a myth propagated by the movie industry.)
  5. Other. Some pets defy traditional categories, and thus are put in this category. (Take THAT you annoying antidisestablishmentarians!) These includes pet rocks, tumble weeds, human brains, and every other thing on my list that doesn't fall in the proceeding categories except for:
  6. Snake. Snakes deserve their own category because they just rock too hard to be put in with the other pets.

Now that you know what category your pet is in, I'll teach you the best method for hunting and killing your newly acquired pet.

  1. Mammals. Mammals have been hunted for over 900 years. Just look at cave paintings for tips on how to do it. Generally a sharp stick and flailing, disproportionate limbs are all you need to take down your pet.
  2. Fish. The best primer for hunting fish is the classic novel Moby Dick. It's a tail of a pirate who lost his leg to a giant fish and is so depressed he decides to while away the rest of his life fishing and complaining about the weather. Also the movie Jaws has some good pointers for blowing up fish.
  3. Fantastic. Fantastic creatures are hard to speak of in a general sense because they each have unique weaknesses. Werewolves are allergic to silver. Leprechauns die if you burry them in marshmallows. Bjork however, has no known weakness.
  4. Tiny. Well, if you can't figure out how to kill a tiny animal…
  5. Other. Most other pets can be done away with by using rocket propelled grenades. Many underground pet stores sell these as well.
  6. Snake. Why would you want to kill your snake?! Don't do that! Train them to become the World Champion Snake Charmer.

Now that your hunt is over and your fresh kill hangs from the tree in your front lawn, let's think about how you want to cook it. Most pet owners like to match the cooking style with the personality of their former pet. Here are a few examples:

  1. A feisty pet works best with hot spices or barbecue sauce. Generally, preparing their flesh carnitas style, shredded and braised is a good way to go. A generous side of mashed potatoes and a tall glass of milk compliments the dish.
  2. A cowardly or timid pet deserves to be ground up into hamburger and cooked as a burger or taco meat.
  3. An aloof pet should be heavily salted and undercooked. Be sure to serve it with a wedge of lemon.
  4. Was your pet loyal and loving? Then try a white wine sauce, and onion garnish. The onions will make you cry, which will be fitting since you will probably miss your pet.

So there you have it. Remember, being a pet owner is a lot of responsibility. Especially if you are having guests over to dine on its remains. Pets can be expensive. Pet's can be messy. Especially if you kill it with an R.P.G. But the rewards always outweigh the annoyances, as you will probably find out on your third or forth trip to Petco.

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