12 March 2009

Giving Back to the Community

Due to some outstanding legal issues which we won't go into right at the moment, I have been instructed that no less than 15% of The Shark Tank's total content must be used for "purposes benefiting the good of the greater community". While I argued vehemently that such posts as this and this proved that we were well above that figure already, the judge disagreed. As part of this new direction, the judge asked us--quite suddenly, I might add--to set up a telephone interview with David H. Riley, a wildlife expert who has worked with Animal Planet, The San Diego Zoo, and is a contributing writer for The Weekly Reader. I have also been instructed not to downplay the importance and/or relevance of this interview. Therefore I shall say no more. Here is the interview, in its unedited form:

Shark Tank: Thank you for speaking to us, Mr. Riley.

David Riley: It's a pleasure.

ST: So. Did ... you. Hmm.

DR: I'm sorry?

ST: Innnnn. . . *audible popping sound*. Where, uh, did you go to school?

DR: I have an undergraduate degree in ecology from Duke University and I received my Masters in Wildlife Biology from Cornell.

ST: Ah! Cornell!

DR: Yes.

ST: Yep.

Roughly forty-five seconds of silence...

DR: Did we lose the connection?

ST: No, I was just thinking about Cornell.

DR: Oh...

ST: Good school.

DR: It is, yes.

ST: What about the duck-billed platypus? What kind of crazy shit is that?

DR: It's a remarkable animal, isn't it?

ST: It's like a half-duck, half. . .I don't even know what. Beaver, I guess. But what's weird, is it's actually a marsupial. Like a kangaroo.

DR: A mammal, I believe.

ST: So. In your experience. Who. . .do you think. . .would win if an. . .elephant fought a hippopotamus?

DR: It's rather unlikely that they would meet in the wild. My area of concentration focuses mainly on wildlife conservation efforts here in North America.

ST: I see. And to what. . .would you say. . .are the. . .hmm. Well, tell us about those efforts.

DR: I would be happy to. Right now, there are over 600 endangered species just in North America--

ST: How many can you name?

DR: I'm sorry?

ST: Of the 600. Try and see how many you can name.

DR: Well, with a list that size. . .perhaps it would be better if I just gave some examples.

ST: Let's do this. I'll name an animal, and you tell me if it's endangered or not.

Roughly twenty seconds of silence. . .

DR: Fine.

ST: Yeah? Ummm. . .shit, I can't think of an animal. Uh. Okay. Dog.

DR: Dog?

ST: Yeah.

DR: We typically focus on wild animals when speaking of endangered species. And "dog" is a rather broad term. But no, "dog" is not on the list.

ST: How about the duck-billed platypus? Is that specific enough for you?

DR: The platypus lives in Australia. But no, I believe it's numbers are healthy.

ST: That's good. Now correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Riley, but don't elephants and hippos both live in Africa?

DR: Yes, that is correct. But elephants do not typically travel in the same circles, if you understand what I'm saying. Now as for the Conservation Fund--

ST: All right, but level with me, Mr. Riley. Surely, they have met in the past. At least once, a hippo has fought an elephant. It will happen again. Who will win?

DR: I suppose just on sheer size alone, the elephant.

ST: Ah, but what about that big horn that sticks out on the head of the hippo? I bet he could stab the elephant with that. It could be over before the elephant has time to use his size to his advantage.

DR: Well. That would be a rhinoceros.

ST: Son of a bitch, you're right. HA! This whole time I've been saying hippopotamus but thinking rhinoceros. Jesus.

DR: That's all right. But back to--

ST: Rhino vs Hippo, call it!

Ten seconds of silence, followed by a click and a dial tone.

We did what we could on short notice.


Jenn Thorson said...

Good to see you're really digging in and helping with that whole conservation thing. :) Plus, it's informative. I, for one, did not know that the dog was not endangered.

The one next door, for instance, barks like he clearly is alone in the world, and is possibly under attack.

Ah, well. Live and learn.

Carl said...

I am glad you asked about elephants. I always want to know more about elephants, because I tent to stay far away from them when I go to the zoo due to the unpleasant smell. And I am glad he didn't get a chance to talk about "the Fund." This is an interview to learn about animals, not about money, for little sweet Jesus' sakes.

Shawn said...

@ Jenn: Well, you know, we have to all do our part. And yes, it was a surprise to me, too, having a similar dog next door to me.

@ Carl: If he can't answer some simple (very simple) questions, then why should we hear about his stupid ponzi scheme?

Sean Donland said...

Thats a shame your connection was broken, when he calls back ask him if he'd rather get punched in the stomach by a kangaroo or kicked in the back by a capybara.

Shawn said...

@Sean: Yeah, the phones around here are crap. I'll make a note to ask him.

Heather Cherry said...

Okay, this was really funny. But don't you for a minute think I'm gonna add you to my favorite blogs or anything, jerk!

*adding The Shark Tank to my favorite blogs*

Shawn said...

@ Heather: Thanks :)

Maureen said...

Ahahahahaha.... great post. Dammit. I am STILL confused as to who would win; the elephant or the hippo tho!

Shawn said...

I know. . .evasive jackass.