Lions and Hippos and Zebras! Oh Yum!

Few people know this about me but I am quite the connoisseur of unusual foods. I’m no Andrew Zimmern and I don’t like Bizarre Foods. The show is amazingly like a train wreck that you don’t want to watch but cannot help yourself because you are thinking, “There is no freaking way he is actually going to eat THAT!” And then he eats it and you are grossed out and enthralled all at the same time. You are one sick puppy! I’ve never actually watched a whole episode since I am so squeamish. Well, I eat haggis so I guess I’m not that squeamish. OK. I’ve never really eaten it but I want to try it sometime. Well, maybe not try it but smell it. Now that I think about it smelling may not be that smart either. I’ll Google it and look at a picture. Hold on. Oh dear Lord I wish I had not just done that! Look at this!

Now that we have that settled let’s talk about interesting animals we all need to try. Lion tastes amazing! If you have never tried it you are missing out. There is delicate crunch as you take your first bite. The explosion of flavors that burst through your taste buds defies explanation. Now you may be surprised to learn there is a similar flavor in the delicious delicacy that is zebra. You know how people say that so many things taste like chicken? This isn’t one of them. In fact, I’d say the zebra really tastes like lion! Maybe it is because the lions eat the zebras so you are really tasting zebra when you eat lion. But that does not explain why every time I eat hippo there is something there that makes me think of the zebra. Do hippos eat zebras too? How do the zebras keep their numbers up with both lions and hippos eating them. Wait! Hippos are herbivores so they would not eat the zebra. They must eat some of the same herbs that the zebras eat and that creates the similar flavor. But can someone please explain to me how on earth the polar bear tastes like the lion? They are no where near each other on the planet! Lions must eat fish and seals too!

Well that is all of the animal crackers I have. Who knew that animals have Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), high fructose corn syrup, sugar, soybean oil, yellow corn flour, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and calcium carbonate?

Yo Baby! Yo!

The other day I discovered something that stopped me in my tracks. I could not believe that it was still around. You think that some things will just fade away like a sitcom star after a long run and then they cannot find work because they are typecast. (Sigh. I miss Tina Yothers.) But then there it is like a beacon of hope; shining like a star in the vast murky darkness of the dark matter steeped cosmos. I am of course talking about my old Yomega X-Brain! It is awesome!


That is one of the coolest yo-yos ever made. It has these cool little ball bearings inside to help you do tricks. You have no idea how much I wish I had known about it when I was studying the fine art of yo-ology at he feet of Yoya. Ok. I can’t remember who was teaching me about yo-yos at summer camp but he was really good at it! It was awe inspiring sitting at his feet as this counselor walked the dog, made it go around the world, and even did the flying saucer. (Don’t try it. You’re not ready!) His cowboy hat and his swagger made it seem even cooler. If I had actually been a camper instead of a fellow counselor it would have been even cooler for me! Sadly, I did not learn the art of the yo until I was twenty. (Cue the sound of cricket’s chirping.) Sadly, I lived a youth devoid of yo-osity and thereby missed out on hours of fun making something that looked liked a continuous butt go up and down for hours. Yes there is something wrong with that sentence if your mind is in the gutter so stop corrupting my innocent, youthful memories.

Using all my powers of persuasion I was able to convince the person who had the time off to go to the store for me and purchase a simple Duncan yo-yo. By powers of persuasion I actually mean that I whined and begged and pleaded til she went to Wal-Mart to shut me up! There is was! It was blue. There was an extra string. (This will come into play in a moment.) There was an instruction book! Ha! I was 20 and knew everything about everything! Who needs an instruction book when I had Yoya as my master of the force of yo-yos. I really wish I could remember that guy’s name. I think it was Chuck. Well actually I have no idea but let’s say it was Chuck.

Chuck and I became semi-friends and yo-yo dualists! Sure he had the experience. Sure he had more than one yo-yo. Sure he had the cool hat. Sure he had a secret weapon that I knew nothing about. But do you know what I had? I had a snowball’s chance in Miami of even coming close to keeping up with him. It was the X-Brain. That #%*$& yo-yo that had the trick ball bearings. I didn’t know they made those. I learned to do a sleeper so I could do all kinds of other tricks. His would sleep so long I thought his yo-yo was in a coma! Mine would sleep until it died and just laid there like a yo-yo that has lost its spin. But his would keep spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and driving me out of my mind as to how he could make it do that! I had come up with a theory to even the playing field that involved a priest, holy water, exorcism and scissors on his string. Then I looked at his yo-yo and saw him for the cheating son of a Beatrice (I think that was his mom’s name) that he truly was.

Even with this knowledge I vowed to not stoop to his level of yomania because I was determined to be more honorable, noble, trustworthy and they didn’t have any of the X-Brains at the Wal-Mart in town. Still that night of the showdown was upon us. With the entire camp of young campers watching as we matched each other trick for trick. Mine were obviously more impressive since I was using a standard, non-cheating, lame yo-yo. The final challenge was upon us. It was time for the round the world trick. He did one. I did one. He did a double. I did a double. He did a triple. I said, “I’ll go you one better. Watch this quadruple!” With all my might threw my yo-yo forward and up.

Do you remember that extra string that came with my yo-yo. The instructions that I read later stated clearly: “You need to change the string after extended use since it is not designed to meet the rigors of competitive yo-yo dueling by testosterone fueled 20-somethings trying to show off for the hot blond counselor in the back row.” I didn’t change the string. My yo-yo did the most amazing trick when I tried to do my quadruple round the world. It tried to go around the world – for real. It was found two days later by some hikers about 8 miles from camp. My yo-yo was no worse for the wear other than a broken string and a couple battle scars. I didn’t get the girl with the yo-yo tricks either. It turns out she liked archers instead.

Let me tell you how I got good with the bow and arrow…