April 13, 2011

“PBS will never be defunded.”


Ferrets: In Pursuit of Excellence awaits you on Netflix.

(This public service announcement has been brought to you by SC.)

Update, 11/14: This clip has just come to my attention, and I feel that it is important:


  1. Cindy Scroggins on April 13th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    That right there is superior programming.

  2. Sheila Ryan on April 13th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    That was a fine little keyboard run by the ferret. In fact, I’d like to hear and see more solo work. Still, it’ll take a lot to top the canine performance that Our Lucy’s been sending about, together with her observation, “Poodle sings the blues.”

  3. Amy Mabli on April 13th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Deron and I watched this a couple of weeks ago followed by a documentary on noodling. And people don’t think we should fund this?

  4. Sheila Ryan on April 13th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    We should fund PBS, and we should fund the poodle.

  5. SC on April 13th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I had a powerful Republican moment watching those clips. I couldn’t help but think of Guiliani’s infamous radio rant about ferret owners

    ..this excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness…

    …you should go consult a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and have him help you with this excessive concern, how you are devoting your life to weasels…

  6. Cindy Scroggins on April 14th, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I love SC.

  7. India on April 14th, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Oh, you would entertain each other immensely in person, I think.

  8. Phil Bebbington on April 14th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I love the Ferret tossing, but, that transcript is just beautiful.

  9. Tycho on April 14th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    You guys should read this.

    Taking ferret ownership to a new level.

  10. India on April 14th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    For some reason I already knew about ferret legging. My officemate, however, did not. Hands are now reflexively shielding genitals at a desk near me . . .

  11. India on April 14th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    . . . and now, while watching a video of a legging competition: “This is an excellent argument for wearing kilts.”

    And people wonder why I get so litle work done.

  12. SC on April 15th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Ferret Legging is new to me. Yikes.

    This (apparently well-known but I missed it) Donald Katz story about the King of Ferret Leggers is, um, hmmm, well, consider it research for watching Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence:

    …”Well, Reg,” I said. “I think people in America will want to know. Well — since you don’t wear any protection — and, well, I’ve heard a ferret can bite your thumb off. Do they ever — you know?”

    Reg’s stiff mustache arched toward the ceiling under a sly grin. “You really want to know what they get up to down there, eh?” Reg said, looking for all the world like some workingman’s Long John Silver. “Well, take a good look.” Then Reg Mellor let his trousers fall around his ankles.

    A short digression: a word is in order concerning ferrets, a weasel-like animal well known to Europeans but, because of the near extinction of the black-footed variety in the American West, not widely known in the United States. Alternatively referred to by professional ferret handlers as “shark-of-the-land,” a “piranha with feet,” “fur-coated evil,” and “the only four-legged creature in existence that kills just for kicks,” the common domesticated ferret — Mustela putorius — has the spinal flexibility of a snake and the jaw musculature of a pit bull….


  13. Sheila Ryan on April 15th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Speaking of ferrets (and weasels generally), there is a stoat video I’ve been dying to post. For a couple of years now. But I fear it may be beyond even the clusterflock pale.

    Maybe later I’ll post a link, together with a sternly worded warning/disclaimer of responsibility. Or assign it a “suitability” rating.

  14. SC on April 15th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Stoats are punk.

    My officemate’s father has a nice stoat tale. In short, IIRC, he’s driving in N. Ireland and thinks that he hit and killed a stoat. A few miles after hitting the stoat, his car starts to make strange noises so he pulls over. The horrible noise continues so he gets out of the car and finds an angry stoat biting its way through the grille of the car, tearing off strips of metal with its teeth. He picks up a stick to knock the stoat off of his car and tries to whack the stoat. The stoat leaps on the hood, goes up to roof, and then in the car. When he moves to the side of the car to figure how to get the stoat out, the stoat goes out the opposite window, heads for the grille, and proceeds to eat more metal, this time tearing enough metal away to get in the engine compartment and also tangle parts of the grille with the radiator fan. And then his troubles with the stoat began. I don’t remember all of the details, but I think a tire iron and a repair shop are involved at some point.

  15. Sheila Ryan on April 15th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    “And then his troubles with the stoat began.”


    I may have to post my stoat link. For the brave. With blinking, flashing warnings.

  16. Sheila Ryan on April 15th, 2011 at 3:58 pm


    Okay. It’s the narration — the bizarre religious interpretation that gets me.

  17. India on April 15th, 2011 at 4:20 pm
    Endnotes to comment 1509889

    “Stoats are punk.” Refers to the game “Punk or Goth?” in which all animals, vegetables, minerals, fungi, and intangibles in the universe are categorized as either punk or goth. To be one is not better than the other, but everything and everyone is definitely one or the other. There is no middle zone, though there may be disagreement among players.

    Nobody disputes the fact that stoats are punk.

    “In short, IIRC, he’s driving in N. Ireland” In my mind, he was on his way to or from some situation that resembles a day in the life of Cold Comfort Farm, although I realize that’s geographically and culturally inaccurate. Nevertheless, that’s the context I’m always picturing when I hear (secondhand) one of said officemate’s Ireland tales.

    “And then his troubles with the stoat began.” Refers to the book Maus by Art Spiegelman, IIRC. Another masterpiece of the “And then his troubles began” genre is Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun, which I have not read yet because I am pretty sure it will make me want to kill myself. And then there is Greg Grandin’s “Katrina Time” review of Zeitoun in the LRB that makes me think it will make me want to kill everybody else, on my way out.

  18. India on April 15th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Yeah, no, the stoat-on-rabbit video is a must-not-watch. Mostly because of the videographer/narrator, who makes me want to apply a stoat to his neck, and then throw him in a cage managed by Blackwater. Fucking asshole.

  19. Cindy Scroggins on April 15th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I love you, India Amos.

  20. Sheila Ryan on April 15th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    “The wages of sin.” A puzzlement.

  21. Sheila Ryan on April 15th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Eh, just to get things straight, folks: I am likely farther from your Christian faith than 99.44 per cent of the Judeo-Christian-Muslims who visit this site. Or even those who got a whiff in their babyhood. Born heathen, raised heathen, and hope to die heathen.

    Not endorsing the jibber-jabber laid over the video. I figure most of y’all know. Just wanted to tell it like it is.

    I just look at such truck and think about how odd it is.

    That’s all.

  22. SC on April 15th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I feel a little bit twitchy posting something that needs endnotes but not twitchy enough to toss in another endnote or two:

    Yes, the subtitle of Maus 2 is “And Here My Troubles Begin” based on a quote from Art Spiegelman’s father. A similar usage of the phrase shows up either toward the beginning of the Primo Levi’s The Truce or in a related Levi interview about leaving Auschwitz. Also, the English translation of the title of Italian Communist Paolo Volponi’s novel Memoriale–an upbeat tale of a young man who survives a Nazi concentration camp and then runs into trouble when he goes bat shit crazy–is My Troubles Begin. Anyway, when I hear the phrase “And then my troubles began…” I think “Goodbye, tragedy. Hello, melodrama!”

    Yup, that stout video would be disturbing without any video. I found myself hoping it would end with the videographer getting run over by a distracted driver. For hardcore Stout porn, this BBC video is very satisfying: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNbqvqf3-14

  23. India on April 15th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Nay, lad. What you’ve linked to is hardcore stoat porn.

    This is hardcore stout porn.

  24. SC on April 15th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Good point. Thank you.

    Without an edit button…