Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Amazing Animals"

My sister Anne is a Managing Editor at US News & World Report. She is in charge of the periodic special issues with which you may be familiar. Today I received from her a copy of their latest, entitled "Amazing Animals." It's good stuff.

Makes me think about The Girls, because, well, they're pretty darn amazing. However, when measured against the standards that one would need to achieve in order to be officially classified as such, I'm suddenly developing a complex that we may be falling a bit short.

Here is The McGrath Girls' joint application for representation in the next Amazing issue:

Ability to demonstrate facial recognition?
Yes. Or at least Petunia laughs and wiggles when Mommy makes funny faces, and Phawn knows the stare that means, "sit down and knock it off."

Ability to interact with a touchscreen monitor to identify certain objects, especially animals?
No. But we're not allowed to watch Animal Planet because we get too much slobber on the TV, does that count? Peanut practically knocked the darn thing off the entertainment center a few times, if that's what you mean by "touch screen."

Ability to understand cause and effect?
Yes. Bark at Mommy's head in the middle of the night, she gets up and lets you out. (Even if you're just bored and don't really need to pee. Then she wanders around on the deck in her pajamas with her hair all poofy muttering, "You're freaking kidding me, you came out here to chew on a STICK? It's 3:00 in the morning!" That's funny.)

Ability to solve simple math problems?
Yes. Pumpkin always gets in line twice for treats and she knows she's been gypped if she only gets one.

Ability to demonstrate other problem-solving skills?
There is a lock on the refrigerator. Enough said.

Highly developed sensitivity to surroundings, aiding in ability to stay camouflaged from predators and/or to strike unsuspecting prey?
Nope. Phoebe fell out of bed last night. Again.

Use of echolocation?
Maybe. Phaythie was blind and almost never ran into stuff. Then again, Phoebe runs into stuff she can see, so that probably cancels it out.

Use of complex language?
Absolutely. Mommy understands everything we say. And we understand everything she says, we just don't do any of it.

Ability to sniff out cancer?
Not that we know of. We know when there's something on the grill, though.

Ability to aid the disabled?
Peanut could have. The rest of us are maybe too dysfunctional to be much help to others, honestly.

Ability to search and rescue?
Is "search and destroy" an option?

Ever saved a family from a burning building, foiled an armed robbery, rescued a child from a rushing river, or performed the doggy version of the Heimlich?
Ummmmmmmmmmm, no.

Anything else we should know to consider you as qualified candidates?
We acknowledge that only five solid "yes" responses out of 12 questions probably means we need to work on our more advanced skills. But we do have some talents:
  • Petunia is an excellent dancer, is very sneaky, and has a completely warped sense of humor.
  • Phawn can leap tall buildings, or at least most pieces of furniture, in a single bound.
  • Phoebe is like a heat-seeking missile when running at you from the other side of the yard and is really quite unique in her thorough lack of understanding of all social cues.
  • Pumpkin is tall and blonde and gorgeous, has come to be known as the supermodel of the group, and respectfully requests that she be considered on her own merits and not be lumped in with this band of rogues.
______________________

I'll forward the application on to Anne. There were a lot of big-time animal professionals involved in the making of this issue, like a paleoanthropologist, animal behavior researchers and professors, veterinarians, even Cesar Millan (who would be downright horrified by the pack order here, by the way.) As long as they don't form the panel that chooses the next subjects, we might have a shot. I'm hoping for a little nepotism.

I think amazing is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, it's amazing that I have never been on the floor trying to fish the remote control out from under the bed when Phoebe has fallen from above. It's amazing that I have never been trampled going down the stairs. It's amazing that the UPS man is still alive. It's amazing that he continues to deliver here. It's amazing that the refrigerator is still upright.

See? There's plenty of amazing going on if you know where to look for it. And just so you know where to look for the issue:

http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Animals-news-World-Report/dp/1931469458

1 comment:

  1. QZ - I think you and the girls are all amazing!

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