(Fear) The Reaper

Here’s a story about one of my favorite things – wherein a new species is described. No, not a new species coming onto the face of the earth, but traces of an ancient one that have only recently come to light. And they gave it such a great name:

Thanatotheristes degrootorum, or the “Reaper of Death

Now is that a label or what? For me, it’s right up there with the scientific name of the grizzly bear, Ursus horribilis. Let’s suppose that I’m a visiting alien and you tell me that there’s something named “horribilis” up ahead on the trail. Well, son, right away I’m heading back down the way I came, even if I’d never looked at a grizzly or even seen a photo of one. The title says enough all by itself.

And if you say I’m approaching a “Reaper of Death,” all that you’ll see of me is the cloud of dust that I leave behind.

My approach to dangerous creatures in the wild could be described as the polar opposite of Steve Irwin’s (the deceased Crocodile Hunter). While I have the greatest admiration for these animals I do not yearn for intimacy with them.

Decent boundaries involving the use of wood or steel barriers, or at the very least some respectable distancing makes for good neighbors here, I think. I’m pretty sure that other animals expect no less of me.


Thomas Friedman wrote an op/ed piece this week that describes a “what would happen if” situation that could be so good I almost don’t want to think about it. He offers us a vision of a team of rivals that could bring a strength of leadership to our beleaguered nation that has not been seen in generations.

You could without too much exaggeration call it a dream team for Democrats.

The article is entitled: Dems, Want to Defeat Trump? Form a Team of Rivals


Watched the Democratic debates last night. Apparently this was the last such get-together during this election year.

It wasn’t pretty.

The CBS newspeople didn’t have control of the evening. Outbreaks of booing from the audience were not dealt with, and candidates talking over one another were never properly admonished.

The first 30 minutes were little more than an undisciplined shout-fest on stage. All in all, there were not many grownups in the room last night.


Twenty-five years ago, when I was just learning to type on a computer keyboard and the internet was a pale intimation of what it was to become, I ran across a website entitled: “BMW Drivers Are A*****es.

It was basically just a bulletin board where people would send in anecdotes of drivers behaving extremely badly who had one thing in common – they were driving BMWs.

I visited the site a couple of times, just for fun, and then never again. I fully agreed with the premise, and didn’t need further documentation.

So it was with interest that I found this article this morning on CNN, where the author reports on a new study that showed, well, here’s the title: If you drive an expensive car you’re probably a jerk, scientists say.

The worst drivers in this study drove German automobiles – BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz. Just another confirmation of what I had previously believed, I thought, with only one surprise. Drivers of the Prius also exhibited some of the unhappy motoring practices examined in the study at a higher rate than average.

Below is a graphic from another, but very unscientific, study where 7440 people were asked a simple question.

Now I only know one person who drives an expensive German car, and he is an a*****e of the first magnitude. But there is that grandchild and that good friend who are Prius owners and who are definitely in the very good people category.

So I conclude that ownership of certain cars is not a guarantee of being a miserable poltroon, but is a definite marker for persons having a weak constitution and no moral fiber to speak of.


I leave you with this startling video, over there in the sidebar, wherein a young woman named Heaven Fitch wins a state high school wrestling championship.

It brings back memories of senior prom. I think I may have dated her grandmother.


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