Fly Free, Like The Eagle! And Sniff Free, Like The Wiener Dog! And So on!

January 8, 2012

Humor

I remember when I was a kid and learned how bees see the world.  I thought, “How funny that bees don’t see things like they really are, like we do.”  A moment passed.  A synapse fired.  Then I thought, “Wait a second… What if we don’t see the world the way it really is?”  Another moment.  “Wait a minute, what if there is no ‘way it really is’?”

Ah - Oh my God, I lost a contact. No one move. I said no one move!

This is the sort of thing I thought about as a kid.

But, like most people, probably, I’m always so intrigued to learn about the vast elements of our world we can’t perceive, but certain other species can, and things other animals can do so easily, but that we can’t.  Like the way a blue whale has the loudest call in the world, but it’s so deep we can’t hear it.  Awesome.  Or, on a smaller scale, when I’m walking the dogs and they both just screech to a halt and shove there noses in the ground, following a “trail”, wagging wildly because holy schmoly, something so interesting happened right here!

Mm-hm. Okay. Yeah, I'm getting something. I'm sniffing... irritation. Irritation and ego.

Did you know there are experiments being done with dogs diagnosing a type of cancer simply by smelling someone’s breath?  That’s how good their noses are.  Though I imagine it’ll be a while before people are totally comfortable with this (“Okay, Mr. Ranji, if Bonkers here wags, you’re fine.  If he barks, you have cancer.  Ready?  Hold still.”).

So, of course I’d love to fly like a bird, and swim like a shark – but wouldn’t it also be amazing to sense the world the way a dog does?  I don’t have a big interest in smelling pee, but just in general, to have the world of scents be so vast.  Or to have a gorilla’s upper-body strength?  Or run like a leopard?  Or have the incredible ego of a housecat?  See in the dark, sense other animals’ electrical energy, incredible hearing, swim to the bottom of the ocean – the possibilities go on and on.

So with that in mind, we come to Your Weekly Question of the Week, question of the week for January 8th: If you could have any other animal’s abilities for a day, what would you choose and why?

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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39 Comments on “Fly Free, Like The Eagle! And Sniff Free, Like The Wiener Dog! And So on!”

  1. becomingcliche Says:

    I would like a feline’s ability to sleep for 20 hours of the day and the claws to remind those around me to not wake me up. I know. I am a deep thinker.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Sometimes when I’m just totally strung out I think about having a “cat” day. Whatever the cats do, I do. They sleep, I sleep. They eat, I eat. They stare out the window, I watch TV.

      Reply

  2. truthspew Says:

    I like becomingcliche’s answer. Yes, cats have THE life and we wonder why they have that ego?

    A house cat is well fed, cared for, gets to sleep that long. Damn, if there’s reincarnation I want to come back as a house cat.

    But I’d want the see in the dark bit.

    Reply

  3. A Broad at Home Says:

    I would live like a whale for the day. Definitely post-Moby Dick days when people were harpooning them like crazy. They are so majestic and graceful, yet massive, so no one wants to mess with them. Just stare at them in wonder. I would probably get my picture taken a lot. Yes, I would choose to be a whale.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Have you ever seen those specials where they put cameras and trackers on whales, then they go so deep in the ocean the trackers don’t work anymore? Where are they going? HOW are they going there? Man, being a whale would be fun for a day.

      Reply

  4. gojulesgo Says:

    GREAT question. The adorableness of a chipmunk aside, I think I’d have to go with the ability to fly like a…bat, so I could also see in the dark and freak people out by attacking their heads. And possibly turn into a vampire.

    Wait wait. Maybe the ability to breathe underwater. Being a dolphin would be great. As long I was no where near Dolphin Cove in Jamaica.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      When I was in high-school we lived out in the country and there was a pond near our house. If you went there right at dusk, the bats came out to eat insects of the surface of the water. They’d come roaring at you, then detect you and whip away at the last second. It was so cool.

      Reply

  5. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Becoming cliche’s is my answer!

    And a monkey. People could dress me up in ridiculous costumes and I could fling poo at people when I’m mad (or even when I’m not)

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I just watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes last night, so at the moment I can see all kinds of up-sides to being a monkey. It’s true, though, you don’t get a lot of chances to fling poop, and if people get mad you just say, “Hey, I’m a monkey. That’s my thing.”

      Reply

  6. thesinglecell Says:

    I think I’d be a bird. On a nice day. That way I’d have friends around if I wanted them, but when I wanted to be alone, I could fly away. I could sing my little birdie heart out all the time and my voice would always sound good instead of worrying all the time if it’s going to sound good when I need it. And I could poo on people’s heads. Just for fun.

    I had a boyfriend who was very into quantum physics, string theory, etc… who posed the same questions you did in the very beginning. He spent hours explaining things to me like the idea that what we see doesn’t necessarily really look like that; it’s just our brain’s electronic translation of the reflections of light that come through our eyes.

    I remember wondering if he actually looks like George Clooney and I just didn’t know it.

    Reply

  7. booksnob Says:

    I would be a dragon.

    * Spend the majority of my days sleeping on a pile of treasure.
    * People are mostly afraid of dragons, but in awe of them too.
    * Flying.
    * Breathing fire.
    * Heavy Mithril bands sing songs about me.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Good call, but don’t encourage them too much on the singing. I just saw the trailer for The Hobbit and the dwarves are singing away in it. That was the best thing about the LOTR movies, in terms of adaptation: boo to having to get rid of Tom Bombadil, yay to dropping 90% of the singing from the books.

      Reply

      • booksnob Says:

        Dude. Don’t force me to talk about the movies. I’m afraid to blog about it – because I know it’s been done to death – but I hate them. Like, really really. I’m pretty sure Ms Becoming Cliche is tired of my chatrants on the subject.

        Reply

        • becomingcliche Says:

          No, go ahead and get her started. I’ll make the popcorn and sit back and watch. Rants are her breath of life, and they are highly amusing.

          Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          You know what consistently confuses me, is I love movies (well, good ones; I have an allergy to bad movies). I teach a film studies class, I’ve made a couple short films, done some public film seminars… and yet when it comes a-bloggin’ time, I very rarely want to write on the subject. Weird, right?

          Reply

          • booksnob Says:

            Not necessarily weird. Many people don’t want to talk about their work, so I can’t really blame you.

            Back on topic, I had a conversation with my husband last night about this question and he told me I was being stupid because treasure isn’t all that comfortable to lounge around on. I told him he could suck it because that’s why dragons amass HUGE QUANTITIES of gold and jewels because just a thin little layer wouldn’t be all that great, it had to be enough to snuggle down in. I totally won.

            Reply

  8. Blogdramedy Says:

    To pee standing up. That’s a male animal thing…right?

    Reply

  9. Rocket Says:

    Whoa, firstly I have thought about the whole seeing the world and what the world really looks/doesn’t look or is thing too as a kid. *High-five!*

    Secondly, I can’t make up my mind on your question. My first impulse would be bird because they can fly and be awesome and whatnot. I also would like to be a cheetah because they can outrun almost ANYTHING (that’s what I am told). I am also contemplating jellyfish–cause look at those things! They’re transparent, cool-looking stinging, floating things.

    Or I could be some kind of butterfly-bee combo…and knock everyone’s socks off. 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I can get behind this high-five.

      Being a jellyfish certainly sounds relaxing. I’d worry that I’d just keep freaking myself out, though. “Dude, I’m SO WEIRD! Look at me!”

      And being mid-60’s era Muhammad Ali would certainly be pretty great.

      Reply

  10. Hamza Says:

    I’d go with a tame werewolf, just imagine a werewolf hanging out at a bar, with a couple of friends and having the best time of his life.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      “I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s. And his hair was perfect.” Ah, now I’m going to have Warren Zevon going through my head all day. Not that that’s a bad thing.

      Reply

  11. Lenore Diane Says:

    First, my dog Wilbur makes me nervous, because he has an uncanny ability to know when I am flustered or frustrated. He will come and sit by me until he feels I have calmed down – then he’ll get up and leave. I often wonder if I were to get cancer – if he’d pick it up. Hopefully, I’ll never find out (or he’ll alert me early).

    Second, your writing reminded me of the death cat in a nursing home.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,584442,00.html

    And finally, the ability I’d like to have for a day is turning around four times before sitting. I just want the ability so I can better understand why dogs do it.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That would be a good mystery to solve, the turning around thing.

      And we have one smart dog and one… good-hearted dog. The good-hearted dog doesn’t so much pick up on moods, but the other one, yes, it’s amazing. And it’s real empathy. “You feel sad? Aaww. I feel sad, too.”

      Reply

  12. audreygjohnson Says:

    Peregrine falcon. The adrenaline junkie in me would have a blast! 200 mph dives? Yes, please!

    Reply

  13. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    I love the dragon idea, but my answer is “our dog”. The entire family has been trained to attend her every need. OK, yes, she’s a pitbull, but my last dog was a golden and had the world by the tail as well

    Reply

  14. cassiebehle Says:

    I saw a special on TV about Yellowstone a month ago. It featured a fox who was able to hear a mouse beneath 3+ feet of snow, leap straight into the air with an equally impressive vertical, dive snout first into the snow where the mouse was (unaware of what was coming and just chilling (literally)), and climb back to the snow’s surface with the mouse in its mouth.

    If I could do that with all the jellybeans and trail mix that are undoubtedly underneath my couch beneath layers of dust, I’d call it a pretty good day…

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That is so cool! Maybe only useful in a few situations, but still… Just think how much money you could win betting people you can dive through 3 feet of snow and grab a gummy-bear in your mouth!

      Reply

    • cassiebehle Says:

      “I’m definitely sensing a green gummy bear under that pile of laundry on the floor over there.” “No way.” “Wanna bet?”

      Reply

  15. Charlotte Says:

    Interesting post.
    I would go with canine scent and sharks swimming abilities 🙂

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Sharks have a pretty amazing sense of smell (sort of – they can “smell” bioelectric energy), so you might be covered with “shark.” Never hurts to be sure, though. Just in case.

      Reply

  16. pithypants Says:

    Great. Whole new level of paranoia the next time a poorly trained lab sticks its snout in my crotch. I’ll think it’s telling me I have cancer.

    Reply

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