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Sunday, September 25, 2005

DOUI versus the FONZ - Part IV - A New Hope

Well, there are only 5 days until the end of DOUI's, excuse me, I mean The National Zoo's contest to name the little blighter born to their resident pandas Chow-Chow and Ding-Ding...or something like that. The Friends of the National Zoo, despite their nickname (FONZ) have displayed an utter lack of cool, betraying their nervousness, fear, and general cowardess by failing to respond to the e-mails I have sent them so far. I've not got a peep from them. Of course it could be because they are all so busy shoveling Golden Marmoset poop, after all, they have about 10,000 of those bleeding things running around. A few of them were even running the concessions when we were there in the summer with Linus Coconut's family. (He is a real person mind you!) However, someone's got to check e-mail every once in awhile, just to make sure the receipts for the online orders of Purina Marmoset Chow come in. (The 100 lbs. bags)

I had suspected that they think they simply can't be troubled to deal with every Tom, Dick, and Martin Antonio Salvador de la Cuela Portomento that comes along. After I thought about it though, and remembered what a grand idea the panda-naming contest was when Stew first thought of it and posted it (in advance of the FONZ people, so far as anyone knows), I realized that they must be completely inundated with e-mail submissions to the contest. There was one problem with this theory, and that was that the submissions are not via e-mail at all, but are set up so that you make a choice online and then submit it, along with your e-mail address. This means that all they are doing is counting, and probably not even that, as any bat custodian or wallaby groomer could find free software on the Internet to automatically tabulate the submissions to a CGI setup like that.

So I have e-mailed them again, just sent. Let's see them ignore us now! (Which, in all likelihood, is one wish I will be granted.)


Dear Henry Winkler Stalkers,

Re: Panda naming contest that my friend came up with before you lot.

All right, I've been nice about it up until now. I've made some very healthy and creative suggestions about alternative names (And let's face it, a little panda with a name like Long Shan [dragon, mountain... yeah, right!] is going to get bullied by all the other pandas in zoos, especially the ones with names like Pauley, Nick, and Mongo.) I've suggested some alternate ways to credit Stew Miller, and suggested some very plausible reasons for obsessive government types like yourselves to deviate from your original plans - which I realize is like asking a glacier to take a 5,000 year break from slowly rolling over whatever lemming-infested part of Northern Canada it happens to be on at the time.

Still, no response from you lot. I reckon it's time to take off the kid gloves. It's time to throw down the quaint pen of reason, the chairs of discourse, the slightly unfashionable bow tie of diplomacy, the ribbon of genteel manners, and the knickers of decency (all right, please scratch that last one...I'm not sure where I was going with that) and take decisive and possibly ridiculous action.

I'm forced to do the one thing that no self respecting blogger wants to do. I must take it to the press. I must sound the media clarion call and alert those who will spread the news of this injustice to the people, far and wide across this great nation we call home, and that the pandas refer to as "The place we ask for asylum from when it's time to go back."

It's too late to protest! You had your chance. A brief form letter, an electronically delivered snub, a free FONZ cap with elephant ears...any of these might have dissuaded our anger, frustration, and general trance-inducing boredom. Now, things have gone far too far too far too far, etc. (Sorry, got stuck in a loop there.)

I'm calling Variety right now.

Earl Fando,
Co-Editor and Contributor
The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas

PS. OK, Variety isn't taking my calls. Would any of you happen to have a 1-800 number for The Washington Post? People? The Weekly World News???


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