Mock me. I dare ya.

ORANGE, Texas (July 4, 2015) — A man who apparently mocked alligators, then jumped in the water — despite warning signs — is dead after being attacked in Texas.

Orange County Police were called to Burkart’s Marina near the Louisiana state line early Friday morning after reports that Tommie Woodward, 28, and an unidentified woman were swimming in a bayou and had been attacked by a large alligator.

Orange County Justice of the Peace Rodney Price told CNN affiliate KFDM that Woodward ignored verbal warnings and a posted “No Swimming Alligators” sign and seemed to mock the deadly creatures before going in the water.

“He removed his shirt, removed his billfold … someone shouted a warning and he said ‘f**k the alligators’ and jumped in to the water and almost immediately yelled for help,” Price said.

“Please do not go swimming, there’s a bigger alligator out here. Just please stay out of the water,” witness and marina employee Michelle Wright said she told Woodward.

In an emotional interview with KFDM, Wright said, “I saw his body floating face down. And then he’s out there for a couple of seconds and then he’s dragged back down. And then he comes back up still face down and then he gets pulled down again. And then he just disappears.”

Listen, if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times. Never mock an alligator. You can laugh at them, tease them, even be rude to them. But never, ever mock them. They hate that, man. And f**k the alligators, huh? What say you now Tommie Woodward? Oh, that’s right. Nothing. Because you’re dead.

Note: Damn, that was cold-hearted. Even for me.

Yeah, it got a little awkward shortly after this.

CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A 22-year-old man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, killing him instantly, authorities said Sunday.

Devon Staples and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks Saturday night in the backyard of a friend’s home in eastern Maine. 

Staples, 22, of Calais, a small city on the Canadian border, placed a reloadable fireworks mortar tube on his head and told his friends he was going to light it, McCausland said. But his friends urged him to stop.

“Apparently, he thought that was a great idea,” McCausland said. “His friends they thought dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly.”

Staples’s brother Cody told the Daily News of New York that he was a few feet away when his brother lit the firework and was the first to come to his side after it exploded.

“There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there,” said 25-year-old Cody Staples,who called it an accident.

“Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh,” he said.

Boy, it’s nice to know that Devon Staples was “not the kind of person who would do something stupid”, huh? Great quote there by the brother. Dude “thinks it’s a great idea” to put a mortar tube on his head and blows his skull to smithereens, but thank God he wasn’t the dumb type, amirite?

Note: I had a really insensitive “level-headed” reference I was going to use but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Hey, even I have standards. Sort of.

The Tarantula Hawk is not a tarantula nor is it a hawk. It’s a spider wasp which simply sounds horrifying as hell. How badass is the Tarantula Hawk? It hunts tarantulas as food for its larvae. If you don’t believe me check out that photo below. This guy stings like a mofo, and if you’re not terrified yet read why it hunts the tarantula:

The female tarantula hawk captures, stings, and paralyzes the spider, then either drags her prey back into her own burrow or transports it to a specially prepared nest, where a single egg is laid on the spider’s abdomen, and the entrance is covered. Gender of the larvae is determined by fertilization; fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males. When the wasp larva hatches, it creates a small hole in the spider’s abdomen, then enters and feeds voraciously, avoiding vital organs  for as long as possible to keep the spider alive.

And get this:

One researcher described the pain of the Tarantula Hawk’s sting as “Immediate, excruciating pain that simply shuts down one’s ability to do anything, except, perhaps, scream.”

Good God, man. That’s just awful. Anywho, Tarantula Hawk.

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Yikes.

Generosity.

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Not even kidding. In honor of the 4th of July I, as a former Social Studies teacher and history expert extraordinaire, am going to rank my Top 10 Signers of the Declaration. I’m sure you know that there were 56 colonial freedom fighters that had the courage to sign, so whittling the list to 1o was not easy.

Without further ado, here’s my list with a comment or three about each man. Happy Independence Day, and remember kids, you may not be sitting where you are today without these bona fide American Badasses.

10. Button Gwinnett [Georgia] 

Gwinnett was born in England but loved the colonial south. He ended up dying in a duel with a rival, but may be best known for his rare signature which is more valuable than any other except for William Shakespeare.

Ultimately makes my list because he has the best name ever.

9. Thomas Nelson Jr. [Virginia]

Nelson was the Governor of Virginia in addition to being the General of the Virginia Militia at Yorktown. Cool fact: He ordered troops to fire on Cornwallis, who happened to be staying in Nelson’s house at the time. 

8. Samuel Adams [Massachusetts] 

Sam Adams was quite possibly the loudest, most rambuctious rabble-rouser amongst all the signers. This cat was screaming for independence from the get-go. Eventually became Governor of Massachusetts, no small feat of its own. Also has a beer named after him which weighed heavily in my decision to put him in the top 10.

7. Elbridge Gerry [Massachusetts] 

Another cool name, amirite? Anyway, old Elbridge was one of the main dudes that drafted the Bill of Rights, which ended up being sort of significant.* Oh, and he was also Vice-President, so there’s that.

*Sarcasm alert.

6. Roger Sherman [Connecticut] 

Roger not only helped draft the Declaration, he was one of the main framers of the Constitution. Double trouble for the Brits. Hells to the yah, man.

5. John Adams [Massachusetts] 

John Adams was the cousin of Sam Adams, though for some reason a lot of folks believe them to be brothers. John was the more level-headed of the two and was in fact an important voice for order and not rushing into war. He also strongly believed in a centralized government, a pretty controversial stance for its time.

4. Benjamin Rush [Pennsylvania]

Rush was a doctor of some renown. And get this – he believed in Anti-Slavery, Pro-Educating Women, Public Health Advocate, and Humane Treatment of Mentally Ill. That’s pretty cool. One negative – he believed that being black was a treatable skin disease. Damn it. And he was doing so well.

3. John Hancock [Massachusetts] 

John Hancock was one of the richest men in the colonies and wasn’t interested in independence until the English took over his house. Then he got pissed and got really involved. He ended up being the President of the Continental Congress as well, but is probably best known for being responsible the first and largest signature on the Declaration. Oh, and he was a big-time smuggler, but that’s neither here nor there. To this day, any signature is known as a “John Hancock.” Cool beans.

2. Benjamin Franklin [Pennsylvania] 

Franklin was America’s foremost politician, author, diplomat, scientist, inventor, publisher and political theorist. Not bad, eh? He also invented swim fins, the odometer, the Franklin Stove, the lightning rod, and bifocals among many other things. Probably more than any other individual Ben Franklin defined what it meant to be an “American.” Also the 18th century’s preeminent ladies man. Dude had girlfriends on both sides of the big pond and was known to dispense sex advice liberally. Ben Franklin, man.

Well, h-e-l-l-l-l-o-o-o-o, ladies.

1. Thomas Jefferson [Virginia] 

Thomas Jefferson was the most eloquent proponent of American democracy. No doubt a genius, he basically wrote the Declaration of Independence. How would that look on your resume? He also advocated for free public education, founded the University of Virginia, made the Louisiana Purchase, and launched the Lewis and Clark Expedition. But one of the biggest reasons he’s at #1? After visiting Europe, he popularized Macaroni & Cheese in the United States. Atta boy T.J.!

Bad. Ass.

There you go, my Top 10 Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Discuss.

Morons on parade.

I was waiting for carnage. What I got was glorious.

Here are some dumb people messing with animals. On a related note, I can relate to that peacock from hell.

Big to small to big again.

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Oh boy.

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Uplifting.

One bite from this rattler and the roadrunner is dead meat. Now I know why Wile E. Coyote was ordering all those Acme traps. Yikes.

Oh man. Jennifer is diabolical.

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Niger. Wow.

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Check out the Green Sea Slug, man, lookin’ all leafy and whatnot. The Green Sea Slug is a member of the sap-sucking sea slug family, widely known as a tough bunch  with nasty dispositions. Seriously, they’re assholes. Anyway, they’re most commonly found in salt marshes, tidal marshes, pools and shallow creeks. Wait. What? I thought it was a sea slug. Anywho, Green Sea Slug.

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Those two words alone are sort of horrifying, aren’t they? Jumping Spider? Nobody wants a spider that can jump up and bite you on the neck. Jumping spiders have four pairs of eyes, just like that cute little guy down there. Most jumping spiders can jump several times the length of their bodies. When a jumping spider is moving from place to place, and especially just before it jumps, it tethers a filament of silk, like a dragline, to whatever it is standing on to protect itself if the jump should fail. That’s diabolical, man. Anywho, Jumping Spider.

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ajumpingspider

Well, hello there.

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That’s wild, man. Tokyo is bigger than Canada and Australia.

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Does it make me a bad person that I was hoping for a gust of wind to blow these idiots off the tower? It does, right? I don’t know, when people are just asking to die I always sort of hope they get their wish. Sadly, in this case they survived.

Jinchang Town, Vietnam:

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Woof woof!

A man in Yunnan recently discovered that he’d been raising two Asian black bears for the past two years under the impression that they were dogs. Asian black bears, mind, are listed as a class II protected species and are most certainly not dogs.

The man, Wang Kaiyu, owns a banana farm in Jinchang Town, near the boarder of Vietnam, China News reports. Two years ago, a Vietnamese man was passing by the area with two “good looking” pups, and Wang decided to buy them off the man, he told reporters.

For two years, he lovingly raised the “dogs”, bathing and pampering them every day. Wang said the animals were well-behaved but that their appetites were rapidly growing. He recalled a few times when his beloved pets caught and ate chickens on the farm.

As fate would have it, Wang saw a poster about wildlife protection at an exhibition hosted by the forest police, and the bells started ringing. Wang realised he had been accidentally raising two protected species.

After mulling it over, he decided he probably ought to send the bears away to the forest police in Maguan county in the hopes that they could be relocated to an appropriate habitat.

On June 30, the forest police contacted the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre of Yunnan province and the two bears were sent there for protection.

Hey, easy mistake to make, right? Wang Kaiyu’s “dogs” were eating chickens like a boss, chasing a few neighbors up the occasional tree and were eating old Wang out of house and home, but other than that they were well-behaved, adorable pets. Oh, and there was that one neighborhood kid that went missing, but that’s neither here nor there.

On a related note, how the hell do you mistake bears for dogs?

PS – Is Wang Kaiyu blind? He’s gotta be, right? That’s the only thing that makes sense. Methinks the author left out a vital piece of information there.

Update: Apparently Wang Kaiyu has found a replacement for his beloved “dogs”. He’s found a precious little kitten that he just loves. Here’s a photo:

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Joey, how could you? And with Natalie? Please. Seriously, Joey put up a good fight, trying to be cool with the “I was just hangin wit her” line, but when when his girlfriend unleashed the “ding ding” elevator line Joey went down for the count. Boom! Roasted. Just a diabolical, brutal comeback. Trust me Joey, go home and lick your wounds because this time it’s over forreal.

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Even I think this was over the top.

Man, the Guinea Fowl Puffer sure is round, ain’t he? Dude looks like a volleyball with a mouth and fins. The National Geographic website says the Guinea Fowl Puffers have “rotund bodies and big heads.” Gee, ya think? I bet it took a million dollar study and a team of MIT scientists to figure that one out, amirite? Anywho, Guinea Fowl Puffer.

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Settle down everybody.

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This is Bronson. He is not a good watch dog.

I’m dead serious here, and with my access to the minds of literally hundreds of impressionable children, I’m just the man to pull this off. You see, there are some words and phrases that need to, dare I say have to, come back. They’re just too cool to let slip away. I mentioned a few of these words in the legendary blog Word Up: Snorkel, Curds and Uranus a few months ago. Words such as shenanigans, which is used much too infrequently. Come on, say it. Shenanigans. You know it’s fun. So without further ado let’s list some words and phrases that need to make a comeback.

On with the shenanigans!

On a related note, withour further ado is an awesome thing to say. I’ve no clue what it means, but awesome nonethelessOn another related note, we use awesome way too much.

But on to the list . . .

  • Cool Beans – Cool beans, man! Something can be cool, but something that is really cool is cool beans. Love it, and I use it regularly in class. For those of you who hate the phrase “cool beans”, it’s too late. It’s already catching on in the hallowed halls of Paint Valley Elementary. And yes, I loved the 80’s.
  • Bogus – As in “not cool at all” or in other words the opposite of “cool beans”. “Hey Max, that shirt your wearing is bogus, dude. Clean up your act.”
  • Solid – Here’s another one I use regularly with the kids. “Hey Lane, do me a solid and run up to the cafeteria and grab me a grape-flavored water. Here’s a buck. You can add the quarter as payment for getting out of class for 5-minutes.” See what I did there? We exchanged solids.
  • Bitchin’ – Obviously not for use in the classroom, but still. I like it because it’s usage is the opposite of it’s intended meaning. For instance, it’s usually used negatively, as in, “Charlie’s bitchin’ about his job.” In this case, though, it’s a positive word. Picture a guy standing there looking at a friend’s newly restored ’64 Mustang. As he nods approvingly he says, “Bitchin’.” Cool word. Case closed.
  • Jeepers – Great word, amirite? Jeepers! Sorta reminds you of a Leave it to Beaver episode. “Jeepers, Wally! You’re in for it now!” For you young folk out there, Leave it to Beaver was a TV show from back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people used telephones that were connected to the wall with a wire. Oh, and kids went outside to play and stuff. Related: Jeepers Creepers. Also cool.
  • Rapscallion – From Merriam Webster: rascal, ne’er-do-well. “Get outta my yard, ya little rapscallion!” Sounds so much cooler than, say, punk. I also like scalawag and scamp.
  • Gnarly – I know, 80’s again. Gnarly can be used in both a positive and negative connotation though, as in “Ooh, look what the dog threw up. Gnarly.” Or, “Wow, gnarly shoes man. Love ’em.”

I would also propose we bring back phrases like “Heavens to Murgatroyd!” which would give us all an excuse to use the word murgatroyd several times a day. By the way, this phrase was often used by a cat named Snagglepuss. Snagglepuss was a  . . . ah, just search it up on The Goggle.

I also would like to see words like swell and golly and gee whiz return but maybe I ask too much. Perhaps I long for a simpler time.

And hey, why we’re at it, here are some words and phrases I could do without:

  • Awesome –  As previously mentioned. I would like to amend this by saying that awesome is acceptable when pronounced A-soooooooooooooome! Just one man’s opinion.
  • Groovy – People use it still, usually just to sound hippie-ish. Right on man.
  • Whatever – Such a dismissive word, no? A friend of mine uses it sometimes, I’m sure just to annoy me.
  • Super – Yeah, not a fan. “Super shirt, Mr. Wilson!” or “I am super excited about this meeting.” And I really dislike Super Duper. That’s just wrong.

Now there are certain words that are rather timeless, like cool and dude. I actually heard a kid tell his dad that he was too old to use the word dude. Dude, I was using dude back in the 70’s, so that’s just bogus. And cool goes w-a-y back to the late 19th century when people were saying “cool as a cucumber” and “keep a cool head.” I looked that up. Don’t ever question my blogging integrity.

So there you have it, a few words regarding words. I have already begun my personal quest to inject some of these words and phrases straight back into the American lexicon.

Don’t count me out.