Jan 09 2009



It’s always a pleasure to see an armadillo that isn’t smashed on the road. Fun armadillo facts: they are related to sloths and anteaters, and are the only species of this order in Texas (or in all of North America for that matter). They can inflate themselves to cross bodies of water. 15% of armadillos have leprosy. Nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus. January 2009, Blanco County TX.

To the fifty-or-so of you who, over the past week, posted comments that got stuck in moderation because I forgot I had a blog: we regret any inconvenience. Your comments are now up. Except for the ones written by a teenage boy saying “Fuck off Slut!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Speaking of “we regret any inconvenience”: what a load. The minute you read those words — such as are printed on that little card that Central Services hangs on your doorknob when they’re about to dig a 27-foot hole in your driveway and shut off your water for 3 days — you automatically know you are getting screwed. The other day when Verizon regretted any inconvenience I may have experienced while living out here in the middle of Rattlesnake, Texas for 3 months without a phone because they can’t get it together and run a few feet of wire to my house, I have to say that I perceived not an iota of actual regret. Their tone ran more along the lines of “you are as an infinitesimal speck to this faceless telecommunications conglomerate, which speck we regard with complete indifference. You will experience this indifference as animosity and it will make you want to smash shit up, but Verizon does not give a flip.”

Nobody is really sitting around regretting your inconvenience. It is a damned lie! Corporations — and most likely anything else in a position to regret inconvenience — are clots of computer files and bank accounts. The idea that a corporation can feel regret! It’s a laff riot!

You really want to express regret, Verizon? Send someone over to wash my windows; then we’ll talk.

Oh wait, we can’t talk, because I don’t have a fucking phone!

But I digress.

It will come as no surprise that pornographers Larry Flynt and Joe Francis are bucking for a piece of the bailout pie. It is necessary, they maintain, because the Great American Sexual Appetite is suffering from the economic downturn.

Quoth the repellent Flynt: “It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”

“Adult industry” is what pornographers call pimping out women as receptacles for male incontinence. They also call this “sex.”

I hope Congress regrets any inconvenience Larry Flynt might suffer as a result of being denied a cut of the booty, but, sadly, the demise of the porn industry is a contingency too remote even to contemplate, recession or no recession.

Gracias, Linda


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  1. Alex

    Cripes! Perhaps the US prison system should apologize for the inconvenience of having loosed the esteemed Mr. Francis on the world after a too-short incarceration for rape and assault so he can beg for billions of our dollars.

  2. PhysioProf

    The appropriate rejoinder to “we regret the inconvenience” is “Please go fuck yourself. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this essential matter.”

  3. Beth

    (in my first fanmail to my favorite new blog).

    Larry Flynt? In case you didn’t notice that the bailout was all fuck and no kiss, Larry Flynt joins the gang rape to help us identify the agressors in one hideous mug shot.

    And yesterday I was forwarded a piece on the increasing popularity of vagina-plasty. I concede. They do hate us.

  4. a. brown

    “Rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America”? Did everyone lose their hands?

  5. VibratingLiz

    Two pieces of armadillo trivia: 1.) The horrifying crunch of a large tin can being crushed that car wheels make when they drive over an armadillo is impossible to forget; and 2.) For some reason when armadillos are killed along the highways, they end up lying by the side of the road flat on their backs with their four stiff legs extended straight up in the air. In Louisiana people stick empty beer bottles between their dead little paws so it looks like they passed out drinking. You can drive down a two-lane back road late on a summer night and pass dozens of dead armadillos holding beer bottles.

    This could all explain why armadillos makes me cry.

  6. julybirthday

    Armadillos don’t see well at all, and one way they scare away predators is to spring at them suddenly. Doesn’t work so well with approaching cars. I’ve also heard that they are always born in sets of twins. I love ’em, even if they do dig littles holes all in the lawn and beds.

  7. Orange

    Not being a Texan, I misinterpreted what I was seeing in the photo. I thought the armadillo had sprung straight up (in antelope/springbok circles, that’s called “pronking”) six feet in the air, having been surprised by the shadowy Twisty. I was disappointed when I realized it was earthbound, but encouraged to read julybirthday’s comment that armadillos do like to spring. Maybe not six feet up, but still.

  8. Amananta

    No, armadillos can’t see well. I was walking in the woods and frightened one and it ran away – about 25 feet. then it forgot I was there and went back to digging in the dirt. I found if I came no closer then ten feet it just didn’t notice me. (I’m from Louisiana too)

  9. darms

    I somehow suspect Messrs Flynt & Francis’ request for a bailout of the porn industry is more a statement on the evil folly of the current bailouts than a sincere request for taxpayer money. Whoda thought the best way to rob a bank was to own one? ‘Privatize the profits, socialize the risk’, indeed…

  10. incognotter

    Clearly pornography and logic are two entirely different professions. Flynt and Francis both refute their own claims of hardship in the course of that article. IBTP that anyone in the government would even listen to their claims and that the newspaper would consider this worth printing.

    As for “regretting inconvenience,” I think the only way to teach these companies to regret the inconvenience is aggressive antitrust enforcement — the kind which could have prevented us being held hostage by a bunch of megacorporations who assumed they scare us into infinite bailouts.

    I have no opinion at all on armadillos.

  11. Cathy

    Porn is the most recession-proof industry there is.

    Beth, I read an article about the surgery, too. It reminds me of countries in Africa that require similar FGM. At least the Chinese have stopped binding girls’ feet, haven’t they?

  12. Twisty

    “At least the Chinese have stopped binding girls’ feet, haven’t they?”

    I wish Americans would stop it. Every time I see a woman lurching down South Congress in a pair of sexbot pumps I wanna usher her into a comfy chair and give her a pair of flip-flops.

  13. sonia

    Larry Flynt is on the shortlist for biggest jackass ever…

  14. crankosaur

    Larry Flynt is such a fucking douchenozzle. Even disregarding the fact that he’s a misogynistic peddler of hate speech, he appears to have no sense of logic.

    “In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment.”

    THEN WHY DO YOU NEED A BAIL-OUT?! Business should be booming! God, what a fucktard. “It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”? How does he think the species managed to propogate itself for thousands of years before the founding of “Hustler”?

  15. Kuleana

    For fuck’s sake. Will somebody please put Joe Francis in prison for life? I mean, I’m super happy that he was there for a while, but why give the guy a year or two when we have life sentences? And it would be a great way to stimulate the economy — I know I’d be throwing a party with tons of booze upon hearing the news!

    And good point, crankosaur — if Americans really do like porn so much, then the porn companies are the last ones who’ll “need” a bailout. Actually, I’m pretty sure my unemployed parents need a bailout more than these rich little entitled losers; their lack of perspective is stunning.

  16. Mo

    I’m with darms. The bailout is political commentary not an actual request for a bailout. Flynt’s not even particularly coy about it:

    ““I’m dead serious about making Congress look stupid, you know. I think the American people should have more to say about those bailouts and how they’re spending their money. These politicians have never handled our money wisely since I have been in this world and I don’t think they’re gonna start now,””

    If it weren’t also a giant ego-stroking cock-strutting publicity stunt, I might actually have been very amused.

  17. Chai Latte

    All I have to say re:the porn bailout is:

    AHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAH! Best laugh I’ve had all week, apart from when I found out that my AOL WeeMe vomits when I type the word ‘puke’. (I don’t know why that’s so funny. It just IS.)

    I’m rather enjoying this wickedly fun feeling of schadenfreude that’s come over me. How often does the porn industry offer women any kind of entertainment, even inadvertently? Not often, so I’m savoring this.

    *cues up the music and sings “Schadenfreude” from “Avenue Q” at annoyingly loud volume*


  18. TP

    The mere fact that we all noticed what a couple of slimy pornographers had to say is proof that we are inching closer to a pornocracy where every resource of public life will be ceaselessly devoted to satisfying and inciting male lust regardless of any consequences to the objects who are found useful for aiding and continuing this sickness.

    Can you imagine the weak sarcasm of pornographers ever making it into the mainstream news fifty years ago?

  19. el

    15% of armadillos have leprosy.
    How people don’t become infected then? I mean with all those descriptions of “In Louisiana people stick empty beer bottles between their dead little paws”, people do touch them.

  20. Twisty

    “How people don’t become infected then?”

    The biology of leprosy prevents dillo-to-human transmission. It is not highly contagious. In order to catch leprosy you would have to find a living leprotic animal and French-kiss it, and you would also have to be one of the 5% of humans who do not carry natural immunity to the disease.

  21. speedbudget

    I’m really nervous that those Congresscritters are going to actually try to get money to Larry Flynt. You know, cause they can’t live without their exploitation of women for even a moment.

    And I never knew that there is natural immunity to leprosy, and 5% don’t have it. I wonder why there used to be so many leprosy colonies. Lack of hygiene?

    Also–do the armadillos’ cute widdle noses and fingers fall off, like humans with leprosy?

  22. slade

    I am visualizing larry flynt and his wheelchair crunched by the roadside with large beer bottles stuck among his appendages and spokes.

    I think armadillos are so cool.

  23. Cathy

    OK, so it’s megatheopornocorporatocracy, then.

  24. thebewilderness

    Flynt and Francis represent the “service based economy” that we have been told by pundits is quite certain to be the future for the US.
    It has been my observation that the pundits usually have one hand under their desk while they talk about this shining future.

  25. Wendell

    Sorry to hear about your phone service.

    When I traveled to AR from MN this summer I was really hoping to see a live armadillo. Alas, they’d all been squished. Thank you for the critter reports.

  26. Rachel

    Quite, TP. I was quite amused at this until I listened to the actual radio broadcast, at which point I could no longer hold off becoming sickened at hearing an otherwise-reasonable-hearing NPR guy chatting amicably for five minutes about the “adult entertainment industry” as though it were just another business, like the auto industry, instead of, you know, a crime against humanity.

    I think that may have been a run-on sentence, but it deserves it.

  27. Barn Owl

    Armadillos have litters of identical quadruplets. We saw a live armadillo snuffling through some leaves at Lost Maples park in November; my visiting Californian friends thought I’d planted it for their entertainment.

    My father’s family, in Frozen Steer Carcass, Colorado, benefited from the Rural Electrification Administration program during the Depression (the 20th century one, that is). Perhaps we need an Internet Home and Farm Authority, to bring cell phone and internet access to impoverished farmers and … oh, wait.

  28. nobodyinparticular


    Yeah, that’s more like it.

  29. Ron Sullivan

    It’s amazing what passes for sex and even lust in this culture. ‘Course it’s amazing what passes for a culture in this culture, but we knew that. Now armadillo sex, that might be interesting the way box-turtle sex is. Some of which is probably going on in my dining room right now; I hear those telltale clunks.

    Dillos are born as identical quadruplets, never mind twins. First live one we saw, we said, overlappingly, “Turtle!?” and “Possum?!” and then, “Turtlepossum!!” Plus, they kinda hippety-hop.

    Plusplus: ever seen a charango or heard one being played?

  30. keshmeshi

    I’m currently battling a government bureaucratic office and one of those corporate conglomerates over similar “inconveniences”. The past week threw me into a near-homicidal rage. Funnily enough, I haven’t had such a reaction since I had to deal with Verizon back when I lived in New Jersey.

    I bet Joe Francis is hurting, and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy. His “brand” is getting staler by the moment, and his only solution is to come up with more versions of the same thing. Here’s to hoping that, like many of the nouveau riche, he didn’t handle his past cash flow very well and he’ll soon go the way of MC Hammer.

  31. TwissB

    Has everyone forgotten that Larry Flynt never passes up an opportunity to wring every bit of publicity he can out of any exploitable situation with perfect confidence that the press will fall all over itself to go along with the game? And that the fun will be compounded as shows like “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me” will leap to build a gag (yes, indeed) around it? WWDTM also managed to build another gag around the Washington Post’s giggly Viagra to the Afghan elders story. Slade’s Final Solution sounds about right for all of them.

    About armadillos. Kipling’s Just So Story about how the armadillo was made is a must read. And I shall attempt to email Twisty a lovely still life photo of an armadillo R.I.P. by a photographer named Appel. The same may also be the source of some charming armadillo portraits at http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/armadillo.aspx where armadillo fans can also view a thrilling video of armadillos trotting, digging, and rooting for whatever armadillos root for.

  32. Twisty

    TwissB, I heard that “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” broadcast as I was tooling down 290 West at an un-PC 80 miles an hour, and nearly ran into a taco truck when they did the Afghan Viagra bit. In the car with me was Stingray (who never reads my blog because she is delicate and it’s “too depressing” and who therefore hadn’t heard about this yet). She insisted it was a made-up joke until I informed her of the sad truth, at which point she just deflated into “are you fucking kidding me?” mode.

  33. gerda

    not all that much more stupid than the genuine auto bailout imo.

    is the desire to drive one’s very own tank a feminist issue?


  34. Octogalore

    Wasn’t the porn thing a stunt by the repulsive Messrs. Flynt and Francis to keep in the public eye, rather than a serious plea for funds?

  35. darms

    Mo, Mr. Flynt is above all an attention hound and will do anything to get same. While he’s never seen $0.01 from me, his attitude I do appreciate – Mme. Twisty, wouldja like my ‘sex worker’ story?

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