This just in! The gray tree frog brings the grand total of tree frogs spotted at El Rancho Deluxe up to 1. Hyla chrysoscelis or Hyla versicolor, who knows which. Cottonmouth County, TX, February 2009.
When Mungo, the big-ass computer nerve center here at Spinster HQ, went belly-up a few weeks ago, it took Photoshop with it.
As you can imagine, living without Photoshop has been an excruciating experience. Overwhelmed by the sudden void in my life, I took to my bed for the first few days. There I ate cold pizza and scorched my retinas watching thousands of episodes of a TV detective show called “NCIS.”
“NCIS” is one of the most asinine TV detective shows ever made, which is undoubtedly why it’s in its 7th season and there exists an entire cable channel devoted to rerunning it practically nonstop. It’s corny and sexist (even for TV) and all-honky-all-the-time and one suspects its audience is primarily the teen NASCAR demographic. The incessant background music track is so loud in the mix it doesn’t quite drown out all the dialogue, which is too bad, because the writing on this show makes “The A Team” look like Othello.
I’ll spare you further details, but in one episode, one of the studly young honky detectives gets his beloved Corvette stolen. His character is a stereotypical TV ladies’ man, and stereotypical TV ladies’ men are always comically devoted to their sports cars, so he is comically devastated by this terrible loss. After the commercial break (wherein KIA tries to sell me a cheap car with zero percent financing and a ten year warranty) he discusses the tragedy with his hot honky female partner.
“You know, I don’t think I want her back,” he says. By “her” he means the stolen Corvette.
“Why not?” asks the hot honky female partner, shocked.
“Because she’s been violated, ha ha!”
Rape jokes! Yeah, baby! When you want teenage boys rolling in the aisles, don’t mess around! Bring on the A material!
But there I go again, talking about hilarious mainstream rape culture when I really should be discussing gray tree frogs.
No doubt you have remarked, to yourself and to your friends over dinner and drinks, the relatively scant number of gray tree frog photos I’ve posted recently. It’s because I had no Photoshop. For weeks.
But that’s all behind us now. Mungo’s replacement, Harriet Vane, has just finished downloading a dewy-fresh copy of that most essential and ridiculously expensive software, so the Twisty Herp Department Online Division is back in business.
Thus it is with extreme pleasure that I invite you to behold the Gray Tree Frog of the Week. Our specimen belongs to one of two species of gray tree frog that, except to the loving eye of the electron microscope, are indistinguishable from each other.
This individual is something of an anomaly. Like all frogs, it immediately pees on you when you pick it up, but there’s definitely something weird going on with this guy. Gray tree frogs are completely arboreal except during breeding season, but this one has appeared, rootling in the leaf litter, a month early. Weirdlier, the frog’s range doesn’t even include Cottonmouth County. I can only conclude that the crumbling economy has driven it to wild acts of desperation.