Saturday, April 02, 2011

Snoopy the Vulture

We all know the fellow above, the lovable dog Snoopy pretending to be a vulture to scare poor Linus below, for whatever reason a dog pretending to be a vulture to a young boy who needs a security blanket just to get through the day is supposed to be funny. And, it is funny in many, many ways, and on many, many different levels it is high comedy.  It is also tragic, and since I am better at writing tragedies than comedy, we are going to lightly brush over the tragic part of Snoopy's attempts to bully Linus.

Vulture are divided into two major groups, Old World Vultures, and New World Vultures. These two groups are not closely related, and probably do not exchange a lot of Christmas cards with each other. Regardless of which type of vulture you run across, it is probably not good news for you. If you are being hounded by a 'wake' of vultures (the term for a group of them) then you might be in need of a wake yourself. They rarely attack healthy animals, preferred to prey on the sick, and the dead/dying of the animal kingdom. I suppose there are enough of the dead, sick, or dying to keep the vultures in business for they don't show any signs of dying out, and I also guess that they perform a sort of 'garbage man' type service to Mother Nature (the bitch). I mean without vultures around, all those dead animal carcasses would just stink up the joint. 

However, like I said they do get a bad rap, and I am fairly certain they deserve it. I mean no one invites vultures to any sort of gathering, they just show up, and shit starts to break bad. Seeing a vulture, whether it be circling over your head, or sailing past you as you jump out of a perfectly good airplane, is a sign that shit is about to break bad. Probably for you, or at the very least for some member of your group.  Vultures are hard sons of bitches, they don't have real jobs like the rest of us, and therefore, can afford to perch patiently on the nearest tree, waiting quietly while you become their breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or maybe if you are chubby enough, all three). There they loom, staring at you with those unblinking eyes, quietly reminding you of your impending doom.

They will pick your bones clean, and leave you being only a memory in the rest of the group's minds, providing any of the group survives. Vultures probably aren't big fans of survivors, after all, survivors are just a meal that managed to get away, and I imagine vultures like to eat just like the rest of us.  You start seeing fat vultures, you suddenly realize that you've wandered into the wrong horror movie.  While the picture above is in a 'comic', and is intended to be funny, I can only imagine Linus' terror. Above him sits a reminder of his mortality, an unsmiling, looming, dark presence that is there for only one purpose, to watch him die, and pick his bones clean. It must be doubly horrifying for a sensitive, intelligent child such as Linus. No, I choose to not see the comedy that is supposed to be inherent in the drawing above, I see the horror of a child/man being stalked by his doom.

It is that doom that vultures foreshadow, they are a patient lot, and can wait out the strongest of victims, it may take them a week, a month, or even several years, but vultures usually 'win' in the end. After all, they are vultures, and this is what they were put on this earth to do. And unless someone gives us a proper burial so that we can be food for worms, then we are likely to just end up food for vultures.

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