austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Working for peanuts is all very fine

Police in Nigeria took a a goat into custody for attempting to steal a Mazda 323, if you believe what Reuters has to say about the topic. I don't know any particular reason they would lie about this, except for the obvious objection that most goats can't drive stick shift, which hasn't been on the goat driving test since 1988. And yet this isn't quite new information about felonious Ungulates. Felonious Ungulates are remembered for having songs in the top 25 of the charts for more than fourteen but not quite so many as fifteen weeks in the summer of 1970, when they were threatening to become The New Beatles and before their demands were met.

According to the report as I got it this is not actually a full-time goat but is rather an ordinary human-class would-be Mazda-robber who-on (excuse me, who on) being detected tried to flee and transformed into a goat so as to attract less attention. He probably feels bad that now people on other continents have heard about it. If he knew it would get this kind of publicity he might have tried turning into something nobody pays attention to, like a tiger or a squid or a swarm of collegiate hockey players.

The animal would be excused for fleeing the city, and people might not even notice the car that wasn't stolen. A goat is just too ordinary. You can catch a goat in the middle of stealing a car and people will accept that you did, just on the evidence of you awkwardly lifting the goat and pointing out the car isn't stolen. They wouldn't believe you caught a water buffalo at it, and you'd hurt yourself trying to hoist one without special equipment. Furthermore nobody just wanders around town with buffalo-hoisting equipment unless they're some of those pranksters trying to sneak the city from Lake Erie to a more temperate climate, so your success would give the impression you were part of the scheme.

But perhaps the-robber (let's not start that again) didn't have a choice in what to become. He's accused of employing black magic, even though goats typically are covered by mauve or yellow-green magic, to turn into a goat, but he might belong to the were-goat community. That would be a shame since that would play to the antiquated stereotypes of how children of mixed heritages suffer an inherent identity crisis and become antisocial. It was not so long ago that were-goat communities were still forced to read to children the now-controversial assimilate-or-else textbook To Be, Or Not To Bleat. I know it's always individuals and not stereotypes doing things but it hurts to see such a tedious argument given fresh hay. How well you fit into society doesn't depend on your hooves, though how you fit into socks does.

Some police spokesmen said they're just holding the goat for its owner, rather than holding it for trial, on the grounds that goats can't commit crimes. But there have been remarkable crimes committed by animals or part-animals. Remember the avian espionage case a few years ago when several spotted white-bellied starry bubblers were accused of clutching otter secrets in their talons and flying to agents of the Republic of Bandjermasin. The case was considered one of the greatest otter-secret-theft scandals of the year until it was realized there was no such species as the starry bubbler, and people were none too sure about there being a ``Republic of Bandjermasin'' either. At least we're still fairly sure we exist and have otter secrets. (One of them is ``sodium benzoate'' and another is ``forty''. Don't tell.)

But none of that addresses the problem of goat-driven car (or driven-car) theft. Maybe the goat had a particular unique and critical need that could be understood given extenuating circumstances, such as his wife having a litter, or his needing to escape filming a commercial for financial services. I suppose we'll find out if the case goes to trial. I just hope it's a trial by impartial jury rather than by a petting zoo.

Trivia: The Sea-Land SL-7 class container ships were designed with a top speed specification of thirty knots, and an additional three knots speed as margin. (They would enter service in 1972.) Source: Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed The World, Brian J Cudahy.

Currently Reading: Superdove: How The Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And The World, Courtney Humphries.


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