Sunday, August 24, 2008

Emu-ved Around Too Much, So We Tasered It

Well, there was another incident of police using a taser down there in Florida. Yep, those cops had to take their taser to the emu more than once in order to get him to....wait. What?

Correct. Plop-plop the emu was tasered on Monday. According to those over at, who have the task of reporting on the most moronic news of the Emerald Coast, Plop-plop was "tossed into the mean world, where she was led astray" after a storm. That's when she started chasing cars along Highway 231. At some point on Monday, the sheriff showed up when Plop-plop was stuck in a pasture. How the BFB (Big Fat Bird) went from chasing cars on the highway to getting stuck in a pasture is beyond me. The sheriff's deputies were responding "to a call from a man claiming an "unknown emu" was in the pen with his horses and goats." An unknown emu as opposed to....a known emu? How many emus does the guy who called actually know? Aren't all emus unknown if you find them frolicking about with your horses and goats? (Are horses and goats supposed to be together? I mean, I know they're not if they're Garanimals. That would be silly. But in real life? Together? I don't know.)

When the two deputies arrived, they "did not quite know what to expect from the bird, but they closed in and hoped it would surrender peacefully." OK, first of all, I would have no idea what to expect from an unknown emu either. That being said, I don't know that the emu would know that it was expected to surrender. See, it would have to know the word "surrender" in order to do that and I think that an emu only knows no words, making "surrendering" extremely difficult for the unknown emu.

Now, if you're not familiar with the emu (and why would you be? It's a freaking emu.) allow me to fill you in. This is a behemoth bird that is dumb and mean. It has HUGE talons and long legs that flail about. It does not understand the English language (or any other language, presumably) and therefore will flail about and run directionless when it is scared or feels threatened (which is kind of the same as being scared, I think). Basically, a frightened emu is a crazed emu and a crazed emu will kick your ass, intentionally or otherwise. Thus, stay out of the way of the emu. Don't anger the emu.

So as the deputies are trying to get closer to the emu (no word on what they would have done had the emu LET them get closer. They really should have had more of a plan than just "close in on him".), it's freaking out, as I imagine I would be if I were suddenly an emu. (That transition alone would be enough to have me freak out.) Deputy Randolph Grob explained the situation at that point as,"I think we had exhausted the fact that we weren't going to be able to just corral it up on our own without harming it." And like I alluded to earlier, it's hard to corral an emu when you don't really have much of an emu corralling plan. So they abandoned the whole corral idea and switched over to 21st century thinking and readied their Tasers.

Yes, they decided the best plan of attack would be to zap the BFB with a Taser. And with said Taser in hand, Deputy Grob gave the BFB a Taser-ific jolt and waited. He didn't have to wait long to realize that didn't work very well as the BFB did not drop. Well, if one Taser jolt isn't enough, perhaps two will be better. So as the BFB made one last desperate attempt to hurl itself past the officers, Grob jabbed it with the Taser again and down went the BFB and was subsequently subdued. What an ordeal. Those guys don't get paid enough to go on the Great Emu Hunt while they're on duty.

Plop-plop was then turned over to animal control where they were consulting the Internet to find out what an emu eats. (I thought they were animal control. Don't they know these things? It's right there in their name: "animal". A BFB is an animal. Why don't they know what it eats and what it feeds it's young?) Wait a minute. Animal control? Where the hell was animal control when the sheriff's deputies were running around trying to Taser a BFB? Shouldn't animal control be doing things that involve emus? All things emu? I don't know either, but I am fairly certain that they should be handling all emu crisises as opposed to the sheriff's deputies.

Plop-plop eventually calmed down and before you know it, the emu was letting people scratch it's head just like it had always been a head scratchin' sort of bird as opposed to the kind that flips out on the side of the highway. But that's probably due to Plop-plop being used to being around people because Plop-plop had been raised by a one Roger Smith up until that fateful day when she ran away from home. Smith contacted the shelter and "was permitted a visit to the secure ward." ("Secure ward" makes it sound like a psychiatric hospital or something. I'm picturing BFBs in straitjackets.) Smith has also said that he "will upgrade emu security to prevent any future breakouts, and should be able to post bail by Monday." OK, wait. Just stop! What the hell?

There's BFB Bail? How much is it to bail out an emu? Anyone? And "Upgrade emu security"? What the heck does that mean? Build a fence? What kind of security denotes that specifically for emus if it's not a fence?

Well, whatever it is, Smith is taking it seriously. I think. It's hard to take someone seriously when they say, "My wife and I went to visit her in doggy jail this morning. We were very pleased they're taking very good care of her." Perhaps the real problem is that Smith used the term "doggy jail" to indicate where he went to visit, not his "doggy", but his emu. No wonder she ran away.

Of course, there is NO indication in this story as to WHY the BFB is named Plop-plop. I'm guessing it has something to do with repeated excrement expulsion, but that's pure speculation (and none that I'm particularly proud of, either). Why would you spend all of this time writing an article about a BFB named Plop-plop and not explain WHY the BFB is named Plop-plop? Because you write for a paper on the Emerald Coast and you can't imagine that anyone who actually could read would spend it reading that sorry excuse for a news source? Hmmm. You may have a point there. Never mind. It's an understandable mistake. And I'm glad the BFB is safe. Back to you.

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