Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Komodo Dragon Cheney

The Vice-Presidential Debate left me with a strange image. I couldn't put my finger on it at first. It reminded me of a Disney film, where a well-known actor supplies the voice for a cute animated animal character. Cheney's droning, calm, quiet voice was so familiar, it was the particular animal I couldn't quite recall. And then it occured to me.

Cheney reminded me of one of those lizards that lie in the sun by the riverbank and don't seem too dangerous, in fact, look barely able to move their big languorous body, but every now and then can whip out their poisonous tongue and take down their prey. John Edwards was a barefoot boy in farm overalls, going fishing with a happy face, bamboo pole and a can of worms. I wanted to scream, "Watch out!"

And then I remembered -- it was the Komodo Dragon I was thinking of.
The Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest lizard in the world, growing to a length of 3 meters and weighing between 80 and 140 kg. It is a member of the monitor lizard family, Varanidae.

Dragons have keen senses and are considered one of the most intelligent living reptiles.

They are carnivores and hunt live prey, with a stealthy approach followed by a sudden short charge (they can run briefly at speeds up to 20 km/h). They have a strong bite augmented by severe infection of wounds, caused by the some 50 different strains of bacteria in their saliva. After they bite, they release their prey to allow it to die before devouring it; this allows them to avoid injury. Dragons will fight over kills.

Dragons eat any animals they can catch, up to the size of wild pigs, goats, deer, and water buffaloes and occasionally including human beings.
-- Wikipedia

A very tired, certainly dangerous Komodo Dragon, who ultimately didn't take Edwards out. Luckily the trial lawyer was good at dodging the lazy lizard and poked him fairly successfully with his fishing rod, right back a few times.

And in the end, it all came down to one thing. If I had to make a choice, I'd MUCH rather spend a happy sunny day with Edwards -- and not just one day, more like the next four years.