I do like the Sunshine Coast Daily. It really is the best newspaper around. So thoroughly absorbent. I've asked my staff not to use those upmarket glossy magazines like Vogue in my cage although I do enjoy widdling on those stick insect models. Trouble is the widdle then just sits there in a puddle with the model looking up through it at me and then I start to feel guilty. I think to myself "Poor girl. Not only is she emaciated but now she's drowning in guinea pig wee." Of course then I forget about it and it goes cold, and gives me a nasty surprise when I tread in it later. That's why I prefer the Sunshine Coast Daily. Occasionally, very occasionally, it has an interesting article to read too.
Many people now know about civet poo coffee or Kopi Luwak as it is more properly known. This is horrendously expensive coffee which is produced by feeding coffee beans to Asian palm civets. The beans then pass through the animal and pop out of its bottom passage as the finished product, well almost. Some producers remember to wash the beans first before making your morning cuppa with it. I believe I may have mentioned in a earlier blog post that I was concerned that my staff might begin forcing Badger and I to eat coffee beans too. I wouldn't put it past them, especially as civet coffee sells for a hundred and sixty dollars a pound. It's easy to imagine them scurrying around behind us collecting our bush chocolate in a coffee cup and then flogging it at the local farmers market, while we, filled to the eyeballs with caffeine race round our cages like a couple of hyperactive wind up toys, unable to sleep for weeks at a time.
Well anyway, the Sunshine Coast Daily says that the idea has spread to China where some bright spark has hit upon the idea of fertilizing his tea crop with panda poo. Panda poo is not black and white as you would perhaps expect, but it does produce the world's most expensive tea. This chap bought eleven tonnes of the stuff, though it doesn't say from whom. Maybe there's a shop in Beijing called "Turds R Us" or something. Chinese tea drinkers reckon the first batch of this panda plop tea will be the best ever and is expected to sell for - wait for it - thirty thousand US dollars for five hundred grams. If that's a little beyond your means you had better wait for the inferior subsequent crops which will sell for only three thousand dollars for half a kilo.
Here in Australia they have been selling bags of "lucky" koala poo in wildlife parks for years, and now with the increase tourist numbers from China I'm expecting to read in my favourite newspaper that someone from there has come up with a way to value add to the raw product. "Try a koala poo thickshake for that genuine eucalyptus taste. Good for the sinuses too and guaranteed to leave your breath smelling as fresh an Australian copse." That's copse - not cops. Australian cops don't smell fresh at all - more like a corpse actually. Anyway, I digress. My point is that poo has a lot more uses than you think. It just takes a little imagination. Here in Australia we never really made the most of our poo. It's pretty much left laying around where it drops, which is why we have so many flies.
The South Africans have even invented a sport involving dung. The participants pop an impala poo in their mouths (It's only the size of a guinea pig poo.) and spit it as far as possible. The winner is the one who spits his poo the furthest. (Or as we say in Australia - the most furtherest.) There are bonus points for style and degree of difficulty. A lot depends on the contestants choice of poo. It's important to pick one that's fresh, as the moisture content makes them heavier and smoother so they fly further. The dry ones tend to disintegrate in your mouth and you're picking bits of impala dung from between your teeth for days. Look out for it in the Olympics in London this year. It certainly makes for better TV than synchronised swimming.