Monday, July 16, 2012

What Are The Odds?

Have you ever wondered if the television news readers wear anything on their bottom half? No? Maybe it's me. Maybe I'm just a piggy pervert, but I like to think that the men are wearing fishnet stockings, a suspender belt, high heels and a fluffy bunny tail, while the women wear wellington boots and a tutu. By imagining what is lurking behind the newsreaders desk it is possible to negate the bad news that they are reading from their auto-cue. Even if the grim faced newsreader is telling you that Mullah Omar has been elected President of the United States and that henceforth Washington DC will be know as Binladensville and that Disneyland will become a Taliban theme park where Micky will be forced to grow a beard, Minnie will have to don a burqua, and the most thrilling attraction will be the daily stoning to death of Snow White by the Seven Dwarfs after prayers, using a different adulterous Snow White every day of course.. As long as you can imagine the newsreader's odd dress code behind their desk, nothing seems too serious. I guess it's just an extension of being able to imagine your audience naked to alleviate nerves when you are giving a speech. My male staff tried this method once, and it worked quite well until question time. Then................
  "Okay, does anyone have any questions?........Yes, the lady in the front row with the really saggy boobs and grey pubic hair."
Of course if you are giving a speech to a group of nudists that won't work. You'll need to imagine yourself naked and your audience fully clothed.

America's next President?

Anyway, one of these kinkily dressed newsreaders recently told us that there have been five fatal attacks by great white sharks in the last ten months in the waters around the state of Western Australia and that the state government is keen to lift the animal's protection order, not to allow hunting, but to allow fishermen to catch them. The difference being what precisely? Fortunately the protection can't be lifted without consultation with the Federal government, so it is by no means a foregone conclusion that it will happen. On the face of it it seems like just another one of the knee jerk reactions that you humans appear to be addicted too. There is a very good reason that the great white is protected. Like other large sharks it has suffered a catastrophic collapse in numbers worldwide, partly due to human over fishing of their prey species and partly due to the number of large sharks being caught for their fins. The latter would be almost forgivable if the rest of the shark wasn't wasted. But no, you humans catch the shark, slice off it's valuable fin and then throw the shark back into the ocean - usually still alive, in pain and doomed to die horribly.

Greg Norman

Listen to this. Since 1791 there have been eighteen recorded deaths from shark attacks in Western Australian waters. I know what you're thinking, I can hear your brain whirring away, worrying your pretty little human heads that five of those deaths have occurred in the last ten months, but you have to take these figures as an average and certain years will be worse than others. It's still less than one death per decade. Given that Western Australia has a coastline 12,889 kilometres long and a population of two and half million people I think your odds are pretty good that your paddle at the local beach will not end in you being bitten in half by a five metre long shark, which admittedly would ruin your day out. Western Australia also has the fastest growing population of any state in Australia, which could also contribute to the recent spike in shark attacks. There are simply more people in the sea these days.

In any case you are far more likely to be mashed to mincemeat in a car accident.on the way to the beach than to become a tasty snack for a great white when you get there, so why doesn't some politician suggest culling a few cars. Hell's Bells! Even toasters kill more people than sharks worldwide - vicious brutes, toasters. My staff once found a crispy mouse in the bottom of theirs. It didn't stop them having breakfast though. Bee stings, lightning strikes, texting whilst driving, falling out of bed, deer, dogs, ants, American high school football, vending machines and obesity all kill many more people than sharks. So, when your local politician tells you that sharks are dangerous and should be removed from the protected species list, you can tell him that more lives would be saved by banning vending machines or limiting the height of beds.

Watch out! These things'll kill ya.

Finally I'd just like to offer some piggy advice for what it's worth. If you think the official odds of being killed by a shark are too risky at 300,000,000 to 1, then don't go in the ocean. By the way, the chances of being on a plane with a drunk pilot are 115 to 1. The chances of being killed in a plane crash are 355,318 to 1
(2 to 1 on Aeroflot). Now my male staff is worried that he'll be on a plane with a drunk pilot which crashes into the ocean, where he gets eaten by a shark.

(Odds courtesy of Casino Maze.)

I'm worried about my feet. The chances of being hit by something falling from an aircraft are only 10,000,000 to 1. Maybe it's time I started wearing steel capped boots.


  1. Oh Billy. My mum wears welly boots and a pink tutu all the time! Only kidding. Poor sharks.. when we're the ones going into their home!

  2. Just keep your Dad away from the fishnet stocking and high heels. Especially at work. Regarding sharks. When are humans going to learn to share the planet?