Right! You'd all better start behaving yourselves again because I'm back from deepest, darkest Africa and I've got my beady little eyes on you. Of course I travelled in spirit with my staff and I must say it's certainly much easier to travel in spirit than in person. There are no customs to worry about for a start and no security people wanting to pat down your fur to make sure you're don't have a pair of nail clippers in your your musk gland, not that any security guy with any sense would go within thirty feet of my male staff's musk gland. Yep, gone are the days when I used to have suffer the indignity of being shoved down the front of my male staff's trousers or up my female staff's blouse to be smuggled through airports. I can now go wherever I like, whenever I like and I don't even have to travel in comedy class with my staff. Being a deceased piggy definitely has its advantages. Seriously, I don't know why more people don't try it.
Incredibly there were very few life threatening incidents for my staff on this particular trip although one of the flights definitely had that potential thanks to a typical schoolboy error by my male staff. The last of the internal flights within South Africa was on a small jet which had a row of two seats on one side and a row of just one seat on the other. My staff opted to ask for seat in the row of one so that they could both have a window. My male staff had the front seat and my female staff had the seat behind him. It was only a forty five minute flight, but that gave my male staff amble time to consume at least four glasses of chardonnay and a dozen bags of peanuts, much to the chagrin of the single flight attendant who had to keep them coming, not to mention the other passengers, most of whom she didn't have time to serve due to the demands of my male staff.
Anyway, just before the pilot commenced his descent into Johannesburg my male staff decided that it might be nice to tickle my female staff's leg, so he pushed his left arm through the gap between his seat and the aircraft wall and groped around a bit until he found my female staff's leg, then while continuing to read his in-flight magazine (There was a fascinating and highly controversial article on the various types of carrot grown in South Africa.) he rolled up the leg of her jeans a few inches and began gently kneading her calf. He continued to do this until the plane had landed and come to a halt in its parking bay. The fasten seat belt sign blinked off and he let go of my female staff's leg, stood up, grabbed his bag from the overhead locker, then grabbed my female staff's bag. Turning to hand it to her he noticed that she was standing in the aisle a couple of rows back, while sitting on the seat behind him was a large, grinning African gentleman in a white fedora hat.
"Pretty good flight wasn't it." He said to my male staff, who suddenly turned first very pale and then a rather fetching shade of pink.
As soon as my staff were inside the terminal they had a fairly animated discussion on the importance of telling each other if they are going to swap seats with another passenger.
"How was I to know you were going to sexually assault a total stranger?" Asked my female staff. "The poor man asked if I'd mind swapping seats because he had very long legs and the seat behind you had a bit more legroom. I said "No problem" and we swapped. Had I been aware that you were going to start fondling him I would have warned him." And so it went on.........and on. Still at least it helped to pass the time on the twelve hour flight back to Australia.
Now then if you don't mind I'd like to say my threepence worth on the subject of Cecil the lion. While my staff were in Africa a certain Dr Walter Palmer - a dentist from Eden Prairie, Minnesota was busing shooting his bow and arrow at a large male lion which he and his white Zimbabwean guides had lured from the relative safety of Hwange National Park onto an adjacent hunting concession. His arrow wounded poor Cecil and enabled Dr Palmer and his pals to track him for a couple of days before they finally caught up with him and finished him of with a firearm.
Apart from the obvious barbarity of killing any animal in this way it was illegal to kill Cecil who was a collared research animal. He may not have known that, but his guides - the professional hunters certainly did, but apparently their greed got the better of them. Dr Palmer has apologised for killing Cecil, saying that had he known that the animal was a local favourite he wouldn't have shot him. Sadly the (not so) good doctor is missing the point. It may well be legal to shoot some animals, indeed many African nations welcome hunting concessions, (Botswana being the shining example of a country that does not allow hunting at all.) but that does not make it right, moral or humane.
If Dr Palmer is such a hunting enthusiast then he would certainly have known that lions are endangered. Across Africa their numbers have declined by about forty percent over the last two decades due to loss of habitat, conflict with human settlement and hunting. Despite the furore Cecil's disgraceful killing has caused I just can't see hunting being banned in other African nations, there is too much official corruption, two much money at stake, too much greed and too many mindless humans with a huge blood lust and tiny egos that need boosting at the expense of innocent creatures.
The saddest thing is that Dr Palmer has not only killed Cecil he has almost certainly slaughtered Cecil's cubs who will now be killed when one of Cecil's rivals takes over his old pride. The best we can hope for is that some people will take note of the outrage and anger aimed at Dr Palmer and be dissuaded from hunting themselves. Because lets face it, if you are killing animals for fun, not food you are without doubt an utter LOSER. And by the way, there are worse things than Dr Palmer's favoured form of hunting. "Canned hunting" for example. This involves paying a shipload of money to someone who breeds animals for the sole purpose of being killed for trophies or whatever such sickos want. Your chosen animal is then placed in a small enclosure so that escape is impossible and then you get to kill your animal with whatever weapon you choose - Rifle, bow and arrow, crossbow, uzi machine gun, hand gun, spear, rocket propelled grenade launcher, surface to air missile..........whatever. I guess if you really want value for money you could opt to use a pea shooter. I have just one question. How on earth does any human being involved in this industry sleep at night?
Jeepers! Uncal Billy is reelly on his high horse today isunt he. I'd like stay well owt of his way for a wile if I were yoo. Anyway, I just wanted to let yoo no that Uncal Billy's staff are okay after there trip to Afrikka. They had like the bestest thyme eva and wen they came back they went to this Krissmuss in July party at Uncal Geoff and Arnty Cath's howse witch is in sum littal outback villidge called Brisbane. Here in Orstraylya we have Krissmuss partys in July cos it's like two hot at real Krissmus and Santa won't come due to all the elf and safety regyoolayshuns. I eckspect yoo all remember Uncal Geoff from a nerlier blog wen I like peed on his lap and he like got the blame cos Arnty Cath thort Uncal Geoff was like two old to be kontinunt.
So anyway Uncal Mike and Arnty Robyn were at the party too and all the men drank kwite a lot of whine. Nobuddy seems kwite shore eggzackly how it happunnd but my male staff woak up the next mourning in the chikkin coop wearing nothing but a lyme green mankini. Uncal Mike wuz their too, but at leest he wuz fully drest. He wuz wearing a mullet wig tho, but the chikkens dint mind cos it looked better than wot wuz left of his reel hare.
Uncal Geoff dint seam to be uffected mutch at all. In facked he evun brought My male staff and Uncal Mike a cup of tee in the mourning wile they lay there among the fethas and chikkin poo. He was very cheerful ackchooly, shouting "Rise and shine evrywun." I thort it was very rood of my male staff and Uncal Mike to tell him to like "Go away and let us dye in piece."