"Animals Behaving Worse"


I'm not much of a fan of nature programs, and regrettably, Animals Behaving Worse did not erect my flagging interest. In fact, I only made it through two of the program's segments (crazy squirrels steal yellow ribbons! mischievous foxes steal newspapers!) before slinking back to reruns of The Office on "BBC America." I'm such a bad PBS Member, and I will own that.

To be fair, it's not this particular show's fault. I think I'm just annoyed, on principal, by shows that feature people following animals around with cameras. I mean, I'd hate it if the animals did that to me.

I suspect that if I'd stayed tuned, I would have learned how human encroachment into wildlife areas has led to a modern race of super-angry grizzlies, ants that breathe battery acid, and cunning labradoodles who quietly switch the decaf pot at your local Denny's — as well as, of course, those increasingly evolved, boat-entering stingrays that we read about so often in today's headlines. Fascinating, all.

Alas, the two segments I did watch illustrated a lively buddhist lesson in human nature; many Americans will assume that they are being menaced by their neighbors unless someone can show them it's just some random animal trying to build a house out of stuff they found in the yard. Come to think of it, that's actually a pretty good lesson, so maybe you should at least go watch those two segments. Go ahead. I will wait for you back here.

Animals Behaving Worse Also, in fairness, I'm not saying that every nature documentary should have lots of sped-up and backward footage and be scored to Boots Randolph's classic "Yakety Sax," but it certainly couldn't hurt to give it a try. Just something to think about.

And, finally, just be aware, documentary fans: it's only a matter of time before these animals will have all the tools they need to make their own PBS documentaries — perhaps ones in which you are clearly shown stealing your neighbor's newspaper or his yellow ribbon. So, when the ants, labradoodles, and stingrays start following you around with a camera crew — trying to explain your behavior in their terms —don't act all stuck-up, like you didn't have it coming.

These animals are mad, but they are clearly not stupid.


Thanks for the blog. I'll keep your notes in mind for the next go-around.


James Donald

P.S.- The title is somewhat misleading. The problem is human encroachment, not the mischievous behavior of our furry and feathered friends. If you had gotten by the first half of the show (or even the first 7min42sec), you might have learned that. :->

P.P.S.- And yes, these animals are clearly not stupid.

Thanks for the response, James. And for your sense of humor about the piece.

FWIW, “Yakety Sax” is available on the iTunes Store, if you want to give it a shot.

As I stand here, putting in mindless hours at my second job in customer service, I wanted to say thank you. Your blog has brought a chuckle during a very quiet evening. Keep the stories coming. Your kind of humor brings joy to my day.

Merlin, I'm the managing editor at The Collegiate and Gocollegiate.com. I like your style and would be interested in you contributing. Check out site out.

Merlin, Thank You! I live in rural southwest PA and I'm tired of people killing deer population or any animal claiming 'to thin out the numbers'. We've cut down their habitation/homes and food supply.

How would humans like it if they go around shooting us and planting our heads on their trees as trophies. Now I see why The Lord cleared the earth the first time by flood..Next time, coming soon to your neighborhood, His strange act of bringing fire. Oh make sure He's coming from the Eastern sky or you've been fooled.


You'll be making your own show if your cigars start disappearing for no particular explainable reason. I'm sure I would sign up for the feed and be a fan of "Aminals that Smoke".

My dog bit my son on his face.

My dog bit my son on his face.

I, for one, welcome our new squirrel overlords.

C'mon Merlin, all they have to do is give some of our chimpanzee brothers some index cards and binders and film what they do with it and you will be riveted for hours!

You are a terrible PBS member,and do not appreciate the great efforts of PBS to provide the best programs of interest.
Please do what the Bears do, and go into Hibernation ......... N

I'm glad majoring in English has taught me to recognize sarcasm.

they are realy nice but you stupid hates them

Post a comment

Ground rules for posting comments:

  1. No profanity or personal attacks.
  2. Please comment on the subject of the blog post itself.
  3. If you do not follow these rules, we will remove your post. Keep it civil, folks!