Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dino-soar Award

I was browsing through what I thought was my Dad's old organic chemistry text book the other day. At the risk of violating my 5th Amendment rights, I noticed that the book was stamped "Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh" with the date 10 Dec 1951 stamped on the title page, either indicating the day the book was removed from circulation, or its last official check out date, making it over 58 years overdue. Hopefully, it's the former rather than the latter.

Tucked inside the book was a typewritten poem, composed either by my father, or someone who knew that his nickname was "Nook", entitled "Mammal Survey Song", referring to the Carnegie Museum's Pennsylvania Mammal Survey:

Francis, the talking human being
Nicknamed "Nook" in years gone back
A scholar, a doctor and a statesman
All agree he's slightly off his track.

Our orders come down from higher channels
But all of them we skillfully avoid
We really take our orders from our hero
That colorful swashbuckling Dr. Lloyd.

You numbered the jaw of the Sorex
You say it is a task that's very slow
Why that's not the jaw of a Sorex
I clipped that fingernail a week ago.

Why don't you turn in your hours
So we can see what goes into your pay
The months almost up, you should have told us
Just what you did tomorrow yesterday.

Microtus, Myotis, Cryptotis
Lepus, Lupus, Lutra too
Castor, Ochrogaster, oh disaster
Blarina brevicauda, that's a shrew?

When things get all in confusion
We send an SOS for Neil
The master mind of the Survey
Who looks like he could use another meal.

Chief I-Shot-the-Fox of Dauphin County
Slew sixty-four rabbits in a year
Now he's a lowly Joe College
A raccoon coat, a bottle, and a cheer.

We've only one thing to request you
Though this Survey has made us all rich men
Now that we've finally ceased firing
Please don't start the god damned thing again.

"Francis the talking human", was an obscure reference to Mr. Ed the talking horse's obscure cousin, Francis the talking mule.

Presumably, "mastermind Neil", referred to above, was Neil D. Richmond, who published a paper, Ecology and distribution of the shrew Sorex dispar in Pennsylvania.

I believe "Dr. Lloyd" is Dr. Albert C. Lloyd. Quite annoyingly, my Dad's name was Stalinistically purged from the rather comprehensive list of former Carnegie Museum staffers maintained by the museum archivists. This could possibly be due to the fact that my Dad allegedly threw a drunken frat party in the museum after hours and allegedly dressed up the dinosaurs in various silly outfits during this alleged Bacchanalia for his fellow Pitt Panthers (allegedly).

HOWEVER, this seems patently unfair. Whilst exiting my college's library, my eye caught a book entitled: Dinosaurs of Distinction . It appears that Pittsburgh copy-catted Chicago's idea of public art fiberglass cows, but replaced cows with dinosaurs, as all right-thinking people should. These Dinomite Days, replete with dinosaurs dressed up in silly outfits, received the official imprimatur of the Carnegie Museum! Hence, it appears that my father was simply a prescient man ahead of his time, as illustrated by the Fredosaurus Rex Friday XIII:

This cathartic release is all a prelude to the primary point of this post, which is to answer the IMAO bleg for gratuitous awards. In honor of IMAO's continued support of scientific & engineering research:
"As you all know, the challenges of today’s military requires dinosaurs with rocket launchers on them."

I have created, with my mad PowerPoint skillz, the official Dino-Soar AwardTM & conferred this award upon the aforementioned IMAO:


  1. Give yourself a little credit, it's not yucky! Yours is the only rocket equipped 'saur yet to also be wielding a ray gun. It kind of looks like a tricked-out Browning Hi-Power or a CZ-75. Either way, quite cool.

  2. Merci beaucoup, you're too kind. I just focused on tracing the dinosaur's back when I cut & pasted in order to attach his rocket pack & forgot that I'd have to paste him onto a background. I was too lazy to redo everything, so I just ended up with this kludgy mess.

  3. Oh, I get it now. After I comment on one version of the award you change it so my comments look like nonsense. If you keep that up, I'll be forced to cancel my subscription and put a stop-payment order on all those checks I sent you.

  4. Mea culpa...I replaced his original ray gun with a Star Trekish piece.