All around, the battles of natural selection are playing out in an exquisite dance, visible for anyone able to tune into the rhythms of nature. Species fight each other over food and mates, they fight the waste products of an industrialized human civilization, and they fight to make the next wave of evolution. Life as an animal is merciless, unjust, but the battle for survival is continuous, unceasing through birth and death, the endless miracle of an Elton John song. Hakuna matata.
I am unemployed. The other day, I laid out naked in my parents' backyard, enjoying the warm weather and the sound of a pair of ducks fucking in our murky, green pool. I did not put on sunblock, choosing instead to chance the ultraviolet rays of the sun burning my pale skin into a future state of melanoma. As I lay there on a Marlboro promotional beach towel, I did not have to fear natural predators, and, safe at the top of the food chain, my only fears were that of a far-off skin cancer, or a pervy neighbor looking over the fence. I listened to a Walkman, ass naked in the yard, free to think about these greater battles taking place somewhere in our ecosystem, and Darwinistic truths began to reveal themselves through my headphones.
by Hall and Oates
She'll only come out at night
The lean and hungry type
Nothing is new, I've seen her here before
Watching and waiting
Ooh, she's sittin' with you but her eyes are on the door
So many have paid to see
What you think you're gettin' for free
The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar
Money's the matter
If you're in it for love, you ain't gonna get too far
(Oh-oh, here she comes) Watch out boy she'll chew you up
(Oh-oh, here she comes) She's a maneater
I wouldn't if I were you
I know what she can do
She's deadly man, she could really rip your world apart
Mind over matter
Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart
The Maneater described in the Hall and Oates zoological classic of the same name at first appears to be some sort of exceptionally sinewy, starving creature, watching and waiting before she strikes out at her prey. My best guess would be an eel, lurking in the eternal nighttime of the deep sea, occasionally shooting off sparks of neon porno electricity while her man-meal is being digested. We are told she is “wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar.” She is, quite clearly, a feline, but if she is wild, why is she starving? And where is the supply of man-meals coming from? If “money's the matter,” then perhaps this is one of those strange games rich people play with their money, a game farm of exotic starving wildlife where people like Charlton Heston run around with Uzis, taking out endangered species, shooting bald eagles to ribbons as they fly overhead, hunting panthers to compensate for feelings of sexual inadequacy.
In my imagination, the once-beautiful Maneater hides in the kudzu. Her ribs are showing; her stomach growls. It's been three days since she has ripped someone's world apart, and she sees Ted Nugent in the bramble, wearing a camouflage jumpsuit, whistling “Stranglehold” in the soft breeze. She enjoys his line of work, even owns a few Amboy Dukes records, but this is a game of mind over matter, and she has no choice but to sneak up and go double live gonzo on him.
Ted doesn't feel a thing once she snaps his neck. She drags him into a clearing, eating him like a felled gazelle, eyes on the door, watching and waiting for the next would-be hunter.
Deadliness Quotient: 5 (out of a possible 5). They say the beast is in the heart, and they ain't lying.
“Animal (F*** Like a Beast)”
I got pictures of naked ladies
Lying on their beds
I whiff that smell and sweet convulsion
Starts a-swelling inside my head
I'm making artificial lovers for free
I start to howl; I'm in heat
I moan and growl and the hunt drives me crazy
I f*** like a Beast
I come round, round I come feel your love
Tie you down, down I come steal your love
I'm on the prowl and I watch you closely
I lie waiting for you
I'm the wolf with the sheepskins clothing
I lick my chops and your tasting good
I do whatever i want to, to ya
I'll nail your ass to the sheets
A pelvic thrust and the sweat starts to sting ya
I f*** like a beast
Come ride, savage seduction
Ride, ride, ride
A few years ago, I went to a Sci-fi convention where there was a plushie-furry con-FUR-ence at night. At the urging of my friends, I went in a full head-to-toe dogsuit. I took a seat in the back, lead by my friend Al!sha, and through the one eyehole I could see out of, I noticed that A) aside from a few big girls in cat-ears, no one else was dressed up, and B) the person hosting the furry get-together was someone who went to my high school. I was not friends with him and I don't know how he got my number, but for several years after graduation, he would call my parents' house every six months to casually ask if I was dating anyone.
When I entered the lecture hall, the presence of the creepy, giant, sad-eyed anonymous hound in the back caused a bit of a stir. Trying to re-wrangle the attention back to the cause at hand, the leader of the group said, “Uh, we were, uh, just about to get to our Q & A. Does anyone have any questions before the meet-n-greet?”
I raised my hand.
“Uh, you in the back,” said High School Perv, pointing in my direction. I had the attention of an entire lecture hall of trenchcoated anime cat-people.
“Ahem. Yes.” I paused, gripping Al!sha's hand a little tighter. “WHO HERE WANTS TO FUCK ME?!”
Slowly, the hands went up.
“What do you look like under the dogsuit?” someone asked. I looked at Al!sha through my one eyehole. Though I could not see myself, I felt my fear reflect in her eyes as we both realized we were in danger of being gang-banged by two-hundred sweaty animal-lovers with hairline acne and rainbow jelly bracelets.
At first, it seems like W.A.S.P.'s headbanging anthem is about the glory of survival and procreation for the good of the species. But upon closer listening, the truth comes out, and it is obvious that this song is not about animals at all, but people in animal costumes. The point of the plushie-furry romantic interaction is to “fuck like a beast,” and this person has even gone so far as to double-dog-furry and wear two suits: they are a wolf with the sheepskins clothing. That is the ultimate turn-on for someone into dressing up like animals and doing it, akin to being a naughty nurse and a French maid all at once. They are predator and prey as these two fantasies come alive. The line, “a pelvic thrust and the sweat starts to sting ya,” is the only indication as to what kingdom the paramour in the story may be from. My best guess is a jellyfish or scorpion, two seemingly unsexy creatures, and if that is the case, it seems like the one doing the fantasizing is probably into punishment and domination. I could be wrong, because, like most furries, I am sure this person is not getting laid at all. They are sitting in their childhood bedroom of their mom's house, looking at pictures of naked foxes with porn boobs and wanting, coy, Geisha-looks on their faces, spread eagle and dreaming of the one who will nail their ass to the sheets. The opening lines solidify this theory, and the rest of the song, however rocking it may be, loses credibility under this lens. The final shouted, fist-pumping lines are “Come ride, savage seduction/ Ride, ride, ride.” This appears to be a reference to the brand of condoms sold only at dollar stores and shady gas stations, the kind I have often looked at while wondering what kind of person would risk the safety of their genitals by wrapping them in Savage Seduction. I guess this is the answer.
Deadliness Quotient: 0. I fear the Animal in this song about as much as I would fear having my ass kicked at a Dance Dance Revolution contest.
In conclusion, the Animal will outlive the Maneater, working in the projection room of a movie theater, being dropped off by his overweight mother in a beat-up car with a sun-bleached Garfield suctioned to the back. He will do this every day, jerking off in the darkness to the newest Pixar movie until the moment he can cash in his 401K or inherit his childhood home. Maneater will survive famine and the elements before she eventually climbs the fence of the park. She will prowl a suburban neighborhood for a week, eating birds and lapdogs before she mauls a child on the way home from school, and is shot out of a tree by local law enforcement. The Animal will indeed outlive Maneater, but it is the quality of life and the glory of its end that will ultimately determine that the Maneater is of the stronger species.