Not to minimize the plight of people who've been chewed by otters, but it's one of those things that makes you stop and think: It's unexpected. It's like hearing that people are getting getting atomic wedgies from chipmunks. Another attack happened last weekend up in Aitkin, and that's three attacks so far in Minnesota. Not enough to replace "Shark Week" with "Otter Summer" on TV, but still bizarre. What's the reason?
Turns out we taste like chicken.
We have gotten too close to the Treasure of the Ancient Ones, a buried cache of untold riches that has been guarded for centuries by an elite corps of otters, willing to give their lives to protect the wealth of their civilization. Which turns out to be fishbones, but really neat-looking fishbones. Hard to convince them we're not interested.
They're getting bad advice from a consultant. "Otters are polling really low. It's not that your negatives are high; you just don't have many positives. You had that book, what, 'Ring of Bright Water' -- that was pro-otter, sure, but that was in the '60s. Now we can do several things. There's rebranding -- you're not otters, you're seal ferrets! Or you can start biting people. They'll start treating you with respect."
Otter client: "Has this worked for anyone else?"
Consultant: "Hey, I've worked with Chinese ladybugs and Asian carp; who was talking about them before the bugs starting biting and the carp flew up and hit people in the face? I know my business."
Otters have been biting people for years, but we always thought it was, like, skeeters with scuba, or something. No one ever suspects otters of anything. You come out of Target, see a ding in your car door, do you think: Damned otters? Never.
Two words: water rabies. You can't tell because the foam around their mouths washes right off.
We're told not to worry: You've a better chance of running into a bear or a lion. Somehow this is not a reassurance. Especially if the bear's in a powerboat, and he's coming straight at you. With a lion behind on skis. That's the point where you wish it was just otters.
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