Ethel’s morning showdown
he band of rough taxonomists was closing in. A cool wind kicked up the dust and caused a few to take teir glasses off. but not enough to make a change.
Ethel looked as they slowly approached. The street facing the bar was empty. Everyone was hiding. But she could see that she won’t make an easy escape. There were just too many.
'we just want to talk' called out the leader.
'yeah, aren't you tired of being in the same order as those ant-eaters and sloths?' asked another, while slowly lowering his hand to holster.
'stop right there, buddy!' said Ethel the aardvark , 'you guys are hacks and one more move and I'll blow you all , '
'we just want to talk' said another taxonomist, repeating what was aleady said. It always annoyed Ethel that people repeated things like that.
'yeah, talk, every time an aardvark trusts someone like you bozos, he winds up stuffed in a museum , or in a different phylum or something'
'we will not put you in a different phylum! nobody is arguing that you are a vertebrate, or even a mammal. '
'we just need to run a few tests. '
'you'll test my bullets if you try' said Ethel and drew.
'look, right now we are confused about how to classify you..'
'that's not my problem. go classify yourself, you geek. '
'look, I'll explain, morphologically speaking, you seem to be related to anteaters and sloths. maybe even armadillos '
'You're mama's related to an armadillo, show some respect, I'm a quantity surveyor, and i don't plan on staying here wasting time, so make like a good little eggheads and skedaddle, before i start shooting.'
'we're not moving, we need to compare your vertebrate, maybe get an..'
'shut it Larry!' said the leader of the gang.
'its just a tiny prick, get some DNA, it's all it takes. '
but Ethel did not believe him. In a quick second, she drew her six-shot and plugged Larry right between the eyes. She never missed.
'remarkable! ' said one taxonomist 'did you see the reflexes on that?'
Ethel shot him next.
'it's sad you can't listen to reason' said the leader, as a tumbleweed passed between the gang and her. 'Ok, Bob! bring in the boy.' he called.
and out of the saloon came Bob, holding a gun to the forehead of a young pangolin.
'if you don't come in peacefully, Bob here is going to classify the hell out of that kid, see if his dentition matches the other Xenarthrans, then, we'll go after the others, the shrew, the hyrax, they'll get it. i mean we got them in clades and suborders already. so don't need no live specimens,'
'but we decided that pangolins are not Xenarthrans' interjected another ruffian,
'look at the dentition pattern, '
'shut it, Jarrett!' commanded the leader.
'all I'm saying is that we need to be exact'
'oh, can it Jarret! close your mouth, or I’ll make sure you'll never get no research grants ever again' the leader barked.
'looks to me like you can't get even a consensus with your own men. ' said Ethel 'if you let the boy go, I won't have to kill all of you. hear that , guys?! anyone that's wish to leave can just do that. drop your guns and leave. make like a tree and run.'
'oh, screw this!' said Jarrett, he dropped his gun on the dusty ground and began to walk away, but was surreptitiously shot in the back by the leader 'that goes to all of you!’ he announced to the other scientists. ’no one leaves! now, Ethel, we have ourselves a taxonomic standoff. '
'then what d'you suggest?'
'We just need to ascertain your phylogenic rank, and relations with other clades. right now, we have you in what we call a wastebasket superorder, called Afrotheria, along with elephants and shrews. but this is inconclusive. And i just
HATE being inconclusive. we used to have you aardvarks in the superorder Edentata, '
'or even as a Ptolmeuidants, if you consider them as a separate super order' added another thug.
'shut your mouth, Roger! no one buys your bullshit Holocene thesis.' all around grunts of agreement.
'So it's up to you. either the boy dies or you let us run some tests. you could be a Xanartha, or an Afrotheria, hell, you could even be a placental for all i care...'
'OR SHE COULD BE A FRENCH IMPRESSIONIST!' they all heard, the remark coming from down the street. but it was well too slow to react. Bob, who was holding the pangolin, was shot first, square in the head, the look of surprise on his face as he fell, was somehow amusing to Ethel.
'oh no!! it's No-Time Toulouse!! ' cried the contentious Roger, and made a run for it only to be gunned down.
'run , kid!' commanded the artist, as he shot another taxonomist. Ethel did not hesitate, and between her and the avant-garde painter they drove the desperate taxonomists to extinction.
'what a shocking waste of human life' remarked Toulouse, when the dust settled.
'well I'm off.. emm yeah.. I have No taaaaime to looze' and he walked in to the saloon to make hurried sketches of the ladies therein.
and so Ethel, began her day, of quantity surveying
Aardvark LLC, your go-to for Quantity Surveying!
Ethel the Aardvark
Land Surveyor PhD. P.L.S. LEED
Project Experience: Anthills, Termite Nests, Mole Holes, Honeybee Hives, Meerkat Manors
Ethel is a professional, LEED certified Land Surveyor specializing in forest, desert, and grassland habitats with prior experience in Zoo Tycoon. Earning her Masters Degree in Land Surveying from Penn State Beaver and her Post Doctorate in Domestic Enclosure, Ethel’s hard nose and gift of tongue has proven to be an invaluable resource to every project.