The following whimsical list highlights nature and stuff made from nature. “Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral” comes from a UK game tradition, so if you enjoy, I’ll take it as “Good show, Chap!” and if not, as “Humour?…Bollocks!” I didn’t try hard for a “most” superlative for each, as there are a lot of things on this planet, most of which I know nothing about. (We’re not dealing with graduating class numbers here. I think I was voted “Most Likely To Disregard What I Was Voted ‘Most Likely’ For.”) Consider these instead as “very much so’s,” but I thought it would be dorky and very much so irritating to keep repeating that.
First, to clarify the parameters:
Animal = Non-human creature. (Sorry, evolutionists!)
Vegetable = Plant, fungus or food derived from such.
Mineral = All other non-living material things or items made from these. I.e., not including conceptual ideas, whether real—such as happiness, or imagined—such as a certain NFC East team championship win since 1996. (Sorry, Cowboys fans!)
Vegetable: Venus Fly Trap.
Mineral: Any gadget that does something you didn’t want it to do (“mind of its own” situation).
Animal: Dragonflies – They can mate upside down, while flying. (And the males don’t get sleepy afterward because that would be problematic.)
Vegetable: Spicy, high fiber dishes (they cause the runs) or, if you are lactose intolerant, cheese.
Animal: Any cheetah that can also catch.
Animal: The Pleasing Fungus Beetle.
Vegetable: Tie between sweetbread and headcheese, for the same reason.
Mineral (actual minerals in this case): Three-way tie between Dickite, Fornacite, and Fukalite, obviously for the same reason.
Animal: Houseflies (that won’t land).
Vegetable: Stinging Nettle.
Mineral: Icy Hot (when errantly applied to treat jock itch).
Animal: The Axolotl – Looks like Pokemon Mudkip (basically a metamorphosis fail).
Mineral: People must think that the Devil and ominous giants work in mysterious ways, because a case could be made for a three-way tie between the Devil’s Tower, Giants Causeway, and the Gas Crater of Derweze, better known to tourists as “Gates of Hell.” But I can’t go for that, no can do. No sympathy for the Devil. So, I’m just going to choose the H2O molecule, which I know isn’t very funny but hey, it’s amazing when one looks into it.
Vegetable: Cercis canadensis, “The Rising Sun Eastern Redbud” – Its repeating leaves in decreasing color saturation have the effect that you are looking at a regular tree while on LSD. Or that the tree is in one of those early video effects from an 80s music video.
Animal: Border Collie.
Vegetable: Roadside sunflower.
Thumbs-up emoji Sculpture of two hands with thumbs up.
Animal: Sea otters (in hair number); for hair length, a tie between musk oxen and a donkey with awesome dreadlocks that I once saw on the Internet.
Vegetable: “Hairy poop mold” (Phycomyces blakesleyanus) Sick! (In a bad way).
Mineral: Mesolite (picture a white-haired Pomeranian dog with almost no head, charged up on static electricity).
If I had to choose one on a desert island (or more properly, a deserted island, desert or tropical, since “desert island” is really an archaic form of “deserted island,” one in which no people dwell)…
Animal: Golden Retriever – For companionship, not to eat unless absolutely necessary.
Mineral: Humorous book with, surprisingly, an informative chapter about how to make rope and tie knots.
Hard (as in resisting weight or pressure)…
Animal: Pangolin (frightened into ball especially).
Vegetable: A tie between Grape Nuts cereal and anything straight out of the freezer.
Hard (as in difficult)…
Mineral: Physical puzzles such as “Man the Torpedo” or “The Hanayama Nutcase,” listed at this whatnerd.com link. If there’s somebody you do not care much for, who likes a challenge and has time on their hands, consider these your holiday gift ideas.
Animal: Adult wild boar (to tame), eel (to catch barehanded), porcupine (to catch barehanded without incurring damage), blue whale (to lift), squirrel (to have a focused conversion with).
Vegetable: Wasabi (to grow commercially), durian (to open, and to eat if you can smell), tie between rotten egg and rotten tomato (to improve the reputation of).
Prolific (in a good way)…
Mineral: Grains of sand (on beaches in particular).
Animal: Beneficial bacteria (probiotics), E. coli (when they stay in their lane).
Prolific (in a bad way)…
Mineral: Dust (on indoor surfaces in particular).
Vegetable: “Piss elm.”
Animal: Pathogenic bacteria, beneficial bacteria (when too full of themselves).
Copyright © 2022 Richard Berndt – All Rights Reserved.
[Author’s Note: I recommend reading my loose inspiration for this bit, “Optimist, Pessimist, Contortionist” in Demetri Martin’s This Is A Book.]