Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Piranha Peril

You often hear tales of explorers in the Amazon walking into the middle of a stream or river and suddenly getting eaten alive by a shoal of piranha fish. Evidently, they can reduce a man (and, presumably, a woman) to virtually nothing in under three minutes.

The way the explorers tell it, this is supposed to impress people or fill them with dread, or something, implying that the job of exploring is somehow hazardous or glamorous, instead of the glorified country hike that it actually is.

Well I, personally, couldn’t give a fuck. The thing is, a shoal of piranha must comprise at least a couple of hundred individual fish, so it’s hardly surprising that it takes them so little time, is it? What the explorers don’t tell you, of course, because it doesn’t sound nearly so dramatic, is that one fish can do the job just as well. It simply takes a bit longer. What happens is that it attaches itself to some extremity – your finger or toe, for example – and then gradually works its way up. By the end of the week you’re equally as eaten as if a whole shoal had done it.

Nevertheless, thanks to the explorers’ tall stories, being eaten by piranha still retains a certain social cachet. Far more so than, say, being chewed up by dogs or gnawed to death by rats, anyway.

It occurs to me therefore, that people who want to commit suicide with a degree of finesse and who aren’t particularly bothered by time constraints might consider using a piranha. You wouldn’t have to go all the way to South America, either. You could simply buy one in a pet shop, put it in a goldfish bowl, and attach the ensemble to your arse. An advantage of this exit method is that, at any stage, you can always phone up the Samaritans and tell them what you’ve done, and then they’ve got plenty of time to talk you out of it.

Then again, if you are the sort of person who's going to walk around all day with a fish chewing on his arse, even the Samaritans would probably advise you just to get on with it and stop wasting their time. Some people don't deserve a second chance.


Anonymous said...

Or get a very hungry gerbil.It would chew your arse off eventually

Joe Slavko said...

A gerbil lacks the necessary panache, I feel.

Anonymous said...

An agouti?Panache?Peacock feathers.The first crests were panaches.In heraldry.