Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monkeys and Maras and Deer, Oh My!

You learn things when you travel. You may learn that the oldest rum distillery in the world doesn't necessarily make the best rum in the world. You learn that the rum you get in the islands has 3% more alcohol than the rum that's shipped to the States. You learn that dark rum is actually aged in used bourbon casks, which appeals to a bourbon-lover like myself. You learn a lot about rum. You sample the rum and then you don't really care any more.

You learn that Barbados, which produces tons of sugar, has contracts with European countries to export X tons of that sugar annually. If there's a bad year, crop-wise, they may end up exporting so much sugar in order to fulfill their contracts that they don't have enough for their own use, so one of the largest sugar-producing countries in the world ends up importing sugar from other countries.

Then you learn stuff that might actually be interesting. As mentioned over in this article, you learn that monkeys in Barbados are green.



They're not kelly green or avocado green or OD green or even Green Canary green, but they do certainly have a green cast to their fur.

If green monkeys don't convince you that you're in a fantasy land, check out this deer:



Is that weird or what? It's a real deer. Honest. I saw it. I took that photo.

But you start to feel like you're in The Neverending Story or The Princess Bride when you're busily snapping pics of green monkeys and weird deer; your wife pokes you and rather shakily says, "Um.... look behind you;" and your immediate reaction is "whatinthehellisTHAT?"



I took these pictures so you'd all know that it wasn't the rum talking. This is a mara. They're rodents, about 18 inches to 2 feet tall. I have to say that I've been watching nature shows all my life, I've worked with wild animals, and I'd never heard of a mara or seen anything quite like this. It's sort of a kangaroo-bunny-deer-mule looking animal. In true fantasy-movie fashion, they have weirdnesses like three toes on their back feet and four on the front. They can run 18 MPH and are related to guinea pigs.





We went to see the monkeys but admit it, you just gotta love this face:



Apparently they make pretty good pets if you get them when they're young, if you don't mind the idea of 2-foot, 25-pound rodent wandering around your house. Heck, some of you may have that situation right now and not even realize it.

You would not believe how long I sat here and tried to come up with some setup in which you would have a pair of maras as pets, since you got them young they'd be orphans, and this would allow you to sing, "Two maras, two maras, I love ya, two maras...". I even figured you could name one of them Annie.

But then I realized I'd just have to apologize for it.

15 comments:

lacochran said...

Where information about rum may not be that interesting, it may just save your life one day. Must do more research...

Gilahi said...

la - Yeah, and I need to do some cross referencing with tequila when I'm in Mexico.

fiona said...

Sung like the virtuoso we know you are!

wv -cattedia- why the Italian pet lover bought a Mara! ( because his cattedia)

D.C. Confidential / Janet Kincaid said...

Two maras?! And one named Annie?! Oh dear God. Dude, that is the rum talking.

Welcome back! I think I'm in the mood for a run to Krispy Kreme...

P.S. Word verification: fleaste. Any chance maras have those?

Gilahi said...

fiona - It's a hard-knock life for us!

DC - Let's do it! I promise not to sing.

D.C. Confidential / Janet Kincaid said...

Hey, I'm good for a donut run--or any other kind of food--at any time. (See my email as reference.)

Melissa B. said...

That mara could very well be a cross between the green monkey and the weird deer, huh? And thanks for clarifying one point...I always wondered why I tend to get more tanked in the islands. I thought it was the sun talking!

Gilahi said...

DC - Homer Simpson's got nothing on us.

Melissa - Wouldn't that be a Meer? Or a Donkey. I dunno about you, but I tend to get tanked in the islands because, well, I'm in the islands.

Mike said...

When the Mara invasive species population becomes out of control, we'll know who to blame.

Gilahi said...

Mike - You've obviously never tried my recipe Mara Piccata.

Melissa B. said...

BTW, I'm celebrating One Year in the Blogosphere with a special 2-day Sx3 today and tomorrow. The winner gets a $50 Tar-Jay Gift Card. Please say you'll play!

LiLu said...

"Apparently they make pretty good pets if you get them when they're young, if you don't mind the idea of 2-foot, 25-pound rodent wandering around your house."

Omg... I am officially on the hunt. If I get it when it's small, B won't know how big it gets til it's too late! BWA HAHAHA!

And thanks for coming out last night- I had a blast!

Gilahi said...

LiLu - I think you can pick one up at your local Maras R Us store.

We had a great time last night too! I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with B as well as the other folks there.

Washington Cube said...

Name them Maracus. Use them as percussion tools. Sing Harry Belafonte's Calypso "Jump Up Dee Line."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpNk860pTO4

Gilahi said...

Cube - I gotta give you credit. After the grief I got about my "Two maras" song, it took real guts for you to post "maracus". Thanks.

 
Add to Technorati Favorites