The 4,273rd annual Animal Awards ceremonial festivity was held last night deep in the Inyo National Forest, and some of the results were quite surprising.
Host “Brouhaha” (the former Pam Dawber) was on her game from the start, keeping the face past, pulling no punches in calling out certain members of the academy for their atavistic political views and disgusting table manners, yet managing to keep the mood light and avoid crossing the line that would have meant certain death, career or otherwise.
In the category of Best Elk, an elk from Idaho with an unpronounceable / untranscribable name took advantage of a vote split between the two favorites to capture the award, a huge boost to the career of this relative unknown in a year many considered particularly strong for the elk.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to the tufted titmouse, for its sustained contribution to the field of being a small bird flitting about.
For the fourth straight year, the award for Funniest Animal Home Video went to a human, the announcement sending the audience into a wild but by-now-all-too-familiar pandemonium. Fortunately the winner was not in attendance, apparently aware of the fate of last year’s winner, who showed up to claim the prize only to be torn to pieces by the furious runners-up, video of which was entered in this year’s competition by some snarky aardvarks.
Animal Architect of the Year went to the Tree Pig, still the only species of pig to live year-round in trees, for its innovative use of materials and incorporation of Bauhaus elements into a rich tapestry celebrating 2500 years of tree pig architecture history.
And now, the award you’ve all been wailing for, the award for this year’s King of the Jungle Award. And the nominees are: the Gorilla, for his role as a giant ape who is practically human, stronger than anything in the jungle and preyed upon by none; the Flesh-eating Fire Ant, relentless in its multitudes and able to spew fire from its thorax; the Lion, a traditional favorite in this category yet a bit of an underdog this year due to the growing movement to disqualify it because, uh, lions don’t live in jungles; the Reticulated Python, slowly, inexorably strangling any living thing it stumbles upon; and the African Forest Elephant, biggest guy there, yields to no living thing, etc. Wow this is very exciting, a little nervous here, certainly don’t want to be set upon, mauled, or otherwise torn to pieces like, well like most of the other presenters here this evening …Ladies and gentlemen, the winner is: (o my god) the Reticulated Python!