Monday, September 03, 2007

Animal of the Week -- September 03, 2007


I do hope that everyone has had a marvellous August, I know I have. So much has happened: floods, fires, new Harry Potter film and book, another series of Big Brother over, the baiji extinct then not extinct, but probably dead in the water whatever... It has been so very long, I am not sure I know how to do this anymore. Please forgive me if this is a little ropey, I am sure I shall be back up to speed next week.

Anyway, this week's wizard of the week is Venger from the classic TV series Dungeons and Dragons... Venger was a pasty-faced cross dresser who in an act of rebellion as a teenager filed his teeth and started wearing a cape. He never grew out of the goth phase.

Lording it over the evil and corruptible characters of The Realm, Venger repeatedly tried to trap, trick, crush, or magically imprison Hank, Diana, Presto, Eric, Bobby and the useless unsteady bint with the invisibility cloak to rest from them the gifts bestowed on them by Dungeon Master to help them navigate their way home. Venger was thwarted at every turn, which given that his foes were a bunch of kids who arrived from another dimension on a fairground ride who didn't know how to use their magical weapons and, in some cases, could barely stay upright for more than five minutes suggests to me that he had the wizarding skills of a teaspoon.

Venger's mortal enemy in The Realm was a five-headed dragon called Tiamat, named after a goddess of Babylonian mythology. Whenever the two squared up Venger would, almost without fail, flee in the knowledge that whatever artifice he could come up with was no match for Tiamat's powers of burning and freezing and speaking like Bea Arthur on helium.

Most of Venger's problems likely stem from the fact that his father was the walking nutsack, Dungeon Master. An interfering gnome-wizard whose main power was to appear and disappear when walking behind rocks, Dungeon Master was supposedly trying to help the kids find their way home and stop Venger getting hold of the magical gifts he gave them. Although given his purported wisdom, he should have realised that if they were ever going to get home, Bobby and his mates needed to ditch the bloody unicorn for a start.

Venger was the name of the car on the story on the sleeve of Kenickie's 1995 Skillex EP. So there we are, wizard of the week, Venger....

... what?

... animals?

... really?

... why would anyone do that?

A what? Oh, right, a zoologist, uh, I thought that was all a dream... ... OK... have this bum-headed monkey... Cacajao calvus (bald uakari). The name uakari is believed to be derived from an Amerindian word for Dutchman.

See you next week lovelies!


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