In a world proctically teeming with assholes, particularly in the seat of government, as it were, it’s a breath of fresh air to find out about an animal that doesn’t have an asshole at all. No, not the face mite this time. The one that doesn’t poop until it dies and then disintegrates on your face along with a lifetime of backed-up poop? We were happier not knowing about that one.
This one is safely in the ocean, which is basically a giant toilet anyway. The warty comb jelly (a.k.a. Sea Walnut) isn’t even packing, anus-wise. He just punches one through when he needs it. The rest of the time it’s nowhere to be found. Perhaps this should not be surprising. The whole ocean is full of weird bloopy creatures that don’t even know how to assemble a proper spine and it’s no wonder their priorities are way out of whack.
Although, they might be on to something. Give them this: the standard ass is not always all it’s cracked up to be. Generally speaking the rest of the animal kingdom makes do, as it were, with a hole and associated sphincters, but the sad truth is you can’t absolutely count on the sphincters, especially as age creeps up and kicks you in the nethers. That’s why, pharmaceutically speaking, there is such a thing as “anal seepage.”
The warty comb jelly, on the other hand, takes in nutrition like everyone else and sends the extraneous bits down the gut, and then right before the grand exit, well: Houston? We have a problem. You’d think. But not for the wily warty comb jelly. He gets everything all lined up and then punches the poop canal into his outer envelope and suddenly there’s a hole and everything is taken care of, and then it heals back up. That’s as backed-up as he gets.
Fun extraneous fact though: the warty comb jelly has more than one exit plan. Everything comes in the front end and then there’s a fork in the road, and he can load up one side or another. Whichever branch of his poop apparatus he cares to evacuate, that’s the one he jams into his skin and rips himself a new one. He has not been observed, as yet, to operate both poop canals at once.
Which would be awesome. “Dropping a deuce” is just an expression with us, but what if Number Two really meant something?
But just because it hasn’t been observed doesn’t mean it never happens. In fact, that’s the other thing that’s interesting about this. People have looked at sea jellies before and drawn helpful pictures of them, and in all the pictures in the literature (“The Literature” is where Science is kept until it busts out), someone’s drawn in a little dot where the asshole orter be. And it took this one guy to have himself a look and notice that, actually, it wasn’t there. People see what they expect to see. And although most people never expect to see a warty comb jelly at all, at least in day-to-day life, when they do imagine the thing, they put a butthole on it. Which begs the question: what else don’t we know?
That is why it pays to become a scientist. We don’t know everything. Any one of us could have been the person to discover the warty comb jelly’s posterior peculiarity, but we didn’t. We’re just too danged busy.
That’s the lesson here. Don’t believe everything you think. Next time some asshole comes along and tells you what a horror show Socialism is, for instance, just tell him he doesn’t know everything, and ask him what he knows about warty comb jelly butts, and when he looks blank, say See? See? At least he’ll go away.
Part of the problem with the warty comb jelly is its name. It sounds like words just stuck together by a computer's random word generator. Which, come to think of it, may be exactly how species are named anymore. Maybe all the really good taxonomic terms have already been taken.
I think British people should name everything. The warty comb jelly should be Sir Pimplebottoms.
"proctically", absolute genius!
I liked "seat of government" better!
As I read "seat of government" I thought "anal seepage." Then I thought of the shortfall in funding and thought "tight-arsed."
I'm trying to figure out how they got from "warty comb jelly" to "Sea Walnut."
Maybe two different people. Like how we had Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus.
The world is full of assholes. The Sea Walnut is just doing its part to keep the numbers down.
Except that one number.
Your punning is getting pretty ferocious! Loved this one, but….when I got to the part about "a fork in the road, and he can load up one side or another", I had a minor attack of little-boy ADD. You see, I had a boyhood friend named Tom Tinsley, from Camp Lupton in Woodstock, Va. His mother was an exotic woman, who read things like "Valley of the Dolls", and drank Bourbon and knew how to pilot their 45-foot boat. She also drove a Jaguar 4-door sedan — black with a red leather interior. And the most fascinating thing in the world was that the Jaguar had **2 gas tanks**, one on either side of the car. (I guess you would have to have been a 14-year old boy to appreciate the coolness of this.) Anyway, when I got the point about the warty comb jelly having an internal fork in the road, and being able to load up either side…..well, my brain just had a flashback to that Jaguar with gas tanks on either flank. After a few minutes, I recovered, and was able to finish the article. Just thought I'd let you know how your writing affects us in all different sorts of ways…..
I live for comments like this.
Reminds me to ask if you’ve read Miss Jane by Brad Watson. And Ed was right. Even when you’re writing your most singular stuff, and this qualifies out the wazoo, I’m still reminded of other tangentially related things.
I have not. Should I?
It leapt to mind while I read this post. It’s awarded short fiction, but introduces an actual, anatomical anomaly, (she announced alliteratively).
It sounds super efficient to me. Colour me a little envious.
I wish Tater had that system. She's a "tail-up" kind of gal and I see more than I need to.
Elephant's Child is right! Very convenient, too.
*doink* PPPPPPPBBBBBTTT *zzzzip*
I loved the phrase "the standard ass is not always all it's cracked up to be" enough to have to stop to share it with my wife.
It's a good marriage.
"But not for the wily warty comb jelly" — a truly marvelous sentence! Now, how can I work it into conversation?
Oh, just jam it in there!
I'd never heard of the warty comb jelly. Now I wish I'd become a scientist so I could get busy discovering stuff that no one has ever heard of. Probably should have stayed at school, huh.
It's not too late and the world is your oyster! Don't study oysters. They're disgusting.
Unlike the rest of these fine commenters, who seem to be obsessed with the way the warty comb jelly pokes extrusion points in itself, I was struck by the fact that it doesn't even know how to assemble a proper spine. I know some people like that, myself included in some situations. Unlike the warty comb jelly I don't have to poke holes in myself for the… well, other… thing. I came equipped. I do appreciate the biology lessons though. How big is this creature? Are we talking head of a pin or the fish part of a fish 'n chips dinner with coleslaw and a cold bottle of Corona for four? Inquiring minds and all.