Bad Examples

Major League Baseball players are setting a bad example for insects.
It’s true. Professional cricket fighters in China have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs on their fighting crickets.
A good fighting cricket can sell for thousands of dollars in China. The cricket impresarios project close-up film of the action onto big screens for the crowd, which bets beaucoup renminbi on who’s the baddest cricket.
The performance-enhancing drugs slow down the vibration of the male cricket’s stridulating membranes – control yourself, please – to make its sexual call lower-pitched, which, I guess, is more appealing to the lady crickets.
This is all true.
The Association For Cricket Fighting organizes the fights in Beijing. Champion fighting crickets get a new female cricket every day, though it is unclear to me whether this is in the nature of a reward, or if it’s to keep the boy cricket in fighting shape.
Both, maybe.
Three years ago, the Chinese Cricket Police busted 115 illegal cricket punters from Hong Kong, Macau and Guangzhou in a single raid on Kowloon.
According to the South China Morning Post, cricket fighting “can be traced back to the Tang dynasty of 618-907, and had long been confined to aristocrats, senior officials and wealthy merchants. Winning brought honor while losing meant shame.”
Police seized 200 crickets in the Kowloon raid, but that barely made a dent I the cricket fans’ insatiable need for more, bigger and better cricket fights.
Shows what happens when you let the riff-raff into an honorable profession.
And speaking of bad examples, who is more at fault – China or the United States – in this matter of counterfeit walrus penises? Some Chinese men seem to have a fascination with the powdered penises of certain mammals, including walruses and tigers, which the humans eat for the same reasons that cricket fighters dope their crickets.
Powdered walrus penis, for reasons that escape me, is supposed to be more efficacious than other powdered penises, so naturally, Chinese men, released from the chains of communism into the Iron Maiden of capitalism, are selling counterfeit walrus penis as the real McCoy.
Now the question is, who is more to blame: the Chinese, for counterfeiting walrus schlongs, or the United States, for not seeing the market for this valuable product and getting there first?
Walruses, of course, have a penis bone, which humans do not. I apologize for bringing this up. Anyone who is still reading must feel bad enough already.
But while we’re talking about bad examples, now that Fidel Castro has surrendered power in Cuba, maybe the United States government can show those poor, benighted Cubans how to have fair elections, like we have in Florida.
Or … umm …
Wait, I’ve got it: We could set a good example for Cuba by barring torture no matter … no matter … umm …
OK, we can teach Cuba how to keep politics out of the justice system, so that all its federal prosecutors are … are protected from … well …
OK, we could show Cuba how to set up a modern, affordable health-care system that … umm … that …
Or, wait, we could show Cuba how to be sure that politics and ideological fanaticism do not intrude upon scientific research by … umm …
Getting back to the fighting crickets, let us consider the statement by the wise rulers of the Tang dynasty: “Winning brought honor while losing meant shame.”
Now there’s something that even communists and capitalists can agree on. Though I guess we agree about a lot of other things, too.

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