Monday, March 18, 2013


Frisk Them!

“The fact of the matter is” that doublespeak is everywhere, and “the bottom line” continues to be a shaky black mark, which may or may not be at the bottom of things, depending on who’s talking. Doublespeak is the art of saying one thing, meaning another, and hoping nobody figures it out until after the election.

My favorite “doublespeak” is often used by governmental agencies like the turtle police out at Cape Canaveral. Cape Canaveral is a national wildlife refuge—also a swampy deterrent for enemy spies trying to peek at NASA stuff. It’s cool. We grow gators, egrets, raccoons, and turtles at Cape Canaveral.

Turtles have great PR at the Cape. We love turtles. We have to love turtles or run the risk of being put in the same category as the raccoons.

Raccoons are turtle egg eating buttheads, and so they must be “selectively reduced.”

We hate raccoons. We have to hate them or run the risk of being “selectively reduced” like the raccoons.

Which brings us to the doublespeak portion of our discussion.  Selective reduction is turtle police talk for what happens to raccoons when too many raccoons fall in love, get married, and make too many baby raccoons at Cape Canaveral. Excessive raccoons spend all their free, non-baby making time looking for turtle eggs to eat. Stupid raccoons. We hate you.

Selective reduction is doublespeak, and doesn’t it sound sensitive and reasonable? Of course it does. It sounds like crowds of caring scientists are out there wandering around the swamp picking and choosing raccoons to relocate to new and less troublesome areas of the planet. That’s not what it means. 

At a program to educate the public about the importance of more funding for the turtle police, I raised my hand and asked, “Do you selectively reduce the raccoons with a hammer or a club?”

The turtle police were not amused.

In England they’re trying to “cull” badgers but the “Up With Badgers” people sued and then chained themselves to some badgers. I don’t know if they cull the badgers with knives or spears.  

NOTE:  Please don’t misunderstand; I’m all about “Up With Turtles.” I just wish the turtle police would be up front with their euphemisms. Don’t act like you’ve never crushed the life out of a pesky turtle egg eating raccoon. Of course you have. And you liked it too.

Life is messy. Science is a business. Life science is a messy business like everything else and Mother Nature is a ravenous turtle egg eating bimbo.

Linda (Shoot Straight) Zern        

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