Thursday, February 26, 2015

Animal Stories

Animals and the paranormal. Two of my favorite subjects.

What brings this to mind? Well, I suppose it's due to my feeling a bit nostalgic this February for whatever reason. I grew up listening to WLS AM radio out of Chicago. One of the iconic personalities on that station...if not all of radio...was Larry Lujack. "Uncle Lar" and his sidekick, Little Tommy (aka "Snot-nose" Tommy) would provide a fixture of morning and then afternoon radio: Animal Stories.

As Lujack explains, this featurette was an outgrowth of a "dippy" farm report on at 5:30am in the morning. There were farm magazines in the studio and Lujack began to compile stories of bizarre incidents where farm animals would kill people in mishaps. This eventually turned into Animal Stories, a brief program where Lujack reads legit news stories involving animals...and a great deal of sex and violence, naturally. Whether through their inherent goofiness or Lujack's delivery, these stories were hilarious more often than not. And that's even despite my current unease with hearing about harm coming to animals.

How funny? Well, click the initial link I provided. You'll hear about how the United States military evaluates dogs for tasks such as guard duty and bomb sniffing. If a male dog squats while he urinates, that's a sign of immaturity and therefore disqualification. "I'd hate to be the soldier who has the job to check that," Tommy says, putting it all in perspective. Funnier even than that is the account of a chain-reaction series of mishaps in England that can all be traced back to a horse drooling on a biker.

It's probably no surprise, but the Animal Stories segments most memorable to me had to do with the paranormal. One narrative detailed a woman with two dogs and the spirits said to inhabit her house. The dogs, she said, would bark and growl at the dark basement. Yet there seemed to be nothing there. On at least one occasion, however, this woman heard the disembodied voice of a young girl coming up through the floor vents. Then there was Bigfoot...

I distinctly remember Uncle Lar and Little Tommy reading two pieces about the search for sasquatch-like creatures in other nations. One involved the Alma of Eurasia. A wilderness hermit was located who was said to have killed an Alma. Where was the body? Well, he ate it.

All of it?

Yes. All of it.

"Must've needed a big hot dog bun," quipped Tommy.

The other, a case involving the Yowie of Australia, told of a married couple living in the Outback. The husband was a prospector (I think?) and was gone for days at a time, leaving his wife alone and isolated. She struck up a sexual relationship with a Yowie. The husband found out and subsequently began to search the surrounding canyons for the manbeast and revenge.

"Yes it was the Yowie...who made her go 'wowie,'" commented Lujack.

Immature? Inutile?

Oh you bet. But funny?

Yes. That was sort of the point.

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