Local 1668 of Kalamazoo has filed a grievance against Western Michigan University, apparently for providing fulfilling employment to goats. In the spirit of solidarity with our behooved brethren, we are not gonna take it, Local 1668!
WMU Horticulturist Nicholas Gooch has contracted 20 goats with Munchers on Hooves, LLC to clear 15 acres of woodland over the summer. They are cleaner and consume less fossil fuel than lawnmowers and wood chippers, and even leave behind natural fertilizer. Sounds good, right? Not to Kathi Babbit, author of the grievance, who apparently thinks union workers should be eating the poison ivy instead of the goats.
Granted, the idea of using goats for lawn care is pretty novel, which is why it’s drawn so much local media attention. And judging from their website, the union doesn’t care much for them new-fangled ideas.
The first paragraph at afscme1668.org says “This is our Web-site…to the left you will find links that will help you navigate through…” The buttons make beeps and boops like an Atari game when clicked. It has a landing page with an option for dial-up users. It’s a Flash template time capsule from the Fresh Prince era.
We weren’t able to get a copy of the grievance, but if this excerpt from a recent local 1668 newsletter, also written by Babbit, is any indication, it must have been hilarious reading:
We all need to come together as we head into these upcoming negotiations. All the back stabbing, gossiping [sic] mongering, and hurtful mean spirited comments I have been hearing are not helping our Bargaining unit succeed. We need to be united! How united are we, if we are gossiping and back stabbing one another. [sic] WE are supposed to standing [sic] together as Sisters and Brothers. Let’s start be [sic] a little more respectful of each other’s personal situations. If it’s not about you, then you should not be talking about it! I challenge anyone of you who hears someone else doing these terrible things, to call them on it! We are grown @$$ adults, yet we act like middle school children! Please just stop! I’m not innocent either I’m sure of that. I know I can and will do better! I will not let stupid crap get in the way of doing my job and representing the greater good. Will you? Have a great Spring Break! I’m ready for some flowers!
Clearly the Sisters and Brothers need to man up and pick on somebody their own size. We’ve put together a collection of other historical feats of man on mammal action, in descending order of danger:
Carl Akeley vs. “Contessa” the Leopard
Badass level: Charles Bronson
Akeley, famed naturalist and taxidermist and major contributor to museums in Chicago and New York, had plenty of encounters with crazy dangerous wildlife. A bull elephant charged at him on Mount Kenya, nearly crushing him; he was caught unarmed and run down and nearly trampled by three rhinos; and was hit and nearly knocked off a cliff by the tumbling body of a 500 lb. silverback gorilla he’d just shot.
The fight: just before dusk while hunting in the brush, Akeley mistakenly fired on and royally pissed off an 80-lb leopard. She pursued Akely and pounced on him, knocking the gun from his hands. According to Akeley, “Her intention was to sink her teeth into my throat and with this grip and her forepaws hang to me while with her hind claws she dug out my stomach, for this pleasant practice is the way of leopards.” Akely caught the leopard’s teeth on his forearm, twisting her rear claws away from his belly, but the fight was just beginning:
““When I got grip enough on her throat to loosen her hold just a little she would catch my arm again an inch or two lower down. In this way I drew the full length of the arm through her mouth inch by inch,” tearing it to ribbons.
The result: Nearly succumbing to exhaustion but avoiding the animal’s claws, Akeley was able to pin and strangle the animal, essentially killing it with his bare hands. You can read the full story here: http://mentalfloss.com/article/80239/time-carl-akeley-killed-leopard-his-bare-hands
Tom Wanyandie vs. “Ursula” the Mama Grizzly Bear
Alberta, Canada, 2009.
Badass level: Paul Bunyan
When Tom Wanyandie and his son, James, were in the backcountry looking for shed antlers, they chanced upon a Grizzly cub. Shortly thereafter, the mother Grizzly appeared and charged James, who fired with his .270 caliber rifle.
“I don’t know if I missed or hit it. But it just kept on coming…swung me around and wrestled me,” breaking James’ arm. James, who has a heart condition and wears a pacemaker, was in serious trouble.
That was when his 77 year old father intervened. And by intervened, I mean beat the living shit out of the bear.
Tom, a Cree Indian who spent his entire life venturing through the woods as a hunter, trapper, and wilderness guide, wasn’t about to let his son be tossed around like that.
Charging toward the bear, swearing in his native tongue at the top of his lungs, he took the tree branch he’d been using as a walking stick and beat the bear on the face and neck, then rammed the stick down the bear’s throat, then continuing to punch it in the face.
The result: In the course of the fight the bear broke Tom’s hand, but the bear eventually gave up and retreated, allowing the men to escape. Read the full story here: http://badassoftheweek.com/wanyandie.html
Greig Tonkins vs. “Rory” the Alpha Male Red Kangaroo
Badass level: Mike Tyson (post-Douglas)
They may look a little funny, but kangaroos are no joke. The males can stand over 6 feet tall; they compete with other males for mates by trying to scratch eyes out with their front claws or disembowel with their back claws.
During a boar hunting trip with friends, Greg Tonkins attempted to rescue a dog who ran into a kangaroo while chasing a scent. Tonkins quickly ran to the dog’s aid and intervened, first distracting the kangaroo and causing it to release the dog from a headlock.
Tonkins, who is a zookeeper, then squared up with the animal and delivered a punch on the muzzle of the kangaroo. You can see in the clip below how the kangaroo, stunned, looks quizzically at Greg for a few seconds, then turns tail and ran off.
“It was funny because the guy who [punched the kangaroo] is the most placid bloke. We laughed at him for chucking such a shit punch,” friend Matthew Amor said.
Barwick, who died of Ewing Sarcoma mere days before the video became a viral hit, would have been happy to see all of the attention the clip has gotten. “Kailem would be looking down from [heaven] and laughing because it was the highlight of the trip,” Amor said.
Local 1668 vs. “Bruiser” the Goat
Badass level: Teddy Ruxpin
Far down the man vs. beast totem pole, we’ll place this “fight”. Just look at the monsters those poor union guys and gals are up against:
Terrifying, right? It’s enough to make me tremble (with laughter) just to look at them. In the annals of wild fights, this one would be a total snooze. Local 1668, leave them poor goats alone!