Best of Connie — Bweinh!kat Manor

March 5, 2008, 4:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Articles, Connie, Featured  | No Comments

Originally published November 7, 2007.

I’ve avoided writing articles thus far, partly because I was convinced no one here is interested in the same things I am. But Steve’s rankings and a rant last weekend have loosened my tongue, so you’re in for a treat — or not. If the stats are right, and nearly 2000 folks are traipsing through our backyard each week, someone’ll care about my musings. If not, I’ll just go find a Meerkat Manor latte bar to drown my sorrows, for yes, today’s article is about the popular Animal Planet show.

I started watching the Manor last summer (season 2) and caught up quite quickly. It features a family of meerkats (the Whiskers) in the Kalahari Desert who have been studied for years now. There are dozens of mounted cameras everywhere, even in their burrows, and their whole lives are edited and spliced together for our amusement.

Let me assign the show’s roles to Bweinh!tributors so you can better relate, then I’ll share a little about what’s bothering me this year.

The leader of the clan is Flower. In Meerkat society, females rule the roost, but for today, we’ll call her Steve. Steve is a good leader and takes good care of her group, but life is tough out in the desert, and the rest of the family doesn’t always do what they’re supposed to do. For example, poll answers don’t come in on time and she has to email reminders two or three times — not easy with those claws — or clashes are assigned, but only one side comes in. Heavy is the head…poor Flower/Steve.

Some of the other adult females vying for the crown in our drama are Flower’s daughters Mozart (Djere), Daisy (Tom), and Kinkajou (MC-B). She also has a mate Zaphod (Chloe), his brother Youssarian (Josh), and sons Shakespeare (Mike) and Mitch (Hoss). There are also neighbors, with whom turf wars spring up regularly, named Frank Zappa (David), Lola (Erin), Hannibal (Dave), his son Wilson (Karen) — and Houdini, a roving rogue male who travels around scoring with the ladies (here’s where we put Job, though I mean no disrespect on his upstanding character). I am narrator Sean Austin.

Last year the shows were exciting. Life was precarious, and death always imminent, but somehow the Whiskers were always able to fight back the odds. When Mike was bitten by a snake, we followed his every move for a week, as he slowly recovered his strength and rejoined the Bweinh! staff to Clash again. When the clan got separated, and the newborn pups were about to get eaten by David and Erin’s gang, back came the rest of the Whiskers just in time! Josh J. even tried to move newborn pups, nearly resulting in their demise — but did they die? No! Was there ever any doubt? No! Not until this year.

This season, Steve, protecting her pups, went down into the burrow to confront a cobra, and the next thing we saw was a 30-second shot of her horribly swollen, snakebitten face, as a voice over by Sean described her imminent death. EXCUSE ME??? FLOWER CAN’T DIE! SHAKESPEARE DIDN’T! Where’s all the footage of the action? What happened to the pups? Where did the snake go? Did the other meerkats die too? Why the cover-up???

“THE DESERT HAS LOST HER FAVORITE ROSE”?? HOW ABOUT A LITTLE EXPLANATION, SEAN???

To make matters worse, on the next show, they chose a new dominant named Rocketdog. ROCKETDOG??? WHO THE HECK IS ROCKETDOG??? It’s like loading up Bweinh! one day and finding a new guy in charge, everyone just pretending like he’s always been here. “Oh yeah,” they say, “That’s, um, Bob-Hamster. Don’t you know him?” SHUT UP! There is no Rocketdog! But there she is, with the stupid collar on her neck. I never saw her before this season, but we’re supposed to believe she belongs…

How much worse could it get with only two shows left? Two weeks after Steve is killed, they follow with a tender love story with Djere and Karen — and after this, we all needed it. Poor Djere was expelled from the group by Steve for arguing over issues of dominance, and had to find a new place to live; his mate died, he and sister MC-B were chased away, then MC-B died, leaving Djere all alone. As Karen and Djere get together, Sean announces that Djere’s problems are possibly all behind him. But wait! A sudden storm starts a lightning fire and leaves our couple homeless.

Karen takes Djere home to meet the folks (Erin and Dave). Unfortunately, when they get there, they find them in a giant battle with BobHamster, Chloe and Tom. Karen, being her father’s son, joins in, and Djere is forced to retire to the sidelines and wait it out until morning. Karen cannot sleep, Sean assures us, as all he can think of is Djere, and as soon as the dawn arrives, he sets out in search of his love. Sean then describes the harsh conditions once again, which should have given us fair warning, but enough is enough, right? Nope.

Djere’s lifeless little body is the next shot. Our reward for the loyalty we’ve given this show is that in two weeks, we lost Steve, Djere and MC-B — and gained some idiot named Bob-Hamster who we don’t care about. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to bail.

Hey, thanks for listening. Barkeep? I’ll have another Decaf Caramel Turtle please.

Actually, just keep ’em coming…


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