Friday, March 15, 2013

An Imagining of Group Names

Remember the “Seven Deadly Sins”?

No, they are not the latest Punk Rock Band.  Or the newest Reality TV program. According to Wikipedia “The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of objectionable vices (part of Christian ethics) that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity's tendency to sin. The currently recognized version of the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.”

Now it may seem to some of us that no one pays any attention to these moral bedrocks any more.  But that need not be.  For example, I think each of these anti-virtues can have a place in helping us to more accurately describe the creatures of the world – some of which we come into contact with on a daily basis.  In fact it is already happening.

 We all know that a band of lions is referred to as a “pride” – a group name, which I believe perfectly conveys the consciousness of their own dignity with which these ferocious animals appear to conduct themselves.

Which of course leads me to believe that other members of the animal kingdom also deserve more appropriate collective nouns to more accurately portray the way they appear to the rest of us unclassifiable folks.

Thus I propose the following:

A “Lust” of Sparrows (Just watch these hot-to-trot little finches hot-trotting among the bushes in between filching seeds from your feeders – or if you are more academically inclined read about the “Most Promiscuous Birds in the world” in this very newsletter.)

 A “Gluttony” of Woodchucks (You may already know that a Wolverine is also named a “Glutton”.  Really!  But we don’t have any of those pointy-toothed, sharp-clawed midwestern critters in our neck of the woods.  However we do have their fat, effete eastern relative – the Groundhog – and once they get into your garden they do a pretty good impersonation of a Glutton.)
A “Greed” of Squirrels (Look out your window at that pudgy, gray furry tree-rat gnawing through your sunflower seed feeder.  Need I say more?)
A “Wrath” of Crows.  (It’s sunrise.  You are trying desperately for that extra few minutes of quiet rest. CAW! CAW! CAW!  You give up and get up.  After breakfast you walk out to your car scattering the horde of large black birds that are storm-trooping across your front lawn pillaging food.  They fly up to the surrounding trees.  CAW1 CAW! CAW!  You get the idea.)
 And finally.  The other morning while on the elliptical machine at our health club I was watching the Today show.  One of the wildlife experts who frequent such programs had brought along one of those slow-moving tropical American mammals that hang upside down from the branches of trees using its long limbs and hooked claw.  The furry creature was lounging on its back across the lap of one of the comely co-hosts of the program.  She was rubbing its stomach and petting its head.  

Which brings me to the final two vices  - An “Envy” of  “Sloths.”

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