What Tools Do You Need to Fight A Hippo?

Some men write about chasing and or catching dragons and others wonder what sort of tools one might use to fight a hippopotamus.

I am not talking about the one from the children’s game but the real thing. You know the beast that National Geographic says can live around 40 years and weigh as much as 8,000 pounds.

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GoAfrica lists hippos as being among the most dangerous animals in Africa and says they are responsible for more human fatalities than any other animal.

Ask me why I want to fight a hippo and I’ll tell you it is because of my Great Uncle Albert, the not so very famous African Explorer who was once attacked by an angry hippo.

Great Uncle Albert survived the attack but his favorite Pith helmet did not. He swore on the spot that one day one of his offspring would avenge the death of his hat and now you know why I am interested in fighting one…again.

Now there is a tale for your favorite Jackpudding and Jobbernowls, but perhaps it is best saved for a different day.

The Best Music For Fighting a Hippo

If you must know I am rather partial to this little ditty from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Sometimes I watch that video and wonder about how the lady in red got her job.

That is not a snarky or sarcastic remark either. It is a real question.

When did she figure out that she could sing without words and that someone would pay her to do so? How many people can do this and how big a market is there for it/them?

Is it small enough that all of the players are known or big enough that you have to market yourself? Is there is a particular word that describes this kind of singing?

You may think it trivial but if I was to try and market her skills I’d want to know the answers to these questions so that I could build a story around her.

A good story is invaluable. Stories are among the greatest resources mankind has for promoting ideas, sharing thoughts and values.

Not to mention a good story can really help you pass the time.

What Tools Do You Need to Fight A Hippo?

Did you look at the flowers at the top of this post and think they provide a good contrast to the idea of fighting a hippo or did you wonder what kind of silliness I was up to now.

How about a show of hands for the people that wondered why I asked what kind of tools you need to fight a hippo instead of weapons?

If you want a serious answer I’ll say I look for tools because I understand tools to be items that be used for multiple purposes and not only one.

Think about what would be required to fight a hippo and ask yourself what kind of resources would be needed.

Some of that might depend upon your goal. Do you intend to kill the hippo or just knock it senseless?

Are you willing to use conventional methods or try something unorthodox?

For example a man once asked me during a job interview how I would beat a hippo in single combat and I said when the hippo opened its mouth I’d toss a dozen pumpkins and 17 angry dwarves down its gullet.

The interviewer asked me if I believed in murdering dwarves and I asked him if he believed in murdering hippos.

He told me the point of the question was to try and gauge if I was allowed to think on my feet and I told him it was fair to try and figure that out but unfair to apply morals to a specious question.

You might say that the back and forth between us and parts of this post in general are narishkeit and I might agree.

But I also might ask if you read the whole post and then say that something about how a clever writer/marketer figures out how to secure and hold a reader’s attention.

A Confession Of Sorts

I don’t have a Great Uncle Albert and to the best of my knowledge none of my relatives ever lost a Pith helmet to an angry or happy hippo.

Nor did I write this piece to talk about tricks writers/marketers can use to become better at their trade.

No sir, I wrote this for fun and for pleasure.

And I wrote it because the best way for a writer to improve their game is to practice their craft on a regular basis.

But I must confess I wondered if I could wrap my arms around a hippo’s neck so I could choke him out.

Why?

I don’t know. I guess I figured if I was going to fight a hippo it would be cooler to say I beat him with my bare hands and not a gun.

Is it silly?

Yeah, it is but it was kind of fun so what the heck.

What do you think?

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12 Comments

  1. tim May 10, 2015 at 12:30 am

    It’s always good to have fun with writing. I’m always pretty serious and maybe need to lighten up a little occasionally!

    You certainly kept my attention first thing on a Sunday morning. That’s an achievement in itself :-).

  2. Larry May 6, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Goofy stuff here.
    Interesting sense of humor.

  3. T Hopkins May 6, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Hey, Joshua!  I’m all for having theme music to get the job done.  I have many classic tunes at the ready.   The lady in red–her voice is also an instrument, and beautifully conveys the mood!   I like the way you think.  One might not fight a hippo today, and maybe not tomorrow, but in my experience, things happen that you could never fathom for your future.  It’s good to be prepared.  

    And above all, have fun with it.  

    • Joshua May 6, 2015 at 8:36 am

      A good soundtracks makes a real difference.You are right about the lady in red. I am always impressed by people who have access to natural instruments like her voice.

      And I can’t agree more about the importance of having fun.

  4. Danny Brown May 6, 2015 at 4:47 am

    I say let the hippo be, and fight the “hunters” that are murdering these beautiful animals alongside their cousins, the rhino, to extinction. But, much like the job interview, I digress..

    The ability to think on our feet is what separates us from others looking to grab the same piece of land. Think on your feet, you can outsmart; think to the constraints of a process and you’ll flounder when the script changes.

    And only scriptwriters truly enjoy sticking to the script, anyhoo…

    • Joshua May 6, 2015 at 8:34 am

      It is easy to let the constraints of the lines and boxes that surround us guide our movement and reactions. You don’t fight inertia when you do that but if that is all you ever do than you can’t expect to go very far. Maybe that is my own bias speaking. I prefer to try and keep my eyes open and figure out if there is more that can be done with what we have.

      • Danny Brown May 6, 2015 at 9:02 am

        It reminds of the Facebook’s early mantra (it may still be the same, though it doesn’t feel like it lately) – “break things until they’re cool, and help people do what they need to do.”

        We need to encourage breaking more things. Especially in art museums… 😉

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