Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Definitions: Cant

Cant is an LSD-like substance that affects rabbits.

The really interesting thing about it though is that it does not cause hallucinations but actually turns the whole animal itself into an hallucination.

Though bunnies are not meat eaters, in certain areas of the American west they do inadvertently consume a few cantankerous beetles in season.

The larva of this insect (known as the cantankerous worm) resides deep underground where it feeds exclusively on secretive fungi in protected burrows, and acquires what should be a lethal dose of toxins.

It carries these into adulthood, when the cantankerous beetle emerges to mate.

At these times, and at these times only, a few beetles may be munched by clueless bunnies.

Of course most of these bunnies expire immediately.

Some make it as far as a nearby highway where they simply liquefy and collapse into flat, rubbery, furry pads, dying and drying on the asphalt.

You may have seen a few of these on your travels.

However the rare rabbit is only tainted by the toxin, not killed, and instead of dying becomes a hopping hallucination bearing large antelope-like horns.

This is known locally as the jackalope and is thought to be a hoax.

So very not true, my friend.

Jackalopes (antelabbits, aunt bennies, Wyoming thistled hares, stagbunnies) are as real as that evil morning that follows New Year's Eve.

However this isn't the ultimate.

Seldom, but every now and then, and even then still seldom, a bush bunny is almost totally immune to the poisons carried by cantankerous beetles, and even develops a taste for them.

These sturdy critters, after only a few extra meals, lose their horns and become slothful and overweight, eventually losing all their animal characteristics and entering a rotund sugary-sweet and aromatic vegetative state.

These are wild cantalopes. (Or cantaloupes, if you prefer a more traditional spelling. Anyhow, no matter how you slice them, they can't actually lope no more.)

Luckily for us the wild cantaloupe is both unspeakably toothsome and completely harmless, aside from a slight bitter aftertaste and possibly an occasional strand of residual fuzz.

And if that isn't the right definition for you, don't get huffy. Just say that as far as you're concerned, cant is the slope of a road or trail, or the sort of half-hearted rise toward its edge, sometimes known as camber or cross slope.

Road cants are usually higher on the outside of a turn so cars don't go flying off into random wheat fields, but trails don't have so many rules and take life easier and can lean any which way at all.

Happy now?