03 October 2007

The Sabretooth Tiger's Fearsome Reputation c.33 million BC - AD 2007

The Sabretooth Tiger's Fearsome Reputation, which once struck fear into the heart of mammoths, Ug the Hunter and the easily-excited readers of fantasy fiction, has tragically bitten the dust with the discovery by Australian scientists that the mighty feline's Simpsons-like overbite was about as frightening as a "raw prawn's granny" and its powerful jaws "couldn't crush a wet Pom".

The Reputation first reared its ugly head and flashed its supposedly-mighty gnashers 33 million years ago on what was to become the North American continent. It roamed the grasslands and pine forests bragging loudly about its powerful jaws and claiming to make its living by ripping apart bison, deer, elk, mammoths, mastodons and hunter-gatherer orthodontists with its Herculean jaws ... when it actually knocked them over with a paw and slashed their throats with its weedy but mighty sharp canines while they were busy searching through their wallets for the number of a personal injury lawyer.

As the Ice Age encroached upon the North American continent, the tigers' natural prey began to freeze to death faster than British pensioners in January. Soon, only the woolly mammoth survived to shiver, not only from the cold, but in mortal fear of the sabretooth's big-mouthed boasts. But as the mammoth rarely ventured far from its living room, preferring to spend the millennia-long winters knitting itself another warm layer (unfortunately from its own wool) - it too was soon extinct - and the starving sabretooth was reduced to leafing through the brochures for dental remodelling and howling "ice headache!" when it clamped down on a passing glacier.

Yet even with the demise of Smilodon fatalis(1) itself, The Reputation lived on in the imagination of Homo sapiens, who often woke screaming in the middle of the night terrified by images of the great beast snapping at his pillow, only to find that their one-size-fits all supermarket dentures had been knocked off the bedside cabinet by the cat. Thus it was that scientists at McHenry University were moved to end once and for all the Top Trumps debate which had raged back and forth in the Uni bar for decades ("Your sabretooth versus my marsupial lion") - their tests proving that, at about 1,000 Newtons (the force required to crush 1000 Cox's Pippins), the sabretooth tiger's bite was only about a third as powerful as the modern panther and infinitely weaker than an average Osmond's. With the news that its miaow was much worse than its bite The Reputation put its jaws together in a sulky pout and bragged no more.

The Sabretooth Tiger's Fearsome Reputation will be buried at the church of the Bleeding Janet Street-Porter. The service will be conducted by the Very Reverend Snagglepuss and there will will be some wailing and much gnashing of oversized teeth.

The Sabretooth Tiger's Fearsome Reputation is survived by the Fearsome Reputation of Bad English Teeth.

(1) literally "Esther Rantzen".


lady macleod said...

LOL that is hysterical and quite sad, have you called Jean Auel?

Lord Higham-Johnson said...

I love these more recent issues you boys touch on.