Sunday, December 06, 2009

Why My Army of Giraffes Failed

Why My Army of Giraffes Failed

Hindsight being what it is, it should have been an easy decision to make. The money, manpower, effort and irreplaceable time put into this project could well have been spent toward something more worthwhile. But, I am young, yet. A spry 32. There is time, and there is time. Every lesson I've ever learned, I've learned by making a mistake (i.e. wear underwear to all job interviews and check the zipper twice).

Here now, are a few thoughts on why the effort was utter folly:
  • There is little capacity for abstract thought within the above-average giraffe, let alone the average giraffe. I will not mention the below average giraffes, as they are quite haughty about such things.
  • Giraffes are tremendously proud, even haughty beasts, considering their inability to think in any form other than what God gave them in the form of instinct. They will not do as told.
  • Even after all these years, I am not sure they understand what I'm saying to them. I admit that I may have mistaken indifference for wise stoicism.
  • The social structure, bred into them by God his own self, is prohibitive when it comes to creating a large scale army. Generally speaking, the giraffe will stick to a herd not much larger than 10 or 12. Our efforts at organiziation into companies and platoons was semi-successful at best.
  • The females were the more easily organized of the two sexes.
  • We severely underestimated gestation time for a pregnant giraffe. While our plans for reinforcement were always along the lines of "buy more giraffes," it would have been helpful if our armies were at least 50% self-sustaining. A giraffe will carry a calf for nearly 16 months. Not only is this prohibitive in terms of having part of your army on the shelf for gestation...these beasts are horribly ill-tempered when pregnant.
  • Giraffe spit is truly disgusting. Viscous, would be a good word. We learned this the hard way, in our dealings with pregnant giraffes.
  • Giraffe spit is truly disgusting, but an ineffective weapon. In three different large scale tests, it tends simply to antagonize those it is directed toward. It is a shame we are no longer allowed in Virginia.
  • Giraffes are particularly ineffective fighting ninjas, pirates and highlanders.
  • Giraffes, generally, cannot navigate power lines effectively.
  • Giraffes eat a ridiculous amount. It is important to note that the closure of has been very much a key factor in our decision to end Project: Death Giraffe. That said, the cost of brown sugar alone should have been a mitigating factor.
  • Giraffes drink a ridiculous amount. Efforts of stealth become difficult when having to house an army of herbivores near a large, clean body of water. The number of local residents we've had to dispatch, and the sheer number of personal watercraft and pontoon boats confiscated off the Hiwassee River have simply become too difficult to explain in a satisfactory matter.
  • Generally speaking, people are surprised, but unsatisfied with receiving personal watercraft and pontoon boats as Christmas presents, especially those living in urban environments.
  • Giraffes will not drink beer or soda. Initially this was seen as an advantage, but as the aforementioned stealth factored into the equation, it became necessary to find alternate means of hydration.
  • Giraffes will drink Gatorade in moderation. Giraffes especially enjoyed the Fierce Flavors (not grape). The relative inability to find Fierce Melon Gatorade became an issue of morale and personal safety in late 2007.
  • Giraffes are terribly stubborn, for a beast born without the capacity for thought.
  • Giraffes are ineffective for long term use as a battering ram.
  • Giraffe urine is horrible, but again, tended simply to antagonize enemies, rather than incapacitating them. Plus, the cost of rain coats for human staff was difficult to accept.
  • Giraffe uniforms, even with capes, are unwieldy.
  • Giraffes do not like wearing clothes.
  • Giraffes do not like wearing capes.
  • Giraffes do not like wearing socks.
  • Giraffes do not like wearing boots.
  • Giraffes do not like wearing tennis shoes.
  • Giraffes were not averse to wearing shoes with open toes and lifts. I believe there is merit to the stiletto heel idea, but in practice, there were entirely too many broken giraffe ankles to justify the cost of buying an entire Filipino plant to clothe.
  • Warehousing costs for thousands of pallets of giraffe high-heels will continue to be a concern for years to to come.
  • Giraffes cannot read directions.
  • Giraffes do not require much sleep, which was at first seen as an advantage. But unless there are commanders there to direct the efforts of a giraffe army, the amount of infomercial-hawked merchandise delivered to headquarters becomes very much a liability.
  • Giraffes are easily swayed by sales pitches. We have still not ascertained exactly what giraffes will do with Ron Popeil's chicken rotissiere, or with several thousand copies of Girls Gone Wild.
  • Warehousing of Girls Gone Wild DVD's will continue to be a concern for years to come.
  • Giraffes, in the words colloquial, cannot carry a tune in a bucket. I consider the Giraffe Army Chorus and Marching Band to be the most glaring and abject failure of my life.
  • The warehousing of various woodwind and brass instruments modified to fit the necks of the giraffes will be a concern for years to come.
  • Giraffes cannot handle firearms, in any shape form or fashion. To say their dislike of the noise is understatement of the most extreme kind. I am afraid the result of our demonstration of mortar capabilities will be the talk of legend, in this area of the world, for years to come.
  • Operation Earplug/Machine gun turret was unsuccessful.
  • Giraffes did not hold well to our attempts to modify their hide & fur into a traditional camouflage pattern.
  • Camouflage Tarpaulins were marginally successful, but we found that the bungee cords holding them in place would often get on tree limb, sign posts, hooks of bungee cords on other giraffes.


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