Let me lay down the facts: you almost certainly lack the social graces and knowledge of current hairstyle trends to win the loyalty of an army of human supporters. Therefore, I've compiled a list of proven techniques you can use to assemble a literally unstoppable force of nature: an army of animals sworn to your service.
First, what's your aim?
You're going to want to train animals that fit into one of the following broad categories, and preferably both: Animals that can fuck things up, and/or animals that inspire awe and trepidation.
The first category is pretty self explanatory, as you'll naturally be expecting your army to do a fair bit of eviscerating on your way to toppling intransigent governing bodies. Animals that fit into this category are obvious: Wolves, Tigers, Sharks, or the name of pretty much every other high school football team.
The second category is where things get interesting. As military genius (and incredible pussy) Sun Tzu said, the most effective engagement is the one not fought. If you can scare your opponent into submission before the battle is fought, your forces will be fresh to fight another day. The best animals in this category are thus the most impressive and exotic. Giraffes, elephants, panda bears, really large lizards, etc...
Combining the two categories will yield the best results - think giraffe with a rocket launcher and two tigers strapped to its back. And on a side note, although I'm not generally an advocate of training birds due to their rock-stupidness, if you have the time, the irony inherent in training a squadron of attack doves is pretty rich.
Commuting in style:
Commuting to work on the back of a single animal might be fine for cowboys and Europeans, but I think we can all agree Cracked readers are a more discerning sort. Here's an example of a man, probably a successful banker of some sort, commuting to the office on the back of two tigers.
Screams "I demand respect!" Also, "RAAAAAWR!"
Other ideas in the same vein:
- Penguin drawn carriage.
- A basket tethered to hundreds of owls.
- Hamster shoes.*
*Until science breeds a stronger hamster (write your Congressman) you may have to make do with lying down very carefully on a group of about 80 trained hamsters and crowd surfing about. Still pretty cool.
It's a simple fact of life that women tend to be more attracted to successful men, and particularly men with power. And if your career at Orange Julius is leaving you feeling a little low in the "success" and "power" departments, why not give a boost to your sex life by acquiring an army of loyal animal minions? The solution is so obvious!
"Yes I would like to go to the park and watch a pack of dingos tear apart people of your choosing!"
Tips on Procurement.
For exotics, a trip abroad is sadly your only real option. As a profession, zookeepers are surprisingly resistant to bribes and quick to cast judgment. Unless you possess greater charisma than I (you don't), or deeper pockets (more likely) I don't suggest you go down that route.
Common domestic animals are much easier, and the usual sources apply: the SPCA, classified ads or Craigslist. Be sure to pick your animals up one at a time though. People seem to get a little hesitant when you pull up in a van with thirty cats already inside of it, and will ask lots of questions about your "crazy, darting eyes."
Tips on Training
First, I have to ask: do you have a special connection with animals that allows you to communicate with them telepathically? Because that will make things a lot easier. A relative with access to advanced mind control technology will also serve.
Failing that, you're going to need only one thing: A Lot of Food. It's here where some basic cost-benefit analysis and return on investment calculations kick in. As you should be able to deduce, certain animals will be cheaper and easier to train in volume than others. Trying to train an army of jaguars will be all but impossible unless you're the scion of a powerful meat product family. For most of you I'd suggest for your first army to pick a fairly cheap animal to train. Given their ridiculously low standards for what they'll eat, dogs are probably the easiest choice for beginners. If you want something a little less conventional, try one of the larger rodents, like a porcupine or prairie dog. Once you've sacked the treasury of a small central American country or one of the Mid-Western states you can consider moving up to the more interesting animals.
As for the training process itself, it's surprisingly simple: Show an animal how to do something. If they do it, feed them. If they don't, yell at them. This may involve some repetition.
A word regarding the classic motivation balance of the carrot or the stick: beating an animal with a carrot is largely ineffective.Other Tips:
Odor control: Animals have a much more developed sense of smell than humans do, and consequently have developed incredibly complicated systems for determining whom to mate with and where to pee*. Although you'll be unable to detect most of these scents, you should have a basic understanding of how this works and it's importance, if only to make you feel better about the stench that will haunt your every waking hour.
*German animals have been known to confuse these signals.
Scat: Training an army of animals to use flush toilets will be prohibitively time consuming for all but the most dedicated animal-army-having enthusiasts. So for most of us, this becomes more a problem of residuals management, with the industry standard approach being, "don't stay in one place for very long." I'd also add that it's probably a good idea to wash your hands before doing basically anything.
The road ahead of you is full of challenges and odors, and you'll require dedication and persistence to make it to the end. Print this off, keep it in your wallet and refer to it every time you find yourself having doubts.