So You've Killed the Last Member of an Endangered Species
I just ran over something.
"Something" is a pretty broad noun. I've got a lot of different advice here depending on what that could be. Animal, vegetable, or mineral?
I think it was an animal.
Hmmm. Was it larger than a breadbox?
What the hell is a breadbox?
I have no idea.
Whatever it was, it felt bigger than a loaf of bread.
Well, a breadbox would have to be bigger than a loaf of bread, wouldn't it?
Shut up about the breadboxes, will you? I think I hit a fox.
You couldn't have. Foxes aren't bigger than breadboxes.
Are you sure?
Scientists haven't been able to get a breadbox to sit still on the apparatus long enough to find out.
Good God, you are in fine form today. Should I maybe just get out of my car and look at what I hit?
Just be careful. Breadboxes can be dangerous when they're wounded.
Fuck you. OK. It's some kind of animal. I can't tell what it is.
Let me have a look. Oh shit.
What is it?
That was a crested Saskatchewan marmot.
Is that supposed to mean something?
Well, it's super endangered. You're definitely not supposed to drive on them. Where the hell are you, anyways?
Kind of an access road in a park. I guess it's kind of a nature preserve too, actually.
What are you doing in a nature preserve?
I'm meeting someone.
OK. Well, instead of delving into the haunted crypt that is your social calendar, I'll just let that pass and focus on our furry crested friend here by pointing out that you're in big, big trouble.
There's only like two of those things left in the world. Was only two of those things left in the world. I guess that census will need to be updated.
What do I do?
To update an endangered species population count? I guess you'd need a clipboard and like a camouflage lab coat.
That's not really what I was going for.
Or we could try saving the crested Saskatchewan marmots.
Do you know anything about cloning?
Well, it's actually pretty straightforward. You take some of the genetic material of one of these things -- from your wheel well, say. And you implant it in the egg of a similar animal. Like a crested Manitoban marmot.
That's all there is to it?
There are some specific details that I've glossed over. And then those details each have several details themselves.
The thing i-
Do you have any pipettes?
Yeah, we probably shouldn't look into cloning too much.
OK. I had a question.
Is it possible ... to ... just run away from this?
Oh shit, of course. Man, that will be so much easier. There's no sense crying over spilled animal. Just scrape it off your car with your shoe and get on with your day.
Are you sure?
Yeah, well, you know. Scrape it off respectfully. Like maybe sing a Sarah McLachlan song or something.
I don't know any Sarah McLachlan songs.
What? Come on. Fine. Scrape it off your wheel and then, I don't know, krump back to your car respectfully, I guess.
Krump with great dignity and solemnity.
OK, it's done. I'm getting out of here. Thanks for your ... OH SHIT.
I think I just hit another one.
That would be its mate then. Now hang on a second and let me check my math.
I said hang on. Two minus two ... zero! Wow! You're marmot history's greatest monster!
What are they doing walking around on the road at night?
Fuck you. Oh shit! There's some headlights coming.
Park ranger, I bet. Step on it.
Do you mean ...
Figuratively, yes, marmot-ender. Now is the time for you to respectfully tear ass out of there.
Where should I go?
Find some place to hide.
There's a little pull-off up ahead.
Good, perfect. So what you do now is you relax. This is not your fault.
I mean yes, running over these last two marmots was definitely your fault. But you didn't kill the thousands of others before this. Right?
Not thousands. But I've come to this park a few times, and ...
Regularly heard the sound of an animal perishing under your car?
Oh God, that sound!
Like a juice box getting hit with an accordion, isn't it?
OK, so maybe this is more your fault than most. But still, there's no reason you can't duck responsibility for it.
How will anyone know I did this?
These things are so endangered, they probably have tracking devices on them. Park rangers monitoring them 24/7. The NSA too, I bet.
Obama's America. You've probably got 10 minutes before dudes start rappelling out of helicopters.
So what do I do?
We use that time to frame someone else. Like let's say we clean off your car and feed this poor little guy to one of his natural predators. That way if anyone asks, you can say that it was nature who ended his species.
OK! What are the natural predators of crested Saskatchewan marmots?
I don't think that's i-
Also probably not right.
Hmm. Well. Humans are at the top of the food chain, and as you're the ranking human ...
I think we've veered away from our "me not getting blamed" goal here.
You're right! Huh. Sometimes I wonder if the advice I give you inadvertently gets you into more trouble.
Do you? Hang on. What's that? Is that another marmot?
Yeah, but that's one of those crested Manitoban marmots.
There's a lot of them here.
They're not endangered at all. Hell, maybe they're the natural predator of the crested Saskatchewan marmot?
I don't think they're carnivores.
Try rubbing the corpse in its face. Is it interested?
Not at all.
OK then. Well, unless a whale comes by, we're going to have to resort to taxidermy.
How could that possibly solve anything?
Simple. We stuff it and prop it up somewhere a park ranger is bound to run over it.
That might actually work.
So, to do this properly, you'll need some thread and some cotton batting and a strong stomach.
I have none of those things.
OK, then to do this ham-fistedly, you're going to need some pine cones and ham-like fists.
How's it going?
I could only get one pine cone in it before the horror of what I was doing dawned on me.
Yeah, that horror will get you. This would be so much easier if we had a Sarah McLachlan CD.
Official Soundtrack of Taxidermy.
Wait. Shut up.
I WILL REMEMBER YOU.
I said shut up!
WILL YOU REMEMBER ME?
DON'T BE ... UM ... SAAAAAAAAD, FLAT MARMOT. WE UHH ... UHHHM ... ARE FAMILY?
JUMP UP JUMP UP AND GET DOWN!
Headlights! Like five cars! Who the ... oh. It's the people I was looking for.
Right. About that. Who were you looking for in the woods at night?
It's kind of a club.
Like a Blair Witch thing? Or, oh no, this is a sex thing, isn't it?
A little bit.
You drive into the woods and have sex with other dudes and other dudes' wives, right?
The wives mainly. But yeah. Man, I wish you hadn't found out about this.
You wish? I'm the one who's going to have to fall asleep wondering what you meant by "mainly" just now.
It's dark out here, OK?
Well, whatever. Problem solved. While everyone's setting up -- I'm going to say "shop," and you're not going to clarify what that means for me ...
... while they're doing that, you're going to prop your dead marmot up underneath their wheel and make it their problem.
Shit! Someone else is coming!
Are we doing that sex pun thing again?
Someone else is approaching!
Gotcha. OK, that will be the park rangers coming up the road then.
No, from the bush.
Foliage. Like they were staking us out. With television cameras?
These aren't park rangers. They've got television cameras. Like they're filming a documentary.
On what? Poachers? Public sex acts? Or both? Sex Poacher? Is Sex Poacher a show on the History channel?
'Sup, the History Channel. You can have that one for free.
It seems more like a Dateline raid.
Oh, right. I heard about this. "Deviants Among the Trees."
You watch Dateline?
Yeah, of course. They did a good bit about endangered marmots the other week actually.
And I imagine a feature about people who desecrate marmot corpses will soon be in the works.
Fuck. What do I do?
Elevate your chin and push your face forward a smidge. It feels weird, but you'll look better on camera.
Anything a little more concrete than that?
Do you have any pipettes?
What's everyone else doing? The members of your "crew"?
Everyone's freaking out and panicking.
Get their attention. Tell them that they have to attack the television guys and steal their cameras. It's the only way to save your reputations.
How are we going to do that?
There's still a lot of those crested Manitoban marmots around, right? Start throwing marmots at them.
Are you fucking insane?
These documentary guys love animals. They'll try to catch them and drop their cameras.
Are you sure?
Totally. Whip a marmot at them. Like Braveheart. Everyone else will follow you if you show them the way.
Is it working?
They're catching the marmots! And the marmots are ... biting them? Are they carnivorous?
I KNEW IT.
They all dropped their cameras and are running away! Uh-oh.
The marmots have developed a taste for human blood.
And they're advancing on you and your sex crew, I bet.
Yes! What do I do?
Has a whale shown up yet, by any chance?
Congratulations on finishing this advice column! You are now no longer killing an endangered species! Should you require any further advice, please consult our guide, "So You're Losing a Marmot War."
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. He owes a huge shout-out to Seth S. for coming up with the premise for this one, and also wants to make clear that he's not implying anything about the sorts of hobbies Seth enjoys. Join Chris on Facebook or Twitter, where he'll defame you, too.