frogs that jump to conclusions by perry estelle

Frog farmers in the village of Bo Talo, Thailand, struggling with a glut in the local market, developed an export product for those who don’t require their frogs to be fresh: frog-in-a-can (which they hope will catch on as chicken and duck sales falter because of avian flu). [Agence France-Presse, 1-12-05] [China Post-AP, 1-19-05]

Is a ‘frog in the throat’, the same as a ‘toad in the hole’?

A bit about frogs, courtesy of

The Common Frog is an amphibian. Amphibians have been on earth for at least the last 250 million years. Or, before wholesale dissection at my school. The name of this class of animals reflects the fact that while the adults are largely terrestrial, they must return to the water to breed. This is because the eggs are unprotected by a shell and would therefore dry out if laid on land. The eggs hatch into tadpoles which are very different from the adults. They undergo a transformation known as metamorphosis, in the process losing the external gills and tail which are adaptations for the purely aquatic life of this stage of the life cycle. Adult amphibians breathe through their skins as well as through their lungs. For this to be possible, their skin needs to be moist. The adult animals therefore require damp habitats and must avoid drying out or they will die. They will literally ‘croak’ otherwise.

The Common Frog can be distinguished from toads by the colour and texture of their skin. Their skin is much smoother than that of toads and they have a brown patch behind the eye. Their skin tends to be more moist than that of toads, so they generally require moister habitats. Frogs feet are more prominently webbed than those of toads. They move about by hopping rather than by crawling, as toads do, and tend to be more active and to dash away upon discovery. Toads on the other hand are far more lugubrious and seldom indulge in rapid movement. They are right lazy bastards and wonder why they get ‘smushed’ by 4×4’s.

Are frogs just another one of God’s bad ideas?

I had ‘frog’s legs’ in France once, and I was hopping to the ‘Pisstwah’ all night. They are supposed to be a delicacy. Mine was obviously served from a net, out of a ditch, because it was complete, with what looked like pondweed, silt, algae and brick rubble. Apparently, they (frogs) are supposed to be an endangered species these days, because of their habitats being continually raped by agriculture and development. I am struck dumb about this. They don’t have access to IVF treatment or fertility drugs, but still manage to spawn thousands, at one sitting. How do they name 30,000 offspring? Frogs must be a sex machine that just loves to swallow. Giving a whole knew meaning to the term ‘horny’ toad.

The frog has a field day with the women. They ‘leapfrog’ each other ‘making out’ without any restraint whatsoever. Hence the bandy gait. ‘Common’ is not the word for it.

Above:Frog spawn in Dragonfly Pond at the Woodland Education Centre.

We are told millions of frog’s eggs are laid looking like pepper granules in wallpaper paste. Few reach adult hood because of aquatic and airborne predators. I find it unfeasible that fish or birds should enjoy tadpoles for breakfast, dinner and tea. I had only one, of the older variety, and my arse, was like a tap for entire next day.

“Well done”, the man that thought to put frogs in a can. Now, we can have them on toast. Will they be decapitated? Just the legs? Or the whole carcass? Different flavours, perhaps? In tomato sauce, or sunflower oil? Spring water, or brine? If they are still green when they slip out of the tin, does that mean they are past their ‘sell by date’? With, or without organs?

John Prescott looks a bit like a toad. So, does Zoey Ball. I wonder if David Icke was right? Reptiles may already reside among us in human form. Now, I wonder if the readers of ‘Fooge’, have their own idea of who looks more like a reptile, out there, in celebrity land.

John Prescott (pondlife) as we have never seen him. Loves a ‘jump’, and being thrown down the cleavage of human females, at election celebrations.

On a more serious note. Avian flu is the latest threat to the human food chain. As I write this, across Asia, millions of chickens, are being incinerated because of this virulent infection.

Is this an image of Kentucky ‘Fried’ Chicken? Or, somebody’s cock on fire, due to a disease caught from birds.

Avian flu. The facts

It’s one of 15 varieties of avian influenza – bird flu. So far, it’s the only one that’s shown any ability to directly infect humans. Twice.

Hong Kong, 1997. Eighteen people are stricken with severe respiratory disease. Six of them die. The cause – the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. The infection of humans coincides with an epidemic of a particularly nasty bout of avian influenza in Hong Kong’s poultry population, caused by the same strain.

Health officials determine that close contact with live infected poultry was the source of human infection. It’s the first time that evidence can be found that the virus had jumped directly from birds to humans.

Health officials order the destruction of Hong Kong’s poultry population. More than 1.5 million birds are killed in three days. There are no more cases of direct transmission of the disease from birds to humans. Some health experts say the action may have averted a pandemic.

South Korean officials dump bags of chickens in Yangsan. (AP photo)

Vietnam, 2004. Eight new cases of avian influenza in people. Six people die. Health officials order the culling of millions of birds to try to minimize the threat to people.

But killing millions of birds has not eliminated the threat to people from avian flu. By Feb. 2, 2005, 55 people in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand had come down with the disease – 42 died.

That’s an extremely high percentage – one that has the WHO warning countries around the world to get ready in case bird flu is the next big one.

The WHO says influenza pandemics can be expected to occur three or four times each century, when new virus subtypes emerge and are readily transmitted from person to person. The last great pandemic occurred in 1918-19, when Spanish flu swept the world, killing 40-50 million people, including more than 50,000 in Canada.

General flu prevention tips:

  • Get a flu shot – there is no vaccine for avian flu, but your regular flu shot will protect you from common strains going around.
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Go to Tesco’s and buy a frozen chicken. Keep it frozen until most of the human population is wiped out, and then defrost it. Make sure you wear washing up gloves and remove the giblets. Take your ‘experiment into chicken cryogenics’ to your local vet. As a result of this action, it could win you a Nobel prize and a shedload of money.
  • Become a vegetarian and buy only Cadbury’s Crème eggs in future.

A freshly plucked chicken.

The same chicken with its feathers

A poultry excuse.

Many of us enjoy chicken and become black rappers, buying chicken out of bucket, we may later use, to shampoo our Lexus, or keep our ‘Bling’ in. No wonder, chickens everywhere are going on hunger strike in battery farms. “Same old same old” everyday. Scoured skin, and the same ‘clucking’ routine. Imagine having to make smalltalk to other chickens in a cage for days on end. Sticking your head outside wire, and squatting at the same time, having to pass something far bigger than your bum, at intervals. Never, knowing, if it’s day or night. The stench of ammonia.

Antibiotics served with claustrophobia, has now caused, otherwise, tasty ‘fast food’ to commit suicide, starve, and refuse to lay eggs. But not in that order.

Gerald’s sister, who instead of being served with them, ‘cashed in her own chips’.

In the UK we can be fairly sure we will not catch flu from Southern fried chicken, but, if you want to play it really safe, stuff your chicken with the same care as shown below.

This is a stuffed chicken named ‘Eleanor’, taken to a ‘drag and brag’ school show, somewhere in East Grinstead. Not for human consumption, but uncontaminated, and safe around children.

Next time you ‘stuff’ a turkey at Christmas, make sure you don’t have a hand in it.

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