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April 01, 2014 7:17 am

MY LOUSY WORLD: Guns don’t kill dinosaurs, dinosaurs do

Written by Doug Blough

As always, I uncovered a few interesting articles in the Sunday Billings Gazette — the first on a subject that always confounds me: dinosaurs and those that love them.

One favorite dinosaur of those that love them was recently renamed from her demeaning nickname, “The Chicken from Hell.” That was based on a mythological feathered demon, but CFH finally got a scientific name, “Anzu Wyliei,” (now I can finally put a name to the face). This birdlike dinosaur stood some 7 feet tall and weighed around 500 pounds when it roamed western North America on its long, skinny hind legs.

It also had a toothless beak and a crest on its skull like a rooster’s comb, combined with long arms and sharp claws up to about 4 inches long and feathers. Sounds like someone I’d have taken to the prom had I been alive 66 to 68 million years ago when she strutted in all her bewitching beauty.

Don’t let her size fool you though — this god-ugly (but beauty is in the eye of the anthropologist) specimen was more of a lover than a fighter, as the article states she probably ate plants and small animals “when she wasn’t fleeing from a hungry and much bigger T-Rex.” You see, 7 feet, 500 pounds is good for an offensive tackle, but not in that rough-and-tumble world of dinosaur cage-fighting.

Yet as always, I’m a bit skeptical on that age estimation. Now, I’m not a stupid man by any means … well, maybe by some means, but I consider myself to be of at least average intelligence. I gradeeated the 12th grade and truly believe no one in the land could beat me in a Jumbles competition. My friend Faith Holler has proved a worthy opponent in a recent contest we’ve begun, but I normally beat her time by about 2 minutes.

We’re on the honor system of course, and Faith normally texts her Jumble time about 5 hours before I complete mine, but Faith’s an early riser. Getting back to those lovable dinosaurs, my limited mind just can’t wrap around the time estimation of these creatures we’ve only heard about.

I just can’t grasp the whole thing. I don’t believe the earth is only roughly 5,000 years old like some Biblical literalists swear, but 66 to 68 million years like the Chicken from Hell’s estimated age can’t be true, can it?

Regardless, if Anzu (no middle name given) Wyliei were still alive today, can you imagine how badly she’d have aged? I only wish a couple of ex-girlfriends would age that badly.

But again I painfully digress. How can they know the world is billions of years old? I assume they use fossils and erosion and whatnot to estimate, but I’m not sure if I’m mentally capable of buying it.

What, God finally got bored and lonely for intelligent conversation after billions of years? Can one be intellectually gifted and still not believe billions of years? Must Christianity and anthropology be mutually exclusive? Is Gramma still farting? (No relevance … just a favorite line from a super movie, “The Jerk”).

Eons ago and dinosaurs can’t claim to have broken the mold when it comes to uncommonly ugly though. Consider the alligator, the rhinoceros and Rep. Henry Waxman.

One thing’s for sure: Anzu Wyliei could have better protected herself from T-Rex had she exercised her Second Amendment rights and brandished a firearm. She could easily have justified it under the Stand Your Ground Law. And that segues us into the second article that caught my eye that afternoon as I grabbed my morning paper off the porch:

“Woman killed by gun in donated clothes.”

I quote: “A woman working at a Chicago thrift store was killed when a gun that was in dropped-off clothing accidentally discharged, hitting her in the chest.”

This 54-year-old woman was sorting clothes in a back room with a male employee when he shook a sock and a .22 pistol fell into the co-worker’s hand and discharged. Wow, talk about easy accessibility! OK, Second Amendment aside, when guns are falling out of donated clothing, we may have too many guns in society.

And in other headlines: “Charles Manson granted new trial under California’s new Stand Your Ground Law.”

OK, I made that one up; I was just searching for the perfect column ending to tie this odd mix together and was forced to take liberties. But I made ya look, didn’t I?

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