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Leaping lagomorphs, Batman!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 • Posted November 17, 2010

If you’ve never seen the 1975 British comedy ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ you’ve missed one of the funniest movies of all time. Maybe the funniest. Of course, the movie is generally not funny to women, for some reason, but if guys depended on female-approved humor, plenty of classic funny items would never have been invented, such as the whoopee cushion and the springy snake thing that explodes from a can when you open it.

Could the world do without those inventions? It could not.

So, for the record and for the purposes of this column, we’re operating on the premise that ‘Holy Grail’ is nothing short of the most masterful example of classic humor ever committed to celluloid. And the funniest part of the movie, except for the other funny parts, is the part about the evil cave-guarding white rabbit.

Now, for those readers who haven’t seen the movie, King Arthur and his knights are going around the country looking for the Holy Grail. Seems they have nothing better to do. And they find a wizard named Tim who leads them to a cave, but warns that it’s guarded by a hideous, vicious monster.

When they get to the cave they sneak up and peer over some rocks, and see the monster, which is a regulation-sized white bunny rabbit. So they deride Tim, and Arthur sends one of his knights down to dispatch the rabbit. Whereupon the rabbit leaps up and bites the knight’s head right off.

The same thing is happening at Denver International Airport. Well, not exactly the same thing, but very similar. The airport is overrun with rabbits, and they’re eating the wiring in cars that are left parked in the long term lot. Which is not exactly the same as having your head bitten off, but try to tell that to someone who just flew in from spending a week in Chicago, and was just hoping to get home and enjoy being back in the United States, and his car won’t start because evil airport-guarding rabbits ate the wires.

This recently happened to a fellow named Dexter Meyer, who parked his new Volkswagen Jetta at DIA. When he got back from a 9-day vacation and tried to start his car, "all these lights started flashing." Dexter says he "pulled out the manual and it said I had a big problem so I took it back to the dealership."

If any of you readers has a Volkswagen Jetta, I’d appreciate it if you’d look in your owner’s manual and tell me if there is any place in there, maybe under a heading of ‘lights flashing’ or something, where it says, "You got a big problem."

Anyway, the service manager at the dealership told Dexter that rodents had eaten his wiring, but Dexter told him there aren’t any rodents where he lives. I suspect there are, but they don’t put up signs and stuff.

But then the service manager, apparently without any prompting, asked Dexter if he had recently parked his car at DIA. He said, "We’ve had a significant number of problems with rabbits eating through the wiring in people’s cars." I don’t know what constitutes a ‘significant number’ of problems, but if it was my car I think a significant number would be one.

Dexter filed a complaint with the airport people, and they told him they have a fence to keep rabbits out. Of course, the fence seems to working about as well as the one on the U.S. – Mexico border, for stopping unwanted rabbit immigration.

The airport people also said it was impossible to prove the damage happened at the airport. Right. The car was working fine when Dexter parked it, and during his vacation someone stole it, let rabbits eat the wires, and then took it back where they’d found it.

As usual, with a story like this, the most interesting part is probably the comments people are allowed to make online. This one, predictably, elicited plenty of references to Elmer Fudd, and the best ways to get rid of those wascally wabbits.

Some comments were obviously from enviro leftwing nuts. One said, "Good for the rabbits. They’re doing their part for a cleaner environment." Another made reference to the small predators that have been ‘moved,’ claiming "There absence is the reason the rabbits are out of control." That one said the rabbits were an unintended consequence to our "enveroment."

Other comments offered sage advice on how to get rid of the rabbits, including domesticated coyotes, Border Collies, and coyote urine. One suggested feeding the rabbits so they wouldn’t eat the wires. The scariest comment made reference to the possibility of the rabbits developing a taste for avionics wiring.

My favorite was a suggestion to use the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, which is how King Arthur defeated the evil rabbit in Holy Grail. If that’s what they end up doing I only hope they remember, after they pull the pin, to count to three . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who realizes rabbits are not rodents, but lagomorphs. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or jeep@verizon.net

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