I had a very casual thought the other day. So insignificant that I’m ashamed to even blog about it. Children who are starving in third world countries are killing each other over a pop tart…Africa and the Middle East continue to release government-related frustrations…corruption is always in popularity…coral reefs are dying around the world as our planet weeps…the list goes on yet here I am snuggled under my duvet cover. Exercising my freedom of speech by clacking away at the computer…writing about CRAP because I don’t have any more notifications on facebook and it’s a Sunday (which in America means we can be lazier than usual). I’m an embarrassment to my species and I know it.
But if you’re as hopeless as I am and don’t have anything better to do for the next five minutes, maybe you can share this (pointless) thought with me. Here goes *clears mental throat*
Why are lions referred to as the “king of the jungle”? Ever thought about that? The phrase is a misnomer because lions don’t live in the jungle…they live out on the Savannah (I just learned that “misnomer” means “a misapplied or inappropriate name”). Really we should refer to lions as the “king of Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia” that are (ironically) dwindling in numbers due to habitat loss and conflicts with humans despite their high-and-mighty tag.
Even the word “king” seems misleading. Kings are supposed to be noble, composed, strong leaders (who used to get extra brownie points if they lived long seeing as the phrase “Long live the king!” was a traditional proclamation reflecting the hopes of a society who wished to avoid civil war by always placing a monarch on the throne). Lions on the other hand fight a lot. They don’t live long because of injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males. They’re not even the largest cats in the genus Panthera (that title goes to the tiger). They have the appearance of being big but that’s only because their mane is an excellent display of intimidation. Have you ever seen a lion with little or no mane? It’s sad. Similar to the case of balding humans…castrated from society :(
Not only are lions short-lived big shots but they’re lazy. They’re inactive for about TWENTY hours per day (oh my GOSH, how do they live with themselves?) They might be powerful during certain parts of the day but they don’t have much stamina and hunt in groups to make it easier on themselves (kind of like splitting the cost of shipping between five co-workers). I guess if you think about it, they’re not too different from kings in past history (a fat, pompous Henry VIII comes to mind). I think my two scruffy schnauzers have more heart and ferocity than the lion. They’re really just a bunch of puffed-up house cats, undeserving of a Broadway musical. At least the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz was quick to admit it.
Perhaps the title “king of the jungle” should go to a more deserving creature. Like the poison dart frog, jaguar, cougar, harpy eagle, spider monkey….or even….PIRANHA! Lets not forget the Leafcutter Ant which, next to humans, form the largest and most complex animal societies on earth (Wikiiiii). Here’s a list of other misnomers that I think are deserving of being renamed. I bet these objects feel insulted everyday…kind of like when Ben refers to me as “wife” or “sweetie” when I should really be addressed as “Queen”, “Majesty above all other lady majesties”, or “Glorificus.”
tin foil – almost always made of aluminum
lead pencil – made of graphite or clay, not lead
guinea pigs – are not pigs and do not come from Guinea
English Horn – neither English in origin nor a horn
Horned frogs – are not frogs (they’re lizards)
peanut – is not a true nut in the botanical sense but a legume
Koala bears – are marsupials of course
Jellyfish – are not fish
dry cleaning – doesn’t involve water but the process still involves liquid solvents
radiator – usually transfers more energy through convection rather than radiation
funny bone – is not a bone (the phrase refers to the ulnar nerve)