The Badgers Down Under: A Busymaking Thread

If I don’t finish this novella I’m working on today, someone from New Jersey will come and break my legs, so this is the last you’ll hear of me today. But I know how you all lose all sense of personal purpose when I’m gone, so to keep you busy, I have a question for you:

The elusive Tasmanian Badger. What do we really know about it?

Some people say it doesn’t exist; specifically, my friend Justine Larbalestier, who fancies herself an “Australian,” whatever that is, has said to me “there are no badgers in Tasmania, you mad, ignorant fool.” But I ask you: if the Tasmanian Badger didn’t exist, then why are there so many stories and legends about them? You might as well say that unicorns don’t exist either! Or dragons! Or the man-eating Indonesian wood finch! And we all know how laughable it would be to say any of that.

So: share a fact, legend, fable, rumor, myth or tall tale you have heard about the Tasmanian Badger. And don’t be afraid to contradict or correct others (politely) when your information differs from theirs. Between the lot of us, we should finally be able to get a bead on this magnificent creature of song and story. And, heck, we can’t end up any less correct than a Wikipedia article on the subject, could we? I think not.

I await your wisdom on this subject.

103 thoughts on “The Badgers Down Under: A Busymaking Thread

  1. The growl of a mother badger comforting her young sounds eerily similar to Morgan Freeman’s voice-over introduction to “The Shawshank Redemption.”

  2. There is only one Tasmanian Badger. There used to be more, in times long gone, but he fought them and absorbed their powers. He can fly, stop time and eat at McDonalds without getting fat, but he prefers to spend his time being mistaken for a Tasmanian Devil and making fun of hapless tourists.

    Also, he’s originally from Scotland, where he went by the name McBadger.

  3. Unfortunately, the only place Tasmanian Badgers are now found is on the map of Tassie…. (obscure antipodean joke in questionable taste)

  4. Errol Flynn had a ‘tame’ Tasmanian Badger. He kept it in a specially-fitted valise and would entertain lady friends with its antics. This ended when the badger went into a frenzy in the presence of Olivia de Havilland on the set of The Adventures of Robin Hood. Ms. de Havilland afterwards carried a scar on her upper thigh from the incident.

    The badger escaped in the confusion. To this day, sightings are occasionally reported around Chico.

  5. The population of Tasmanian badgers was devastated by the cruel sport, happily now banned, of badger baiting. This involved using badgers as bait for shark fishing.

    Tasmanian badgers catch ursine TB from drop bears and so proposals have been made to control the spread of the disease by culling the badgers. The more logical measure of controlling the disease in the drop bears has not been considered.

  6. The Tasmanian Badger is the only terrestrial mammal to subsist entirely on a diet of oceanic squid. The lengths to which they have to go to secure their prey are, needless to say, considerable, and may partially explain the characteristically pre-occupied demeanour exhibited by these animals when encountered in the wild. In captivity they do well on deep-fried calamari.

  7. Following the decline of the badger population in mainland Tasmania the species is now mainly confined to Badger Island.

  8. “…..the Tasmaninian Badger is perfectly suited to it’s environment down under as it is the polar opposite to the famed Unicorn/Virgin prerequisite, both of which are apparently non-existent in Tasmania….”

  9. The Tasmanian badger became known to literature through their squid diet. Melville’s description of the sperm whale in Moby Dick includes a confused account of a parasite of the whale that was in fact one of the whale riding badgers caught while hunting squid.

  10. Deadly, implacable enemy of the man-eating Indonesian wood finch. Also, they line their burrows with wool.

  11. The phrase “shag like a Tasmanian badger” has not yet caught on, but only because footage of the elusive mating ritual has never been filmed and distributed on YouTube. When it does, look out. THAT is the level of sexual prowess that everyone will be trying to achieve from now on.

    (Until that day, we’ll have to stick with “shag like crazed weasels” instead.)

  12. Don’t believe a word Justine tells you. As a proud Aussie I’m sad to report we see badgers here more often than we see her.

    In a little known Hugo Award fact, the ‘No Award’ option first made its appearance on the ballot at the 1985 Worldcon held in Melbourne. Up until then the default voting option for people who preferred none of the nominated choices for the particular year was “best story featuring a Tasmanian Badger”.

  13. Tasmania’s only native placental mammal the Tasmanian Badger often forms crude coin purses from offal and trash to make up for the lack.

  14. Tasmanian Badgers have the unique ability to hover silently about 5 feet off the ground. Scientists believe they developed this ability to better obtain their favored food: The faces of curious and inattentive tourists.

  15. I had one as a pet. They’re very nice… as long as there are NEVER any frozen peas in the vicinity. (I’ll never forget the time my mother accidentally spilled an entire bag of frozen peas on the kitchen floor. The dog was never the same, and my sister still has the scars on her face.)

  16. The Tasmanian badger, or North African Honey Badger as it is more commonly known, has a wing span of nearly 17 feet. While no one has actually seen the badger on its nightly flights, few can mistake the sound its wings make for anything other than a fully grown badger laden with sheep for its young. The Tasmanian badger also has a huge grudge against Warner Brothers, and Looney Toons specifically, for making up the much more popular Tasmanian Devil which we all know is as mythical as the fabled “kangaroo” of Whinnie the Pooh fame. Contrary to most textbooks, the Tasmanian badger does not produce milk but in fact gets it from their Vietnamese Melon Bat farms which they keep deep underground just above the Mole Kingdom.

  17. The Tasmanian Badger is the mascot of 37th Dorset Regiment (“The Queen’s Badgerteers” – Motto: Who digs wins.) While the mascot was traditionally a red squirrel, the regiment adopted the Tasmanian Badger as a sign of respect to the Royal Tasmania Regiment (Motto: For Altars and Hearths) who are thought to have pulled the 17th fat out of the fire at the Siege of Taganrog.

    The mascot is traditionally named Hobart (currently up to Hobart XXXIV) and one subaltern is chosen as Hobart’s Chum. There was some bother when Hobart XXXIII escaped during the 17th stationing in Basra.

  18. The Tasmanian badger is the most venomous mustelid on the planet. One bite will kill a fully-grown blue whale in less than a second. Indeed, it was once theorized that they and not human whalers were responsible for that species’ reduction, but it turns out that actual whale hunting is rare. Blubber gives the Tasmanian badger terrible, terrible gas.

  19. The picture you have there is neither Tasmanian nor a badger. It is a racoon that went undercover as a result of an unfortunate misunderstanding with the Queensland police.

  20. The Tasmanian Badger once killed John Scalvi just to watch him die.

    Hey… it’s what I heard.

  21. When settlers first crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and discovered Tasmania (perhaps it goes without saying they were no less surprised than you are), they found that badgers were as ubiquitous as squirrels back home. The animals were nicknamed “gully-pigs” and quickly became a staple of the frontier diet: badger steak and hominy for breakfast, pulled gully-pig sandwiches and corn-on-the-cob for lunch, badger stew with cornbread for dinner and, of course, a slice of piggy pudding with a shot of corn likker (aka, “badger-squeezins”) after midnight.

    Folklorists have been struck by how weirdly personal badger hunting became in the early 19th century, as evidenced by some of the songs sung at the monthly community dinners called “Badger Feeds.” Here’s the chorus to one as an example:

    Ohhh, come on out, whether granny or tot
    Help sweep the field with powder and shot!
    We have thumbs and they have not;
    Throw another gully-pig in the pot!

    The humiliation extended to hunters tying mocking notes to traps, such as this one found hanging in a ramshackle smokehouse in the Northern Midlands: “Proper badgers is brown with gray stripes, but your mum was gray with brown stripes HAR HAR, basterd (sic).”

  22. Ahh, the rare and legendary Australian Larbalestier, rumored to like boots, women’s basketball(Women, sure, but basketball? why would anyone like basketball? I mean, Women’s Gridiron Football would be a logical choice.), and men with distinguished(lumpy?) noses.

    They are believed to look like this. Notice the boots.
    http://tinyurl.com/6x9peg

    Seriously, would I Rick Roll you?

    Sadly, they are like R.O.U.S. They don’t really exist.

  23. Well, certainly there are no badgers in Tasmania now. They were hunted to extinction years ago for their exceptionally tasty and non-badger-like flesh.

    Luckily, a colony had been transplanted to California. Now, badger ranches are spread throughout the state, run under the auspices of the benificent In-and-Out Burger Corporation.

    What?! Oh, don’t tell me you didn’t know!

  24. The fur of a young badger has a uniform deep indigo color immediately after hatching.

    The white stripe on the forehead develops over time as the badger continually runs headfirst into low-hanging branches due to its poor eyesight.

  25. The Tasmanian Badger does not live in burrows, as most other kinds of badgers.Rather, it builds itself small houses which it then covers with soil- these are often mistaken for burrows unless closely checked.These huses are usually furnished with rugs and pillows of unicorn hair, although how the badgers manage to get such a rare material continues to puzzle researchers.

  26. I’m afraid Ms Larbalestier has the right of it. There are no Tasmanian Badgers. This is obvious, as there is no Tasmania, it is all a tall tale we Aussies created to explain why no-one ever sees the Drop Bears and Hoop Snakes.

    The real reason is that they never let a non-Aussie live to tell the tale. ‘Struth.

    Re: Angela @#5: *snrk* I was wondering how long it would take that joke to show up. *applauds*

  27. The fur of a Tasmanian Badger is as soft as a baby’s hair. Also, during the mating season, the males walk around on their hind legs for days at a time. Researchers believe it’s because females want to scope out their junk (but privately they admit that no one really knows why).

  28. 1. Pop culture appearances: The director of 2 Fast 2 Furious, John Singleton, kept a pair of tasmanian badgers (named ‘Sir Grouse’ and ‘Petunia’) on set for the shooting of every scene. They can be heard mating during the closing credits.

    The director of The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Justin Lin, refused to work until he had personally verified that each set was free of any lurking tasmanian badgers.

    2. The term ‘tasmanian badger’ is an anagram of ‘badger tasmanian’.

    3. The ‘period’ at the end of this sentence is actually a life-size image of a tasmanian badger egg.

    4. Tasmanian badgers addle the udders of adders.

    5. Tasmanian badgers cannot be resurrected once killed, even by Jesus.

  29. It’s pretty darn difficult to actually see a wild Tasmanian Badger in Tasmania, as they’re secretly the source of all BACON, something which has made them all but extinct. Pigs? LIES, I tell you. All lies.

    Save the Tasmanian Badger. Stop eating bacon. You know you can do it.

    //JJ

  30. Well of course sightings of the Tasmanian badger are rare. After nearly being hunted to extinction by the early colonists for “sport” (they claimed they made a great substitution for the fox in traditional English hunts), the Tasmanian badger has developed an almost chameleon-like knack for camouflage.
    Some speculate that this ability to change the pattern of stripes and spots on their short-haired pelts came from their dietary requirements of vast amounts of squid who, as we have discovered, have the ability to change not only the pattern of their skin but the color as well, some even being able to emit a faint luminoscity.
    The number of Tasmanian badgers has not managed to make a rebound to previous levels because of the increased demands for calamari on restaurant menus world-wide.
    Some also speculate that the recent increases in whale-beachings are because the badgers, who latch on lamprey eel-like to the whales, are somehow communicating to them to continue searching for the dwindling pods of squid to satisfy their enormous hunger, thereby driving the whales to exhaustion and disorientation and causing the beachings while the badgers detach and head for shore in the shallow waters.
    So perhaps the real question is to find a way to protect the Tasmanian badger population, but at a cost to the populations of both squid and whales, or to further reduce the number of badgers to eleviate the burden on both squid and whales and allow their numbers to increase.
    A difficult decision to be sure… unless you are a true fan of calamari appetizers.

  31. The key reason for the Badger’s elusiveness is the recent discovery that they are Temporally Translative, leading the only observers that have actually seen them to say “oh, only if you’d been here 2 seconds ago”; because that’s when they’ve TT’d(tm) themselves to — 2 seconds into the past!

    Tasmanian Badgers are now the leading cause of Temporal Overpopulation in the Southern Hemisphere.

  32. You know, I heard some dude with cancer even finished his novella. But I also heard that one was ghost-written by a Tasmanian badger, so what do I know?

  33. “It seems that Dethklok is attempting to summon a tasmanian badger.”

    “But that’s impossible, there’s no such thing as tasmanian badgers.”

    “Then how do you explain the dead unicorns?!”

  34. I know they exist – I saw one once on teh Intarweb!

    It was a documentary. They are apparently commonly found near snake-snakes and mushroom-mushrooms. *Those* can’t be common, so it should be relatively easy to find them.

    Also, I think their scientific name is ‘badger-badger-badger’, not just ‘badger’, but I hate to be pedantic-pedantic.

  35. Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply is a breeder of Tasmanian badgers. In 1997 to help save this endangered species, Hitchcock released the single All out of Badgers to raise money and awareness of the plight of the Tasmanian badger. The record featured the talents of Colin Hay, Peter Garrett, Robin Gibb and an assortment of Farrisses. A huge success in Oceania, it grossed more than A$1.2 million and has become something of an anthem at Australian international rugby matches.

  36. Tazzie Badgies, as they are a affectionately known, can sing in color, hear in 3D and piss rainbows on command to stun their prey and enemies.

    Oh, and they answer only to a chain of pangolins.

  37. The Tasmanian Badger is capable of projecting itself into the next universe over, where they are the dominant sentient life form. Because of the availability in that universe of gigabit home broadband and really good chocolate, they choose to spend most of their time there, explaining the scarcity of sightings in this universe. They do pop home once and a while to check their snail mail and make sure they didn’t leave the iron on, though, so you may yet see one.

  38. @43:thanks, your explanation for the source of unicorn hair is highly appreciated by Tasmanian Badger researchers all over the globe:)

  39. Having been to Tasmania, I can authoratively state that it barely resembles a map of Tassie at all. I did see a badger there – they were selling badges in the Salamanca Market. I don’t have any photos as I was very hungover that morning.

  40. Tasmanian Badgers are known to be fashion forward when decorating their burrows. They also host the very best afternoon tea parties, where bacon sandwiches and Schadenfreude tarts are always served. Their English cousins in their fusty old burrows eating anchovy paste sandwiches and stale teacakes deeply envy such stylish teatime fun, and have instituted an elaborate compaign of disinformation about badgers from Tasmania. I am shocked to see how successful the campaign has been.

  41. No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even gophers and ground hogs are supposed, by some, to dream. Badger House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Badger House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

  42. It is said that the Tasmania Badger is capable of jumping incredible distances and heights. It is said that original settlers of Tasmania wore spikey metal hats with extra padding in the event one landed on them (because everyone knows the worst way to end the day is having an angry badger land on your face). This is where the myth about drop bears comes from.

  43. “Even a man who is pure of heart
    And says his prayers by night
    May become a Tasmanian Badger
    When the badgerbane blooms
    And the moon is full and bright.”

    Traditional Tasmanian folk rhyme.

    note: Badgerbane is the common name for the plant badgerius negatius, also known as Tasmanian stink weed, badger-be-gone, and, in some circles, cilantro.

  44. Some say the tasmanian badger’s sweat can clean precious metals and that if you tune your radio to 88.6 you can hear its thoughts.

    Some say the tasmanian badger, when dropped, always lands facing magnetic north and that if set alight would burn for a thousand days.

    Some say the tasmanian badger is allergic to the Dutch and has webbed buttocks.

  45. The crux of the issue is one to do with what happens to language over time. It was originally know as the Tarkanian Nevada Badger . Now, badgers in Nevada were themselves an oddity and this was no exception. It is a little known fact that the founder of the University of Nevada was himself a reject of the University of Wisconsin as well as every other school he applied to. Unable to face his parents with this failure of academia, he forged some documents to show that he had been accepted in the newly established University of Arkansas. To lend itself credibility, he stole the mascot of his home state’s university; the badger.

    Now, the founding of the University of Nevada has been told in the somewhat fictionalized movie, “Accepted” so I don’t have to go into details here about it. Suffice it to say, it survived it’s growing pains with some young comedic star power to become the university it is today. One of it’s earliest students was a young man know as Tommy Tarkanian. He brought fame reform to the costumed mascot.

    Before Tommy’s time, mascots were a largely sedentary position, standing around next to the bench on basketball courts, football fields and soccer pitches. They provided no acrobatics, no laughs and no exuberance that are the standard qualities of a good mascot today. Yesteryears straitlaced societal pressures prevented anything like that from happening. Tommy was a trailblazer. He couldn’t contain his school pride within the confines or what had been done before. He needed to explore, he needed to expand…he needed to dance.

    All of a sudden, the crowds at UNLV came not to see the sporting events, but to see Tommy Tarkanian in his badger uniform display his antics for all to see. Posters would be put up with headlines proclaiming the “Tarkanian Nevada Badger”. Crowds would cheer like never before and though they weren’t initally cheering for their teams, the teams couldn’t help but be caught up in that excitement and their energy levels skyrocketed. This of course led to better performance on the field and more wins. Other teams couldn’t ignore this and started to field their own dancing mascots. And thus the face of mascotism changed.

    After his four years, Tommy Tarkanian had to leave. But the school wouldn’t forget his contribution. At graduation, they gifted the UNLV Badger to Tommy, and retired the mascot as it was obvious no one could ever do it the justice that it deserved. Instead, they named the school mascot after Tommy, calling it the Runnin’ Rebel, for this style of dance and for the rebellion against the norm that he had.

    As many things, time has altered language and erased the knowledge of the origins. “Nevada” was lost entirely and newscasters with bad eyesight would talk about the Tasmanian Badger as it sounded a more likely beast. People forgot about Tommy Tarkanian and soon enough, he was erased from our national memory. Fiction was intermixed with reality and stories about the dancing Tasmanian Badger entered the ranks of such as the Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

    As a sidenote, the Tarkanian name would later come back to fame under Tommy’s son Jerry Tarkanian as he would lead the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels to the NCAA basketball championship.

  46. Did I miss the results of the Hate John Scalzi contest a few months back? Did all of the entries suck too much?

  47. Tabatchniks, as they are known in their native Southside Ossetia (don’t even ask them about the separatist struggle) will watch fantasy films but will read only science fiction.

    Fact.

  48. I do believe that the main issue lies in the fact that there are several parts of the world known as “Tasmania” and also that badgers are picky people. They know where they want to live, and try as you might to entice them to live near one of the Tasmanias that are currently habitable, they always choose the other ones.

  49. The Tasmanian Badger has recently teamed up with the hairy-nosed wombat in an effort to get 18 wheelers off the national highways. The badger lies in wait and trips the trucks up, and then the wombat sups greedily on the transmission and brake fluid as the trucks life essence drains away.

    Very occasionally, a badger may betray a wombat, and the sad result, a prone wombat, takes a short nap on the side of the road. You can see them as you zoom past, unless you are in a truck, in which case, you will never see them coming.

    Also, Bass Strait was dug by the Emperor Nasi Goreng to keep the badgers out of the mainland.

  50. I AM the last Tasmanian Badger. I am currently showing my disdain of Tasmanian weather, specificly that of Hobart. Badger doesn’t not like the weather. Its raining, cold and generally unpleasant. Even for a legendary badger… this is a test of my patience. Methinx i shall go don my Tasmanian Tiger costume and run around the bush near Mount Wellington to encourage some more legendary creature hysteria. Tassie Devils: Wusses. Tasmanian Badger : Legend.

    Graar. Hear me roar.

  51. Now, a clever man would claim that there are in fact no badgers in Tasmania, because he would know that only a great fool would believe what was written on the internet. We are not great fools, so clearly, there are no badgers in Tasmania. But Scalzi knows we are not great fools; in fact he would have counted on it. So clearly, there are badgers in Tasmania.

    Justine Larbalestier has said there are no badgers in Tasmania. But Justine Larbalestier is from Australia, as everyone knows. And Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, so clearly, there are badgers in Tasmania. But Justine must have assumed that we know her origins, so clearly, there are no badgers in Tasmania.

    Scalzi won the Hugo, which means he’s exceptionally popular. So, he could have told the truth about there being no badgers in Tasmania, trusting on his popularity to convince us. So clearly, there are no badgers in Tasmania. However, he’s also written nonfiction books about astronomy, which means he must have studied. And in studying, he must have learned that man is deceitful so he would have tried to deceive us so clearly there are badgers in Tasmania.

    Look! What in the world can that be?

  52. Speaking as a current resident of the wonderful state of Tasmania, Tasmanian Badgers:-
    1. Are both existent and non-existent. Like photons being a wave and a particle.
    2. Cause ripples in causality, making honest, hard working PhD students go out drinking all night, losing all their money and getting them into trouble with their spouses.
    3. Are not usually seen in the wild, but pick the right suburb and there’s heaps.
    4. Are very, very sneaky. Unlike elephants.
    5. Can’t do maths in their heads, unlike camels.
    6. Are right behind you….

  53. Not much is known about them, though everything we’ve read so far is /wrong/.

    We do know that the Tasmanian Badger is responsible for the cancer epidemic among certain marsupials in Tasmania. Which is ironic, since they have never actually been to Tasmania.

    It is rumoured that the badgers were rather laissez-faire about their lab procedures, and ended up spilling contaminated serum on their fur. This was exposed to the marsupials via a container ship of children’s books and tennis shoes (lefts only) sent to Tasmania as part of a Tongan-Tasmanian culture exchange. (Tasmania sent a number of paint-by-number kits and soap-opera magazines in return.)

    Tasmanian Badgers also like wind-surfing and wine-tastings, often in that order. A small percentage of badgers are born with the ability to juggle transistor radios, as long as the radios pick up European AM signals they can sing along to.

  54. Eating one ounce of Tasmanian Badger meat will completely neutralize the fat and calorie content of four ounces of bacon, consumed at the same time.

    This would seem like a great thing, except that Tasmanian Badger meat tastes like maple syrup, which means that…oh wait….

  55. Wondering how long it’ll be until LOLTasBadger.com is up asking about Cheeseburgers, et al……

  56. There were quite a few Tasmanian badgers a couple of hundred years ago, but they were uplifted by well-meaning aliens who thought they were the most promising species on the planet. Pretty sure Dan Brown wrote a book on the topic.

  57. Most of the surviving Tasmanian badgers moved to Willcox, Arizona in March, 1953, to eat trogons and other exotic birds, and to enjoy the occasional Rex Allen concert. There they met a disgraced University of Arizona professor, Bill “Cricky” Watson, whom they called Crikey. He agreed to help them blend in better in their adopted home. After a series of genetic experiments and a quick trip to Roswell, NM, the now stripeless emigrants from Tasmania became known as javalinas in doctored biology texts and Arizona tourist brochures. They appear nightly in every unfenced back yard in Southern Arizona, eating birdseed and hunting for baby wallabies, gila monsters and an elusive Rex Allen B-side whose lyrics confused kookaburras with Tumacácori.

  58. The Tasmanian Badger, also know as Van Diemen’s weasel, is a generally antisocial and solitary animal, save for the extraordinary gatherings that occur on intercalary years.

    Each February 29th Tasmanian badgers form into vast, collective groups — known as confusions — and converge on the airy, natural dells of southern portion of the island. Here male Tasmanian badgers engage in fiercely contested struggles to punt, pass and kick echidnas –or Tasmanian porcupines — from end-to-end the length of the dell while female and juvenile weasels enthusiastically encourage the competitors.

    Zoologists believe this to be an instinctive, if elaborate, mating ritual of Van Diemen’s weasel… though frankly not enough rigorous study has been completed, what with all the beer drinking and bookmaking that occurs among the observing scientists.

  59. Tasmen, the native peoples of Tasmania, (who are occasionally mislabeled “Tazmaniacs” [sic], but only by Warner Brothers) go to great lengths to deny the existence of the Tasmanian badger because cheese made from Tasmanian badger milk is considered such a delicacy that it ought never be exported from the region. This attitude is especially puzzling when one considers the fact that Tasmanian badger cheese tastes almost exactly like low-grade plumbing caulk, is a proven cause of adult acne and has no known melting point.

    This latter fact has led to a high mortality rate among Tasmen competing in the annual “Best Grilled Tasmanian Badger Cheese Sandwich” contest. Each April, thousands of Tasmen bring their homemade blast furnaces and so-called “nova grills” to the Grillrena at Hobart in the hopes that they will be the first to melt a slice of Tasmanian badger cheese. Deaths by spontaneous combustion at the event number in the hundreds annually. Very little attention is paid to the fact that even if it were possible to melt the cheese, no bread in existence could withstand the heat necessary to do so.

    Despite the fact that no entrant has ever won the “Best Grilled Tasmanian Badger Cheese Sandwich” contest, the event is second only in popularity to the equally-futile “Best Tasmanian Badger Cheese Fondue” contest, held in Hobart every November.

    Census trends suggest that Tasmania will be entirely devoid of human life by the year 2027.

    The sole reason for the entirely unwarranted popularity of these events is that the Tasmanian badger is the only animal on the entire island that can be milked.

  60. Actually there is no Tasmanian Badger.
    This misconception comes from the last Tazmania convention (or Errol Flynn fan club convention, for the uninitiated) to be held in Cornwall,England. You see, in this part of England, they add an ‘r’ to the end of some of their words and elongate their vowels, so an ‘o’ would become an ‘or’ or an ‘e’ and ‘er’ etc. So, when touting for business for his t-shirt, medals and lapel badges stand, Thom Dhriyzzellwoll (pronounced Drizworl) shouted to the crowds: “Get your Tazmayniar Badgers ere”, obviously meaning that people could buy Tazmania lapel badges from him. Unfortunately there were some in the crowd that believed this to mean that you could buy a replica ear of their favourite Tasmanian, Mr Flynn – who as we all know was a famous ‘bodger’ or wood worker and was reputed to have one excessively large apendage.
    Thus the legend of the Tazmanian Badger began.

  61. Breaking news: a Tasmanian badger has been forced to step down from his Parliamentary seat following allegations of kickbacks from the shadowy Wombat Army of Resistance. Badgers have held the balance of power in the unicameral Tasmanian Parliament since the 1970s, but the number of seats they hold has been eroded over time. This latest scandal (following from last year’s allegations of anti-penguin activities) will force a by-election that may lead to a significant shift in Tasmanian politics.

  62. #80 Most of the surviving Tasmanian badgers moved to Willcox, Arizona in March, 1953…

    I follow the news from Willcox, Arizona avidly as Willcox is my family name, so I can assure everyone this is all true, except the bit about the kookaburras, who are laughing at this schoolboy (girl?) error. Laughing I tell you.

  63. Every winter the desire to visit high alpine forests comes over tasmanian badgers. But to do this they must cross swift running streams. Being low slung beasts, they do this by wading across shallow locations. At this time the tasmanian badger is said to be fording for the pines.

  64. They’re all over the place, in fact me and my mates were tipping back a couple Foster’s and one waddled past and went under the deck. The a coule hours later he came up on the deck, sat in one of the loungers and pulled a Can out of the cooler.

  65. The Tasmanian Badger is commonly found in the vast expanse of the Overland Track, and their elusiveness to tourists and locals is second only to the rare North Queensland Drop Bear, which has been terrorising unsuspected tourists since Captain Cook landed on Botany Bay.

  66. I Am the Tasmanian Badger. Today the rain has stopped. I am less grumpy. There is a lot of snow though. THis makes my paws hurt. I might go and kill goats with my mind bullets. Drop bears are girlybears. I laugh at them. I am the last Tasmanian Badger. Like the Last Starfighter. But with more fur and less spaceship.

  67. Of course there are no Tasmanian badgers in Tasmania! Aliens accelerated their development and they have since developed advanced space travel and colonized Mars. The water, which was recently discovered there, is evidence of their existence. It is, in fact, a by product of the advanced recycling plants for the Tasmanian Badgers’ compounds under the surface of the planet.

  68. Dan@90: No one who is Really Australian drinks Fosters – we export the stuff so we don’t have to contemplate drinking it. It’s like Budweiser .. oh … wait.

    Anyhoo, back to the badger. Besides being the natural enemy and alpha-predator to the 18 wheeler, the Tasmanian Badger is the life-form most directly responsible for the reputation of Tasmanian sparkling wines. I kid you not.

  69. Some Taz badgers are naturally white–not albino, just white-furred. During the latter half of the 19th century, the people around Lake Tanganyika regarded them as “ghost badgers”. A warrior who carried a ghost-badger shield was believed to be invulnerable to bullets, (not to mention highly virile), and in fact reports from some European observers seem to corroborate this–see for instance the German officer’s report in The East African Ghost Badger–it’s about third of the way through the book.
    It’s not clear how Tasmanian badgers got to African in the first place. Smalley-Fitzhugh believes they were imported by Europeans, but Gluck feels the badger’s normal habit of riding whales would suffice. There is an argument by T. Bacon and F. Katz that East Africa was the original source of the species and they should more properly be known as “Tanzanian badgers”, but most experts remain unconvinced.

  70. I Am the last Tasmanian Badger. I am extremely virile and invulnerable to bullets. Tanzananian Badgers are pussies. I eat Drop Bears. I ride white pointers because whales are for pussies and Guatamalan Beavernosed Ratskinks.

    I am the last Tasmanian Badger. I lament deforestation… the well known Map of Tasmania is looking more and more Brazilian every day.

  71. I am the last Tasmanian Badger. I taste like chicken. I know this because I ate second last Tasmanian Badger. In retrospect this is probably A Bad Thing. Not my fault she underestimated both my virility, appetite and literalnessnessness. “Eat me”. These were her last words. Well… if you don’t count the squarking. I am the Last Tasmanian Badger. I stalk the forums. I kill goats and drop bears with mind bullets. I eat ladybadgers.

  72. As I am a Vandemonian by adoption, I was bemused to hear my elderly neighbour seriously talking about a “badger” he had seen on my property. When I questioned him further I determined it to be a long remembered and archaic term for the southern wombat. It has been remembered through isolated areas back probably to the original settlers who had to find a name for the native animals. Familiar as I am with drop bears and bunyips, it seems to me that the Tasmanian Badger is alive and well, and I have one to visit every now and then. I love all the other explanations, but experience says this must be the true explanation.

  73. Strewth!!! Look. I am telling you all that I can’t fly, slay things with mind bullets, or any of the other cool things described above. Mind you, i will have to cop a mea culpa about luring a few PhD students to the pub… But they totally needed it. Honest.

    :)

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