Because I Said So

Tony Phillips' Blog at Open.Salon.Com
JULY 16, 2011 4:50AM

A Rabbit With No Ears is Still a Good Story

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What do you call a rabbit with no ears? Evidence

One day not so long ago it came to pass that a mommy bunny spawned a litter of kits that included one fairly extraordinary member, a baby lacking those distinctive, oversized features ordinarily associated with rabbits, by which I don't mean Jessica Rabbit. This otherwise common white rabbit had no ears and if you don't believe me, go ask Alice.
*[Clumsily inserted jokes ahead] What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idear. 

So big deal, right? Well actually it was, briefly, sort of a big deal insofar as the streamlined varmint got itself born within ear shot of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that for quite a while now has been belching radiation like there's no tomorrow. Someone subsequently posted a video of the rabbit on the internets fueling wild speculation that its deformity was due to nuclear contamination. Come to find out, however, reputable scientists don't really credit the notion that a single animal oddity has bugger all to do with nearby apocalyptic leakage.

I reckon that's good news for the neighbors, but it's kind of a downer for leading Japanese chefs hoping for a breed of cheaply raised victuals, because for the Japanese, earless rabbit, or hipuruhopiri, is quite the delicacy. Yes I made that up, but we're talking about Japan, where people are known to die on occasion from intentionally eating the insides of this monstrosity.

*What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs? Still no idear.

I'm not buying the semi-official dismissals I've read about the earless bunny, who is certainly Japan's second most famous lagomorph of the past decade.


I also reject reports that the Gulf Coast three-eyed frog, Tryclopsius creolius, is just a photo-shopped image and has nothing to do with last year's BP clambake. I'm not willing to just take some scientist's word as gospel as if, what, science is any better at explaining things than any old gang of wing nuts with a hare-brained idea?

I choose to believe, on the basis of no evidence at all save the mere existence of an earless bunny that said bunny owes his existence and his celebrity to a freakish mutation brought on by prenatal exposure to radiation. I also choose to believe that the Japanese government has considered asking those two gals who live in a wine case to call their friend, Mothra, and ask him to cool Fukushima with the downdraft from his great, mothy wings.


You and the respected minds of the scientific community might not share my beliefs, but they're my beliefs and I'm not discarding them. I remain convinced that human contamination of the ecosystem accounts for such travesties of nature as earless bunny rabbits, two-legged dogs, six-toed cats and Christina Aguilera.

*What do you call a dog with no legs? It doesn't matter; he won't come anyway.

And let's say, for the sake of argument, that the scientists are right and I'm wrong. Let's say that with billions of new critters getting themselves born everyday the occasional freak is bound to turn up and it's just because the world has become a smaller place and sharing images of those oddities has become so common that it seems like there are more unexplained mutant beasts popping up than ever before, when in fact such freaks are no more common then they ever were. Well what fun is that? Who wants to live in a world with no specter of doom?

*What do you do with a dog with no legs? Take him for a drag.

Some things are better if we believe in them, like Santa Claus, and Social Security. If I wanted to live in a universe full of facts I'd listen to Michio Kaku, that dullard. But why would I do that when I can listen to my brother-in-law, Carl, who told me about the fallout bunny in the first place? Carl really understands how things work.

I think on the whole people are reasonable enough that we shouldn't let facts get in the way of a good story and by golly, a strain of Japanese meltdown bunnies with no ears is a good story, good enough for Carl anyway, and if it's good enough for Carl, I'm sticking with it. 

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