Category Archives: cats

Crappy Unsigned Bands #2 #thecrappening

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Since writing last week’s reviews of some of the CUB’s who followed me on Twitter I have been overwhelmed by the response and literally inundated with at least 3 new bands requesting to follow me.

I was checking the stats on this incredible blog the other day and noticed that I’d had 5 visitors in one day, absolutely smashing the previous BadTripe record of 3. Obviously most of these visits are accidental and, wonderfully, you can actually see the country from which the visitors visited and also the search terms which brought them here.

It was to my sheer amazement and delight that I saw that someone in Albania (and this is absolutely true) had googled ‘Beyonce Pussy’ and had ended up here on BadTripe.com. Beyonce does crop up in one of my articles and most of what I write involves cats so I can see how it’s happened but what a fortuitous happenstance dear readers! Just think, if that poor Albanian fool had been slightly less specific in his Google search criteria then he could’ve been looking at all manner of lady parts but instead he’s now listening to your Crappy Unsigned Band. That’s the power of the internet kids, you do the math.

Anyway let’s dive straight in to this week’s CUB’s and see what fresh hell awaits us…

First up this week we have Destroy Nate Allen @DSTRYNATEALLEN a colourful haired gentleman (and I think his wife?) hailing from Kansas City, Missouri where I believe the classic American dish of Waffle-Fried Crawfish was invented.

BadTripe Verdict: This is that sort of off-kilter folk punk music played on acoustic guitars that makes up the soundtrack to all of those US indie films starring Michael Cera where everyone wears a hoodie and has great hair where nothing much happens but the kids all discover some life lessons about themselves before they move out of Mom’s basement and go off to college, set against a background of teenage pregnancy, divorce or imminent destruction of the earth. They’ll never forget that summer, and we all swore never to not waste a minute or let a minute go to waste. Anyway this band…I like it, it’s all very quirky and enjoyable. These guys sound like a nice couple who are having a lot of fun and I for one would quite like to go have some beers and some chicken-fried daiquiris with them.

Next, all the way from Manchester we have The Mudez Project @MudezProject who requested a review without actually following me which piqued my ire to begin with. Don’t you realise I care about how many people follow me on Twitter? I’m a small, petty, petty man in many ways.

Their Twitter biog reads :-

“Nu Jazz, Neo Soul, Fusion & Electronica fuses together The Mudez Project in a mist of exciting collaborations & new sounds.”

Jesus Methamphetamine Christ I’m scared. If they’d added the word ‘funk’ to this anywhere I would’ve vomited my own eyes out there and then but I’m a true journalist and so, like a cheap hooker attempting to override her gag reflex, I’ll give it a go….

BadTripe Verdict: I managed to make it through 2 minutes of their video! They’re clearly a very talented group of musicians, a tight jazz quintet. The lead singer has a great voice and the addition of a double bass in to any situation will always play well on BadTripe. If I was staggering round a smoky basement bar (back when you could smoke, not one that’s on fire) and these guys were playing in the background I’d be quite happy. If you’re the sort of person who likes magic mushrooms on a week night and has at least one white friend with dreadlocks I reckon you’ll like them too. Just for God’s sake never put the prefix “Nu” in front of any genre of music ever again.

And finally….coming straight out of Waco Texas (which is already ringing alarm bells) we have The Jesses, represented on Twitter by (I presume) lead vocalist and songwriter Robert Harris @bitterpony666 whose Tweets lead me to the band’s full length album ‘The Devil Doesn’t Come Out in Daylight’. Looking at Robert’s profile it looks as though he failed to make the Varsity Water Polo team, which I understand is the one unifying goal of all American high school kids and instead has chosen to go the other way and stop cutting his hair and adopt a bleak, nihilistic view of the world and all existence and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s a good start if you want to make some decent music.

BadTripe Verdict: Jesus Christ you kids need to lighten up, the world’s not that terrible. Even on the website it says “Here is our album, after it comes out we will break up”. It can’t be that bad! In fact you guys remind me of the Goth Kids from South Park. You want to come round to the BadTripe household for the weekend that’ll cheer you up. Me and Mrs BT like listening to some angsty, desolate post-punk but we also like cuddling on the sofa and watching Grey’s Anatomy with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. On Fridays we normally cook some delicious pasta but we don’t just lump it straight on to a plate, no, no, no. We serve it up on a vintage platter, scattered liberally with fresh herbs and accompanied by a nice Caprese Salad. Then I grate some parmesan over it with gusto from a height, FROM A HEIGHT ROBERT! I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, it fucking well gets all over our antique oak plank kitchen table but we don’t care, it gives it a sense of occasion, something to enjoy. I mean obviously Mrs Badtripe makes me clean that shit up as soon as we’ve eaten, we’re not running a fucking soup kitchen you understand.

That said your album’s really good. I can tell you love Wavves and Cloud Nothings, as do I, I’m a sucker for this stuff and this is really well made considering you’ve probably done it all yourself in your bedroom. It’s melodic, grungey, a little bit jarring and depressing as fuck in places. People like you need to be depressed so that people like me can enjoy your music. Don’t break up you bunch of pricks. Carry on being depressed in your Crappy Unsigned Band and you never know what might happen.

Peace x

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sorry for being a dick

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My New Year’s resolution for what it’s worth is simply to stop being a complete and total dick, in all manner of situations, towards people who are only doing their jobs. Sounds reasonably simple but for some reason I do keep getting myself in to these awkward situations and finding that I’m unable to stop myself from being a dick. It’s almost like I’m looking down on myself, seeing the scenario unfold, behaving like a total and utter pompous arsehole but being unable to stop myself from doing it. It’s like some sort of weird, Pavlovian response mechanism like I’ve been somehow pre-conditioned to behave in this way, which begs the question of Nature vs. Nurture. Am I just inherently a total dick or am I in fact just a product of my environment? This is what we’re going to explore but first here’s a brief example of the sort of thing I’m talking about :-

#1 – Buying coffee from a service station

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I order a medium latte and a bottle of water. I know it’s going to be expensive but nothing prepares me for the violent insult of being charged £5.41 for these two meagre beverages. WHERE DOES THE FUCKING 1 COME FROM?? WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT!!!??? I check the change in my pocket as I cling to the belief that if you’re spending the change from a previous cash withdrawal rather than starting a new transaction then you’re effectively not spending any extra money. The change in my pocket totals exactly £5.40. I already know that this will not be accepted and I’m not willing to lower myself to the rank of common beggar. It’s like a perfect storm at this point, I am apoplectic with rage but just managing to maintain the thin veneer of social acceptability as I hand over my card as if it’s my anal virginity. Then the woman on the till asks :-

“Can you just check that the amount is correct?”

It’s at this point that the change occurs. I’ve exited this mortal plain and I’m just floating on a cloud of ethereal indignation and I reply :-

“Yes, unbelievably that is the correct amount.”

Now the woman behind the counter has interpreted my dickish, sarcastic comment in the wrong way. I meant, “Yes. Although that is a preposterous amount of money to charge for a coffee and a water, it is in fact the correct amount as displayed on your tariff.” She thinks I mean, “You typed it in to the machine, why would it be wrong? Are you in fact a moron?”

To her eternal credit she maintains her professionalism and simply replies courteously, “I’m just required to check that the amount is correct.”

Then I start cranking it up to dick level 9 by attempting to actually explain my “joke” to this poor woman.

“No, no” I stammer. “I realise that. I’m just saying that although it is technically correct, it’s still a ridiculous amount to pay for one coffee and one water.”

There’s a queue forming behind me. She now thinks I might be haggling or refusing to pay. I can see the mild panic setting in, the kind associated with the unpredictable knobhead in public. She doesn’t reply, what could she possibly say? What am I looking for anyway? An apology? Do I want this perfectly polite lady, who is simply doing her job, to apologise on behalf of Costa fucking coffee for charging the sort of prices one might associate with a hyper-inflated, Zimbabwe-esque economic meltdown?

I put my card in the machine, pay and get the fuck out of there with my lukewarm, bitter, raw sewage tasting coffee and replay the situation in my head to assess where it was I could’ve done things slightly differently.

 

So there you have it. This is the sort of thing I just can’t help doing. It’s somewhat ironic that my job largely involves being castigated by small minded, petty individuals who think that I am solely responsible for every single action carried out by the organisation which I represent so you’d think I would’ve learned to be less of a dick in these situations. Well I am trying (sort of) so go fuck yourselves. Anyway I digress, it’s not just me who is affected by my dickish behaviour, my wife, bless her, has to put up with numerous scenes of this nature as I try to ruin happy occasions thus…

#2 Ordering dinner

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Always a potential minefield for the perpetual dick. I tend to ask a lot of unnecessary questions and tend to get quite dickish when the poor waiting staff don’t know the answer. I got put in my place quite brilliantly once in Wales though, they don’t take any nonsense from out-of-towners as this conversation illustrates :-

“What ales do you have on today?”

“We’ve got one bitter I think.”

“Uh-huh, what’s it like?”

“Bitter.”

Brilliant.

Anyway one classic example occurred while my wife and I were honeymooning in Venice this year. I know right?? Honeymooning! You’d think I could’ve managed to reign it in slightly for our honeymoon wouldn’t you but no way! I’m a constant dick, no downtime. Fully committed.

We were having dinner at a lovely little restaurant right on the grand canal and my wife wants to order the gnocchi with scallops, thyme and lime zest. Quite an unusual combination and I immediately become concerned that she might not like it, and then I’ll be sat there, enjoying my lamb ragu and feeling guilty while she politely chokes down her raw uncooked scallops and we both won’t enjoy ourselves. Now, you’re all reasonable people and you’re probably reading this going; “For fuck’s sake Rick your wife’s a grown woman and knows her own mind just butt out you total dick.” BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I’m that much of a dick that I have to second guess my wife at every opportunity and I will always assume that I know better than she does what she will or will not like. So the inevitable happens and I start trying to converse with the Italian waiter who doesn’t really speak English….

“How are the scallops cooked?”

“The scallops?”

“Yes are they fried in a pan? Pan fried?” I’m mime-frying scallops in a pan at this point, looking like an absolute dick.

“It is err…like a small fish.”

“No, no I understand that thank you but in what manner is the scallop prepared?”

“Eh…”

I then decide to launch in to the internationally recognised language of the travelling dick; talking excessively loudly, in words of one syllable where possible.

“WILL MY WIFE…..LIKE……THE SCALLOPS???”

I’m sweating, people are looking over and my wife is on the verge of quite rightly getting up and leaving the restaurant but manages to stop me in my tracks with a look that only she is capable of and I finally stop embarrassing myself and just let the poor waiter get on with taking my poor wife’s order. As I slowly begin to regain my composure and my semi-rational view of the world restores itself I realise what a dick I’ve been. Could I have stopped myself? We’ll never know. To my wife’s eternal credit she is still married to me despite the fact that I’ve repeated this scenario at least once and engaged in the following horrendous display of dickery at my own birthday which she’d organised :-

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I’d ordered a ribeye steak and what arrived, to my absolute horror, was a rump steak. Or at least it may have been, who the fuck knows? I certainly don’t (I definitely do) but anyway I couldn’t just sit there and accept it so as not to spoil the evening could I? Nope. I had to start some weird kind of upstairs/downstairs thing off with the poor unsuspecting waitress. Apparently it went a bit like this :-

“Excuse me. Just come and have a look at this please.”

“How can I help you kind sir?”

“What does this look like to you?”

“I’m sorry I don’t quite understand…”

“I ordered a ribeye steak. Does this unholy abomination look like a ribeye steak to you? Do you even know what a ribeye steak looks like?”

“I’m awful sorry kind mister I just brings the steaks up from the kitchen like they tells me to…”

I’ve dicked us right back to the 1850’s here and the poor kitchen wench is looking over to her manager to help save her from this insufferable steak dick but I don’t stop there and I ram her face in to the offensive slab of meat to teach her a lesson…

“YOU SEE THAT? DOES THAT LOOK LIKE A FUCKING RIBEYE STEAK TO YOU? DOES IT?? YOU EAT IT! GO ON! EAT IT! EAT THE STEAK UNTIL YOU DIE!!!!”

I’m informed that that is basically how it went down but I can’t quite recall it accurately although that does sound a lot like a normal evening out with me. I’m a dick you see.

And finally….

#3 Getting a parking ticket

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Been in this situation a few times but one particular occasion stands out in the mind. I’d just nipped out to do a bit of shopping with the wife and I’d parked in a side street in what I thought was a 1 hour free parking zone. Upon arriving back at the car I saw a parking warden, a lady one no less, hovering around my car. Knowing that I was well within the 1 hour time limit I smiled smugly and shouted “Shoo! Buzz off you, get outta here!”I failed to notice that her smile was just slightly more smug than mine as she sashayed away down the street and then I noticed the ticket on my windscreen.

I was 100% convinced that I was in the right so I shouted “OI!!” and proceeded to chase the parking warden down the street.

“OI! What the fuck is this?”

“You were parked illegally.”

“No I fucking wasn’t love, it’s 1 hour!”

“On one side of the road it is but on that side it’s resident permit holders only.” The smug bitch.

Now I know at this point you’re thinking “Rick, stop being so hard on yourself, you were well within your rights, everyone hates parking wardens.” And you’re absolutely right but that’s not the bad bit.

It was during the ensuing tirade of abuse that I was hurling at the traffic warden that an old lady came hobbling past with a stick and screeched, “Leave her alone she’s only doing her job.”

I became distracted from berating the traffic warden and immediately rounded on the old lady and shouted “OH SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!” Straight in to the wizened old crone’s face. By this point my wife had just walked off, people had stopped in the street to observe and I realised I’d crossed over the fine line between righteously aggrieved citizen and total, complete and utter dick.

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old women = fucking nosy

I’m not apologising for this one though. I fucking hate traffic wardens (even though they are only doing their jobs they’ve chosen a shit job spreading misery wherever they go) and old women have no business sticking their hooked witch’s beaks in to my personal affairs.

I will continue to boo traffic wardens (and old people) in the street.

Cheers.

 

 

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Bad Tripe clinical study – Is my cat a psychopath?

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The author, with cat.

 

 

This is my cat, George or to give her her full title, Georgia Elizabeth Katzenberg-White. She is five years old (I’m pretty sure) and she was born in Sheffield. Although I think she may have just come in to existence via some dreadful portal of pure evil. When I first got her I thought she was a boy, hence the name which just stuck. Maybe she’s always known deep down that I wanted a boy, I have told her this on many occasions so it is possible and maybe this has lead to her hatred of the human race in general. Looking back though I think her general misanthropy stems back to when she was just a young cat, barely more than a kitten really and a team of vets tried to give her an injection and failed, she wasn’t having that, no siree, she fought like Gerard Butler in that film. I’d love to tell you George fought the good fight and the vets left her alone, I wish I could tell you that, but the vets is no fairy-tale place, plus I’d paid for the operation I wasn’t just going to let the stupid bee-yatch run around and get pregnant, I’m a responsible fucking pet owner thank you very much. And so the vets gassed her out, in an actual gas chamber and then ripped out her ovaries. George woke up with a cone on her head and with half her body shaved and stitched up I mean I reckon it’d piss anyone off really. After that she gained a shit load of weight, I’m told it’s the hormones and I’ve had her on a diet ever since although up until very recently she’s always been a house cat so a lack of exercise didn’t help, at her heaviest she weighed just over seven kilos which I’m told is the size of two cats. Despite her weight (which is actually improving thank Christ) the vet assures me that she is in perfect health, which backs up my theory that she is pure malevolent evil and will never die. George is lazy, massively disobedient, prone to spontaneous and unprovoked outbursts of violence, spiteful, unhygienic, devious, annoying, distrustful and aggressive towards strangers (and people she knows), greedy, mean and homophobic (probably). She is probably the worst behaved cat in the world and she seems to do it deliberately but is she actually a psychopath? Let’s find out using the Hare Test to determine Psychopathy (as it applies to our furry feline friends).

There are 20 different elements on the Hare Test which are used to characterise Psychopathic tendencies in individuals, starting with :-

  1. Glibness/Superficial Charm

According to the Hare Test, all Psychopaths are ostensibly charming individuals when you first meet them, this is how they are able to manipulate others successfully, George actually scores well on this one. Like all cats she can appear to be friendly, she’ll come up to you and rub her face on your leg and purr and when I’m sat on the sofa she’ll come and sit on me and she actually seems quite friendly but SHE JUST WANTS FOOD! That’s all that motivates her, once she realises you’re not going to feed her she will become angry and aggressive and often bitey. She’s not really clever enough to really appear friendly, her displays of affection usually just come off as creepy and weird but she probably is capable of fooling an amateur in to giving her some tuna so I’ll give her a tick for this one.

2.  Grandiose sense of self worth

Tick. She is a cat after all so was always going to score highly here.

3.  Pathological lying

Absolutely. She plays my girlfriend and I off against each other in order to get extra meals. Mrs Bad-Tripe will come home early and feed George, George knows that I know that Mrs BT doesn’t always feed her when she comes home so when I come home she will come up to me frantically meowing like she hasn’t been fed in weeks so that I feed her again! To be fair this has worked on numerous occasions so well done George but there is no doubt that she is incapable of honest behaviour, big tick for this one.

4.  Cunning/Manipulative

See above. Tick. Another example would be meowing at 4am to try and convince me that it’s time to get up and feed her, this has also worked on a few occasions.

5.  Lack of remorse or guilt

Interestingly George, like all cats, cannot be trained but she also does not respond to punitive measures. I have one of those little water sprayers that people use to give their plants a spritzing and when George is nagging me for food or meowing at 4am or scratching my sofa to bits I give her a little spray to let her know that this is naughty. All that’s happened is that she’s managed to train herself to not fear water, she knows it won’t hurt her, and although she certainly doesn’t like it, she now will not show even a flicker of emotion when I spray her and she will never let the threat of a dowsing stop her from going about her evil business, so yes a tick for this one.

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I’m going to kill you one day

6.  Emotionally shallow

Definitely. George’s emotional range is basically just; hungry-sleepy-hateful.

7.  Callous/Lack of empathy

If I died, she would probably wait about 10 seconds before feasting gleefully on my corpse, so yeah, tick for this one.

8.  Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

She once pounced on my girlfriend while she was crossing the living room with a well steeped bowl of muesli. George swiped at Mrs BT’s foot, eliciting a scream and a stumble which sent the semi-firm, cement like cereal mixture flying all over the sofa and the wall. If you’ve ever tried to clean a full bowl of milk and congealed muesli off a fabric sofa you will know it’s no easy task. George just flounced off with a look that said, “Bitch should learn how to handle her bowl properly.”  The Prosecution rests.

9.  Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

Interesting one this. I do try to play with George all the time, she particularly likes fighting and to be fair she is actually really good at catching, that’s her one skill. I flick her cuddly bunny toy with my foot and she can catch it from a surprising range of angles and distances. This doesn’t hold her interest for very long though because if I’m the one initiating the game then she just thinks it’s some sort of trick or that I’m subversively mocking her and then she disengages. George’s need for stimulation seems to manifest itself in obnoxious, attention seeking behaviour. If her requests for food have been repeatedly rebuked then she will go and start scratching the sofa or flinging her cat litter all over the room just to get a reaction. Basically she thrives on drama and she gains much more satisfaction from causing trouble and pissing me off rather than just mutually enjoyable frolics, so yeah, tick.

10.  Parasitic lifestyle

Contributes absolutely nothing to the household so yes.

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This owl belongs to me now

11.  Lack of realistic long term goals

She plans to get food, but that is obviously short term. I’ve no idea what her long term goals may be but if she has any I’ll bet they’re not in the least bit realistic. Probably something along the lines of “Kill my oppressive overlords and start my own dictatorship where all my subjects must pay daily homage to me with offerings of roast chicken which is of course my favourite food.” So basically she’s living in a dream world.

12.  Impulsivity

She knows that if she attacks my girlfriend that she is in for an absolute rollicking but she literally cannot stop herself from doing it. The missus was walking with a drink once and I could actually see the cogs moving in George’s brain as she lay in wait on the rug thinking, “She’s got bare feet and she’s carrying a drink I have to swipe at her foot, I have to, but they might drown me in the shower like they’ve previously threatened, I need to swipe her foot, she’ll spill the drink, she might catch me, oh fuck I’ve done it.” Then she tried to run away but had actually moved on to the laminate wood flooring which is slippery and so as fast as her legs tried to move, she went nowhere. Then the wife threw a clothes airer at her for some reason?

13.  Irresponsibility

Yes, she’s completely irresponsible with no respect for anyone.

14.  Poor behavioural controls

Don’t think this needs any further clarification.

15.  Early behavioural problems

When I first got George, I got her from a bit of a dodgy area of Sheffield. The author is not a snob but there are certain parts of the city where it’s generally best not to venture alone but I wanted a cat so I went. I picked George because of all the cats that were there she actually seemed the most docile. When I got her home she slept for like two days and was really chilled out. Then it dawned on me that the cat sellers had been openly smoking weed in the living room when I went round so actually George was just stoned. When she eventually came round she must’ve been craving some monster munch and a cheese and onion pasty and when these weren’t forthcoming she definitely became way more of a handful. In all honesty though I think George’s early behaviour was just pretty standard kitten behaviour so I may have to let her off this one. She’s always been quite weird though.

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hey you! go to the 24 hour petrol station and get me some food and rizla

16.  Juvenile Delinquency

She’s always been a bit of a delinquent and it was definitely her early teens (in cat years) where she really started to hit her stride and test the boundaries of common decency and my patience so I think this definitely applies.

17.  Revocation of conditional release

Erm…..kind of. I used to live in a top floor flat so George has always been a house cat. When I first got her I did live in a house and tried to make her go outside but she seemed to show no interest whatsoever and would just cling to the sofa like a drowninig victim on a piece of driftwood so I sacked it off. Recently I moved in to a ground floor flat and decided to let her go outside and she took to it quite well. I couldn’t believe that George was going outside and having adventures like a real cat, or so I thought. I was chatting to my neighbour who owns the basement flat downstairs (the brilliantly named, Ekow) and I said keep an eye out for my cat, to which he replied “Oh George and I are already well acquainted.” It turns out that on her first trip out she’d managed to get downstairs (squeezing through a very tight fence in the process which you wouldn’t have said was physically possible if you saw it) and entered the basement flat via the French doors. Ekow received a phonecall from his girlfriend who said she thought there was an animal in the flat. Ekow got home, looked around and couldn’t find anything so he sat down on the bed in consternation. Then, all of a sudden the bed covers moved and made a noise, lo and behold it was George!! All she’d done instead of going out and exploring the great wide world was to infiltrate the nearest bed she could find. A stand-off ensued with George having claimed the bed as her own and Ekow was unable to get her to move. Eventually he managed to get her out somehow but not without “A lot of hissing and growling.” Naturally I was mortified as, if anything is guaranteed to give your new neighbours a bad impression of you, it’s George. So I very nearly revoked her conditional release but not quite ‘cos I need her out the house.

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Supervised exercise time

18.  Criminal Versatility

She’s the size of a fucking rugby ball and managed to squeeze herself through a fence gap no bigger than an iPhone, she can also leap like a salmon to get up on the kitchen counter to eat my leftover curry so yeah I’d say she is pretty versatile in her criminality. Kudos George.

19.  Many short term marital relationships

As far as I know George has never been married.

20.  Promiscuous sexual behaviour

I absolutely shudder to think.

So there you go. I think we can categorically conclude that George is indeed a certifiable psychopath and should probably be locked up in a secure institution somewhere. However, I feel that this clinical study raises more questions than it answers. Are animals aware of their own behaviour? Do they have the ability to draw distinction between right and wrong or are they operating purely on instinct? At what point does the need for survival give way to greed or self indulgent behaviour? Are all psychopaths a product of their environment or are they hardwired to behave in a certain way? Who the fuck knows. These existential dilemmas will keep for another day.

I should tell you all that I would not change George for the world, she’s the funniest animal ever and I love her dearly and do my best to care for her properly and responsibly despite never getting even so much as a crumb of gratitude from the beastly little swine. She may be a psychopath, but she’s my psychopath.

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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