Don't you just love the English. In the 19th Century an intrepid explorer would travel for years across trackless wastes and impenetrable jungle, and eventually reach their destination: a malaria-infested swamp in the middle of nowhere that they would proudly call `Picadilly`
Now, this is a similar syndrome. At Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium, "something" had been causing havoc in one of their reef tanks. Matt Slater, the aquarium's curator, said:
'Something was guzzling our reef but we had no idea what, we also found an injured Tang Fish so we laid traps but they got ripped apart in the night.
They finally found the culprit: a four foot long tropical polychaete worm which had probably arrived as a juvenile in a shipment of living rock.
'That worm must have obliterated the traps. The bait was full of hooks which he must have just digested.'
Mr Slater said:
'It really does look like something out of a horror movie. It's over four feet long with these bizarre-looking jaws.
We also discovered that he is covered with thousands of bristles which are capable of inflicting a sting resulting in permanent numbness.'
At the risk of sounding like Lloyd Grossman, let's review the evidence:
1. Giant polychaete worm
2. Ugly to the point of something out of H.P.Lovecraft
3. Destroys a whole fishtank and eats fish
4. Can digest fish-hooks
5. Four feet long and probably growing
6. Can deliver a poisonous sting which permanantly numbs the person stung
Do they call itany of the following?
They call it Barry! Don't you just love the English. It is at times like this that I am so very proud of my race. It is dogged stolidness like this which got us an Empire. Well done lads and lasses! You have made an ageing manic-depressive Imperialist very proud of you.
However, I have another problem. The animal-keeper in me is overwhelmed by complete avarice. I want one!