Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CBC TV, coyotes and, uh, me

You ever watch the news and see some reporter interviewing some schmuck about something he really knows nothing about and you say to yourself, "What a schmuck. They should interview me. I'll tell 'em what's what."

Tadaa, me the schmuck. I'm always talking back to the TV and radio news and today they talked to me and the results were thoroughly unspectacular. They're either going to slot my interview with the "Barely functioning adult of the year award" story or the story about the coyote that killed a dog in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto on the weekend.

CBC-TV so totally caught me unawares, though, it's not funny. I was just returning from a carefree la-di-da walk with l'il pibble look-a-like Nina (formerly Nips) thinking about not much more than sunshine and cake when the reporter casually walked up to me and started quizzing me - man on the street with my unmuzzled Pit Bull, yay - on how I felt about coyotes eating pets and what should be done about that. Nina started jumping up to say hello to the cameraman and he was like, "Awww," and then Nina jumped up on the reporter and she was like, "Ewww", though I can't really blaim her since she was going to be in front of the camera and as cute as it might be seeing a little dog trying to sniff someone's crotch, it's pretty damn unprofessional.

Zoiks, they were tough questions. Well, not really.

Reporter: "What should we do about coyotes in the city threatening the safety of our pets and children?"

Me: "Oh ... I ... uh ... coyotes have attacked children?"

Reporter: "Oh yeah, fer shure. Not a lot but yeah, it's happened. Down in the States. Somewhere. Oh yeah."

Depending on how they edit the sound bite, I'll be responding with something like:

a. I hope they don't just trap and kill all the, uh, coyotes.
b. ... just trap and kill all the, uh, coyotes.
c. ... kill all the, uh, coyotes.
d. ... uh, coyotes.
e. ... uh ...
f. We need to learn to share our environment with other creatures.

I hope they pick f. which would be better than the answer I really wanted to give, but luckily had the minimum required daily dose of shut-myself-the-fuck-up to censor it, which was:

g. Well the coyotes were probably here first so we should probably just move the city off planet somewhere.

Ah well, no worries. They probably won't even air the segment.


Anonymous said...

I've been wondering when you were going to write THIS story... at my end of town we have coyotes in High Park but they're not as nasty as the corgi down the street.

Fred said...

Yeah, it's funny that with all the dogs in High Park, there haven't been any coyote/dog incidents there. Or have there been?

Anonymous said...

You have my sincerest empathy. I got caught with my brain disengaged by a (wo)man on the street interviewer on the topic of the placement of the then-new US Embassy. What I wanted to say was stifled under my desire not to destroy my husband's career, so what they got was "Huh? Say, wha'? This is,like, news? Gerroff!"

As for the lone coyote, there has to be a reason s/he is venturing into the city to eat dogs and cats: is it a bad deer season? Is the coyote injured or sick? Before spreading panic, *responsible* journalism might actually talk to someone who knows something about coyotes, nu?

Fred said...

Anonymous, I take it by that comment that you don't think I'm enough of coyote expert? Ah well, you're probably right. I didn't even get the tv station right. It was CBC and not CITY and in any case, they didn't air my amazingly eloquent, uh, segment.

Anonymous said...

Fred, I love you dearly, but am not entirely sure that the CBC sought you out for your expertise in coyote-related matters. Since Ontario has any number of actual paid wildlife experts working for the government and private groups, it rather surprises me that no attempt seems to have been made to contact at least one of them.

Of course, I could be wrong. It could be the CBC figured 'coyotes look like dogs, Fred has a great dog blog, so let's ask Fred what he thinks.'

In which case, you should demand your 15 minutes of fame from them and insist they air your interview! Offer to do it with three pit bulls sitting on the couch with you, including a sweet puppy for the interviewer to coo over.

You never know...

Anonymous said...

I heard somewhere, or maybe I read it or something, that the high park coyote, or maybe there are more, have been eating cats but not children yet. Wasn't that somewhere in the US? Maybe it was wolves that were eating the children. They used to do that in Europe hundreds of years ago, didn't they?

With so many experts weighing in on the Star's comments section, I suppose no one needs to ask folks like the Toronto Wildlife Centre.

House of the Discarded said...

I hate the "on the spot interviews" too. It's happened to me, and I always regret what I've said later!

It ticks me off that we make coyotes the enemy. We've encroached and destroyed their habitat - now we view THEM as the enemy?

Joanne said...

Feeding some peoples' children to a coyote is not such a bad idea. I read somewhere today about some woman so concerned that her sacrosanct offspring had seen a coyote with a rabbit in its mouth. Bet that rabbit dies a lot faster than what she puts on their dinner plates.....can we say ironic? hypocritical? The woman who heads up Toronto Animal Services (who is so ineffectual I can't even be bothered to learn her name correctly) came out with some more of her brilliant pronouncements today about how hard it is to "humanely" trap a coyote...oh I am sure that the foot trap that causes the animal to chew off its food is so much easier and then she further helf forth that the tranquilizers they use take 20 to 30 minutes to take effect. What are they using as a tranq....a vodka martini. Can we say diazepam??? Throw food in a trap of any kind and an animal that is hungry enough will throw caution to the wind and enter the trap. How do these fools get these jobs? Also, as far as I could find, the last reported fatal attack by a coyote on a human was in 1980? Coyotes usually avoid humans as they seem to know what the consequences of contact are...death for them. What is wrong with the City? They act like they are facing a pride of maurading African lions.... And here is a hint for those folks losing their cats....keep them indoors.... doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. If you have a small dog, go outside with it on a leash for it to do its "business". There is a price to be paid for stupidity and laziness and it is usually paid by the animals. I am sick of non-thinking, irresponsible, stupid, lazy animal owners. If I know there is a coyote in my neighbourhood, am I letting my three 4 lb. dogs in the yard alone...hell no. With me and on a leash. That way at least I stand a chance of pulling my dog back to me. What is wrong with us...oh my, we have no idea how to deal with this animal, so let's resort to our usual solution and kill it. Another one will probably almost certainly arise very quickly to fill the void BUT HECK, we can kill that one too and the next one and the next one and maybe we can get a free pit bull kill while we are at it.