This funny essay on kissing hippos really tickled my funny bone. So much so, in fact, that I wrote the author, comedian and writer Will O’Neill, and asked permission to reprint it here on HippoMojo.com. He graciously agreed, so here it is:
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Not to be atypically pragmatic, but hippos need kisses because they seem to be extremely fond of murdering us, so every bit of diplomacy we can muster is probably a good thing.
Of course, the reason that hippos are so upset is because everybody compares them unfairly to rhinos. Think about it: If someone asked you what the closest animal to a hippo was, you would say a rhino. This is because most people don’t pay as close attention to science as they do to the fact that things are big and grey.
And yet, hippos suffer the same double standards against rhinos that women in our society often suffer against men. Whereas everyone thinks rhinos are thick-skinned, and strong, hippos are merely told that they are overweight, and chastised for their gluttony. I’m sorry, but do you think rhinos go to a gym, or something? They have their issues with health and fitness, just like the hippos do. Just because we only ever show pictures of rhinos running around charging things, and only ever show hippos covering themselves in mud and taking long baths, this doesn’t mean that such things are the whole story anymore so than it would be true to say that men are always fighting and women are always at the spa.
Most importantly, though, everyone praises the face of the rhino for its noble, distinguished horn, whereas all people see in hippos is bad teeth and a big mouth (that ought to stay closed, is the obvious subtext.)
So please, kiss a hippo, but don’t feel like you’ve got to ‘treat it like a lady’ – hippos are hippos first, not just part of some gender identity, and they can be just as assertive as rhinos are.
They continue to kill us, in support of this argument.
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You can read more of Will’s work on his blog at Animals Who Need Big Kisses. Click here to view the original entry as it appeared on his blog. Many thanks to Will for this funny take on hippos and for sharing it with us at Hippo Mojo!