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For fannies too fine for lowly cow leather

Editor’s note: This is the third and hopefully the last installment in an unexpectedly three-part series on animals and the myriad everyday uses we as humans can dream up for them.

Shortly after the publication of my last column, a thoughtful essay on the practicality of the Dawson’s bee of the Australian outback, I received this plaintive e-mail from my brother-in-law Bob in Maryland:

“I was getting excited reading your column, feeling the sense of anticipation and then … not one single reference to the Dawson bee’s penis, a stinging let down after all that buzz.”

When you’ve had a good laugh at Bob’s clever word play we’ll move on.

Sharp and witty as his comment was, it nonetheless contained a dose of melancholy truth, as Bob does enjoy a good penis reference. I was concerned and wanted to help him out in my column this week, but it’s not every day that penises make the news. Thankfully, Bob solved that very problem when he sent me a link just a few minutes after his first e-mail.

The link was to a story, as reported by treehugger.com, about a Russian automaker called Dartz and its plan to release a new armored car called the Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition. If you thought the Hummer H2 was created for men trying to make up for their shortcomings, wait until you see this sucker.

The Red Diamond Edition, which looks kind of like an H2 dressed as an Oakland Raiders fan, comes with a price tag of $1.65 million and features such necessary accoutrements as “hyper-expensive vodka in a flask made out of pure gold, gold-plated windows, pure tungsten exhausts, and diamond-encrusted white gold speed gauges.”

What had really drawn the ire of treehugger.com, however, was the upholstery that Dartz was planning on using for the car’s seats. In an effort to make a car with the finest and most expensive of everything, Dartz was going to cover the seats in plush leather made from … wait for it … wait for it … WHALE PENIS!

You read that right. Dartz was going to make a car with seats of whale penis leather, which is apparently very soft.

Shockingly enough, this decision evoked a flurry of protests from environmental groups such as Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and even Pamela Anderson, speaking on behalf of PETA. I’m not sure why, but apparently some people don’t think it’s right to kill whales and make leather from their penises. Enough people protested, in fact, that Dartz graciously decided to go with a different fabric after receiving lots of angry e-mails.

It turns out that Dartz had chosen whale penis leather based solely on its exorbitant price, not on the fact that some people are so important that they desperately need to sit on it. When it was pointed out that this was wrong, to its credit Dartz not only agreed to use a product that wasn’t animal-based but also sent out one of the most heartfelt press releases I’ve ever read.

The short missive eloquently spells out the rationale behind the company’s choice of leather: “We just looking for most expensive products for this car — and that’s why we choosed whale penis leathure when we checked it is most of most.”

The letter then goes on to say that Dartz will not use “natural leathure” at all and will instead focus on advanced nanotechnologies heretofore unused in automobiles. What really makes the press release poignant, however, is the touching show of solidarity Dartz offers to whales at the end:

“We want to tell our hello to all whales: Our Sea Brothers! We all know that earth are stand on three whales — we will keep You live! We don’t Earth fall down to Ocean!”

I would just like to add that I feel exactly the same way. I have thought for years that the Earth is standing on three whales, and it’s nice to know that others agree with me.

I think it’s wonderful that entities as disparate as Greenpeace and a Russian automaker catering to the rich and tasteless can reach a compromise over something so contentious as the use of whales’ penises. I think we can all learn a lesson from this on how to get along with one another.

And to Bob, whose own brand of penis envy inspired this week’s column, thanks for the tip. Just wanted to send my regards so you didn’t feel like I was giving you the shaft.

About The Author

Todd Hartley

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11 2009

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