Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013



First of all, we'd like to give a big THANK YOU to our loyal readers who wrote to the DUNER BLOG, begging us to cover this story.  It's true: This news item is TAYLOR MADE for us... 

It all began on a hot desert afternoon in the south of Egypt.  A man was strolling the banks of the River Nile.  He gazed idly at a flock of white storks, drinking and feeding in the water.  Suddenly, he noticed something strange:  One of the storks had a device strapped to its back!! Next, the suspicious man got on all fours and began pursuing the three foot-high winged creature.  Waiting, waiting, for just the right opportunity...the spry Egyptian lunged at the stork.  Gotcha! 

Menes the Pharaoh
The surprised bird made a desperate attempt to escape, but it was too late.  With some rope around his beak and legs, Menes (the name of this particular White Stork) was taken to the local police station for questioning. As expected, the stork did not answer any of the inspector's questions.  'What is this device on your leg?'  'Who sent you?' 'Where are you going?'  Nope, Menes just sat there, with a glazed look on his face.  He wasn't talking.  Unfortunately for Menes, they don't have trials in Egypt.  The innocent stork was instantly thrown in the slammer.  There, depressed bird sat, next to petty thieves and drug dealers.  His crime?  Espionage.  The evidence is attached to his back.

Fortunately, an inspector arrived from nearby Aswan.  He was able to translate the writing on the tracking devise: Property of U.K. Nature Conservancy.  He called the number and revealed Menes' true identity.  It turns out he was not carrying any secret messages for the US, Iran or even SPECTRE.  Nope, it turns out the stork was simply migrating.  While it's easy to laugh at the  assumption that a bird can be a spy, we must remember: The average Egyptian has only heard Mubarak/Morsi propaganda in the "news" for the last 20 years.  No wonder they assumed Menes was actually an evil alien planning to steal the Sphinx!

Unfortunately, the story of Menes does not have a happy ending.  Our stork was turned over to wildlife officials who released him into a nature reserve.  Menes flew straight back to a small island in the Nile.  There, he was captured by humans for a third time.  Only this time he wasn't caught by a Brit nor was it done by an Egyptian.  This time, Menes was caught by Nubian hunter, who ate the stork for dinner.  Meanwhile, the Nature Conservancy was by no means surprised.  Their statement: "We truly are saddened by the tragic end to Menes' journey, but once again, we would like to thank the park rangers of Aswan for their excellent initial efforts to get Menes the White Stork released safely."

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