The peaceful, picturesque town of Flores, Guatemala, has been in a state of near-panic since Christmas, owing to the sudden appearance of thousands of ferrets.  Local people say the ferrets have been drawn out of the surrounding forests by the presence of over thirty models participating in a nude pictorial for the Spanish-language edition of Playboy.  Nearby Lake Peten-Itza, known for its colorful flowers, palm trees, tropical birds, and marvelous rock formations, has been used frequently by photographers and film-makers, but no ferret invasion has ever occurred before.

    “It’s the naked women!  They are making the ferrets crazy!” says local Chief of Police Gustavo Marin. 

    The town’s officials originally welcomed the nude photo shoot, believing it would be good publicity for a town whose primary industry is cigarettes.  Now they feel they have made a mistake, and they are blaming the magazine for the crisis.

    Experts are not in agreement as to whether the ferret invasion is related to the presence of the models.  Professor Manuel de Calderon of the Universidad de Guatemala believes that the ferrets’ highly developed sense of smell has been aroused by female pheromones given off by the models.  But Dr. Hector Samoza of the Ministry of the Interior says there is no evidence for this.  Instead, he cites previous instances of sudden movements of animals prior to volcanic eruptions and fears a possible eruption of a new volcano in the area around Flores. 

    Several models have been attacked in their tents at night by the ferrets.  Nancy Augusto, 22, of Huehuetenango, was bitten on the breast, and Andrea Carmel, 23, of Jalapa, was clawed on the legs.  Neither injury was serious.  No local residents have been attacked, but the presence of the ferrets has prevented many people from going out.

    A spokesman for the Spanish-language edition of Playboy said the photo shoot would continue because it would be too expensive to move to another location.  The models and crew are scheduled to complete their work by January 4th.

    Copyright@ 2008 by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail:



December 18, 2008

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    Copyright@ Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada.  E-mail:

A disturbing trend in our society is the increasing frequency of “inconviences.”  One can hardly go into a store — even a very reputable one — without being inconvienced.  There it is in black and white (or whatever colour of crayon is used by the management): “We Apologize For The Inconvience.”

An “inconvience” is not to be confused with an “inconvenience.”  We all know what an inconvenience is.  Some examples:
1. The store is closed for the taking of inventory.
2. The little gizmo you swipe your credit or debit card in is not working.
3. The door is out of order.  (It may look perfectly in order, but if they say it’s out of order, don’t dispute it.  Merchants have the legal right to declare doors out of order.)
4. The item you were looking for is out of stock, and it cannot be re-ordered because the government has just banned it.
5. Today is a holiday.  (Please come back tomorrow.  Why aren’t you at home with your family?)
6. The only person who can run the store has died.  (You can come back day after day indefinitely if you’re that heartless.  You’ve got a lot of nerve expecting us to be there while we’re grieving.)
7. The landlord has locked the premises for non-payment of rent.  (Call 555-8822 for further information, which will not be available.)
There are highly evolved rules of etiquette that govern inconveniences, and if you abide by them, you will be all right, and society will not collapse.
(Note: a long line is not considered an inconvenience.  You’re supposed to bring something to read.)
An “inconvience” is something far more sinister.  It is an attack on civilization itself — on all its institutions and, even worse, on me personally.
When a merchant puts up a sign apologizing for an “inconvience,” you can be sure he is insincere.  I have complained about inconviences many times, to no avail.  No matter how many times I return to check, the inconvience remains unrectified.  Such merchants are fiends, criminals, and probably terrorists as well.
I don’t even want to talk about more terrible things, like “incoviances,” “inconvieniances,” “inconnivances,” “inconviantces,” “imcomvinces,” “incontinences,” or “imbroglios.”  If you spot one, just walk out immediately and try not to think about what is going on in the back room.
 Copyright@ 2008, by Crad Kilodney, Toronto, Canada. E-mail: