Thursday, May 28, 2009

the baby pandas killed us dead

I recorded a show on the local PBS channel about twin pandas born in a panda reserve in China called Panda Nursery. (You think I've exhausted the use of the word "panda?" You have no idea.) I was watching it with the girls and it was hilarious. You know how they show little mini-clips on PBS shows before the "corporate sponsorship" (read: commercials) spots but before the show proper? Yeah, it was a festival of aaawww-ing. They showed the baby pandas on a platform and then they were trying to get down a ladder and they tumbled all over each other and I said, "Oh, my gosh! I just died from the cuteness!" And then the next brief shot was the two little guys drinking milk out of bowls and when they looked up? Milk all over their unbelievably cute panda faces! And we all aaawwww-ed some more and Bebe said, "I just came back to life and died AGAIN from the cuteness! So cute!"

When the show actually, really started, they had so worn us down with the little cute vignettes, that the girls were brainwashed into thinking the newborn pandas were cute, too. Which they are not. They are just these naked, pink things which are really, really disturbing. From one angle, they looked like deformed starfish. But the girls were still all gooey from the previous glimpses of true and abiding panda cub cuteness and they cooed and clucked over the adorableness of the icky pink things.

The show was very informative and, yes, too too cute -- except for a few things. Did you know that panda cubs are unable to toilet by themselves for months? I did not. Their mother (or, in this case, their mother and the human handlers) have to encourage them to pee and poop. The people stroke the panda bellies, which isn't too bad. But the mother licks the babies and then they eliminate and it is pretty gross.

And near the end, since this was a nature animal documentary, there was some business about panda mating. The girls said that was disgusting and they insisted that I fast forward through it -- so we could get to some more adorable bits with the twin panda cubs.

(I also have to get to China because there was a bit where they showed tourists visiting the center and they showed a Western woman who got to sit on a bench RIGHT NEXT TO A PANDA! She got to pet and hug it! I think I really need to do this before I die. Can you imagine? I might actually really die -- but I would get to pet and hug a real, live panda!)

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