The dinosaurs. You may think they are extinct, but regrettably they are alive and well in the world of cerealogy, and many species have evolved over the last few years. There are dangerous creatures stalking the fields which you need to be aware of, lest they crush you in their lumbering wake, blind you with their venom and deafen you with their loud and vacuous noises.
Watch out for these dinosaurs in future then, and tread carefully, as we go ‘Balking With Dinosaurs…’
EGOTRIPPUS (Biggus Headus)
Often found alone in the outer wastes of the Worldwideweb, where its reputation cannot be so easily shown up by more advanced dinosaurs, this curious species is distinguished by having a very swollen head and its call of “Me-me-me” and “I’m so clever-clever-clever”, which accompany wild assertions of new ‘litmus tests’ and deep discoveries unverified by other species. Egotrippus will never acknowledge the significance or even existence of any other dinosaur, even in its rare forays into gathering places of other Researchosaurus species, where it holds its head high and has a curious habit of looking down its nose at those around it. However, it thinks nothing of liberally robbing other nests, the contents of which it then claims for its own. Egotrippus can always be easily spotted from the distinctive poise of having its head up its own behind.
Feeding habits: Feeds on attention and refuses ever to eat humble pie.
Points scored for sighting: Nothing but Egotrippus allowed points in its presence.
GOLDENAGEASAURUS (Rosetintus Mythologicus)
This delusional creature regularly roams croppie haunts and the Worldwideweb pastures, easily recognisable from the rose-tinted spectacles it wears. Its main distinguishing feature is the continuous noise it makes about “the good old days” and “the Golden Age” of cerealogy, a time when the world was a sunny place of harmonious balance, crop circles were treated with respect by all in the kingdom and Researchosauruses tripped gaily and freely with each other without strife or recrimination. These little whimperings are usually followed by more aggressive murmurings of how such days of bliss have been spoilt by all those nasty hoaxers and horrible upstart whipper-snapper croppies being so rude and flippant about their dinosaur forefathers. There is no cure for the genetic affliction Goldenageasaurus suffers from and there is little point in telling them that there never actually was a Golden Age and that if history ever records one, that time will actually be the very one they are frittering away right now. The only treatment, which can quell the symptoms a little, is to sit them down in a corner with another pint of ale and a copy of Jim Schnabel’s book ‘Round In Circles’ for a reality check.
Feeding habits: Hates hard cheese, but loves sour grapes and a nice Golden Delicious.
Points scored for sighting: A hundred and one damnations.
IGNORANODON (Ignorant Pigguss)
All-too common species with a brain the size of a walnut. Populating a large part of the globe, Ignoranodon makes very loud noises such as “It’s all a load of old rubbish, innit?” and “Obviously it was those two old blokes what dun ‘em all”, often drowning out any dissenting squeaks from the more advanced, but far less common Researchosaurus. When challenged to defend itself and explain what hidden knowledge it has to support its widespread call, Ignoranodon will puff itself up into defence mode, spitting venom indiscriminately (“an’ that Loch Ness Monster, that’s anover load of old cobblers”) or resort to distraction tactics (“anyway, let’s talk about fings that really matta, not all this crap”), before finally admitting it has never seen nor studied a single real crop circle in the whole of its all-too long and pointless existence. Various sub-species, masquerading as intellectuals, can be found among the plains and wastes of the Media.
Feeding habits: Absorbs junk food and gives off bullshit.
Points scored for sighting: Five pints and a packet of pork scratchings.
KISSASS (Bathesin Reflectedglorius)
This dinosaur can usually be seen following close behind the backsides of Egotrippus (qv) or Theydoassureus-saurus (qv), attaching itself parasitically to stronger species, sucking up close with reassuring mating noises and liberally feeding on the dripping secretion of ‘perceived glory’. This enables Kissass to grow in stature and attain a higher elevation than would otherwise be possible in its mundane and entirely unoriginal natural state. However, Kissass can sometimes give a vicious bite to the hand that feeds it, striking out on its own when enough glory has been absorbed to make it feel confident in its own space. This can in turn lead to outbreaks of second-hand and fuzzier secretions of ‘information’, often inflaming the previously sucked backside and provoking its owner to loud outcries of “plagiarism!”. Some sub-species, however, never detach from the hosts they suck on, retaining their parasitic nature.
Feeding habits: Picks up scraps which fall from others’ tables.
Points scored for sighting: As many as you want, sir. Oh please, go on, take more, as you’re so clever.
MATTINTHEDOCKUS (Crimeosaurus Proudus)
Known for its nocturnal habits of creating messy damage in crops, this increasingly common sight can also be found in fields of dock, and can be heard, standing in the dock, making its familiar call of “Yes m’lud” and “Give me back my computer, you bastard”. Known to have a ‘problem’ with authority, this species is no respecter of land rights or property, trampling where it will, sounding its mating call of “bloody farmers, they’re all earning thousands out of this anyway”. Often preyed upon by the dreaded Glickuss, Mattinthedockuss is regularly seen in newspapers or preying in turn on the migrant Gulliblesaurus species [distantly related to Kissass (qv)], which attends open-mouthed in awe, irretrievably, if dumbly, caught in the web of deceitful intrigue spun before it. Mattinthedockuss can often be seen grazing in retreat at The Barge, sometimes in the increasingly rare company of the deadly Pauldamonodon.
Feeding habits: Feeds on the oxygen of publicity.
Points scored for sighting: £100, plus £40 costs and a criminal record.
PTELLATALLTAIL (Lying Bastardus)
This species may often be found in its breeding grounds at The Barge, herds huddled together making an ever-growing cacophony of sound as strange tales of major UFO sightings over Silbury Hill, personal eye-witness sightings of formations appearing and other unlikely events are communicated loudly in an effort to outdo its mating rivals. However, Ptellatalltail can sometimes break out of this relatively harmless enclosed habitat and appear in the wider world on conference platforms and web sites, spreading these harmful noises and polluting the environment with something very akin to cattle excrement. When challenged to produce the important secretion known as ‘evidence’, these noises often unexpectedly alter to something far less confident and its true form is revealed as being a lesser relative of Egotrippus (qv) and Theydoassureus-saurus (qv).
Feeding habits: Can swell to twice its size after feeding on attention, but can quickly deflate.
Points scored for sighting: As high a figure as can be made before the truth outs.
This species is ubiquitous, though very small in number, always to be seen at least four or five times every summer, making its now-familiar loud noise about the very rare examples of crop damage it has caused. A superior, if equally irritating, species to Mattinthedockuss (qv), Teemsatan can easily be spotted on TV, radio and in newspapers ad infinitum, having wormed its way into virtually every channel of information available. How it does this with such a low secretion rate of ‘proof’ is still a mystery to most students of its behaviour, given the sloppiness of its reasoning and the rarity of its works, yet it is still taken seriously by several sub-species of the very common Ignoranodon (qv). Teemsatan spends its life making media contacts and regularly preys on search engines in the pastures of the Worldwideweb, ensuring that the web it spins around itself (masquerading as a genuine interest group) draws the unwary in sooner or later.
Feeding habits: Laps up fees from TV companies.
Points scored for sighting: Very low, being exceedingly easy to spot any time during the summer.
THEYDOASSUREUS-SAURUS (Hot Airus)
Though inwardly deeply insecure, this species is well known for making loud reassuring noises about big discoveries it has made, the government contacts it has, high hoax percentages and the ‘inside information’ which it cannot reveal, changing to aggressive growls when challenged to secrete the gooey necessity of ‘evidence’ by species such as the Glickuss. These warning noises then develop into high-pitched threats of “you’ll be hearing from my attorney”. Theydoassureus-saurus has one fatal weakness, though – it has no spine, leading to sudden unexpected withdrawals from conflicts and conferences when the going gets rough.
Feeding habits: Feeds on ego and second-hand information, regurgitated as fact.
Points scored for sighting: To be agreed only after receipt of attorney’s letter.
UNDERGROUNDUSS (Satirist Invisibilitus)
Rarely-seen and solitary dinosaur which feels it has the right to attack other species, despite staying out of the limelight and refusing to get properly involved itself. This perilous creature skirts the outer fringes of the cerealogical plateau, observing the odd behaviour of others from a distance before unexpectedly going for the jugular. Can easily be spotted performing just such predatory manoeuvres through satirical venom-spitting in the pages of websites like, er, Swirled News, er...
Feeding habits: Feeds on the misfortune and perceived failings of others.
Points scored for sighting: Very sharp ones.
So don’t forget, these strange and dangerous creatures are roaming freely about your world… Keep ‘em peeled.