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By Cap'n O

JUNE 28, 1999:  It hasn't happened yet, but at some point I will reach my full potential. I will be indispensable to the planet. That moment will come when my body rots and is eaten full of holes by hungry bugs and worms.

The beauty of life and nature is that when everything works right, nothing and no one goes hungry. Big fish eat little fish. Bigger fish eat the big fish, and the biggest fish eat the bigger fish.

Cattle eat grass and bugs. We eat the cattle. We die and the bugs and worms eat us. As someone once said, the world is a huge restaurant.

Learning to accept that life is a cycle of eating and being eaten is a sign of wisdom and maturity. It might not be the greatest fun to think about your bones being gnawed clean of their flesh, but it beats reading self-help books or listening to motivational speakers insist that you can reach your full potential in three hours. And if you've got a jerk for a boss, an idiot for a co-worker or a nag for a spouse, there is nothing more satisfying than popping open a case of beer on a Saturday morning and daydreaming about their bodies being devoured by cockroaches and ants.

It is when we try to fight or change the inevitable that we wind up looking and sounding like goofs.

Right now, the U.S. Navy and conservationists are looking like some of the biggest goofs ever. And nature and The Big Guy In The Sky must be laughing at how pathetically stupid humans are.

The Navy is engaged in a desperate struggle to save a tiny, California coastal island bird that is quickly vanishing from the planet. In fact, there are only 13 of the birds, the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike, known to exist outside of captivity.

Why are the birds going bye-bye? Because they're being eaten out of existence by San Clemente Island foxes, which number about 800. The foxes get hungry and look for the tiny birds to munch on.

The birds, which are about the size of a robin and which would undoubtedly taste good rubbed liberally with fresh garlic and sprinkled with rosemary and thyme, are on the Federal Endangered Species list. So the Navy, in order to save 13 measly birds, is killing the foxes, whose only crime is to get hungry and to have been given by nature a taste for the loggerhead shrikes. So far the Navy has killed 13 foxes. Dozens more might still be killed.

Thanks to this nation's insane and unrealistic environmental laws, the Navy is in a bizarre spot because the 800 foxes are on the state of California's Endangered and Protected Species List. So the Navy is killing one endangered species in order to save another endangered species. The insanity here is deeper than any you will find in sex-crazed shrinks who poke their mentally disturbed patients. The Navy has spent $2.3 million to electronically guard the birds' nests and to kill other animals that eat the birds, such as rats, raptors and wild cats.

Now we're trying to stop nature from being nature.

Let the foxes live. And let the rats and raptors have meals. Damn those little birds. If they can't survive in the wild, screw them. Let them die off.

In case the Navy and the daffy environmentalists haven't figured this out yet, living things -- species of plants and animals -- go extinct on their own. Tens of thousands of plants and animal species have passed on without the help of man. That's the way the world works.

There are reasons why things go extinct. And rather than trying to control nature with idiotic and unnatural laws, we should let it take its course and try to learn from it.

For example, the lumbering, lazy, peanut-brained, plant-eating brontosaurus is no longer with us. If there were environmental laws back then, somebody would have tried to prevent the dinosaurs from dying out, and we would not have learned from the brontosauruses' demise this valuable lesson about nature and eating:

Become a vegetarian and you will grow incredibly fat, lazy and stupid, and you and all of your ilk will die off.

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