One looks in vain for young, urban art with authentic roots on the streets instead of an art academy pedigree.
Citizen Cane Toad
Lick me, lick me!
You’re a bad, bad toad. Are you insane, Mr. Cane? You messed me up last night. Couldn’t sleep, almost banged my head in with my pillow. Nightmares! “Lick me, lick me,” you called out all night. And I did. Or was that just a dream? I understand, you love to be licked these days. There are some wild stories going round. Of colours, flashes, good times, and dragons. Bufotenine says hi. What was it again the man from the chemical lab said? Bufotenine causes mild hallucinations which can last for about thirty minutes. But licking toads? Strange hobby.
Seems to me, you’re a really funky critter. I hope the Australians manage to fuck you up. In five communities in Down Under volunteers went out to catch cane toads to kill them by shock frosting them with CO2. Even animal rights activists applauded. The cane toad is getting too dangerous for the eco system. There are too many of you, Mr. Cane. Enough to get the whole of Oz stoned. Soon they’ll call in the army. And you’re not exactly little either – some of you grow up to a length of 22 centimetres.
Who is to blame for you existence, Mr. Cane? The Jamaicans are – a surprise to no one. In the 19th century the toads were supposed to keep unwanted bugs away from their sugar cane plantations. All theses nightmares just for this? Yet stopping you is going to be difficult, you slimy toad thing. Your females are more like factories – egg factories – capable of producing between 4.000 and 36.000 eggs two times per year. And we don’t even want to get started about your other hobbies. Like your habit of bushwhacking innocent, hard-working bees when they return to the hive laden with nectar. What’s that all about? Come on, Cane! Some beekeepers say they have found up to 300 bees inside a single toad. I think it’s time I introduced you to the broad-snouted caimans. Those fellows are to my taste. And the ibises, too. Why? They don’t like you either and they gang up on you. Everybody else can run into some real trouble with you, as you fend your enemies off with your poisonous secretions. They say, it’s killed dogs in under 15 minutes. Even human deaths have been reported. So, I was really lucky last night, slimer! I must have done something wrong. They say, a few total freaks even use your poisonous secretions for stimulation. They milk your slobbery slime, dry it, and smoke it in a pipe. Yessir! What does it say in the biology book? “Especially daring characters, who need that extra icky aspect for their drug kick, also just lick the toad. The toad oozes a particularly large amount of secrete when frightened with an open heat source, like a fire light.“ In some countries people dry the toad’s skin and prepare a tea from it. Has everybody gone crazy now? Well, there is a certain tradition to it… In the Middle Ages, toad poison was known as an ingredient for magic potions. In the 17th and 18th century, toad poison which contains a cardiotonic substance was used by physicians to treat cardiac insufficiency. And today, dried toad skins are still used as natural pharmaceuticals in China and Japan.
Anyway, I’m going to leave my toad alone for now. It takes four to six weeks for it to build up enough new squishy. After all, it’s a good thing that an official warning has been issued: Please make sure you know what your kids are keeping in their terrariums!
RUGGED recommends the following toad songs:
Black Pus – The Wise Toad
Jack the Toad – Ride on, Baby!
Alman Mulo Band – Toad on the Road
Frank Zappa – Toad of the Short Forest
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