Since my last post featured a tumescent, quasi-human parasite, I thought I’d share this entry from my Field Guide to Obnoxious Creatures of North America. I feel like I’ve seen this critter recently, and I wanted to learn more. Here’s what I found:
The earliest known sightings of Notophtalmus gingrichisis—the swollen-headed or “fathead” newt—were reported in the Eastern United States in the mid-twentieth century. However, its most commonly accepted origins are the humid subtropics of Georgia, where it migrated in the early stages of its growth. Today, the swollen-headed newt can be found in all areas of country, though it is most frequently observed in areas of concentrated wealth ranging from the swampy, lower depths of Republican fund-raisers to drier, well-illuminated locales, such as Tiffany stores.
While a prominent head is its most distinguishing feature*, Notophtalmus gingrichisis is also characterized by extreme grandiosity and bad gaffes. Observers are advised to avoid the creature, as fathead newts in the wild often exhibit signs of violent temper, ruthlessness, unethical behavior, and excessive greed. Evidence also suggests the creature believes itself a brilliant visionary, though by all accounts it is, in fact, terribly myopic and given to confusing concepts like “historian” with “lobbyist” and “democracy” with “demagoguery”. Great caution is advised if one comes into close contact as the newt’s most deadly trait is its hyperbolic speeches and diatribes, frequently referred to as “newt-spew”. Newt-spew is a known toxin, causing confusion, numbness, paralysis, hallucinations, and/or memory loss. Repeated or extended exposure to newt-spew will cause victims to lose all sense of reality and begin to believe that the newt is an actual human being.
* and will flush scarlet when aroused, as in the presence of Female Staffers
Sounds like a nasty little bugger—and one that might very well prove dangerous. Be advised.