Inner Monologue of Bandit the Panda

Bandit, the rascally baby panda born to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, gives interested readers the inside track on his world.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Birthday Reflections and Setting the Record Straight.

Happy Birthday to me, baby! Mom hogged lots of my fruitscicle but other than that, I had a pretty sweet day. Lots of fans came out to wish me well, and the Zoo put on a pretty good party when you consider their modus operandi is spelled L-A-M-E.

Lots of people were talking about me again this week. It was nice to be news again.


I saw this travesty of an interview published in that poor-man's newspaper, "express". I have to take a moment to give the real answers.

express: Happy birthday. So, can I call you Butterstick?
fake express Bandit imposter: Ugh, no. Sure, it was sweet when I was tiny. But do you know how much it hurts to constantly hear, "Hey Butterbutt! Hey, Butterball!"
Bandit: Ok, this guy got part of it right. We all know how I feel about that name and all variations thereof. But it's not because it "hurts." Please. Do you think I clutch my paw to my heart and whimper when I get called those names? I'll give you a hint. My real retaliation usually involves bamboo and blowtorches.

express: Moving on. How does the nation's cutest celebrity plan to celebrate?
fake express Bandit imposter: The zoo is planning a party. The first 1,000 people get cupcates. Me? I get cards.
Bandit: Huh? Cards? Everyone knows cards are the cop-out birthday present. I only accept cards with presents in $100 denominations. And cards from fans. I love cards from fans. But the zoo knows they owe me more. They got me a GIANORMOUS fruitsicle, a new pool filled with water, TWO new toys, and a soccer ball.

express: They'll be showing the video of your birth. Won't that be exciting?
fake express Bandit imposter: Oooh, you mean the one where I slide out of my ma and bonk my head on the wall? Fun. And a bonus -- I get to watch my parents doing it.
Bandit: EW! EW EW EW. What kind of demented clownmunch do these people take me for? Who wants to see...think about their parents...NO I can't even say it. And I would never use the word "bonk." My integrity as the coolest panda in the world has been violated.

express: How do you feel about Tian Tian?
fake express Bandit imposter: Deadbeat. Next!
Bandit: I'll kill him. I'll kill the bastard for calling my dad a deadbeat. Doesn't he see the mega fence? What about the legions of clownmunch zookeepers doing their best to keep us apart? Dad would be all cool with me if they let him come around. That's like throwing a guy in jail and then fining him for not spending more time with his kids.

express: So, any big plans for this year?
fake express Bandit imposter: I want to find new ways to jump on Mommy's back. Kick my bamboo habit. Oh, and escape.
Bandit: So this is the closest this guy comes to a semi-accurate answer. I do like jumping on Mom's back (no "Mommy" for me, thank you) just like I like ruining her liquor cabinet. No need to kick the bamboo because uh hello its GOOD FOR YOU. Hobbitbuddy would be so offended to know that someone wants me to kick bamboo. As for escaping, you know I love it, but it's been done. I can do it again if I want, no big deal.

express: Escape?
fake express Bandit imposter: I got me a plan. One of the giraffes is smuggling me a Raquel Welch poster and a rock hammer.
Bandit: Ok, points for the Shawshank reference, but this guy isn't even trying anymore. Everyone knows a giraffe couldn't smuggle a peanut into a late-run movie theatre. They're HUGE. Paolo can smuggle rings around the crafitiest giraffe. Besides, I'd take a chopper over sewer drainage lines anyday.

express: Why would you want to escape?
fake express Bandit imposter: Honestly, I just want to hear if the new Metro voice is as annoying as everyone keeps saying it is.
Bandit: Sigh. This is what they publish for the reading public. A "butterstick" who wants to spend months digging himself out of the zoo just to hear the new Metro voice. If they'd contacted the source instead of using a false mouthpiece, they would have gotten the better, more accurate answer: Because I have a date with DESTINY, SUCKAZ! Bandit for President, 2008! Hoo-ah!

express: Will you be sad to leave for China?
fake express Bandit imposter: Leave? What do you mean? Nobody told me...Hmm, do you think Brangelina will adopt me?
Bandit: No, dumbass, and you know why? Because I'm uh, not leaving? Yeah you heard right. Bandit is 100% Made in the USA and I ain't goin NOWHERE.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bandit and Barbaro

Pandaholic wrote:
Where have you been? We miss you!

Bandit is a lazy panda?

Uh, yeah sorry about that. I haven't forgotten about my peeps, but I have been kind of a clownmunch for deserting you for so long.

Let's see, what's happening in the world. I hit 50 pounds...but that's kind of boring. What else?

OH! How could I forget? Friday night, some van pulled up to the Panda House and Mom went running up the ramp. I was like hold the phone! You can't just take my mom somewhere and expect me to let her go without a squeak. So I bounded up after her.

She was all annoyed and told me I was going to cramp her style. I told that bitch to shut up.

We rode in the van, like, forever. It was super boring. They transfered us to this tiny golf cart/van thing, and when we stopped, a guy pulled open the door and I about knocked him over trying to get out into the light. It was morning, and Mom and I were in some kind of room with views of a racetrack on three sides. I climbed up to peer over the railing and saw loads of people everywhere.

"This is bogus," I told Mom, but she was all, I didn't ask you to come along. Whatever. She already had salt poured on the back of her paw. Tequila shots at 10:00 in the morning--that's my mother.

Apparently we had box seats because the drunken people at this thing wouldn't be able to handle seeing pandas loose in the crowd. I think that's discrimination. I didn't do anything wrong.

Well...I hadn't done anything wrong yet.

But hey, I figured if they're going to confine me I'd better give them a reason. (I looked back and saw Mom sucking on a lemon. She has some weird drinking rituals.) I blew the scene. I'd heard that horse Barbaro was pretty badass, so I wanted to see him and wish him good luck.

It's funny, as I was barreling down the ramps to the stables, people moved out of my way. Some of them were like "AHHH!!" but I heard some others be like "What's Butterstick doing here?" Clownmunches, but I didn't have time for them. One of you must have been there too, because I heard someone shouting "Go Bandit!" in the distance. Rep-re-SENT!.

I made it to the stables, and the horses didn't like me too much. They made an annoying ruckus until I told them to stuff it and tell me where to find Barbaro. I got my way real fast after that.

Barbaro was lounging in his stall with a cuban in his mouth and a brandy snifter on the ledge. He was like, "Who are you?" and I was like "Bandit" and he was like "Badass." I don't smoke, but he had some killer Pop Rock flavors so I had those instead. We kicked it for a few hours like that.

I asked him what the deal was today.

"Just another race. The humans are all wound up about it."

"You don't care? But I heard you're a badass horse."

"I am." He blew a smoke ring. "I'm just not in the mood today. It's been forever since I got laid."

I pretended like I knew what he was talking about. "So fake an injury or something."

He moved his cigar to the side of his mouth. "You might be onto something, Little B."

"You know I am. Well, I gotta split. Good luck, Big B."

They arrested me shortly after that and threw me back in the box with Mom, but she was too blitzed to lecture me. She was wearing a hat too wide for her head and had painted her claws red. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, to round it up, I heard today that Barbaro got his wish. Except he's so badass, he didn't fake an injury--he did it up real. Broke his leg in three places! I can only dream of growing up to be like him.

Now, he's livin it up in the Large Animal hospital, gettin' frisky with the mares.

Here's to you, Barbaro. Get well soon.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More March of Madness and Ms. Sharon Ambrose of Ward 6

That is the last time I listen to an orangutan about basketball picks.

They tell you they know everything about b-ball because they have long arms and can dunk, but what they DON'T tell you (and what I'm kicking myself about for not remembering) is that they are the most asinine primates in the animal kingdom.

Duke? Gone.
Syracuse? Done before they started.
Tennessee? Gone.
UNC? Gone (but they were beat by our local boys, the George Mason Pandas, so I didn't mind missing on that pick)
UConn, GONE (again by the Pandas, but what do you expect from a team so named?)

My bracket is a mess. What's worse, I owe money to about 13 different species.

So, onto other news...I'm about a week behind, but an alert fan pointed out this note posted on 3/22. The article came from the Washington Times (apparently the DC Council is discussing making me the official animal of DC, go me!):

PRO: "The panda ought to be one of the strong possibilities," says D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, who is running for mayor. The official animal "really should be what captures the imagination of the children and makes them feel good -- and the panda does that."

CON: "The panda should not be it because we should have an animal that is native," says [Sharon Ambrose] the Ward 6 Democrat, who isn't seeking re-election. "We should have an animal that is an American."

Whaaaaa? Does Ms. Sharon Ambrose even read I find it hard to believe that a duly elected official of the people would neglect the one-stop resource on the inner thoughts of the people's choice for President 2008.

Then again, not so hard to believe.

Beeotch, I'm as American as the Golden Corral All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, loud car horns, badass gunslingers, and that pie I always hear people talk about. I was born here, chica! Last I checked, that's enough for citizenship.

No wonder she isn't seeking re-election. Cause she knows she'd LOSE.

Yeah. Take that, sucka.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bandit's March of Madness

Three weeks have come and gone since I last set down in front of my editor and rambled about my life. I wish I could blame it on her, but--

Scratch that. I am going to blame it on her.

So how my peeps been? I've been setting records in scent-marking (earliest panda to do so on record EVER, gooooo ME!), spying on Dad, and confounding the clownmunch keepers at every turn. So pretty much nothing new or exciting going on down here. Until yesterday. Yesterday, I learned about The March Madness.

So this basketball thing is a pretty big deal, huh? And all guys love basketball right? So therefore Bandit must love it, too? Not so fast. Before I committed myself to fandom, I had to do some research first.

Paolo brought over the March Madness brackets yesterday, and I gnawed on a piece of bamboo while he went over his report. I learned everything I needed to know about all the teams involved, but after that, the chief question in my mind was this: Why are there no teams named after pandas? Do I need to spell it out for you people? We got the coolness, we got the size, we got the ferocity (Don't believe it? Ask Mom about the can of whoopass I opened on her when she tried to take my brackets away yesterday. Ha ha ha. That was funny). Best of all, we're MONEY.

A college naming its team the "(whatever) Pandas" would sell so much merchandising, they'd be an instant dynasty because they could afford to bribe their stars with under-the-table gifts (like a sweet new muscle car) and therefore keep them from going pro. They'd become the Yankees of college basketball!! Or that Duke?

Anyway, there are a lot of lameass team names out there, and I challenge those colleges to take a postitive step toward the future: make the change to Pandas. You won't regret it.

Do any of my fans have The March Madness? The zoo has a pool going and I need help filling out my brackets. I hear the geckos win every year, and I can't allow that to happen.

This time, it's personal.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dad, Olympics, and Logos--I've been busy

Dad smells cool. Like what badass is supposed to smell like when you get old and badass.

It became obvious to me that the servants were doing their best to keep me from meeting him, so I displayed a few of my climbing skills and made it happen. My next project is figuring out how to actually get in his pen. Paolo swears he can get me in, but a number of you have expressed reservations about my fennec fox friend's I may have to keep an eye on him.

I was doing some reading up and I discovered that a lot of people from other countries gain citizenship in the US by kicking ass at some sport and then applying for citizenship so they can perform on the U.S. Olympic Team. I think I may have dreamed about this when I was younger, but now that my climbing skills have become so obviously world-class, I think Beijing 2008 isn't out of my reach. I'm a gymnast, baby! And a hot, hetero one, too. Take that Alexei Nimov.

Pandaholic, you have done your job well. While creating names for my brands may not exactly fall under a lobbyist's job description, I'm sure that when you go to meet a congressperson wearing your Tai Shan-John signature Tims and a retro Tai Shan-John jersey, that this poor unhappy elected official will be so impressed by your killer style that he or she will gladly agree to support us.

I was so inspired by the names in fact, that I tried my hand at some logos.

I'm going to be an enterprising multimedia mogul, an Olympic Gold Medalist in gymnastics, and one day soon, I'll be the BIGGEST PANDA ON EARTH.

AND, I'm going to get in Dad's pen.

Just watch me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Very Badass Valentine

Ok, the snow was cool, but it's starting to get crusty. Clean it up already, people.

On other news, Hobbitbuddy sent me something yesterday that had me really confused. Why is she sending me heart-shaped bamboo cookies? I wondered. They were so good I nearly passed out on the spot, but after I regained control of consciousness I looked at her note again and puzzled on the wording. What's a Val-en-tine's Day? Is this a special day I have like my birthday?

Paolo wasn't around to comment, so I had to ask Mom. She told me it's a day humans celebrate where they pretend to love each other and get really obnoxious heart-shaped things for each other. I don't think Mom likes the holiday very much.

So I did some research online yesterday evening. I think it's actually kind of cool. It's hard for a badass panda like me to show some love because then people might think I'm losing my edge, but if it's a holiday, then who am I to fly in the face of tradition.

But all the Valentines I saw online really sucked. Too much lace and pink and girly clownmunch stuff. None of it suited me, so I made my own.

Yeah it's a day late now, but I know you'll get over it. Instead, you can appreciate the magnificence of my latent cardmaking talent. I should have my own brand.

With such skill, I'll need a badass name for my brand to go along with it.

I know, my fans are clever peeps--What should I call my brand?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Taking the White House

So I took Hobbitbuddy's suggestion. It seems that if I want what I want in life, I gotta learn to climb. You all saw me take on that tree, but did you know I was practicing for the main event? Paolo stole Ally's camera and together we made our escape Monday afternoon...

The afternoon was crisp. I hunkered low against my wall, waiting for the signal. My servants paced the perimeter (pretending to work, the clownmunches.) Mom had already gone inside, and I knew my window of opportunity narrowed with every breath I took.

Vibrations went off beneath my paw--a warning. Soon, the pumping sounds of 50's "Wanksta" began to emit from the small silver device I held clutched in my paw. I flipped it. "Where you at?"

Paolo's voice came over the line. "The other side, dawg. Make it happen."

The line went dead. Looking above me, I saw the narrow branch reaching over the cement wall. It was now or never.

I shot up that tree like a bullet from a gat. The branch shook beneath my weight, but I was on a mission from a higher authority than gravity.

A mission from my fans.

I dropped to the ground and smacked Paolo with the back of my paw. "Where's our ride?"

Paolo blinked at me with his beady little eyes and pointed his ears in the direction of the most beat up chopper I've ever seen. Like I cared. "Will it run?" I asked him.

"If it don't, I keel the bastard who sold it to me."

Good enough for me. We climbed on and I kicked it to life. That took some doing, since most choppers aren't designed with nearly 7 month old pandas in mind. It roared as I gave it a little gas and we were off.

Between Paolo's despicable MapQuest directions, and the DC police, it's a miracle we even made it. I popped a wheelie between 17th and Penn before flipping off the chopper to the rousing cheers of my fans in the streets. Paolo brought the chopper to heel and kept the engine purring while I eluded the guards and shot straight toward the fence.

Stupid bars. Those suckers are slippery.

Next time, I'm bringing equipment.