Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chamaeleonidae Bicyclettoras

(Please read this post with a David Attenborough accent).

What we see here is very exciting. The Chamaeleonidae Bicyclettoras, or Chameleon Bicycle as it is commonly known, is an extremely rare breed made all the more extraordinary by its ability to blend into its environment and literally disappear. This colour-changing ability has evolved over many years as a theft-defense mechanism.

Unfortunately, this defense mechanism has been so successful that it has had several tragic side effects, all results of the fact that the species is essentially invisible. The first is that when people go into bike shops they do not see the Chameleon Bicycle on display, as it's invisible. This problem is partially countered by the fact that sales staff do generally attempt to sell the bikes. That said, it is not uncommon for staff to forget where the bikes are displayed, which almost always leads to a less evolved bicycle being purchased.

Another problem is the Chameleon Bicycle's image, or rather, lack thereof. More than one professional photographer has been driven to madness through vain attempts to capture an image of the bicycle that would be even close to suitable for an advertisement.

The fact that it is literally impossible to advertise this bicycle has reduced the Chameleon's numbers in two ways. Firstly, and not surprisingly, many people have simply never heard of it. Secondly, many of those that have heard of it are simply not interested as it doesn't contribute in any way to their image. In this day and age of style and materialism, the bicycle is for many an integral part of their 'look'. As the Chameleon has no apparent look, it is useless as any sort of fashion accessory.

The final, and perhaps most tragic side effect of the Chameleon's invisibility is that many people who do own one of these bicycles simply lose them. If I had a penny for every time I heard the sorry tale of the misplaced Chameleon, I would be a rich man. I once heard of a man who lost his Chameleon after a year of happy partnership. Heartbroken by his loss, he never rode again. He died several decades later having lived a full and rich life. It was when his house was being cleaned out that one of his sons found the Chameleon leaning up against the wall in the hallway. It had been there the whole time! As I say, tales of this nature are not uncommon.

So, it should come as no surprise that the Chameleon Bicycle is now facing extinction. In fact, there are thought to be only three or four hundred left in the wild, although of course it's hard to say for sure.

The photos below were taken earlier today and show a Chameleon in the wild.

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