Armadillos vs Porcupines (2)
That's like there being a rumor that you can shoot flames out of your eyes. You never have to actually do it — people just see you and they think it's true and hightail it out of there.
That works out kind of great for porcupines, if you think about it.
But there are also even cooler TRUE things about porcupine's quills. Allow me to make a few points here — eh, points? Poky? Quills? Eh? Get it? OK, moving on.
COLTRANE: Every porcupine has about 30,000 quills, which is ridiculously a lot.
That's Jessy Coltrane, again. THIRTY THOUSAND QUILLS.
And porcupines have those quills from the time they're born. Baby porcupines, called porcupettes, are born with soft quills, but after a few hours, they harden right up.
And while those quills don't shoot out, they do get stuck in anything they touch. The ends of the quills have barbs that will embed in your skin. And they are SUPER hard to get out. Some porcupine quills are as thick as a pencil. Ouch.
And with those barbed ends, the quills can actually travel farther in to whoever got stuck with ‘em. Jessy's dog learned that the hard way.
COLTRANE: My dog had gotten into a porcupine and I had pulled all the quills out, and two weeks later I was petting him and I got poked, and a quill was coming out the other side of his face. So it had gone through his nose and his muzzle and was coming out the other side, and I just pulled it out the other side.
Double ouch. Now these quills…they have another hidden power. The quills are naturally anti-bacterial.
And at first, that seems kind of weird — like, it's very thoughtful of the porcupine to not want to poke you and have you get infected. But the anti-bacterial quills are not about you! Porcupines' quills are anti-bacterial, because porcupines accidentally poke themselves. They are such a rolly, polly, pokey ball of fun, they can't help but sometimes poke themselves — and that's where the natural antibiotic comes in. A little poke, no problem.
Now, porcupines, even though they look very sharp, are actually very peaceful little creatures. They shuffle. They waddle. They like to eat woodchips. They're nocturnal, so they're basically just little nighttime snackers.
But, make no mistake: If you come for a porcupine, you will regret it. They play DEFENSE.
They will stomp their feet. They will click their teeth. And, if they really have to come at you, they will do it ….in reverse.
Their tails are heavily armed, so when forced to defend themselves, porcupines run backwards, until they crash their quills right into their predator.
Throw it in reverse, Quilliam!
(Truck reverse beeping noises.)
OK, since I told you I liked ridiculous animals, the last thing you absolutely must know about porcupines is that they talk.
COLTRANE: Like they make these happy eating noises: Mah, mah, mah.
They are CHATTY.
COLTRANE: They'll yell when they get angry and stuff, they go like MEAHHH. That's the angry porcupine noise, which I use on my husband periodically.
So look, if you don't believe me that porcupines are amazing, hilarious creatures, you should just ask a porcupine yourself. This is Teddy Bear, a real, actual porcupine, and this is a real actual recording of his voice.
(Teddy Bear making noises)
My porcupine's a little rusty, but I'm pretty sure that translated into: How do you like my marshmallow nose, armadillos?
Molly: Some very sharp arguments for the porcupine. Honestly, would love to hear the porcupine and the armadillo have a little conversation. I would enjoy that. So Habte what is your take on Tracy's argument? What stood out to you there?
Habte: First of all, the marshmallow. Also 30,000 quills. Also, they attack in reverse.
Molly: Pretty incredible. Multitalented porcupine. Who knew? Okay, Phyllis, it's your chance to strike back. You get 30 seconds to rebut Tracy's arguments and your time starts now.
Phyllis: The entire existence of the porcupine is duplicitous. It's unfair to have a cute nose and a cute little sound where like (noise). And then, if you're a dog and you just get a little bit too close, just bam, face full of quills for a week. Not cool. Plus it's ridiculous to be the kind of animal where if you fall out of a tree, you'll poke yourself 30,000 times. That is a yikes. No, thank you to the porcupine.
Molly: And time. Tracy, you have anything you want to say?
Tracy: I guess I'd just rather be the porcupine than the dog.
Molly: All right. Habte, you have two points to award this round. One for the best rebuttal and one for the best Declaration of Greatness. Think about some of the things you liked, what you just heard, consult your notes. The criteria is completely up to you. Now, mark down your two points, but don't tell us who they're going to. Listeners at home, grab something you can write with and jot down who you think won those two points. Habte, have you made your decision?
Habte: I have made my decision.
Molly: Excellent. Tracy and Phyllis, how are you feeling about your performance so far?
Tracy: Still feeling sharp.
Molly: Okay. Everyone, it's time for a quick break so go stretch your legs, uncurl your shell, straighten your spikes and stay tuned.
Habte: We'll be back in a flash with more Smash Boom Best.
TODD: Todd Douglas here with ping pong fiend and 887-time debate champ, Taylor Lincoln!
(ping pong sounds)
TAYLOR: You're not so bad yourself!
TODD: I was the community center champ in 7th grade!
TAYLOR: I won the Ping Pong Perfect award at summer camp in 5th grade!
TODD/TAYLOR: (in unison) WOWIE ZOWIE!
TAYLOR: We've been having quite the game day, debate-heads -- we were just at an arcade where we ran into an EPIC debate by the pinball machine!
TODD: Yeah, two kids were arguing about whether they should spend their money on another game -- or save it!
TAYLOR: Roll tape!
MEL: Spend the money, Ky! I need to play another game!
KY: But I don't want to! I'm saving up for my Nintendo Switch!
MEL: Well, you see, I'd like you to buy the tokens, because I need to play games.
KY: Wait. What?
MEL: It's important for you to buy tokens, because they cost money!
TODD: Woooooo! That was a wah wah wah WEAK argument on Mel's part! She was knee deep in a logical fallacy.
TAYLOR: Logical fallacies are common errors people make in debates.
TODD: They make it a whole lot easier for your opponent to take your argument out.
TAYLOR: Yup. And Mel used a fallacy called a circular argument. It's when your argument doesn't present any evidence beyond the argument itself.
TODD: It would be like saying, “I'm better than you at ping pong because you're a worse player than me.”
TAYLOR: Circular arguments are boring. And they don't work.
TODD: Better to offer real advice, like, “I practice 4 hours every day, beat you 75% of the time. That's how we know I'm a better player than you.”
TAYLOR: Well, we'll see about that. Let's go again!
TODD: Okay. You serve. We'll catch you next time on
TAYLOR/TODD: (in unison) STATE OF DEBATE!
Molly: You're listening to Smash Boom Best, the show about showdowns. We love the debate ideas you send our way like this one from Lark in New York City.
Lark: My debate idea is Artemis versus Apollo.
Molly: We'll check back with Lark at the end of this episode to see which side she thinks should win.
Habte: And now it's back to our debate of the day, armadillos versus porcupines.
Molly: That's right, and it's time for round two, the Micro Round. Your Micro Round challenge is Movie Trailer. Write a trailer for a movie starring your side. We'll buy a ticket and head to the movies for whichever film looks the best. Tracy, you're up first this time. Let's roll the tape on team porcupine's motion picture masterpiece.
Commercial Voiceover: This fall, don't miss the quilling true account of a hero who always has your back. Quilla was just a regular porcupine until those bobcats came to town. She never wanted this fight. She mostly wanted to sleep, honestly, and come out at night for snacks. But when the fight came to Quilla, it was time to ask those bobcats, [porcupine noises].
That's porcupine for, “You want a piece of this?” This tale of large rodent versus wild predator will have you stuck to your seat. When those quills go in, they never come out. In a world where everyone's gone soft, the hero we need remains sharp. Don't miss If Looks Could Quill coming to a forest near you this fall.
Molly: Oh, the fierce porcupine. Very nice job. Phyllis, now is the time to come out of your shell. Let's hear your trailer.
Narrator: They're fabulous.
Clam: Hey, Turtle! Hey, Crab!
Turtle, Crab: Heyyy, Claaam!
Narrator: They have shells.
Narrator: They conquered the big city.
Paparazzi: Ladies! Over here! Picture please!
Clam: Patience, guys. T Turtle has to get in here and she is worth the wait! Gasp—oh no!
Turtle, Crab, Clam: The vulture!
Vulture: (vulture sound)
Armadillo: Not today you old nasty bird! I just got my very sparse hair done and my nail painted—don't make me roll over there! I am an ARMADILLO, sir!
Turtle, Crab, Clam: You tell him, Shelly!
Armadillo: I'm about to! (screams)
Vulture: (confused vulture sound followed by scared, receding vulture sound)
Narrator: Their tough exterior...is pretty much the whole plot of the movie… Plus, the armadillo can scream.
Narrator: Shells and the City. Nothing can crush their spirit.
Molly: Okay, Habte, which is it going to be, Shells and the City, or If Looks Could Quill. You've heard both trailers, which fantastic film do you go to? Mark down that point and tell us when you've made your decision. The criteria can be whatever you want. Maybe the one that made you laugh, the one that packed some facts, it's up to you.
Habte: What if I buy a ticket for one, then afterwards, because I'm still in the theater, I watch the other one.
Molly: You're doing some theater hopping. They're both excellent. I know it's a hard decision, but you do have to pick which one's going to get your box office dollars.
Habte: I have marked my point.
Molly: Okay, terrific. Now here comes the Sneak Attack. Your Sneak Attack challenge is Dictionary Duel. Invent a word that captures all of your side's greatest qualities and write a dictionary entry for it. Does that make sense?
Molly: Okay, we're going to give you a few minutes to write while we listen to some lovely hold music.
Molly: Phyllis and Tracy, are you ready?
Molly: Okay. Phyllis, you're up first this time, let's hear your imaginary word.
Phyllis: At least one of the Os has to have an umlaut because it's like an Ikea furniture item, except it's an armadillo.
Molly: What is the definition of your word? What does it mean?
Phyllis: It means something that is round and things bounce off it but you can also eat with it or dig with it.
Molly: So multifunctional. Very impressive. Tracy, let's hear team porcupines' dictionary entry.
Tracy: My word is quilty with a Q. It's an adjective. It means looking very obviously caught when you were doing something bad. Like when a dog shows up covered in quills, you know he did something and deserved it so he's quilty. He's very quilty.
Molly: Excellent words both of you. I'm going to try to introduce those into my vocabulary. Quilty and, can you tell us yours one more time, Phyllis?