Top 8 Moose in Popular Culture
June 30, 2011 | Lists
The moose is the best of Canada’s “national animals”. Unless you’re chatting with specialists, it is not a common sexual innuendo and back in the 17th century a beaver would have been unlikely to put the fear of god into a coureur de bois relieving himself in a creek the way a moose at full charge would have.
They remain a threat to this day. Canada’s highways can be deadly and we don’t just mean because of black ice or the slower death brought on by Tim Horton’s doughnuts devoured at rest stops. On rural roads – and city ones too if zoo workers have been drinking – there is also the risk of hitting a moose.
The best result you can hope for should that occur is a car requiring more body work than your average porno. But with males two-thirds the weight of your average four-door sedan, a collision with a moose is likely to have a similar result as having a head on collision with another vehicle – the kind that has massive antlers to shish kabob your viscera through the windshield.
Because of their unique “perfect for a pub wall” appearance, size, and bellicose nature, moose, or elk, have become a part of popular culture, both in Canada, as well as in countries where they’re not best known for appearing on quarters and goring people who love the great outdoors.
Here, in honour of Canada Day, we pay tribute to the beast with this, our Top 8 Pop Culture Moose!
We sometimes wonder whether Hollywood shushes up incidents of dogs working in the entertainment industry going mad because of all the pressure and ripping out a gaffer’s throat. After all it’s enough that they respond to one name. A dog is an animal and could care less whether its name is Fred, Beatrice, or Zaphod Beeblebrox, but give it a name and it’ll respond provided food, somewhere to sleep or the prospect of a belly rub/chance to run outside and menace squirrels is on offer.
Hollywood dogs have to respond to two names and fake owners who spend the time between takes holed up in trailers to – if our cable TV viewing is on the money – fornicate and/or issue insane demands. Eddie on Fraser was one such beast forced into leading this double life, but he handled it well, and even garnered more fan mail than any of the humans on the show – Jane Leeves must have secretly hated him. Moose was best known for his ability to “fix Kelsey Grammer with a long hard stare”, a trait likely shared by lawyers for his three ex-wives.
7. Moose Knuckles
The moose knuckle is a fashion crime of the first order and something that only the delete button can remedy should you encounter one while reviewing holiday snaps on your digital camera. Its cousin, the camel toe, is much more well known but once skinny jeans became more in vogue on the other side of the gender fence, it was only a matter of time before this term and the unfortunate portmanteau “mangina” came into prominence as well.
Since this is our blog and we both have it saved as our browser home page, we would rather not post examples of this. But for those interested here are some moose knuckle examples from the Winter Olympic Games (soon to be held indoors with the a/c on full blast thanks to global warming).
Dallas Cowboy Daryl Moose Johnston was an outstanding fullback, blocking for Emmitt Smith before he went on to “make dancing look manly” on Dancing With the Stars (we haven’t seen the programme, but there’s nothing manly about dancing unless martial arts are somehow involved).
Moose Johnston got his nickname because he was much larger than the rest of the Dallas running backs – a veritable moose among deer. The nickname caught on and chants of “Moooooooooose” were common and better tolerated than when shouted by restaurant staff to discourage someone’s third trip to the buffet.
5. Moose (Drinking Game)
At this point in the list, we’d like to adopt a strategy we normally apply when doing our taxes – take a break and play a drinking game.
To play Moose, grab an ice tray, dump the contents off your bedroom balcony, and place it on the middle of a table. Players then take positions on each side of the table and take turns bouncing a quarter into the tray. Depending on where it lands – there are many variations of this quaffing classic – players either take a drink or instruct the other side to do so. If the coin lands in the furthest hole on either side of the tray, everybody yells “Moose!”, does the whole antlers deal with thumbs on temples, palms facing forward.
The person who lasts the longest without being overwhelmed by shame or alcohol poisoning wins.
Hockey nicknames are among the least interesting in sport. While there have been a few good ones recently (Russian goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is “The Bulin Wall” and The Nyet Minder”) they mostly involve tacking an “ie” onto one’s first or last name (Dougie / Jonesie / Big, lumbering Goonsie/ No Teethsie) and can’t compete with the likes of basketball’s “Round Mound of Rebound” or “The Human Highlight Reel”.
Mark Messier had the misfortune of playing with a guy nicknamed “The Great One”. Any nickname next to that is bound to sound second rate and so it was with Messier, a victim of alliteration, who was dubbed “The Moose”. Like the countless hockey players past and present who were given the name, it was thrust upon him for his brute size and strength rather than his appeal to wildlife artists.
3. Moose mention in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” credits
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is jam packed with funny and the credits are not wasted. They are hijacked by a crazed Swede who tells of how “A moose once bit my sister… No really! She was Karving her initials on the møøse with the sharpened end of an interspace toothbrush given her by Svenge – her brother-in-law – an Oslo dentist and star of many Norwegian movies: ‘The Hot Hands of an Oslo Dentist’, ‘Fillings of Passion’, ‘The Huge Mølars of Horst Nordfink’.”
The kids who usually bring two lunches to school and depending on their demeanor beat someone up for a third are often nicknamed “Moose”. Also acceptable: House, Tank, and Chunk. Moose Mason in the Archie comics is the stereotypical jock, the classic great athlete with shit for brains who is pushed through the education system so that he can be fed into the evil gob of collegiate athletics. As the Archie comics have aged and amazingly remained in print, the Moose character has matured and a PC influence has seen his doltishness explained by dyslexia, which is a less satisfying justification for poor grades than having had your bell rung one too many times.
2. Moosehead Beer
Few sights could be more Canadian than an empty 24 of Moosehead beer left for park staff to clean up by thoughtless campers rushing to get a jump on the traffic back to the city after May 24 weekend. (Or, the charred remnants of said box in the fire pit, which was peed out just hours earlier).
New Brunswick-brewed Moosehead is Canada’s largest 100% Canadian-owned brewery and has been producing highly quaffable booze for people whose favorite thing about the great outdoors is drinking in it since the country’s confederation in 1867.
And of course, the most famous moose of them all, the dim-witted character from the popular anti-Canadian propaganda vehicles “Rocky and His Friends” and “The Bullwinkle Show”. Here, Canadian moose Bullwinkle is portrayed as the intellectual inferior of Minnesotan squirrel Rocky. His “special powers” include an ability to remember everything he ever ate – handy only if he ends up dying of salmonella and whispers his last words into the ear of a food inspector – and being really strong, “moose strength”. He can also probably shame his squirrel buddy in one other department, but is too polite to do so.