Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grounded, Bleeding, or Lost

Dear Gork,

I am considering selling my car and purchasing an Ostrich. What are your thoughts?

-Bird Trotter


On the surface this smells like an awesome idea. I mean hell, it worked for that Swiss Robinson family, but if we delve a little bit deeper, I think you'll see why this fad hasn't caught on. Let's say you sell your car, on which you would spend $5K/yr on just to maintain, for $10K. That's 15 big dogs in your pocket that you would not have otherwise had. Ok, that sounds pretty good. Now consider that a purebred African Ostrich grown to riding age will set you back anywhere from 2 to 5 grand, depending on several breeding factors. If that sounds like a lot, that's because it is. If you're feeling penurious, you could spring for a slightly less costly ratite like a Hornbacked Eurasian Emu or even a cheap Kiwi, remembering of course that the hornback is aptly named and would not make for a comfy ride unless you're into that sort of thing, and that the kiwi is about same size as a rooster; you'd crush it before you even had him/her saddled.

Ok, so you're dishing it out for the ostrich, but your profit margin is still looking good, right? Wrong. It's going to cost you at least $1K to have the bird shipped to you. An ostrich will consume on average 60lbs of Blumpkin Brand Ostrich Food ® per week, and that's if you're not riding it to work everyday. To fuel a healthy, energized riding bird, it's going to cost $10K/year.

Well, this isn't looking so good anymore. Now imagine your new bird truck gets hurt or sick. Who knows how much it'll cost you to nurse it back to riding strength. Furthermore, in 2007 alone, there were 1100 ostrich-rider related deaths. So, the moral there is if you're going to do it, wear a helmet and bring an ostrich tranquilizer every time you ride.

All that said, my advice to you is scrap all this pressure of scrimping and saving. Quit trying to cut costs and just double your spending; keep your car AND get an Ostrich. That way you'll have transportation when your bird goes down, plus you'll have the added security of a viscious, Jurassic-era bird beast patrolling your property; There isn't a thief alive wiley enough to take that on. All in all, pretty stupid question. Keep em comin'.


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