The Tongue of the Tiger

There are a only a few rules for cute kids’ clothes:

1. smaller than adults

2. something cute


and the makers of this tiger shirt were so close to scoring that hat-trick.

From directly in front it’s a cute cheeky tiger. From any other angle it’s “oh god where are his pants.” No-one ever wants to see a flesh-coloured protrusion below the midline. If you’re the same height as the kid it’s clearly poking out of their belly button, but you also lack the conceptual capacity to have any problem with the pink poker-outer. But I haven’t been the victim of a shrink ray, magical amulet, or lazy science-fiction writer, so I haven’t been reduced to the age and/or size of a child. I’m always seeing this from above and the corners of my eyes are extremely upset.

I can confirm by experiment that peripheral vision does not get over this. Peripheral vision isn’t about careful analysis, it’s about hitting the panic button first and saying “You’re welcome” because you’re still alive later. It still hasn’t accepter there aren’t hungry carnivores just out of sight at all times, so it’s not going to evolve new behaviours for one piece of child’s clothing. Especially since, at the kid’s current rate of growth, this jumper will last for less time than some of the more exotic products of the Large Hadron Collider*.

*Which sounds ridiculous but is actually true!

There are very few circumstances where seeing a tiger tongue is a good thing. Even as an expert tiger veterinarian, a job description which makes James Bond look like a useless bureaucrat, having to examine their tongue is bad because it means the tiger might be sick. Unexpected tiger tongue is usually terminal: either you’re seeing a hungry tiger up close, in which case you’re going to die, or you’re having dinner with one of the really evil Bond villains who’s also a big game hunter who thinks they’re showing off by serving exotic animal, in which case you’re going to die AND there’s less tiger in the world instead of slightly more.