SHELDON: I heard you giggling. What’s so funny?
WES: I was just reading this list of collective names for animals. Scientists apparently have a sense of humor. At least some seem to like playing with words anyway.
SHELDON: How so?
WES: Listen for yourself. For instance, did you know a gathering of buzzards is called a wake?
SHELDON: That makes sense. A bunch of old birds hanging around a dead body looks like a wake to me.
WES: An ostentation of peacocks.
SHELDON: They got that right. Those show-offs really like to strut their stuff. So pretentious.
WES: Here’s a great one! A prickle of porcupines. Hah!
SHELDON: That is good. Just so you don’t rub them the wrong way; then you’d really be stuck. (Heh-heh.)
WES: Ouch! You had to reach for that one.
SHELDON: Where there’s a quill, there’s a way.
WES: (Ahem.) This one’s a little odd. A group of leopards is called a leap. Because they leap from one place to another, I suppose.
SHELDON: So they can change their spots, right?
(Bump. Bump. Bump.)
What are you doing?
WES: Following the instructions on my mouse pad. It says, “Bang head here.”
SHELDON: Oh, come, now. I thought my response was quite witty. Stop rolling your eyes.
WES: Moving on. Here’s another: a cackle of hyenas.
SHELDON: That works. They really do have unnerving voices. Say, a cackle of grackles would work, too, right?
WES: I suppose. A romp of otters.
SHELDON: How about a rump of hippos?
WES: Very good. But according to this it’s a bloat of hippopotamuses.
SHELDON: What happened to hippopotami? That way both the hips and the pot would be covered. Hippo-pot–Oh, my.
WES: Maybe we should stop here.
SHELDON: No, no. Go on.
WES: All right. Get this. A rhumba of rattlesnakes. The way they sway from side to side moving along the ground must have inspired that.
SHELDON: Cobras sway, too, but they do it to that annoying music, so they may have a better claim to the rhumba title.
WES: Actually, all snakes are deaf and the cobra just mimics the movement of the snake charmer.
SHELDON: So the snake is really faking it? It’s getting so you can’t trust anyone.
WES: On that note: a parliament of owls.
SHELDON: Wait a minute. Aren’t owls supposed to be wise?
WES: I see your point. You certainly don’t hear much wisdom coming from any form of government these days, parliamentarian or otherwise.
SHELDON: Right; it does have to be other– wise.
SHELDON: I guess that makes a parliament of owls an oxymoron then—with the accent on moron.
WES: We’ve probably taken that as far as we can. Now, a chain of bobolinks. Brilliant!
SHELDON: Honestly, I’m beginning to think these scientists must have been a little snockered when they came up with these terms.
WES: A tower of giraffes.
SHELDON: Now I know they were drunk!
WES: H-m-m-m . . .
WES: Funny. There’s no name for a collection of muses.
SHELDON: May I point out that we’re not animals. Otherwise, it’s obvious. An inspiration. An inspiration of muses.
WES: Very good, Sheldon.
SHELDON: Thank you. It just came to me. But getting back to the animal kingdom . . . . How about a can of worms or a trunk of elephants?
WES: Or a hopper of rabbits?
SHELDON: Oh, this is fun. A network of gnus.
WES: I love it! Wait. An asylum of cuckoos!
SHELDON: Splendid! Let’s see. Maybe . . .
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