Then I get this email:
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2003 17:33:00 +0100 From: Pifra srl <*******> Subject: Information. To: email@example.com X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.552) We saw a pic about a "Tigered" rabbit at this address: www.bio.aps.anl.gov/dgore. We are a factory in Romania and we are really interested in this kind of rabbit. We want to know if you can sell us a couple of this rabbit. Thank you. Pifra srl Romania.
Needless to say, it took me a while to get up off the floor.
I asked friends what to do. I emailed the laboratory safety director to see if we could even ship these animals out of the country. I even emailed Dr. Hathaway asking what he would like to charge for what I figured was his invention. One friend came back and told me I had a WAY cool opportunity:
YOU HAVE GOTTA BE KIDDIN' ME..... NO WAY...NOOOOO WAAAAAAY. I think you should charge a couple of grands a head. Go to PetCo Plus, get a couple of white rabbits, surgical tape (it doesn't stick to hair and comes off painlessly), make the pattern, and a couple of cans of black and orange sprayable hair dyes, and you are in business. I'll take a 10% for the idea if no one beat me to it.
So I checked the domain and, not only do they seem to really be in Romania, but they had a website as well... as furriers! They wanted to skin my Tigerbunnies! The bastards!
Well, what could I do? A high-school friend told me I had only one choice: I had to tell them the truth about these furry creatures. With her help, we composed the following letter detailing the difficulties inherent in these misunderstood creatures:
Wed Dec 10 12:20:11 CST 2003 Dear Sir or Madam, Thank you for your interest in our TigerBunny(tm) line of animals. Unfortunately, we are not yet able to release these animals from our facility for a number of reasons. Although I am not able to provide details, these rabbits are not the docile creatures you may be familliar with. They are much larger than the picture would indicate and their temperment could lead to serious injury if they were to be mishandled. In addition to the necessary export licenses and restrictions on international transportation of non-domesticated live animals to Italy and Romania, we would also be required to send members from our Institutional Review Board to your facility to ensure that a proper Animal Care Facility would be constructed and maintained during the time any TigerBunnies(tm) were stationed at your location. These animals could not be allowed to be released into the wild as they would decimate the local agricultural industry. I will consult further with the Principal Investigator of the TigerBunny(tm) project, a prominent scientist at Marshall Space Flight Center (a NASA facility in Alabama). Perhaps, in the near future, further research in this area will produce a TigerBunny(tm) more suitable for public consumption. Thank you for your interest. We will maintain your contact information in our database. David Gore, Ph.D. Illinois Institute of Technology www.bio.aps.anl.gov/~dgore
I'm still awaiting a response... but somehow I don't think it's forthcoming.