Phantom Sway

Psychotic Latvian beavers seek world domination

No Latvians were harmed in the writing of this post.

In Latvia, the furry woodland creatures are rebelling against all notions of cute, fuzzy innocence.

Quentin Tarantino’s Narnia

dreadbeaverLatvian beavers are going gangsta.

Diabolical beaver holds Daugavpils in its thrall

A man in Daugavpils, Latvia’s second-largest city, was attacked by a beaver in the middle of the night. Pinned to the ground, the man – known only as Sergei – phoned for help but rescue services doubted his tale of rodent assault and thought it was a prank call, Inna Plavoka, editor at the local Seychas daily told Latvian Radio 4 Thursday.

Plavoka told Latvian Radio 4 that Sergei claimed he was walking the city streets late at night when he saw a beaver emerge from the shadows and run towards him. He didn’t have time to fully grasp the peril in which he found himself before the beaver had sunk its teeth into one of his legs.

He reportedly tried fighting back and fell to the ground. As he lay motionless, the vicious swamp-dweller fixed Sergei with a pair of ruthless, staring eyes and bit him again when he tried to get up.

The beaver was in effect holding Sergei hostage.

It’s bad enough that the beaver treated Sergei like his own personal birch log, but when he called authorities for help, they didn’t take him seriously and hung up on him. This is precisely why so many beaver attacks go unreported in the Baltic states.  Sergei managed to convince a friend to come rescue him but the friend was pulled over by police and given a breathalyzer test. Imagine that conversation.

“Sir, have you been drinking?”

“No, officer. I’m just on my way to rescue my pal who is being held hostage by a beaver.”

“Step out of the car, please, sir.”

The story was so popular internationally the Latvian news agency even wrote a follow-up.

Renegade Latvian beaver dominates global news agenda

We have done proper investigations, we have been first with reviews of important new cultural events, we’ve put tough questions to those in power, we have stayed up all night to ask someone you’ve probably never heard of how it feels to be elected prime minister.

But clearly, all that was really wanted was a psychotic beaver and a plot that even the makers of Police Academy would have rejected as too silly.

That’s a dirty lie. Steve Gutenberg would kill his mother to play opposite a Latvian beaver with anger management issues.

The only thing spoiling the pleasure of seeing one aggressive Latgalian rodent prompting millions of worldwide clicks and chuckles was when we saw Kremlin propaganda wire Sputnik had also picked up the story. For the first time ever we doubted whether the beaver really existed.

However the fact that Sputnik chose not to adopt its usual tone with this story and say this was a fascist Latvian beaver attacking a defenseless member of the Russian minority suggests that for the first time ever, Sputnik may actually be telling the truth.


Back in the day, snark like that would have bought you a one way ticket to Siberia.

Meanwhile in Russia…


Not so fast, Tony. Moscow has declared war on shawarma.

Shawarmageddon: Moscow authorities threaten to ban kebabs

Authorities in Moscow have threatened to finally outlaw the city’s beloved shawarma kebabs, claiming that the stalls that sell them have repeatedly failed to comply with sanitation standards.

“We are ridding the streets of all shawarma. It’s going to disappear completely,” city official Alexey Nemeryuk told Russian radio station Komsomolskaya Pravda.

The head of the Moscow department of trade and services added that kiosk owners had refused “to bear even the slightest costs of maintaining proper sanitation standards”.

What’s the point here? Nobody’s dying from tainted shawarma, are they?  Judging from the videos flooding YouTube from the former Soviet bloc, the average Russian is most likely to die as a result of being shot by a motorcycle-riding bear while drunk fighting two guys in identical blue and white track suits on top of a stolen tank. The beauty of it though, is that it will be recorded by at least three dash cams, guaranteeing that the bear gets convicted while also providing quality online entertainment for the rest of the world. The cleanliness of Moscow street food vendors just isn’t going to figure largely in your obituary.

Sanitation standards probably aren’t high on your list of priorities if you’re eating street food in Russia anyway, but honestly, what’s a bacteria-laden mystery meat pita matched up against the blood vodka content of the average Muscovite?  It’s no contest. They should be more afraid of outlaw beaver gangs swimming across the Baltic Sea.


Phantom Jim

Jim is a science fiction nerd, writer, blogger, music lover, artist, graphic designer, native of the east coast, and graduate of Virginia Tech.

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