As season finales go, tonight’s episode of Dirty Jobs is a good one. We start in Logan, Utah, where the local beaver population is running amuck. Rather than kill them, which was the preferred method of beaver control for many decades, I meet Nate Norman and a group of ecologists determined to relocate them – a laborious process that involves trapping them and transporting them into the mountains where we build a dam for them, and then release them into the wild, far from the farmland and golf courses they seem bent on destroying. Along the way, we weigh them, tag them, and identify their sex, (not their gender.)
This is more complicated than you might think, since the beaver’s sex organs are inside the body. They have only one opening, a cloaca, which they use for reproduction, scent-marking, defecation and urination. It’s a very busy hole, in other words, and even though the male’s penis has a cartilaginous baculum (a bone), it’s impossible to find. The only way to determine male from female is to squeeze the fluid out of their castor gland – also located in the cloaca – onto a paper towel, and sniff it. The girl stuff smells different than the boy stuff, as you’ll learn tonight. One more thing off my bucket list…
If that’s not enough to get your attention, I head from Utah to Hollywood, to meet the special effects artist who makes all the slime and fake cement for your favorite movies and TV shows. The number of movies and TV shows that require slime and fake cement is extraordinary, and over the years, Scott Heger has made most of it. Most famously, Scott made the slime in Ghostbusters that wound up all over Bill Murray when a poltergeist exploded in his face, way back in 1984. Tonight, nearly 40 years later, the same stuff winds up all over me, and all over the Dirty Jobs logo. Looks pretty good, in my opinion. Not as good perhaps, as the musky spunk from a beaver’s castor gland, but good enough for what could be the last episode of Dirty Jobs ever produced. Tonight at 8pm on Discovery.
If you can’t watch, please DVR it and watch before Wednesday. Unless of course, you’re sick of me and sick of Dirty Jobs and tired of being told what to do.
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