Indestructible balls

Posted: January 24, 2012 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have spent the last 4 hours formatting my novel House of Dreams, so I can put it out  as an E-book. Plus another 3 hours late last night.

Man, what a royal pain in the hoop!

And all the time I’m deleting tabs, adding bookmarks and similar shit, I can’t help thinking it’s like when you put up a shelf , or build a wall (both of which I have done in the past, badly), and that you know that if you only did it a couple more times you’d nail it. But how often do you build walls? Once. Or if you do ever do it again you’ve forgotten all the stuff you learnt last time, because  it’s three years since you did it.

Well, anyway, it’s like that.

And I still have to design a front cover. Although I’m hoping the very talented Ziiplight might help me out there with some cool photos.

So when it’s finished and up on a bunch of sites, please buy it.

Today I have bought coffee:


(Starbucks have changed their coffee cups! Considering the amount of time I spend in the place, this is a significant event. I am going to have to reflect on this for a little while before I will be able to understand it’s impact. Initial and ill-formed thoughts – a bit unsettling. No-one likes change, right?)

Today I didn’t buy a baby lion. Obviously. Why would I? Which is precisely what occurred to me when I heard a news item on the radio the other day suggesting that the Internet was being implicated in increasing the trade in endangered species, through websites and chatrooms that facilitated the purchase of exotic pets. This sounded suspect to me, but I was intrigued. It didn’t take me long to find some advice as to how to go forward with my purchase.

On the website E-How, a site dedicated to ‘providing visitors the ability to help complete day-to day tasks[1], ‘owning a pet lion’ was given the rating moderately easy! The basics are as follows: a lion cub retails for around $2500, for which you need a license at $250. A cage seems pretty much essential and costs up to $2000, and I’m guessing that’s an area where you probably want to spend as much as you can afford. Food and vitamins come in at around $2000 per annum with vet’s bills at $250, which just covers basic check-ups, shots and so on, more if the lion gets ill, thorn in paw etc. Insurance is a big cost at $14,000 a year and baring in mind the wide variety of potential lion-related mishaps that could occur, none of which can be imagined as anything other than disastrous, again, probably another area where you don’t want to skimp. Lastly and most intriguingly an ‘indestructible ball’ costs $250[2].

So that’s start-up costs of around $21,000. This would deter most people I would think. I figured there might be some less formal (and less expensive) ways of going about the whole thing, which might have been more what  the news article had been talking about, so I tried to get a question out into the internet community and see if I might uncover a network of black market, unregulated, big cat traders. I posted the following request on Yahoo Answers: ‘Where can I get a baby lion?

I received a number of answers in pretty short order, which either makes me think that this really is a serious issue, or that there are a lot of people who just like to give advice. The answers were a mixture of serious and amusing, ranging from the incredulous:

A bad idea all round’

‘You’ll get mangled to shreds’

‘No offence but that is a gay question”

‘What is wrong with you?’

To the practical:

‘You can buy one from Africa. It will cost a lot and you will have to kill it when it gets over one year old or it will eat you.’

‘Go to Mexico Bro, everything is legal there.’

And one poster who took the trouble to reply with a long and very detailed exposition on why this might not be a viable idea which actually ran to six pages and covered, under various subheadings, topics such as ‘licensing’, ‘enclosures’, ‘diet’, ‘training and safety’ and ‘exotic vet’.[3]

All in all it sounded like owning a lion would be a major hassle, and I didn’t feel that the Internet was going to make it that much easier.

[1] (day-to-day? Surely a touch of mission-creep here re the lion advice.)

[2] (quite keen to get one of these regardless of actual lion purchase.)

[3] As much as I am both intrigued and delighted by the image conjured up by the alternative interpretation, I have to assume that the author of this post was actually referring to a vet who specialised in exotic animals.



  1. Ziiplight says:

    I love it!
    And ofcourse I will help you out with a book cover!
    If you gonna public it anywhere I just want my name on it somewhere.
    Tell me what to do and I do it, alright? 🙂

    • caljacobs says:

      Awesome. You can certainly have a photocredit on the e-book when it is published.

      I can see a lot of your photos are of natural things; flowers, meadows etc. Beautiful, but not quite what I need. The story House of Dreams, is about a government scheme to lock away all the thugs and hooligans in society, by making them think that they are going onto a Big Brother type TV show, but really they’re just being shut away from the rest of society.

      I want the cover photo to be of a fence, or a wall, maybe even a CCTV camera? But some signs of nature too, like a flower or some weeds. I’m undecided about whether it would look better with someone in the photo too. It would need someone young (the characters are late teens early 20s – could be you!), and definitely not smiling.

      I don’t really know! You’re the artist, try a few things out.

      Thanks for your help.


  2. […] advice, which I was going to segue into a slightly longer story about when I’d used it for some book research about trying to buy a tiger, but in the end cut it short. Which brings me to point […]

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