Tigshooicus Mauliculum, more commonly known as "Tigger's Maulers", were first discovered several months back, after their creator, tigger "Mortimergrizzlebee" mama, set them loose after finally wakening them by hiking through some soggy cow manure fields. It didn't take them long to find other victims and start to spread by infecting their victims tennis shoes. And don't forget that tigs has control over these beasts - she's the only one who does - she's kinda like the head vampire, only even the vampires empty their undead stomachs when they get near these putrid purveyors of pandemonium. Here's a picture of the original pair of Maulers, just so you don't forget:
These monsters were terrifiying before. However, the newer strains of Maulers have adapted and evolved and become more cunning in their unsatiable desire to maul and mangle letterboxers. Scientists are working hard to combat these changes, but once they find something that works, the Maulers find some way to get around the new deterrents. So to start, let's get familiar with how the newer species currently look, and then I'll explain what we know about the new identifying traits. Take a good look at this:
|Tigshooicus Mauliculum Grouchi|
Also, they are bigger and stronger than the first Mauliculi. They've been working out. One of them was watching television one day while munching on letterboxer leftovers, and happened to see Oscar the Grouch emerge from his trash can. We think that they now think of Oscar as their idol or hero or something, and it seems that, for now anyway, an Oscar tattoo is mandatory. They added the teeth.
One more thing: they have developed the ability to hide their horrific, nose-hair-searing, eye-watering, stomach-turning-inside-out smell while they are stalking their prey. This gives you much less time to detect them if they are sneaking up on you, but fortunately, this warning isn't gone completely. How do I know this? Because if anyone has had the most close-encounters with these creatures, it has been me. And I'm sure we all know who has been behind this.
Do to the graphic nature of the next picture, please be warned: this is a disturbing image, and should not be viewed by those with a pancreas condition, children under the age 99, and other Mauliculi (You do NOT want to see a mating ritual...)
I was half a second away from being devoured, and fortunately BB3 caught this moment on camera. I would have been a goner if I hadn't heard her yell "YES!!! FINALLY!!!", but fortunately I knew what was happening and what that statement meant, and I only avoided a mauling by dropping into a hole in the ground that you can't see just to the left of the picture. They mauled away at the hole for about an hour, but finally gave up when someone (tigs) called them away on another secret mission. And as you can see, I was so frightened that a pine tree sprouted from my rear end. That happens sometimes.
So, that was all the bad news, but here's what you can do and what we've learned to help prepare and defend ourselves.
1. When boxing, look for flashes of white. Even if you're wrong, better safe than sorry.
2. Even though they've developed the ability to mask their "I can't believe so many dead things are crammed into one space" odor, they can't hold it in as they prepare to spring on their prey, and so you will get a brief warning smell just before they pounce. For most, by then, its too late. Either they are too fast or the smell kills you before they do. But for those with good noses and quick reflexes, it could just be the warning that saves your life. Also, don't forget the pine tree nostril-stuffers. Those are a must these days, because if you do survive, your sense of smell will never be the same unless you apply those immediately.
3. Carry an Oscar mask at all times. This causes them to stop for a short while, and while they will figure it out, it has worked successfully enough to confuse them while you make your getaway.
4. If a woman (tigs) asks you to bring her a shrubbery, don't. Its a trick and that means she has you marked for a pouncing.
5. Scientists have developed a special net that will trap and contain these creatures. Preliminary results have been very effective, as you can see here:
This amazing development is strong enough to contain them so far, which is an incredible breakthrough, since nothing else has worked in the past. While they have not been able to remove them from the containment mesh, the scientists were able to at least cut off the deadly tails of the beasts, and you'll notice that one of them has broken a tooth on the netting, something that until now was believed to be an impossibility.
6. Feed them a geocacher instead. If you feed them one just before they devour you, not only will that keep them from eating you, but it will cause them to implode as well. So far, its the only thing we've found that will cause this to happen. Nowadays you'd be smart to always keep a geocacher in your pack at all times.
7. Heavy metal is still a deterrent, but they seem to be developing a tolerance for this. Not sure how much longer this will be effective.
As we learn more, we'll keep you posted. Just be aware of your surroundings, remember what I've told you, and keep you're wits about you. Oh, and don't tick off tigs if you can help it. Lord knows I have by the amount of times the Maulers have come after me...
PS - Still no spray-on repellant has been developed that has worked, but the scientists are hopeful. Good luck people, stay safe and remember: NO SHRUBBERY!!!