salamanders and popular culture

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While watching television a week ago, I noticed a Midas Car commercial (most of the time my attention drifts from the commercials). The setting is a suburban tree-lined street in the summer time. A little boy is causing a group of girls to scream and as a car cruises by the boy darts out in front of it to rescue his pet. Tires squeal and the boy reaches down to recover his pet - a large Tiger Salamander. I searched online for a copy of this commercial and even wrote the Midas company to see if they would possibly make a copy available but have heard nothing yet. With any luck I'll post a link or maybe even the content if Midas makes it available.

Then, a couple nights later, I am clicking randomly through the channels and come across the movie "Matilda". Here again is the salamander. This time the salamander is used to illicit screaming and terror in the evil schoolmaster as she attempts to drink from a pitcher containing the salamander. I did some searching online to see if I could get a short clip of the movie but again came up empty. After searching I did find that "Matilda" was a popular kid's book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Roald Dahl is probably most famous as the author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

I just realized as I was writing this blog entry that the general theme seems to be that salamanders can make people, in both cases the female variety, scream, especially when they are shoved in their face by a little boy or strategically placed in a pitcher of water.

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