They’re small, cute, and furry. They stand up on their hind legs, and hold their hands up in front of their tummies in an endearing manner. There are very few people in the world who find them offensive. But enough is enough – an obsession with meerkats is not a good thing, and when it’s done on a national scale, it’s just a little scary. The number of meerkats in the country come close to outnumbering the people. If the machines rose up and needed a proxy for a warm-blooded ally, they’d go for meerkats for sure around these parts.
You may think that I should give the Brits the benefit of the doubt – maybe it’s just one of those things like when you buy a new car that you think is rather rare, and suddenly you see them all over town. You buy a new shirt that’s just a little outrageous, and the next day in the office, two other people are wearing one. It could be something like that, right?
Wrong. The first exposure was the TV ads for CompareTheMarket.com. There’s this well-dressed, rather snooty Russian Meerkat (???) called Aleksandr Orlov, who tells you a bit about his distant relative who set up a website comparing Muskrats, and is most upset that people go to Compare The Market (which does insurance quote comparisons) instead. (You learn something new every day – I thought Meerkats came from the Kalahari, not Kiev. But anyway – poetic license and all that.)
What I initially thought was an isolated incident turned into a trickle – a little figurine here, a birthday card there, perchance a calendar for sale. And then suddenly, they were everywhere. Wherever you look, in whatever sort of shop, from clothing, to hardware, to bric-a-brac, you’re almost guaranteed to find something portraying these little critters. Behold – the following three photos were taken within 10m of each other, in 3 different shops:
So I did a little bit of research, and found this article from last year. Which proves (I think) that I’m not alone. There really is a problem here, and while I don’t know the solution just yet, you can be sure I’m working on it.