Lest you think that my interests lie only in the realm of punk and fat, let me tell you this: I am also a medievalist.
And lest you think that the middle ages are not bad ass, let me just say this: the medieval idea of the hyena is the most metal thing ever.
From the Aberdeen Bestiary*:
Of the hyena. There is an animal called the hyena, which inhabits the tombs of the dead and feeds on their bodies. Its nature is that it is sometimes male, sometimes female, and it is therefore an unclean animal. Since its spine is rigid, all in one piece, it cannot turn round except by turning its body right around. Solinus recounts many marvellous things about the hyena. First, it stalks the sheepfolds of shepherds and circles their houses by night, and by listening carefully learns their speech, so that it can imitate the human voice, in order to fall on any man whom it has lured out at night. The hyena also [imitates] human vomit and devours the dogs it has enticed with faked sounds of retching. If dogs hunting the hyena accidentally touch its shadow behind, they lose their voices and cannot bark. In its search for buried bodies, the hyena digs up graves… .This beast has a stone in its eyes, called hyenia; anyone who keeps it under his tongue is believed to foretell the future. It is true that if the hyena walks three times around any animal, the animal cannot move. For this reason men declare that the hyena has magical properties. In a part of Ethiopia the hyena mates with the lioness; their union produces a monster, named crocote. Like the hyena, it too produces men’s voices. It never tries to change the direction of its glance but strives to see without changing it. It has no gums in its mouth. Its single, continuous tooth is closed naturally like a casket so that it is never blunted.
*A note on bestiaries: the medieval mind saw the natural world essentially as a set of instructions from God outlining the ways in which man should behave. Everything was representative in some way, either as evil or as good, as bestiaries were written in order to instruct the monk or two that read them on how to “read” animal behavior in a Christian context–they were trying to make sense of a fundamentally confusing and immoral world, often by making up a lot of stuff. In this case, one should presumably avoid eating corpses, stealing others’ voices, and deconstructing the gender binary. And I had such a kinky evening planned …