by Joe Buonfiglio
I have always known — always felt down deep in my soul — that when my moment comes to take one last breath of air here in Humanity’s oxygen tent (AKA “Earth”), it would come at the hand— No, it would come at the paw of some unholy beast. I will be eaten alive by— How did Dorothy put it as she cautiously tiptoed through Oz?
“Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”
This is what is responsible for my overdramatically adverse response whenever a friend or relative suggests we visited NOT a zoo, with all its proper barriers between beast and babe, but a “wildlife sanctuary,” a cat rescue habitat,” an “animal rehabilitation center,” a “flimsy piece of chicken wire between me and some angry, godawful strong brute of a creature licking its chops and looking me over as if it’s wondering if it can get ahold of some nice steak sauce” place.
What the hell, people? What is this obsession with rescuing wayward “big cats” or poor, unfortunate grizzly bears? “Grizzly” sounds like “grisly” for a reason; as in “Joe’s remains were a fucking ‘grisly’ sight by the time the fucking hulking, brown grizzly was finished with him.” As for the “big cats,” they torture their prey to death just like their smaller domesticated cousins do. If you think about it, it’s insidious! If you think about it, it’s horrific! If you think about it, it’s I’m gonna blow chunks now!
Sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah.
What fucking brain trust thought it was a good idea to take the most colossal killers, the most skilled hunters roaming the Earth, plant them in the suburb-adjacent backyard of some bored housewife whose training comes mostly from seeing the animal pics in the back issues of National Geographic her decrepit perv of a grandfather collected just so he could jerk off to the topless natives featured every other month, and put them an ass-hair away from a sniveling kid only there to help his mommy volunteer at the “rescue center” in order complete her court-ordered community service for her “squat-n-launch” style bit of public urination on the mayor’s front porch last Saturday night?
Huh? Answer me that!
Don’t give me this “caretakers of the Earth and all her creatures” Gaia shit. I’m an Agnostic; Catholic guilt doesn’t work on me. Those fucking mammoth mothers would pull your head off and use it in a game of Big Cat Badminton while simultaneously devouring your butt-cheeks as a between-meal snack without thinking twice about your altruistic motivations toward it.
“Wait, you’re here to rescue me? No kidding? Wow. That is so sweet. Uh, sorry I ate your kid. You know … while you were trying to help me and all. Now, hand over that breast meat. No, I don’t mean from that bucket of KFC fried chicken you’re having for lunch, you silly morbidly-obese human woman.”
Hey, here’s a great idea. Let’s bus in an elementary school class and have all the children feed the wounded tigers. There are absolutely no concerns that the fence I built out of the charred scrap-wood left after the old barn burned down last year will hold. It’s perfectly safe. What could possible go wrong?
“Pet the big kitty? Sure, honey. Your mom signed our waiver, right?”
Lions and tigers and bears? Screw that. You want to put yourself on the menu at the Café de Predator Rescue, knock yourself out. As for me, I’m playing it safe and spending my afternoon out on this boat fishing, where it is nice and reassuringly innocuous.
Sharks? What sharks?
© 2015 Joseph P. Buonfiglio