By BEN R. WILLIAMS
I guess I’m like a whole lot of folks out there. Several months ago, when I started seeing all those articles about how cougars are really dangerous, I thought it was a big load of hokum, just those media types trying to scare us all. A lot of times those media folks say stuff I don’t like hearing, so how can you believe anything they say?
Then, of course, the so-called “scientists” had to chime in. “Cougars are carnivorous ambush predators,” they said. “They attack by biting the neck and attempting to position their teeth between the vertebrae to sever the spinal cord,” they said. What do they know?
And you know what those scientists didn’t say? They didn’t mention that only a small percentage of cougar attacks are fatal! And did you know that people are also killed by jaguars every year? They didn’t mention that at all.
Yep, I thought I had it all figured out. When the “experts” advised people to avoid places where cougars gather, I couldn’t believe it. When they said to wear protective clothing if you’re around cougars, my jaw dropped. And then, of course, those “experts” said not to bring any cougars around elderly relatives! Where’s the fun in that?
Listen, I’m an American. I’m not going to make any modifications to my life to preserve my own health or the health of those around me. I have freedoms. Doesn’t it say in the Bill of Rights that the right of the people to be secure in their cougars shall not be infringed upon?
Anyway, I didn’t take any of it seriously. I wasn’t going to change the way I live my life. I kept on going into the woods wearing my vest made of pork chops. I kept sneaking into the cougar cage at the zoo and doing my famous impression of a wounded fawn. I took my whole family on a vacation to Deadly Cougar Island.
And then, one day, something happened that I never could have anticipated. There I was, poking a cougar with a pointy stick while smearing a dry rub all over myself, when the unthinkable happened:
The cougar attacked me.
Folks, I couldn’t believe it.
Sure, I’d read the reports about other people getting attacked by cougars, but I didn’t know them, which in my mind means they aren’t real people. On the other hand, I’m me. I figured the cougars would understand that.
But boy, this one sure didn’t. There I was, getting dragged around by my vertebrae, the cougar’s jaws tight around my neck, when suddenly I realized:
Why hadn’t anyone warned me about this?
Sure, I’d read news stories where people described what it was like to get mauled by a cougar, how it’s extraordinarily painful and overwhelmingly terrifying, but no one ever described it in a way that I could experience myself, perhaps through some sort of virtual reality. I just couldn’t understand that it would be really bad to get mauled by a cougar without actually getting mauled by a cougar.
But I’m writing to you today a wiser man. As I lay here in the hospital, my breathing supplemented by a ventilator that was taken from some old guy who was probably going to die anyway, I know that I must have a higher purpose. And I think that purpose is to issue the following warning to others:
Don’t get mauled by a cougar, folks. It’s just no fun at all.
However, I’m still opposed to that new cougar vaccine they’re rolling out. I heard Bill Gates put a microchip up in it.