June 15th, 2010


The dangers of modern living.

A couple years back, I posted about men holstering guns in their waistbands and accidentally shooting themselves. Well, a couple of weeks ago it happened again. There's a lesson to be learned here, folks, and I think it involves not storing a loaded gun in your joy division.

Speaking of dangerous behavior, I recently visited the fair in downtown Portland. Along with the usual rides and games, they had a great exhibit of live, exotic animals, including various reptiles that are illegal in Oregon, and a tiger, a lynx, a serval, a lion, and more. I was especially excited to see the tiger. You could get much closer than at a real zoo, and it was thrilling to see this huge beast pacing around and looking feral and majestic. Unfortunately, it turns out that tigers can spray urine up to a distance of thirty feet. After a crowd of us had gathered there between the cages, the tiger turned and lifted his tail, revealing his sinister purpose. Like Samson, bound in the Philistine temple, he would avenge himself on his captors. The tight space and thick crowd didn't permit us a swift retreat, so panic set in, and the resulting scene was probably akin to the Philistines' final moments: shrieks and hustle and every man for himself, as a lateral geyser of urine bathed the premises. Oh, the humanity.

I also noticed a young mother taking a smoke break, with her child in a nearby stroller. It's strange to see smokers younger than I am. When I was a kid, I assumed any smokers I saw had gotten hooked before the dangers of tobacco were widely known. That excuse was plausible back in the '80s, but the idea of picking up smoking in the past decade or so just seems bizarre. Is it possible that some people still haven't learned of the danger? You can only plead ignorance for so long. I certainly won't approach a tiger in close quarters again, for instance.