Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tails of the Cougar

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I confess.

I attacked the Burro. I know the two buffalo got blamed for it but I did it. It was all me. The Burro totally had it coming, though.

You see, I was on my way back from my honeymoon when I ran into the Burro and all hell broke loose. Yes, Lucy and I tied the knot. We were wed in a private ceremony (invite only) and immediately flew to the Caribbean for our honeymoon. When my editor found out where I was (she tracked my credit cards) she demanded that I either high tail it back to Broken Springs or email her my next column. Well, I hocked my laptop in order to buy Lucy an expensive 4 karat gold wedding ring so after only three fun filled days and four funner filled nights I cut my honeymoon short and took a greyhound back home. It was Monday afternoon when I arrived back and I didn’t have a clue as to what to write about for my next column. Shallow Throat told me specifically that she’d reject any harlequin romance so I couldn’t write about my wedding night. I couldn’t even write about how Lucy makes my whiskers twitch with that little thing she does with her hips. Or the way the sunlight hits her eyes when she’s grooming herself in the salon window. Lucy is my muse and without her, I’m just an ordinary cougar with no literative merit.

So I was prowling the township, fighting off writer’s block, when I ran into this wise cracking Burro, whose name was Bubba. As I was walking by his fence, he hollered to me, “Hey, aren’t you the cougar the cops got an APB out on?” in his best Eddie Murphy voice.

“What’s it to ya?” I snapped back, not in the mood for a smart ass.

“Two thousand big ones. That’s the price on your head,” he answered back with dollar signs in his eyes. Two thousand bucks? I was flattered. I don’t think even Osama himself has a bounty that big. I kept walking, with a pounce in my step from the compliment.

I was nearly past the fence when I turned back to the Burro and said, “What’s an APB? Is it anything like the PBA?”

“No, no, you dumb pussy,” said the donkey. “All Points Bulletin. It’s like a BOL.”

“B.O.L,” I spelled out the letters. “You saying I stink, Burro?”

“No, you big dumb wad of fur. BOL means Be On the Lookout. But lucky for you, the Broken Springs cops are SOL when it comes to most things.”


“Nevermind. I just mean they’ll never catch you because they’d have to be smarter than the creature they’re trying to catch. Like those two buffalo over there.” Bubba nodded to the bison grazing across the road. “Those fellas wouldn’t stand a chance against Jimmy’s boys.”

“Who’s Jimmy?” I asked.

“Jimmy Kingston? Chief of Police? Boy, you are a dumb cat. Where you been living, under a rock?”

“No, at the Holiday Inn, in the Caribbean. I just got back from my honeymoon. I wore a black tux…”

“With tails?”

“How’d you know?”

“I have ESP.”

“Hey, I know that one! It’s a sports channel.” I grinned, proud of my wisdom.

“You’re a regular Danforth Quayle, aren’t you?”

“Well I don’t like to brag,” I said, clearing my throat. “So anyway, these cops… are they dangerous?”

“Only to themselves. I wouldn’t worry. They’re about as competent as a turtle at a drag race,” said the Burro as he chewed a mouthful of cud.

“Isn’t Jimmy the guy who runs that local charity?” I said, recalling details that my editor had shared with me before I left town.

“You mean the charity he has YET to register with the state?”

“I’m sure he has a real good reason. I've only ever heard good things about Jim Kingston. Isn’t he a hometown boy made good?”

“Good? Good for nothing.”

“Take it back! That’s an officer of the law you’re talking about. His job is to protect and serve Broken Springs. And I personally think he’s doing a damn fine job.”

“Spoken like a typical FOJ,” mumbled the burro who was beginning to get on my nerves. “Friend of Jim,” he added before I got the chance to ask.

“I’ve never even met the man. But doesn’t he also mow village lawns and pick up litter left along the street?”

“Nominate him for sainthood, why don’t you? Next thing you’ll be telling me is that you think that power hungry Mayor of ours is light on her feet and has the best interest of Broken Springs in mind.”

“I don’t know her either, but Lucy says she colors her hair. She’s not exactly a fox but you’re no Prince Charming yourself, Burro.”

“That reminds me of a joke. What’s covered with a tent and rolls on wheels?”

That was the straw that broke, in this case, the burro’s back. Before he could blurt out the rest of his Mayor in a wheelchair joke, I bared my teeth and lunged for his jugular. I’m normally not so violent but Bubba had spouted enough of his negative venom. He fell to the ground and muttered, “A motor home,” just before he lost consciousness from the loss of blood.

I high tailed it out of there. The buffalo were my only witnesses and I negotiated their silence by letting them out of their gate. It was only later that I learned the fate of Bill and Cody. Bubba later died, as I understand. I didn’t mean to kill him. I only wanted to maim him a little and teach him a lesson. But I’m sure you understand how I felt when he badmouthed our fine public servants the way he did.

When I told my editor what happened, she signed me up to an anger management class and requested a full psyche evaluation. She also put me on probation. I told her that Lucy says I’m just a big pussy. I purr when you rub my belly. If only the Burro had known that…

The Cougar can be reached at berriencougar@hotmail.com

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