A Tiger In The Grass

       Being a staunch proponent of self reliance, Steve Coolpy was thought of as an outsider in his neighborhood. He was thought of as "the nut job on the corner", or "the guy who lives in the eye-sore on the corner", or "psycho steve on the corner". The list goes on and on. Regardless, Steve was a master of innovation, a renegade, an outsider. Most importantly, he was his own man. When the washing machine which he and his ex-wife had purchased finally broke after 15 years, Steve had a new one in sixteen hours that he built using an old bicycle, an oil drum, and innumerable other small pieces of hardware and refuse he found around the house. "Ain't no fuckin' Maytag gonna wash 42 gallons of laundry" he drunkenly yelled into the early morning air upon completion. While the rest of the world shook in fear of using their own hands, while they threw money at every little obstacle, while they "had somebody" solve their problems, Steve Coolpy was busy getting it done on his terms, by his rules.

      That's why when the Smimsly Belding Memorial Zoo lost track of one of it's Indochinese Tigers and Steve spotted it in his backyard, he refused to call the Zoo or the authorities and proceeded to handle the situation himself. He had seen the Tiger wander into the tall unkempt grass of his backyard sometime around noon but lost sight of it. Nonetheless he was sure it was back there. Steve quickly took inventory. "The head of this mop kinda looks like a bunny rabbit or a little shaggy puppy dawg" Steve thought to himself. The plan was simple; using the mop head as a decoy attached to some sort of reel, he would lure the beast into the back of his pickup (enclosed with a bed cap) Leaving the hatch shut he'd just have to close the tailgate, which he tied up at an angle so he could shut it by backing the truck into the house. All he'd have to do then was drive it to Smimsly Belding Memorial Zoo, surely to receive a free pass for the rest of his life. 

      Steve parked his car on the side of the house and cast his decoy into the yard before climbing back into the cab. The decoy was attached by a clothesline which was fed through a small hole drilled in the back of the cab and attached to a garden hose reel that Steve had found in the trash two years ago. He reeled quickly, he waited, he reeled quickly, he waited, then he saw it. "That big bastard cat is falling for it" he laughed to himself. The enormous feline started to stalk the mop head. Steve reeled like the dickens and the predator gave chase. Closer and closer it came until it was right in the back of his 1984 Ford F-150 XL. "Yeehaw!" he screamed, his adrenaline pumping. He stepped on the gas. There was a loud crash as the tailgate of the truck became lodged against the vinyl siding of his house. Making a split second decision, Steve pulled forward a few inches and ran out to shut the tailgate by hand. The crash must have damaged the latch and as a result Steve Coolpy was mauled to death by an Indochinese tiger in his backyard in Sackenbridge, Ohio at 4pm on July 14th of 2004. "He had it coming to him" the neighbors later scoffed, but at least Steve Coolpy tried.

The End