The Tiger, The Accident, A Foot and A Fountain, A Poem by Chris Russell

I was out for my daily run when I saw a tiger trying to eat a fire hydrant outside the bank. It must have liked something about what I was wearing, or maybe it was because I was running, but it let go of the fire hydrant and started to trot toward me. The mailman saw me and stopped his truck. “Don’t just stand there like a deer!” He said. “Can I hide in your truck?” I said. “I’m sorry there are laws against that,” he said. “But any judge would understand this,” I said. “You’d be surprised,” he said. “They don’t have their priorities straight,” I said. “No, they don’t,” he said. “Inhumane,” I said. “Savages,” he said. The tiger swatted at me and I flew into a tree. I ricochet off of it and landed on the hood of a car waiting in traffic. I’d been hit on the crosswalk before, and I was starting to experience a reenactment. I looked at the driver. “Pull over,” I said. I dialed 911. They answered. “My name is Randall Marsh, and I’ve been hit by a car at the intersection of Village and Lincoln streets in Mexico. There is also a tiger here trying to eat the mailman, so come prepared,” I said. “Sir, are you bleeding?” She said. “I can see my intestines and my ribs are sticking out,” I said. “Try to put them back in if you can,” she said. I rolled off the hood and positioned myself on the pavement so they wouldn’t fall out again. “What about the tiger?” I said. “We’re aware of the situation, sir. The tiger escaped from the zoo earlier. Someone will be there shortly to take care of it,” she said. “Fences not high enough?” I said. “Sir, I advise you not to take this lightly. Someone is on the way. Have a seat, and try to stay upwind from the tiger,” she said. “What tiger?” I said. “Where are you right now, sir?” She said. “What kind of a question is that?” I said. “You are right, sir,” she said. “That easy?” I said. “Sir, I’m sorry sir, I’ll be quiet, just stay on the phone until help arrives,” she said. I hung up. “That’ll teach you,” I said. A foot went flying over me and landed in a fountain. “One foot in the fountain,” I said.

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