April 18, 2022
I know all about revenge being a dish best served cold, and I know about making public proclamations of how one’s rights have been violated and that somebody will have to pay. I even know that once proclamations are made, you’re honor-bound to carry on with the plan or admit that you are a complete phony and your cries for justice are nothing more than empty posturing.
Despite knowing all that, Carmela and I keep amending our plans for revenge on the javelinas who chased us away from our picnic in West Texas and threatened to eat Henry, our sweet little doggy boy who depends on us for his sustenance, and who I believe would defend us to the very end.
First, our plan was to return to the picnic area along Interstate 10 to confront the pack of wild javelinas who terrorized us. We planned to dole out at little Texas-style revenge. We planned to use the big walking sticks we’d received as gifts to bash the javelinas when they approached and to leave them lying dead by the road as a lesson to all the other javelinas that actions have consequences.
In other words: Don’t screw with the Cunninghams.
But then, we started thinking. Would our walking sticks be enough to ensure one of the javelinas didn’t get through our gauntlet of hickory and oak staves and manage to sink their dirty feet or teeth into our flesh.
We needed some more ammunition, so we went to our local Cabela’s sporting goods outlet to find a secret weapon to use as a backup – some pepper spray that we could employ as a sort of nuclear option if the battle turned against us.
The salesman at Cabela’s was interesting. He suggested that we should use bear spray – a toxic spray chemical guaranteed to stop a charging grizzly bear in his tracks from 40 feet away. But he warned us to be very careful, because if any of the spray blew back on us, it could blind us and cause severe complications. A little spray can cost $59.99.
That seemed like a little overkill to us. I mean javelinas are nasty little beasts, but they are not all that big and they posed no real threat to us personally, besides chasing us away from our picnic area.
We chose a lesser spray, one that didn’t shoot out very far. It was more of a self-defense spray to use against evil humans than a javelina repellant, and it only cost $17.99. But it would be enough, the salesman promised, to ward off the javelinas at 5 feet away. It would cause intense pain and send the beasts packing. How long, we asked, for it to wear off.
Well, there was no real answer for that. The javelina would probably have to find some water to wash the chemicals out of his eyes. Of course, the desert that is West Texas is not known for its lovely trickling streams.
But, I know my wife.
She would turn from avenging goddess to defender of all creatures in less than a nanosecond if confronted by a javelina squealing in pain. If we did spray a javelina and get some chemical in his eyes, I would end up having to chase the wounded – and likely very angry – beast down and then hold him while Carmela washed out his swollen eyes.
And if his eyes were still red and swollen, she would insist on transporting him to the nearest vet – which in West Texas could be many many miles away.
That’s where we would find out that our rescued beast was really not a he, but a she, and she was pregnant. And even after we spent hundreds or thousands of dollars saving the animal, then what?
Nobody, especially a no-nonsense Texan, is going to take the javelina mother and child home as a birthday pet for their little girl. And we couldn’t take the animal home to share a house with our little pup – whom the javelina would kill and eat as soon as the door closed behind us.
Of course, this is all conjecture. It’s the kind of thing that happens when you let your imagination run wild. Probably we wouldn’t have to use the toxic spray against the javelinas. Probably just waving our new walking sticks at them would be enough.
But now we have started thinking about the poor javelinas, just trying to live in the desert by scaring humans into giving them food. Their life is hard enough. Then we come along and just because they hurt our feelings we want to cause them great pain.
We could, I suppose, go to one of those stores where they sell white mice that snake collectors buy to feed their reptiles, and give them to the javelinas as a gesture of forgiveness. The problem with that is that by the time we got there, Carmela would have given the mice names, fallen in love with them, and made them members of our family.
That’s the problem of living with a soft-hearted woman. They make you do soft-hearted things just to make them happy.
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