Bob shouted, and pointed out an area to our right. He said that a dead mountain lion had been found there.
What on earth could kick the crap out a lion? Whatever it was, I didn’t fancy being formally introduced. Just as importantly, why didn’t it finish its meal off? Had it gone looking for condiments?
Bob also said the lion had been half eaten. The lion was hidden out of sight somewhere in the undergrowth, and I couldn’t see the remains, but I really wanted to know what it looked like. I was intrigued to know which half of a lion tasted the best.
If the head or brains had gone, the culprit might have been John Wayne’s zombie. I wouldn’t discount ballsack from being an accessory either.
On the other hand, if there was a big hole in its chest, we should probably give Sigourney a call. I hoped Bob had her on speed dial… I’ve seen the film ‘Alien’, so I was praying I didn’t find any great big eggs laid by a twenty-foot-tall chicken with a bad cold.
High above, I could see some vultures circling. I pointed them out to Ross and said that they must be over the lion. He said “Nah, they’ve been following us since you sat on Luke”.
Why wasn’t I allowed to have a rifle like Bob? What if something charged at us from the undergrowth? I’m not daft, I wouldn’t try to shoot it – aiming at a moving target would be way too hard. I would just wing one of the others so they couldn’t escape as fast as me.
coming up the rear
After the lion incident, I realised I’d made a huge mistake…
I had been at the rear of the convoy, and as everyone knows, that’s the one that gets picked off first in horror films. I had unwittingly become the red shirted expendable extra, from the Star Trek landing party.
I shouted out to Angela that I was at risk… but she just wanted to know if the credit cards were safe, then went back to daydreaming about Hank.
i promised myself, that if the worst had happened, and I had been attacked by a bear/mountain lion/Sasquatch/alien, I would have had the last laugh on her by making sure my wallet was swallowed first.
Bob shouted again and pointed down. He said something about the rocks near his horse. Apparently they were rattlesnake rocks. Wow – the Americans really do think of everything, they even have anti-snake munitions. Filling my pockets with them sounded like a good idea. I bet that lion wished it had known about rattlesnake rocks too.
It’s obvious I’m not ‘Steve Irwin’ because all I know about animals is:
What Bob actually meant was the bigger rocks were used by snakes to warm up in the sun. I asked Bob why they don’t just use microwaves, he just gave me a funny look, sighed, and glanced at his rifle. Bob repeated in a louder voice that this was an important fact, because horses tended to spook when they see a snake.
I reckoned Luke would just bite its head off and spit down the hole.
Even so, we gave the Slytherin sun loungers a wide berth.
hair loss treatment
Another sneaky feckin trick my horse did was take me under branches trying to knock my cap off – but with my head still in it. I didn’t realise immediately that this was a deliberate ploy, until I saw somebodies scalp stuck to a twig in the tree.
I wasn’t worried about losing my hair, I did enough of that in my twenties… but I didn’t want a centre parting deep enough to encourage any passing zombies to bring a knife and fork.
I pulled on the reigns, and steered us away from the trees, then leaned forwards and had a quiet word in my horse’s ear – “Nice try Whiskas”…
Observation number 4: Don’t let Beelzebub’s spawn steer when you’re going under trees.
The mountain trail was surrounded by bushes, cacti, and long grasses. The foliage was thick in some parts, and could easily hide a critter big enough to make me need a change of pants if it popped out and said boo…
As we passed some bushes, both myself and Darth Mauls apprentice, heard something moving nearby.
My first thought – ‘It might be the thing that ate the lion’…
My second thought – ‘Make sure Ross is nearer to it than I am’… He’s young, and would heal faster.
I kicked Luke to make him go faster, then I realised the implications of my shitty decision. I had enough trouble staying on when he’s only walking, if he starts to run, I’m fucked…
When cats want to kill something, they crouch down, wriggle their arses, and then launch – that’s exactly what Luke did, except cats aren’t fitted with a feckin warp drive.
I closed my eyes, squeezed my thighs together, and gripped the flappy leather things as hard as I could.
Sitting astride a metric ton of meat earthquake isn’t comfortable, especially when the only suspension was being provided by my bollocks, and shouting “whoa boy” doesn’t work when the sound comes out an octave above what bats can hear.
Why hadn’t the Boss warned us about horse throttles? There should have been a tick box on the consent form that said:
“☑ Yes, I understand horses have two speed settings, slow, and feckin ballistic “
Imagine if you filled a sack with jelly, and then walked down the street kicking it. That’s what it felt like.
Internal organs that had never been formally introduced began fighting for pole position – the winner would be the first out of any available orifice.
There is definitely a gap in the pants market that NASA and Spanx could fill by encouraging body parts to stay in their designated positions, and capturing any that try to escape.
am I dead yet?
The next few seconds blurred into a terrifying slideshow that gave literal meaning to the expression ‘Death by PowerPoint‘. Each horrifying mental slide was accompanied by a thrash metal mix of hooves, and the slapping soundtrack from a cheesy nineteen eighties BDSM orgy….
As my life flashed before my eyes (you can choose your own favourite PowerPoint transition), I thought…
- Did my travel insurance cover demonic transport?
- Wow – my knuckles are white
- Will Ross shout “ROTATE” when I reach takeoff speed?
- I bet that dead lion was actually a hit and run victim
- Would Bob laugh at my damp trouser patch?
- Could Amazon Prime deliver a bolt gun in the next 30 seconds?
- I should double-underline the words “Yellow and black handle” in my saddle snag list
- Will Angela marry Hank?
In just twenty feet, I went from 5mph, to Mach 1, and back again.
According to Ross, I demonstrated a textbook example of the Doppler Effect when I passed him screaming like a little girl.
I hoped Bob would shoot the creature in the bushes, but the only bang I heard was when we broke the sound barrier.
I still have no idea what it was in the bushes. My imagination had conjured up something designed by H.R.Giger, but Bob said it was probably just a bunny.
It was easy for him to be cocky, he had a rifle. All I had was a girly penknife and a cocky teenage decoy.
After all the excitement, the ride turned more leisurely, and we made our way slowly up the mountain.
We stopped off at an amazing vista point that looked out across the Pacific Ocean. Bob announced “On a clear day, you can see China“. I reckon this was actually an IQ test, and 25% of our party flunked it by saying “really?“
I won’t say who it was, as I might run out of clean underwear again.