Friday, April 25, 2014

More Pit Bull Fun in the Sun

There’s an old saying here in Florida which I just made up a few minutes ago: “Don’t go near the water . . . or the land, either.”   

As anyone with a nose for news knows, we Fearless, Featherless Floridians have been losing arms, legs, hands, and heads to alligators for just about as long as we have been in Florida.   Our ancestors who survived quickly learned that if one managed to steer clear of rivers, creeks, canals, locks, lakes, bayous, swamps, sloughs, ponds, puddles, ditches, moist grass, and dripping faucets one will remain relatively safe from gators, or, put another way, no one here is safe.  It has only been recently, however, that even what little bits of land we Floridians cower on has been invaded by another type of gator.  I speak, of course, of terra quadrupus homicidus, aka “land gators,” aka four-legged food blenders, aka pit bulls. 

Which is more dangerous, the water gator or the land gator?  For my money, the latter wins going away. The pit bull is way more dangerous because it is way more unpredictable than the gator.  After all, alligators will ALWAYS attack and kill you, and no messing around either—that’s the sort of predictability you can set your watch to.  Pit bulls, on the other hand, will let you feed them, raise them, pet them, name them, bathe them, play with them, sleep with them, love them . . . then, SNAPPO! there goes that little genetic switch and the pit suddenly attacks and kills you. 

Seemingly overnight, the state and the nation have been swamped by these ugly creatures whose head and jaws form roughly half their body weight and whose walnut-sized brain is enclosed by a thick layer of concrete, granite and iron.  The bad news: Lots of folks own pit bulls.  The worse news: Lots more folks are getting them.  Why?  Why would anyone want to keep these large ugly murderers around?  Well, for the same reason lots of folks stud their noses, tattoo their hides like billboards, and say words like “like” five to ten times per sentence—because it’s like, you know, it’s like the fashionable thing to do and stuff.  As card-carrying followers, none of these geese want to stray too far from the flock because, well, like, you know, like no one wants to be out of step or, you know, like thought different or something.  If owning a pit bull is considered THE cool thing, then owning a pit bull is what they will do. 

Anyway, moving sloooowly along . . . . As you rocket scientists, brain surgeons and  Mensa members who read this blog undoubtedly already know, pit bulls are great at jumping fences or tunneling under same two or three times per day and attacking something—anything—and tearing that something—anything--limb from limb. 

As an example: Not so long ago, over on the wrong side of the state, a middle-aged woman was sitting on land--her patio, in fact--minding her own beeswax, jus’ a chillin' and joyin' the weather.  Her lazy cat lay nearby. Now, felines may not be the brightest bulbs in the animal box, but no one will ever accuse a cat of being a sucker. Cats seem born with an innate suspicion of anything and everything and in a pinch a puss will not rely on a human for jack squat. Nope, a cat can save its own bacon without any help from humanoids, thank you. Thus, when two loose pit bulls stormed onto the scene looking for something small and slow to kill, the cat was up the tree quicker than you can say “Osama bin La. . . .”

And so, if the disappointed pits could not fasten their iron jaws onto something small and easy to kill, they turned their attention to something large and a bit more problematic.  By the time the frantic woman dragged her bloody carcass into the house she was a mangled mess.

When cops arrived, the fun-loving pups naturally attacked. The result: Florida humans and cats count two less loose pit bulls to worry about.

Pit Bulls--those charming, lovable and oh so misunderstood canines who seem to be gaining ground as the leading cause of death among people who can’t run very fast. . .

Pit Bulls—those big, sweet-natured teddy bears who are “great with kids” right until the moment they attack, kill and gut those kids. . . .

Pit Bulls—like boons and beaners, how did the white race ever survive without them?

”Dogs tear off man’s arm in attack” read the small article buried on a back page of our own local fish wrap last summer, as if such events are so common here they warrant almost no coverage.

Seems up at Palatka, Florida, a couple of soft-hearted, but bored, pit bulls were looking for something playful to do. Together, the two decided to jump the fence and kill something.  Most anything would do—another dog would be nice, maybe a child or two, perhaps a herd of milk cows.

As bad luck would have it, human, Roy McSweeney, was working in his yard that morning just on the other side of that fence. Imagine old Roy’s surprise when one moment he is pulling crabgrass and the next he is rolling on the ground fighting for his life. First, the 74-year old man’s right arm was torn completely from his body. Then, as Roy tried to fend off the beasts with his left arm that too was nearly ripped off. The animals then went for the face and tore that to tatters too. Finally, satisfied that the old man was dead, the dogs left and went looking for something more challenging to kill, say a horse.

McSweeney was discovered and taken to the hospital where he later flat-lined. The dogs were also located, presumably covered in blood and still chewing on Roy’s arm. Although the animals were sent to that Great Slaughter Playground in the Sky where all good pit bulls go, and even though it was the third vicious attack the two were involved in, authorities seemed uncertain about what charges, if any, to file against the dogs’ owner, poor boy.

Like other pit people I have read about, the owner in the above case was stunned, confused and searching for answers following the attack. I’m sure that if this fellow were ever sober long enough to make any sense, and if he was able to formulate a thought above that of a parakeet, I’m sure that he would ask himself how the same animals that were raised from puphood, the same who seemed so obedient to commands and protective of the children, how could they turn so vicious so quickly? That, at least, is the 64-dollar question all seem to ask when speaking with reporters after this fatality or that fatality. I personally do not care a dime why that switch works as it does with these murderous brutes. They are hard-wired for violence and I would very much like to see the entire breed banned from the U.S. And while we are at it, I would also like to see their owners--beer guts, meth pipes, tattoos, the works--placed in prison for harboring a beast that would as soon tear every living creature they encounter to shreds as look at them. But the sad fact of the matter is, as long as it is the Roy McSweeneys and Tom Goodriches of the world being dismembered and killed by these animals, little will happen. When the Brad Pitts, Obamas and Hillaries of the world start losing their legs or their lives to them, then we might expect change.

In another attack near Tampa, old John Ashmore was out taking his morning walk.  As was his custom, the old fellow—four score and four--took advantage of the quiet mornings to stay fit. For nearly a million years Ashmore had managed to stay alive without fuss or feathers, but on this day. . . . Little did the spry old dude realize that this morning his neighbor’s two pit bulls were—surprise!—were loose again.  After the bloody mauling was over, somehow John found himself yet alive. Paras on the scene were horrified by what they found, however.  Ashmore suffered “major trauma” over his entire body—that’s fancy lingo for being torn limb from limb. When the dogs turned on the first cop to show, the officer proceeded to remove from this earth two pit bulls more.  Nice shooting, Wyatt!

Across the state at Daytona Beach two mischief-minded mutts were out early trying to break the all-time pit bull speed record in the “Most Things Killed or Hospitalized in the Shortest Amount of Time” category.  First up, cops found 69-year-old Frank Andrisano leaning against a telephone pole, more dead than alive, spurting DNA from virtually every pipe in his body.  "Call the ambulance, O’Brian."  Next, cops tracked the blood spatter until they found 42-year-old Billy Boles on top of a utility box balancing on his last good leg.  "Call the ambulance, O’Malley." Trailing the blood and bones a bit further, our detectives found another poor rudder who had been attacked and knocked to the ground while riding his bike to work.  The blood-soaked victim was barely alive and . . . well, really, this does get downright repetitive after awhile.  "This is a rush order, O’McDonald.  Call the chopper." 

Although Daytona was about to run out of ambulances and helicopters, all the victims were rushed to hospital ERs, of course; both the dogs were found and killed, of course; and, of course . . . so what?  This crap goes on and on and on like the days of our lives, like the leaves of a calendar, like the cycles of the moon—full moon, half moon, new moon, pit bull; full moon, half moon, new moon, pit bull, over and over.  I can just as easily be reading tomorrow or the next day of an entire family of albino dwarfs living in the woods near Tampa who are attacked, killed and eaten by a herd of “loose” pit bulls, just as easily as I can be reading about the warm, sunny weather—both are about as common. 

Pistol Packing Pest Patrol--Meanwhile, as this canine crime wave continues unabated in Florida, up at Bradenton, another form of “Stand Your Ground” was being tested.  A mild-mannered gent was walking his proud little Jack Russell on a leash the other day, both just joyin’ the day.  Pretty quick they came to a three foot high concrete “fence.”  On the other side of said three foot high concrete “fence” was a pit bull.  It seems redundant to once again report just how murderous these creatures are; how their entire existence seems devoted to mutilation and massacre, and so I will forgo the rant.

Thus, when the little dog and his human pal passed alongside the “fence,” the pitbull did that which any self-respecting bully would do when it spots something small, stupid and slow—it lets the good times roll.  After all, it had been almost a week now since last this pit jumped this towering three foot “fence” and killed everything he could clamp his jaws on, including a three-legged cat, a neighbor’s pot-bellied pig, and two squawking parrots. 

Thus, rather than watch his little Jack Russell get gutted and killed in two seconds flat, the JR’s owner whipped out his Portable Permanent Pitbull Attitude Adjustment Apparatus (.38 pistol) and shot the charging beast in the neck and shoulder.  No report yet if the slugs were true and terminated this pest but even if they did not they at least removed from the pit’s one-track mind the thought of killing the little JR for the moment . . . or killing anything else, for that matter.

One or two Thanksgivings back, an unidentified cyclist up in Davie, Florida, was out trying to lose a little lard before hoggin’ down later that day. No problem here, as I see it, but. . . . Enter one “Scooby,” a large, loose canine of the Doberman persuasion. When Scooby spotted the “slow deer” (i.e., a moving bike) there was never a doubt what he would do next.

Okay, now Florida is a “conceal-carry” state. And since cyclists have been not only the victims of armed humanoid attacks, but armed dog attacks, this prudent biker was packing a po-po-in-the-pocket. When Scooby gave chase with deadly intent, then lunged, the bikologist did not hesitate; he let Scooby have it.  And so:  Cops came. Cops saw. Cops left. No problem.  No charge.  No Scooby.

According to his distraught owner, one Dan Abou, Scooby was a truly marvelous dog, both friend and pet; in fact, the sweet-hearted pooch was in training to be a “therapy dog” (just what kind of “therapy” an animal like that could render one can only guess).

“It’s very alarming that someone would be riding a bike with a gun,” whined Abou.

Ho, Dan! I can go you one better! It’s not only “alarming,” but actually criminal, that some certain someone would allow a large and vicious dog to gallop loose around the hood free as a T-Rex. Had it been a kid, and not an armed adult, the outcome might have had a much more terrible outcome.

Dan also insisted that Scooby would have never harmed anyone, “not in a million years,” he sobbed. Well, once again, Dan Abou might know that—check--and Scooby Abou might know that—check--and All God’s Chillun might know that—check--but trust me, when you are hanging out there on the line like a beach towel, a biker has NO way of knowing that an attacking 80-pound dog is really just a big teddy bear rushing to shower him with lots of loving licks. It’s a pretty scary scenario when a large set of snapping jaws, flecked with foam, are running side by side with you and but mere inches from your ankles and legs.

I have been chased a number of times on my bike. Generally, it’s small mutts who do the chasing—weener dogs, terriers, curs. Even if they could catch me, these tiny pests would not know what to do once they caught me. Not so these big ‘uns. Not only can they catch a biker in a short burst, but they act like they would definitely know what to do with one once they caught him. My maxim: Let little yappers yap but shoot dead the big, mean ones.

This marks the second time in a year that someone in Davie has plugged a dog running loose. People in Davie and elsewhere are not gunning down random poms, poodles or pekes; nope, it’s the pit bulls—or in this case, Dobermans—it's these animals who seem to lead a semi-permanent existence running wild in the neighborhood that people are fed up with.

End Note #1--What punishment should be meted out to people who knowingly keep these ticking time-bombs?   What punishment should be dished out to the loathsome cretins whose dogs maim and murder?  I'm sure many folks, including families of the victims, think the owners should be put down just like their dogs (You got a problem with that? Good, neither do I).  But first, how about some good old time medieval foreplay?  How about placing these miserable miscreants into public stocks like they did back in the days of yore where all humanity—the halt, the lame, the lepers, the hunchbacks, the drooling idiots--could pass by and gawk at them?  Those who felt the urge could pelt their heads with rotten fruits, vegetables or manure and, for those really outraged, lots of rocks, bricks and sharp sticks would be provided.  If these beings manage to get killed, well, whatever.  If they survive, put them to work in the lead mines until all the victim’s medical and funeral bills have been paid, then lock them in jail until someone remembers to let their asses out in thirty years. 

End Note #2--Now, this brief examination of the societal and medical impact that pit bulls have on Florida demographics, though seminal, scintillating and super-scientific, is not exhaustive.  For instance, authorities (that’s me) estimate that for every human attacked by these canine killing machines ten animals are also attacked and killed.  Dogs on leashes, cats, pot-bellied pigs, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, cows, and of course, all wild life, suffer terribly from this pit bull curse.   Each and every year the estimated ten million meth cookers in Florida--who also moonlight as pit bull breeders--are working hard to create a larger, more aggressive version than the last.  Given their already high birth rate—thirty to a litter not uncommon--It is estimated by experts (me again) that, if this trend continues, within ten years pit bulls will have attacked and eaten virtually every animal on the planet, including man.  This dire forecast is not meant to unnecessarily frighten, scare or stampede the public . . .  BUT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!