8 Things That Would Inevitably Happen If I Had A Dinosaur
So Jurassic World came out recently, reminding the world that, hey, dinosaurs are pretty rad, aren't they? Like most people, I was kicked out of the theater halfway through the film while making dinosaur sounds and biting people, and this experience got me to thinking: How badass would it be if I had a dinosaur of my own? Would there be any downsides at all? Or would this be one of those things that people rue?
How hard would they rue?
To find out what would happen, I set to work with some graph paper, a set of VHS cassettes of ABC's hit comedy Dinosaurs, and a case of strong beer. Here's what I came up with.
(It turns out the ruing gets pretty bad.)
Massive And Immediate Casualties
I'm not that smart of a guy. I mean, I think I'm smart, but that's usually a pretty sure sign of stupidity, and, sure, because I understand and admit that, perhaps I am actually smart, but on the other hand, I've kind of forgotten the point I was making earlier in this sentence, so let's say no. Dumb.
So when I get my dinosaur, which I'm imagining just shows up in my carport one day, there's no chance at all that I'll know what to do with him, much less keep him under control. Assuming this is a Tyrannosaurus rex, because honestly what's the point of imagining owning anything less, that means for the first few hours after taking possession of my new dinosaur, my neighborhood will be a pretty bad scene. People will be eaten, dogs will be eaten, mail service will be interrupted, and a whole host of other inconveniences will surely crop up. I have no doubt people will call the police, but I can't imagine response times will be too quick, because of one obvious problem.
"... OH NO MY ENTIRE LEG IS ..."
"Sir, please stop calling. This line is for emergencies only."
Even once the police get around to us, they won't get too close, lacking all sorts of the procedures and equipment necessary for this situation. There will be some sort of escalation procedure they can use to get more help, but, again, I foresee delays in how quickly this gets rolled out.
"... OH NO MY ENTIRE LEG IS ..."
"Mr. Mayor, this line is for emergencies only."
Eventually, I'll get my dinosaur under control, using, oh ... let's say ... my pluck. And although the government and police and clergy will all be pretty upset with me, seeing as I'm the only one who can control this beast, they'll all agree that it's best to leave me in charge. A decision they'd surely reconsider with even the slightest of Googling.
"Gentlemen, it looks like we might be dealing with a Level 3 Idiot here."
The next few days and weeks will be heartwarming as all heck, as me and my new dinofriend learn about each other and what bits of raw meat we particularly enjoy. Expect some hilarious roars and wagging of fingers and chuckles at the sight of half a mailman on my front stoop. And finally, when all is said and done and the final chords of Push It To The Limit fade away, this terror from the past will look at me, flare his nostrils, then bend down for me to climb on his back. I will climb aboard, get raised into the air, punch the sky, and it will be marvelous.
Carpool Lane Abuse
That first day commuting to work will be a bit of a disaster, when I find out that Tyrannosauruses aren't actually that fast. Realistic estimates of their top speed max out at about 25 miles per hour, which will be kind of a nuisance for everyone else on the freeway, particularly those in the HOV lane, where I'd naturally be, because honestly who would stop me?
"Hahahaha, nope, you carry right on."
And, sure, it'd be easy to move over to one of the other lanes, but the H in HOV does stand for "high," which I'd qualify for easily from elevation alone.
I'd also be pretty high on life, if we're honest.
General Traffic Abuse
And, honestly, why stop there? You know who's going to give a Tyrannosaurus rex a parking ticket? No one, that's who. Every day at work, I'd leave my dinosaur chained up to a parking meter with a kiddie pool full of water and half a cow. Parking costs downtown are like 15 to 20 bucks a day, but not if you've got a damned dinosaur. Also not required? Turn signals, yielding, or stopping when other cars stop.
"Hahahahha, nope, you carry right on."
And, sure, that will cause chaos wherever I go, and the morning radio will start providing updates on me specifically and my whereabouts that day (down to the farm for more cows, likely). But when you're four meters above traffic, laughing at the people below you and their lamentations about footprints and colossal turds on their hoods, it will all just sound so distant, you know?
The Ruing Of My Enemies
I've made a lot of enemies in my time here on Earth, ranging from the highest tiers of government all the way down to you, the reader. And as I've been carefully writing your names down in the series of creepy notebooks that litter my house, when I eventually get tired of paying for dinosaur food (they go through three to four half-cows per day) it will occur to me that I really shouldn't be expected to pay for these things myself. I will soon found the first ever Dinosaur Insurance Fund, and it will be run with just all sorts of unethical business practices.
"Honey? There's a half mailman on our doorstep. Are we late on our payments?"
Many of my enemies will refuse, because of their stupid, ugly faces, but I'll have anticipated this, and even looked forward to it. "You have no idea how happy this makes me," I'll say, telegraphing rather heavily how happy it does actually make me. Then, following the master plan I'll have printed out and taped to the back of my dinosaur's head, I will divvy those that refuse into two groups: the dead and those that envy the dead.
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By this point I will have attracted many followers, the world's 6-year-old boys and men with the hearts of 6-year-old boys flocking to my doorstep to admire my dinosaur. Seeing the value of their fervor and knowing that the government will be tired of all the crushed cars, half mailmen, and copious scat they have to clean up, I will encourage my followers to turn into a cult of sorts.
I'll design the uniforms myself.
These Dinokin will spread throughout the world, seizing the reigns of power on behalf of me and Rexosaurus T (I'll have named him by that point). Almost overnight, I will be one of the most powerful leaders in the world, and finally my half-cow supply problems will be fixed.
I'd Go Too Far
Powerless people are often powerless for a reason (rank idiocy, in my case), and my sudden rise to power will surprisingly not turn out too good for me. The dinosaur-themed theme parks will prove popular, but some of my more ambitious restructurings of society will prove less so. The dinosaur-themed outfits won't go over well with everyone, and the world's mailmen will remain furious with me, for some reason. Worse, all my attempts to produce more dinosaurs by breeding will be both unsuccessful and incredibly distressing to witness.
"No no no no no no no YES no no no no no."
The final straw, though, will be when I begin taking Rexosaurus T for granted. Although a primitive killer driven more by his stomach than anything, he will notice how my newfound power makes me less affectionate toward him, and when I order him to eat half a mailman who offended me for some reason, he'll refuse. Because I'll be drunk with unearned power and also gin, I'll verbally abuse him for this disobedience.
This won't turn out so good for me.
I'd Learn An Important Lesson About Friendship
A hijinks-filled chase around my palace will follow next, during which my followers will see me soiling myself and pleading for my life in a most unsavory fashion. Although I will survive this initial dinocoup, the basis of the dinotopia I'd established will crumble away, and within a few short months (during which I never stop scrambling for my life, Rexosaurus T hot on my heels), the world will more or less go back to normal.
"Glad to see you gentlemen all survived. We should maybe do up a postmortem to find out
how society fell to that loser idiot so easily."
Eventually, I'll remember the honest pluck I used to win over Rexosaurus T and convince him not to eat half of me. Our friendship too badly damaged to ever be fully repaired, he'll then disappear into the L.A. underground. Occasionally, I'll hear stories of him, righting injustices and such. And then, as the last final notes of a sad, piano-driven version of Push It To The Limit fade away, a deep ache will come over me as I recall what I once had and carelessly threw away.
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