Pink Hyena

The 3-foot-tall creature — her black hair with intricately cut bangs fell straight and danced slightly with the weakest of breezes — stood on her right leg with her foot positioned in the sedan, and her other swung freely in the air. She was singing something incomprehensible.

HYENA (n.): a large animal of Asia and Africa that eats the flesh of dead animals

All that was needed was a dose of caffeine for a boost to get through that stretch of thruway. Starbucks is too burnt. Dunkin Donuts is too mild. Tim Hortons is just right.

However, the latter locations are somehow situated in the sketchiest of stops, and so Dunkin’s dark roast proved itself to be the next best.

My copilot stuffed monkey was a cheap date, all it wanted were those animal crackers he’d be handing off to a little girl. The Barnum’s Circus animal crackers that should have been packed. The graham cookies in a red bag (sometimes a cardboard box) that wasn’t packed.

My hand slapped the steering wheel, but it wasn’t a hard slap, only the sitcom and frustrated kind. Plus, it was my right hand, which bears two small calluses beneath the pinky and ring fingers, and so no harm was done.

Of course, I’d forget something. The chimp just stood there with a smile on its face. The plushy primate was adorable in its own right. How could I stay angry at it?

SCAVENGER (n.): a person employed to clean refuse from streets; a garbage collector, junk collector, a chemically active substance acting to make innocuous or remove an undesirable substance

… an organism that typically feeds on refuse or carrion

After getting out of the car and shutting the door, I clenched my fist, bent my arm and did my best Popeye imitation, stopping at the first ugh. Perfect timing should it be, the child belted out a rhythmic laugh — Ha, ha, ha-ha, ha! — at the appearance of the corpse of my bliss.

Her left leg continued to kick and swing. She wore the same smile as that ape.


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