I know this probably goes without saying, but having a car land on you hurts - even if it is a small one.
Last night I’m on patrol in midtown, listening to Ministry in one ear and the police scanner in the other. It’s a nice fall night – the moon’s rising, the air smells crisp and clean. Not much going on.
No word yet on the manhunt for Exploder – I don’t know what I expect, to just stumble across him on patrol? He’s out of the state if he’s smart.
Commotion on the scanner: I turn down Psalm 69 to hear a cop screaming for back-up, something about his car getting flipped over. He’s on 3rd, near Waterfront Park, which is only three blocks from me. Then I hear gunshots.
Game on. I turn off the audio and head for the park – I can hear sirens all around me honing in on the park. I leap up on top of a mid-rise office building and run across to the other side to get a look at the scene.
I don’t know whether to laugh or what. There’s a guy in a fuzzy bear outfit tossing a hot dog stand across the park.
It’s chaos. This bear guy is fucking shit up. A cop car is overturned, smashed up against a wall at the edge of the park. People are running, screaming. A car alarm is going off somewhere. Somebody’s mini-van is burning. The hot dog vendor guy is screaming, swearing.
I zoom in on the bear guy with my goggles. He’s lurching around like he’s drunk or high. Occasionally he swings at the air, like he’s swatting a bee. And yes, he’s wearing a bear costume. It looks like what’s his name, Kody, the mascot for the Kodiaks. It’s a light brown costume with a dark belly and a stubby tail. He’s got a big oval bear head fixed in a permanent stupid grin. Lifeless black eyes glisten in the mini-van fire. He looks shabby, dirty.
“Creepy,” I say.
Ignoring the cop on the bullhorn down the street yelling at him, the bear guy starts heading for the overturned cop car. ECPD cars are splayed all over the road at the edge of the park, lights pulsing. I hear news helicopters overhead – or is that the Sheriff’s chopper? They’ll have SWAT here soon.
I spot the KORN news van. The camera crew is setting up. Good news.
Just as I’m about to leap off the roof down into the park, I see the cop. He’s trapped under his overturned car – I can just see his arm and head. Gasoline pools nearby. I think the bear guy see the cop, too.
“Hey!” I shout. “Hey fuckhead! Up here!”
I’m too far away, the bear doesn’t notice me. And I thought they had good hearing.
I fire a Ramblerang at him. The spinning projectile launches from my gauntlet, arcs through the air…
…and misses! God, I suck.
The Ramblerang prangs into the undercarriage of the police car. The bear turns. Well, at least I got his attention.
The helicopters are pounding overhead and the news crew is filming. That’s my cue. I jump down, bounce off the top of a light pole, pull off a somersault and land lightly on the ground. Now that’s what you call an entrance.
I point at him with a gloved hand. "Hey. Yogi."
The bear guy looks at me blankly from across the plaza.
“I like your outfit, man. Very yiffy. Are you like, a mascot or something?”
I should explain about Waterfront Park, in case you’ve never been there. I’ll bet you’ve seen it on TV – every movie filmed here has a scene shot here. That one Meg Ryan movie, where she falls in love with the leprechaun? They had a scene in Waterfront Park. What the hell was the name of that movie? Anyway, the park. It’s a big plaza set right on the edge of Pier 63 on the edge of the midtown shopping district. It’s surrounded by clubs and restaurants and shops and has a nice promenade overlooking the water where you can walk and look at the sunset with your leprechaun lover.
Back to the bear guy, who we will now call Yiff. He just looks at me with those doll eyes, feet spread wide apart. It looks like he’s panting under that suit – I bet it’s hot. Is he high or what?
“Tell you what, why don’t we call it a night. I’ll get you a nice picnic basket or something.”
He starts walking towards me. Staggers, actually. Like Frankenstein. Good, at least he’s not after the cop.
“Dude, you should wash that outfit.”
He’s getting closer.
“You ever try Woolite?”
And then he just decks me.
I saw it coming but, I don’t know, I just didn’t move for some reason. It just seemed so stupid, this guy in a fuzzy suit. He clocks me with a roundhouse punch that spins me off into an alder tree. The tree snaps, and I nearly snap as well.
Damn! Yiff’s strong.
I get to my feet. My ears are buzzing. It feels like ants are crawling all over the side of my face where he hit me. That smarts.
“Okay, Yiff. Lucky sho—“
Suddenly the bear guy grabs me in a, um, bear hug. One second I’m trying to shake off the punch and the next second I’m wrapped in stinky wool. We both topple over.
Yiff’s on top of me, and he’s making weird barking noises. I can feel that he’s got tons of padding on his costume to give him that cute bear silhouette, but under it he’s got arms like steel cables. He squeezes me and kind of hops at the same time, forcing the air out of my lungs.
The last breath I get I smell him. Yiff smells like a wet sweater and piss. No, wait. He smells like a wet sweater and coffee piss, that particular tangy scent you get in your urine when you drink too much coffee. He smells like that.
Now I’m hoping that the KORN team isn’t filming this, because I feel sort of like I’m getting molested here. Yiff is squeezing and hopping and making this barky noise –
--that’s when I realize he’s humping me. He’s fucking humping my leg!
“Oh, hell no!” I cry out. I struggle and heave until he rolls off of me. He’s still got hold of my waist, still smells like coffee pee. I wrench one arm free and punch him, a sharp jab right in his face.
No good. My fist practically bounces off his big bear head.
He’s looking at me with those creepy black eyes. He sounds like a seal now. A horny seal.
“Perv--!” I manage as he squeezes tighter, bucking. Something pops. I hope it’s the armor and not me.
Enough of this. I’m comfortable with my sexuality and shit, but I’m not going to let some dude in a bear suit dry hump me on network television. I jam my fist against his neck, where his big bear head meets his fuzzy bear costume, and I fire a Ramblerang point blank, right into his fucking neck.
Yiff lets go and reels back, clutching his neck. I can hear him wheezing.
I’d say something witty but I can barely breathe myself. Little motes of light dance in front of my eyes and my ribcage feels like broken chopsticks.
Over the sound of the helicopters, over the sound of the sirens and the cops screaming on the bullhorn, over the sound of that goddamn car alarm – can somebody shut that fucking thing off? – over the sound of the blood pumping in my ears, I hear somebody yelling for help.
I look up, trying to focus. I think that freak cracked a rib…
The trapped cop is yelling, waving at me. I squint, ears ringing. What’s he saying?
It’s probably something about the cop car on top of him catching on fire.
(Sorry to break it up like that, but it’s for your own good. Nobody wants to scroll through a huge post. SPOILER: I don’t die.)