Tasteless perspectives on the latest news:

On December 25, 2007, a Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped from her open-air enclosure at the San Francisco Zoo and attacked three visitors shortly after closing time, killing one with a slash to his throat and injuring the other two others. The three victims were seen taunting lions less than an hour before the attack, and the two survivors were found with slingshots in their pockets.

Tiger Attack: Tatiana

by Jeff Goode

copyright © 2008
(Lights up on: a person in a Tiger suit.)
Now, I’m not sayin’ I’m one to go pointin’ fingers.
Cuz — first off — look at these mitts.
(holds up paws)

These paws are good for one thing only, am I right?
But I know Tatiana from back home Siberia — an’ she’s a good gal.
I just don’t see her goin’ off without there’s a good reason.

Cuz, listen. What happened — don’t get me wrong — was a tragedy.
One dead. Plus there’s two kids injured. And another kid dead.
Completely unnecessary.
You got better security, you don’t see this problem.
That’s why we have cages.
Keep this sorta thing from happening.

The kids stay on their side of the moat.
We stay on ours.
That’s the way it works.
And it don’t take brain surgery to figure that out, first day you get here.
Walls on three sides. Moat. Padlock. Tasers.
You get the picture pretty quick: They want we should stay in here.
And the food stays out there.
When I’m hungry, they’ll bring me some. No need to get worked up.
That’s the situation. Everybody knows their place. And that’s how we maintain order.

Because if it was up to me — and no walls — hell, yes, I’m gonna eat a kid now and then.
I won’t eat ‘em all — don’t get me wrong — but once in awhile, sure.
And it wouldn’t even be every day.
Twice a month, maybe.
Straggler here and there. Little fat one.
Just to thin out the herd.
Cuz lemme tell ya — I been keepin’ an eye — and that herd — is getting fat. No offence.

And not to be makin’ light, but don’t think I don’t have ‘em already picked out, the ones I want: Little girl in pink. Loud one on the end. Kid with a slingshot. Other kid with a slingshot. Kid-with-a-slingshot’s buddy.
That’s five, just off the top o’ my head.
So don’t act surprised if somebody slips up, an’ I’m all over the situation.
Just waitin’ for the right moment is all.
When it’s appropriate.
Cuz there are certain lines you do not cross.
Moat is one of ‘em.

And I know the zoo people are feeling bad about it.
Like they shoulda done more to prevent this.
But seriously, don’t beat yourself up.
If I want out. I’m outta here. Nothin’ you can do about that.
Your ceramic boulder formations — cute, but trust me — not gonna do the trick.
I know you guys put a lotta thought into these enclosures.
But y’gotta understand, I’m in here all day, every day.
Walkin’ the perimeter — down along the moat line — back up around the perimeter.
So if there’s flaws in the system — and I’m not sayin’ there are — don’t wanna tip my hand — but hypothetically — I already know about ‘em.
Weak link in the fence?
Wall’s not up to spec?
Tree branches hangin’ over maybe shoulda been trimmed?
I even know which guards’re gonna be slow on the trigger — And what shift they work.

So when I finally decide to make my move, your so-called precautions aren’t gonna make a bit o’ difference — Believe me on that.
Only reason I’m in here at all — I’m not sure I want to leave just yet.
I like it here.
Don’t tell my podmates I said this — but chasin’ down a gazelle?
Not all it’s cracked up, okay?
I’d rather sit here and have ‘em toss a steak in my mouth.
That’s what I call livin’.
Runnin’ around after your food’s a sucker’s game.
I make the food come to me.

And have you ever been to Siberia?
Maybe these African guys get homesick for the Serengeti
But where I come from — this climate is to kill for — all I’m sayin’.
So I’m not goin’ anywhere anytime soon — not without a good reason.

But let’s just say — just hypothetically — that some o’ the food wants to hit me in the face with a pine cone.

If that’s what happened.
Well, now we’re talkin’ different story, ain’t it?
Maybe now I want to be out.
I could use the exercise, that’s for sure.
Maybe see what life is like the other side of the fence awhile.
And when that gets to be the case — What are you gonna do about it?
Dart gun me?
Have you seen the way I move?
No you have not.
Sit on my ass all day is what you’ve seen.
But I promise you — under these love handles — like a tiger — is what I am.
You don’t even know.
So go ahead an’ underestimate.
But once I get it in my head to be that side of the wall, it’s gonna take more than tranquilizers to get me back in here.