The Lion Video

Ma had received a video e-mail attachment from a friend or family member and was watching it on the computer while I diddled around in the living room. She was laughing at it so it must have been a joke--that and chain letters seem to be the only things my relatives are good at sending. "What is that?" I heard her ask aloud, then she laughed again. I glanced up toward the dining room to see that the video had something to do with a couple of lionesses running around. "Is that an aardvark?" Ma asked, squinting at the screen.

"I don't know," I said. "I'll come out there in a minute when I'm done here and tell you." Ma's not good at identifying animals.

I finished up what I had been doing and went into the dining room. Now I could see the video clearly. It was film footage apparently shot in Africa. There were at least two lionesses, and one was chasing a small furry creature around, swiping at it. It looked like a Jack Russell terrier. "It's a puppy," I said to Ma. Then the lioness pinned it down and I saw that it wasn't a dog after all, but a lion cub with thick fur. "Oh. No, it's a cub," I corrected myself.

Then I saw what was going on. The lioness finally pinned the cub down and, lunging forward, ripped open its stomach with her teeth. Its intestines and innards came out and she pulled on them, twisting her head from side to side while the other lioness watched. Then she leaned forward and her jaws clamped on the cub's head, laying it open as well. All the while Ma was laughing raucously as if it were the funniest joke ever sent.

"Why are you laughing?" I screamed. "This is the most horrid thing I've ever seen!"

"This is hilarious!" Ma managed to get out, laughing even harder.


She couldn't hear me at all. I don't know if she didn't want to, couldn't, or if her own laughter blocked out my voice. I tried screaming louder, right in her ear, but all she could do was howl with laughter at the gruesome video. I began sobbing with disgust and left the room, heading for the bathroom. I slammed the door even though I knew she probably couldn't hear it. I turned toward the toilet and the garbage and noticed that she had bought yet ANOTHER tacky home accessory--this was a swan-shaped basket, probably over two feet tall, and either blue or purple colored--its long neck arched in a graceful curve and it sat atop the garbage, blocking it from use.

Instantly I was filled with fury. I grabbed the swan basket by the neck, flung open the bathroom door, and hurled the monstrosity out into the hallway where it crashed against the wall before falling to the floor. In the dining room Ma still laughed. "QUIT BUYING THESE STUPID THINGS AND BRINGING THEM HOME!" I screamed. "I WON'T LET YOU CLUTTER THE PLACE UP WITH THEM ANYMORE!"

Only now did she seem to slightly hear what I was saying, as she was able to quiet her laughing down a bit and turned to look over her shoulder toward me, trying to catch her breath and saying, "Huh?"

But by then I had slammed the bathroom door again and didn't really care if she'd heard me or not.

2001 Dreams