Thursday, July 5, 2012

Never Say Die!

But you can say "ow". If you really have to.

Yellowstone National Park has 3900 bison.

Massachusetts has one Robert Dinwiddle.

On that basis alone, it might seem like a mismatch, but let's review some typical statistics.

Bison are herbivores inhabiting the North American Plains. They have shaggy brown furry coats, which they wear all year, even in summer. This sometimes makes them ornery.

Bison may be up to 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long, and stand 73 inches (186 cm) high at the shoulder. Both sexes have short curved horns as much as 2 feet (61 cm) long. They use these to poke things and to settle arguments.

Typical bison weigh as much as 2200 pounds (1000 kg), though the largest known specimen weighed 3800 pounds, or 1724 kg.

Larger humans, if deploying all four legs in a horizontal posture configuration, may reach 30 inches (76 cm) at the shoulder and weigh around 185 pounds, or 84 kg.

So, given this, when Mr Dinwiddle (who had been quietly sitting on a stump eating a ham sandwich) saw a male bison approach one day, you might imagine that he thought about the situation.

Apparently he did. Apparently he decided that he had the advantage.

And, although humans appear more presentable in public than most other primates, having traded excessive amounts of body hair for Vibram-soled boots, denim pants and waterproof-breathable jackets in a range of fluorescent colors, and being less likely to throw feces than to hurl insults or crushed beer cans, they do retain some of the territoriality seemingly baked into the genes of all primates.

So it was that Mr Dinwiddle decided to hold his ground and retain a protective grip on his sandwich in Yellowstone's Norris campground.

Round 1 - Insults

Bison: Snort.

Mr Dinwiddle: Ah theah, yeah mutha is a cow. Just a big cow. Go botha someone else, heah?

Bison: Snort.

Round 2 - Threats

Bison (Stamps its hooves, lowers its head): Snort.

Mr Dinwiddle: Now heah this. I am not done with this heah sandwich. I will not be provoked. Run along, I say, or I will take swift and sure action.

Bison: Snort.

Round 3 - The Approach

Bison (Beginning to circle.): Snort.

Mr Dinwiddle (Throwing breadcrust at bison.): Run away now, you. I am busy heah, you heah me? Skedaddle.

Bison (After being hit on forehead by breadcrust.): Snort.

Round 4 - Locking Horns

Bison (Charging.): Snort.

Mr Dinwiddle (Standing on stump. Waving handkerchief at bison. Holding remains of ham sandwich in left hand.): Shoo! Shoo now, heah?

Bison: Snort!

(Bison makes contact, throws Mr Dinwiddle into the air, then uses left front hoof to pin Mr Dinwiddle down after Mr Dinwiddle thuds back to earth.)

Post-Game Summary

After being medevacked to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he was diagnosed with a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder blade, several broken ribs, and a groin injury, Mr Dinwiddle was later awarded a fresh bag of DummNutz Donutz ™ for his bravery in standing up to nature and protecting the dignity of his species.

"We see a lot of stupid people out here doing a lot of stupid things, but Mr Dinwiddle is an inspiration to all of us," said Danni Hottle, Yellowstone Park Cheerleader/Referree. "All I can add is WooHoo!"


Yellowstone visitor gored after failing to yield to approaching bison.