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Friday, September 21, 2012

Guy Who Jumped Into Bronx Zoo Tiger Pit, I Salute You

I'm not sure what made you do it. You're sitting there on the monorail of the Bronx Zoo, quietly looking at all the different animals as the open sided train takes you past elephants, deers, and monkeys. Everyone is straining to capture a photo, excitement rising in their voices when an animal comes clearly in sight. Then something inside you snapped. Maybe it was the exhilaration of being on a ride that didn't have harnesses. Maybe you were trying to impress a girl and weren't quite sure how to do so using words. Only you know why you did what you did next.

You leaped off the train into a fucking tiger pit. No, you didn't fall. There was a perimeter fence that needed to be cleared, and in order to do so would require a tremendous amount of force. So please, lets not pretend you fell. You jumped.

Now I know a lot of folks have arrived at some pretty hastily drawn conclusions about you. People are calling you a "fucking jackass," or "a redneck halfwit," or they're simply shaking their heads in disgust and quickly moving past the topic, as they're so disillusioned by the growing stupidity in our society that to even attempt to acknowledge each and every incident would be soul crushingly depressing. Still others are referring to you as a "missing link" between homo-erectus and homo-sapien, and others are plainly calling you "God's mistake."

I agree wholeheartedly with the above comments, but at the same time, I salute you. What you did required bravery and impulse. We're living in a culture where people live their lives revolved around fear. We fear the hypothetical lead levels in our home. We fear the neighbors we've never taken the time to meet. We fear the outdoors. Our notion of "camping" is sitting comfortably in a fold out chair in front an Apple store with other like minded douchebags just so we can be the first to spend hundreds of dollars on a rectangle that connects to the internet. What you did demonstrated a disdain for fear. You acted first, dealt with the consequences later, and amazingly, everything worked out. The zoo personnel chased away the behemoth 11 year old tiger with fire extinguishers and pulled you under an electric fence to safety. You survived with only superficial injuries, and in the end, that's a much better story to tell your children than one about waiting in line for the iPhone 5.