Thursday, April 14, 2005

It’s Not Easy Being the Only Half-Man/Half-Velociraptor in Town

Everyone thinks it’s so cool being part dinosaur. All that I hear when I leave my home is an unending chorus of “Ohhh, wow! Check out that guy’s 4-inch claws!” and “Whoa, you must be so glad to be able to run 40 miles per hour.”

Well, let me tell you: it’s not easy.

Think of the stigma I carry with me, what with half of me being a unstoppably carnivorous reptile and the other half of me being a man—a man with needs and desires, hopes and fears—just like you. When people look at me, they don’t see Dwight, the Half-Man/Half-Velociraptor who adores Mahler and loves Woody Allen films, or even Mr. Copenriff, the Half-Man/Half-Velociraptor who runs a burgeoning office supply store. No, all they see is a scaly, cold-blooded hunter who happens to look sort of like a man and can talk.

If you possibly can, imagine the trials that I face on any given day. A simple trip to the meat department of the local grocery store invariably becomes occasion for jeers and smart-alecky remarks: “Sure hope we have enough meat! I know you velociraptor-types can eat up to three times your own weight every day!” Or the ever-present “Sorry Dwight, no Protoceratops or Hadrasaurs today—just people food!” As though I couldn’t appreciate a tender, center-cut slice of aged Angus, or a delicate, seared Chilean sea bass. Narrow-minded buffoons.

Making friends can be difficult when you seem different to everyone around you. Now, I know what you are going to say: “Some of my best friends are half-velociraptor!” Well, all I know is that when I walk down the street and hear forced whispers or feel the icy glares of terrified schoolchildren, I don’t feel very welcome in this town.

Just the other day, for example, in my very own store, I was accused of eating a woman’s baby when, in fact, she had forgotten that her mother-in-law had taken the child next door to KB Toys. True: I’ve been guilty of eating the young of my natural prey, but that was over 80 million years ago, people! Hellooo! Profiling me based on my appearance is wrong and hurtful. I wish people could be half-velociraptor for one day so they could experience even just an inkling of my pain and suffering.

Meeting women is no easy task, either, especially when you have eighty razor-sharp, inwardly-curving, saber-like teeth. I do have a reputation for being an animal in the bedroom (what with my forked, serpent-like tongue and my seemingly limitless physical stamina), but unfortunately most women prefer the slack, pale, flabby flesh of the fully human over my long, sinewy legs and my thick, sturdy tail. I don’t think I’m out of line saying that they don’t know what they’re missing.

So I mostly spend my nights alone, taking up space at the local watering hole and drowning my sorrows in glass after glass of Beaujolais. I used to get harassed quite frequently by those Neanderthals (not literal ones, obviously) who spend hours at a time screaming about some sporting event over by the plasma screen television. One time, one of them stumbled over and started rambling on about terrorists. After accusing me of plotting, he called me “lizard” and shoved me. I lost my temper and severed his carotid arteries with one of my sword-like talons. The rest of them haven’t bothered me since.

Still: words hurt, and it will take a long time for me to heal.

I tell you this not to gain your pity or sympathy, but rather to appeal to our sense of shared humanity. I may be half-prehistoric beast, but I’m also half-human. Just like you, I bleed when pricked. Only my blood is bluish-green. And it’s harder to prick me because I’m covered in hard reptilian scales.

But, basically, were the same.


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