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Published: September 29th 2009
The South American PumaHer breath stank. Surely she'd been eating her young - or someone elses. And she was close - too close. I didn't sign up for this...
Don't be fooled by the claws or teeth. Her most dangerous weapon is her expert Reggeaton Leg-Hump.
They'd found us roaming the streets of Quito, looking for trouble near Plaza de las Americas. I was with Marco and Checho (Jose) another Ecuadorean who lives in and rode a motorcycle down from Texas. Immediately they were attracted to the pride from fifty meters away... maybe they could smell the motorcycle on us. Three regal lionesses found three poor, brave young lions - was it meant to be?
I'd heard about this, studied it a little. One must always exercise caution and know damn well what their up against when hunting the South American Puma. It's a completely different animal to the North American Cougar or the Central American Jaguar - though all three seem but a kitten when compared to the Bengal tigresses of South East Asia. And she just cant resist this golden mane. Surely she's good for at least a couple of drinks. Oh and what's this? She's Italian? They don't even have big cats in Italy. This is going to be easy.
Aside from the aged Italian
Warning! This is no way to defend yourself from a big cat. Put your little musket away and avoid eye contact boy!
lynx (pushing 40 or worse) we had a high Altiplano Bolivian mountain lioness and a wildcard. She was the most fearsome for many reasons, least of which being that we couldn't figure out what variety of big cat she was at all. Her movements were too erratic. The Bolivian was well kept and certainly belonged to another pride, bearing marks of commitment and responsibility (a wedding band and what were surely keys for a minivan). The Italian was just stumbling drunk. Old Wildcard prowled and stalked around the perimeter, trying to lap up her amaretto and whiskey seductively.
They pulled us into some night club, dropping the first bad sign - they didn't pay our 5 $ cover... The Italian quickly grabbed me and started er...dancing right there in the entrance way. She danced like... well i don't know if you can call that dancing. Anyway, She kept sticking her claws out and jerking around. That's when i knew she really was a cougar - she must have escaped from the Genovese zoo. But after a little while she got mean. If one could scream in body language she was doing it - and with an italian accent. With hands flailing and fingers pointing it was pretty clear what she had to say: "He bought-a for me a drink-a, that-a guy over there-a bought to me a drink-a. And you ! you give a-me na-thing!"
"Buh-buh Wha?! Just what do you think cougar hunting's all about lady? You're supposed to buy ME the drinks" I knew she wouldn't understand it - I said it in an endearing tone, hiding my own body language. Either way from that point on she was officially dropped like a freshman cheerleader. I excused myself to go to the lion's room, her expecting I'd return with her drink. Returning I gave her a wide berth and went to go stand by the coat check, not knowing if she'd still be stalking me. Then with no warning at all old Wildcard comes flashing through the strobe-lit night, grappling fiercely over my arms and legs. "I'm going to teach you to dance like a Latino" Christ! So she is
a puma after all. I should have seen this coming. Anyway, what the hell, this could be fun.
And it was. Having total disdain for my dancing partner and just the right combination of Club beer, Amaretto and whiskey made for the perfect not-give-an-eff attitude to really try my hand at Salsa. And from the knees up at least I was pretty good at it (it seemed to me). She produced a beer, but insisted on feeding it too me - which of course meant I was bathing in rather than drinking it. But still, it was the thought that counts. At one point the Bolivian made a comment to Madam Wildcat about how good I was at dancing... well, i didnt hear what she said, but I was sure that it was something along the lines of "He can't be Canadian..." I guess i was flattered, because I let my guard down enough to not subtly recoil as her claws sneak up my neck. I was still looking over at the Bolivian and trying to figure out how to swap Checho for her when the Puma layed one on me, slobbering over my closed mouth up from chin to inner nostril. Yeah. Knarly.
Desperately needing to wipe my face, but kind enough not to hurt her feelings, I motioned for beer with my eyebrows (not wanting to let the hepatitis or whatever into my mouth). As usual she gleefully poured it all over my face and I gleefully let it splash the evil away - i don't think i even opened my mouth - and wiped what remained on my shoulder.
The rest of the night was a matter of keeping up appearances while not risking a herpes infection which got tiresome after a while. She kept going in for the kill, and I just kept craning my neck away. At one point I noticed a couple at the bar getting a real kick out of it. Actually see video. It was just like that.
Eventually I motioned to Checho that I wanted to leave and, despite having been a bit smoochy himself with the Bolivian and having fun lying to her about being in the navy, he was still game. Only Marco lingered, letting the Italian tire herself out before attempting a pounce. Anyway, we told him we'd be outside. Shortly afterward the club belched out first the Bolivian, the italian hanging off her shoulder, then raunchy madam Wildcard, Marco in tow. Damnit man! You can let yourself be dragged back to her den, but don't come crying to me in the morning! After being dragged half way up the block he eventually wandered back down, mumbling something woeful about the Italian and how we're bad friends. Then we ate shawarma while watching a cat fight alongside the police who did nothing. I guess they're just burnt out on vicious feline around here.... Quickly we dove into a cab and made it safely back to Checho's.
And who's Lucho? It was like this. Earlier that day we went to Marco's cousin's house and had a nice visit with his uncle who called me Luis. So Marco started to as well, as a joke, and Lucho is a nickname for Luis. Like Dick for Richard. Wow. That would be a great band name.
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