It was hard to decide where I was going to put his head. Maybe over the pool table? On top of the Ms. Pac Man game? I’ve never been much of an interior decorator. This was my man-cave, and I didn’t want to fuck it up. A human head doesn’t exactly “go” with anything, you know?
But wherever I mounted it, the highlight of that room was going to be that fucking dentist’s head.
That fucking dentist had gone to Zimbabwe on a hunting expedition and killed a lion. But being a fucking dickless son of a bitch, as all big game hunters are, he didn’t face the lion on fair terms. Didn’t fight the lion to the death, like an honorable predator. No, that fucking dickless dentist took a big piece of bloody meat and lured the lion out of its protected habitat. Then he shot the lion with an arrow and waited all night until the thing nearly bled out. Then the dentist went in for the kill.
And that lion? That lion was Cecil. Nicest lion you ever met. Everybody at the park knew him. He actually liked people. He was friendly. Even to dentists.
Did having that lion’s head on his wall make the dentist’s dick any bigger? I doubt it. So I decided that before I cut the dentist’s head off, I’d use a pair of garden snips to clip off his tiny dick and show it to him. Just so he could see how small and limp and useless his life was. Then I’d show him the chainsaw.
I had never been big game hunting before. But I knew how I was gonna do it. I was gonna bait that fucking dentist, just like he baited the lion. And when he came out of his safe little habitat, I was going to kill him. Slowly. Painfully. Right here in my man-cave. And when the shitheel finally died, I was gonna put his fucking head on my fucking wall.
The first thing was to bait him. You know how asshole racists like that pizza guy get shut down and then whine about it and suddenly they get a bajillion dollars from other asshole racists on Kickstarter? Well, I started a Kickstarter for the asshole dentist. But first I tracked down his sister’s email address—it wasn’t hard in the age of Internet—and sent a message.
“I bet Walter could use some good news right about now, please give this to him… Hey Walter, don’t let those fucking pussies get you down. Real men like us, we do what real men do. We hunt! I’m putting up a Kickstarter and we’re going hunting, buddy!”
Then I signed it, Charlton Nugent. In a world of asshole overload, it was the best fucking name ever.
Within 24 hours the Kickstarter—set for $100,000—was fully funded. The gist of it was pretty much the same as my email to him: real men pony up for a hunting trip with a hero. The top reward was a spot on the trip. It cost $20,000. I only set up for three of those, they sold out in an hour. I didn’t really need four heads but the more the merrier. I could just feed their heads to the alligators at the zoo.
Cash in hand, I reached out to Walter again. “I got the money, man! We’re going hunting!” I set the date for the next weekend. I figured, what with his practice shut down and his online accounts fucked to hell, he wasn’t busy much these days. I lined the walls of the man-cave with plastic, just like that Dexter guy. Then I oiled up the chainsaw and waited…
The fucking dentist got right back to me. “Thanks for your support,” he texted. “Would love to get out of town, for obvious reasons, ha ha. A hunting trip sounds killer, ha ha.”
You have no fucking idea, I thought. Ha fucking ha.
I told him to meet me Friday at the Lions Tap burger joint. Seemed an appropriate name. Plus it wasn’t far for the three out-of-towners who would be flying in to Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. I wouldn’t be flying, though. I’d be driving. I rented a minivan just for the occasion. Brown with a brown interior. I didn’t want it to show if any of the fuckers figured out what was going on and shat himself out of fear.
The drive to Minneapolis would take me about a day and a half. So I told them all that we’d meet at the Lions Tap in two days, which was Friday. Noon sharp. We’d have lunch and a few beers then head out. We’d be hunting buffalo on the outskirts of Ted Turner’s Bad River Ranch in South Dakota, about six hours away. I’d drive.
I got a buttload of speed from a trucker I knew. He also loaned me his “piss kit” — a funnel and a long hose that I could snake out the back door, so I could piss without stopping. I had a bag full of protein bars and two gallons of water. The only reason I’d need to stop is to refuel. I put on my hunter’s cap and hit the road. The speed was grade-A, top-shelf crank. I made the trip in just 24 hours flat.
Early was good. The trucker’s speed was still going strong so I stopped by an auto supply place and picked up a couple things: four rolls of window-tint film and a respirator. I blacked out all the windows in the parking lot. Then I went to the restaurant and rigged the piss kit hose to the tailpipe. Put the respirator under the driver’s seat. By the time we got out of town, they’d all be knocked out.
A couple hours later they showed up. They weren’t bad guys, really, as assholes go. Pretty run-of-the-mill. We had some beers and burgers and they made racist jokes abut Obama. I ordered a dozen burgers to go, “as bait for the buffalo.” The assholes didn’t know any better. We went out to the van.
The dentist thought it was a little weird that the windows were so dark but I asked him, did he really want to be seen if the whole buffalo thing went wrong? He laughed and said hell no. I started the engine and we were off.
One of the other assholes passed around a flask and I asked the dentist if he brought any laughing gas. He laughed and said no. I pulled my respirator mask from under the seat.
“Just in case you try to roofie me,” I joked, and they all laughed.
Especially the dentist. Big, deep laughs. Followed by more racist Obama jokes and more laughter. By the time the flask was empty, they were all asleep. I took another hit of crank and stepped on it. And in four hours flat, we were right outside the Bad River Ranch.
I found a secluded spot and pulled over. Left the motor running. There was nobody for miles, just a herd of buffalo roaming the prairie. Beautiful creatures, the buffalo. To think this whole continent was covered with them, millions of them, before America’s first trophy hunters hunted them nearly to extinction. Time for a little payback.
A buffalo won’t eat a human. Buffaloes are vegetarian, they eat grass. But one thing I learned in my online research: where there’s buffalo, there’s wolves. And wolves have no problem eating people.
I looked around and, sure enough, a pack of wolves was not far off. Watching the buffalo, too. Licking their wolfy chops.
I dragged the three other guys out of the minivan. They were still out cold. I stuffed their pockets full of hamburgers. Then I picked up a rock and banged on the hub cap.
“Come and get it!” I shouted to the wolves.
They were closing in as I got back in the car and drove away. By morning, those guys would be nothing but scattered bones. And I would be back at my man-cave with my prize…
And now, the thrilling conclusion…
The dentist woke up duct-taped to my Barcolounger. He was not happy.
“What the fuck?” he shouted.
He immediately regretted shouting. His head was practically splitting open from the headache of 20 hours of on-again, off-again gassing. The exhaust had nearly killed him. Which would have been a shame. I had other plans.
“Good morning, asshole,” I said. “Welcome to the last day of your life.”
I’m glad the Barcolounger was brown because he shat it right then and there. And let me tell you, the stench of that burger that had been churning away in his gut was enough to peel the paint from the walls. I put the respirator back on.
“Oh god, I’m going to throw up,” he said. And did.
Over his retching I could hear the neighbors start blaring their music, the Mariachi station with the DJs that yell at you in Spanish. I held up the garden snips, snipped them in time with the music. That got his attention.
“What—what do you want?” he stuttered.
“I want you to be sorry,” I said.
“I’m sorry!” he shouted, crying.
“I need to know what you’re sorry for,” I said.
He looked around, his eyes wide with panic. The room was wrapped in plastic. You could see the fear give his reasoning a full-on bitch-slap. Why was he here, what had he done? He scrambled for an answer.
“Uh, the tooth thing?” he ventured.
“What tooth thing?” I asked.
“You’re the guy who’s wife complained, the one who got hurt,” he said. “Aren’t you?”
“It wasn’t my wife,” I said. “It was Cecil.”
“Cecil? I don’t know any—”
Then it hit. He finally got it. Cecil, the lion.
“Listen, I didn’t know it was a friendly lion!”
“Did you care?”
“Of course I care! I’m a dentist!”
I have to admit, he had me perplexed. Did dentistry have anything to do with hunting big game? Was it just something dentists did? Fuck it, I used the snips to cut his pants open to the waist. He cried the whole time.
“Please! Please! Look, I hired professionals! I had a guide! All I wanted was the head, I didn’t know the thing was in a park!”
“But you knew something was up, right?” I asked. “When you stopped. And put out your bait.”
“The bait was their idea!”
“But you didn’t say no, did you? And when Cecil showed up, you were fine with shooting him.”
“But I didn’t use a gun! I used a crossbow!”
“Who the fuck cares? You saw this beautiful creature, and you shot him. Then you left him out there, bleeding, for a whole day, waiting to die. Then you came back and killed him. And cut off his head for your trophy room.”
“It wasn’t my fault!”
“But you said it yourself: it was your guide, your money.”
“I paid them to take me hunting! I didn’t know! You can’t just kill me, like an animal!”
“Ha!” I said. “That’s exactly what you should be sorry for!”
I tried to explain to him how his attitude—that Man was above the animals and could do whatever he damn well pleased—was what lead the buffalo to near extinction. I tried to describe the bold and mighty buffalo that were probably grazing the wheat grass around his friends’ bones at that very moment. It was beautiful, the irony.
But he just kept blubbering empty apologies, begging for his life. It was really annoying. I put a piece of duct tape over his mouth so he’d stop yammering and think about it. But it got me to thinking, too. He was right: I couldn’t just kill him. He was defenseless. Killing a defenseless animal was the kind of thing assholes like him did. Not me.
“Tell you what,” I said, pulling the tape off his mouth, “I’ll make you a deal.”
“Anything,” he whined.
“I’ll cut you loose, give you a head start. I’ll open the door and you can run into the back yard. If you can get over the fence before I cut your nuts off with these clippers, you’re free to go. My neighbor will probably even give you a cold cerveza.”
“You can’t do this!”
“It’s more of a chance than you gave poor Cecil.”
“But what if I don’t get over the fence in time?”
“Well, after I cut your nuts off, I’ll drag you back here, lock you in, and let you bleed out. And just before you’re dead, I’m going to put a mirror in front of you. So you can watch as I cut off your head with a chainsaw.”
Now he was pissing and shitting all over the place. It was disgusting. I cut the tape from his ankles and wrists and opened the door. He looked at me like a deer in the headlights.
“Well, go,” I said, and snipped the snips.
He ran out like a shot. But he wasn’t watching where he was going, and he tripped over a ceramic planter and did a face-plant into the concrete steps. Then he sort of convulsed around a bit. He was suffering. I wanted him to suffer, but what was the point? Assholes like that, they just don’t get it. So I picked up the planter.
“I’d ask you to say ‘hi’ to Cecil for me, in heaven,” I said, “but I have a feeling your kind goes to a different place.”
And I squashed his head like an over-ripe melon. No trophy for me.
It was just as well, really. The whole cutting-off-his-head thing was going to be pretty gross. And would I really want a head on the wall, looking at me forever, reminding me of what a gutless asshat I was for killing a defenseless creature?
I dug a hole in the garden and dragged him into it. It was better than poor Cecil got. Better than his murderer deserved. But at least it was one less shitbird sucking air. I got the dirt filled in just as my neighbor leaned his head over the fence.
“Hola, amigo,” he said. “You working too hard. Want a beer?”
And just like that, I was sipping a cold beer, standing over the fresh grave of a supreme dickhead whose passing made the world just a little bit brighter. I thought I should say something nice, like they do at funerals. Just because.
But then I remembered I had to return the minivan. On the way I would get a wheat grass juice. I figured, if it’s good enough for the buffalo, it’s good enough for me.