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TribBlog: Of Rats and Men

State Sen. Kirk Watson's spoof of the governor's coyote adventure ...

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This riff on Gov. Rick Perry's coyote tale — in Austin state Sen. Kirk Watson's weekly e-mail to constituents — is entertaining. And we should point out that Watson's a Democrat who'd like to see the governor defeated, etc., etc.

My Really True Secret ... Involving Guns and Kittens

I have a secret that I've been keeping under wraps. I haven't disclosed it to anyone – not in public, not in private, not in this weekly email newsletter that’s posted on my web site, Twitter, and Facebook. Not to any of the thousands of people I come in contact with each week.

How could I know that it would actually improve my chances of getting on a Presidential ticket?

Two months ago, I was out for an early-morning run. As usual, I was carrying a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum (that's right; the kind that Dirty Harry carried). I was fully loaded with steel-piercing shells and a sight I designed myself using GPS technology (I’d tell you more about it, but it’s classified).

Now, I know that some people might think it’s kind of, I don’t know, hard to believe – that someone would be carrying around a handgun on a morning run. Incredible, one might say.

But you just never know when you’ll need to defend yourself from snakes (let's face it, you need some heavy artillery if you're really scared of a snake). Or coyotes (no, really, some coyotes don't just run away from humans – for example, that one you see at the San Antonio Spurs games). Or armed statewide elected officials.

Grunning with the Kitties

So anyway, I’m running with my gun (“Grunning” is the technical term). And as I sometimes do, I stopped in at the Town Lake Animal Shelter to adopt some kittens.

Now, of course, I love all kittens. But these kittens were really special. They were even more cute than normal, and I think it really takes quite a man to openly admit how much he likes kitties. So you can imagine how protective I was feeling.

Best of all, the kittens (there were three– no, four– no, six of them), they all seemed to love running. So I whipped out the half-dozen kitty leashes I carry for just such an occasion, and we all headed back out to the trail.

Everything was going great – the kittens all run a five-minute mile pace, just like I do in the early mornings before anyone else is up. I was humming a masculine Bach sonata and feeling real good about balancing the state budget without federal stimulus money.

Then ... the giant rats

Right then, suddenly, a pack of giant rats jumped out of the bushes. I thought they were wolves at first. But then I remembered how endangered and occasionally endearing wolves are and saw that, no, these were definitely just giant rats.

They were all wearing these rat-leather jackets and brandishing these rat-switchblades and smoking these rat-cigarettes (all of which I fully intend to ban in the next legislative session). And there were at least a dozen– no, two dozen– no, maybe just a dozen of them surrounding us.

The kittens – they were scared. They looked at me with these cute, pleading expressions. I knew I had to do something.

So I whipped out the pistol, looked out at the giant rats and said, “Rats, this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. It will blow your heads clean off. So you’d better let the kittens and me keep running, or I’m gonna do the appropriate thing and send you where giant rats go.”

The giant rats just snickered. We had clearly and unequivocally been threatened.

The obligatory fight scene

Instinctively using my graduate-level knowledge of physics and billiard angles, I quickly fired off five shots, taking out ten of the giant rats. Another one lunged at me and I shot him right in the gut.

Right then, I heard steps coming up fast behind me. I wheeled around as the giant rat leader leaped into the air. Just as he was about to bite my face, I smacked him in the jaw. He fell to the ground.

The kittens wanted to run, but I wasn’t going to have this giant rat threatening my constituents.

As I was trying to figure out what to do (I couldn’t just leave the giant rat there, and while I have a loaded pistol during my runs, I don’t carry a cell phone), the rat opened his eyes. He locked in on the kittens. And he licked his wily lips.

So I did the only thing I could do. The only thing a man could do. The only thing that would make a really good story.

I shot that giant rat dead.

(I know what you’re saying: “But Senator Watson, that’s seven bullets. A .44 Magnum only holds six.” Well, you're just using Washington, D.C.-style logic. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I can’t tell you how I've wanted to tell this tale. But who would think there even was such a thing as giant rats, little kitties that run on leashes, or pistol-packing-while-jogging? Who would believe that an elected official wouldn't just take time – but plan on taking time – out of his exercise to shoot something?

But it happened. It really did. I don't have a security detail I run with, so there's no one there to ask. But you can ask the kittens. I’d produce the giant rat bodies, except this happened long enough ago that they’re pretty much mulch now.

Oh, yeah, and another thing . . .

Now let me tell you about the three holes-in-one I had last week. You see, I was golfing by myself . . .

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Politics 2010 elections Griffin Perry Rick Perry