Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

When you come face to face with a yellow, furry, striped, 200 kg heavy beast, coming out of the very 7-11 that you were heading for, your first impulse is to try and wake up. When you find that you can’t do that (since you are already awake), your second impulse is to try and attribute the sight before you to that extra shot of Sambuca that you really shouldn’t have had the previous night; and thus dismiss it as figment of your imagination.

Unfortunately, when a tiger is seeing you in the eye with a look that says, ‘Hello breakfast!’, you don’t want to do the dismissing thing. You want to run. Run as fast as possible!

So you run.

But as the still slightly rational lobes in your brain had anticipated, tigers can do that too. Much better than you, in fact! So as you run on the streets, crowds splitting ahead of you (not for you; for your feral pursuer), you realize that this level, open ground is the tiger’s territory and you have no hopes of escaping it on this turf. You need to find a different ground, a pitch where you hold the advantage. Surely, the concrete jungle must offer such a place?

So you dart into the next building that comes along. It’s a very tall, steel and glass affair. A skyscraper: that ultimate symbol of man’s concrete jungle. You look behind you. The tiger is not as clueless as you thought; it is slowly negotiating the revolving door. The automated revolving door. Damn automation!

You have a few seconds to make your next move and gain higher ground. Literally, and with luck, figuratively.

You look around the lobby, trying to find an avenue for escape. There’s a four feet high mahogany reception desk hosting a couple of terror-stricken faces behind it. Not much protection from a predator such as yours. There are a few chairs and a couch on your left. There’s a small waterfall off to your right; you wish the tiger would stop for a drink.

Your eyes fall on the bank of elevators on the far right just as you hear claws screeching on glass behind you. That’s your turf! You race towards the first one which is thankfully open. As you get closer, the elevator’s doors start closing. You hope you can squeeze through in time. You also hope that the growls following you cannot.

You make it through! You turn around and place eyes on your pursuer through the eight inches now separating the elevator doors. The tiger lunges at you. It misses the gap and hits the doors.

You watch it fall down at the elevator’s entrance. It looks up at you through the closing doors.

A paw slips in through the gap. The doors, encountering the paw, open helpfully.

Damn automation!