You’ve probably heard about the Egyptian Cobra who, earlier this week, escaped from the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo. At the time of this writing, the snake remains at large.
Ah, how this brought back a flood of memories of my once and future city! My first thought, oddly enough, wasn’t off the many and varied wild animals that roam the streets, and occasionally take over fast food establishments. Instead, it reminded me of of how New York City truly has the shoddiest building contractors in the world. But more on that later.
It seems like people are going a bit crazy about one little cobra on the lam. Maybe it’s because it’s an Egyptian cobra, and hence probably Muslim and/or a member of Al Quaida?
Come on. This is the city where dangerous animals run around with more impunity than a Caucasian heiress with an Hermes duffle bag full of cocaine.
Remember Antoine Yates, the guy who kept a 500 pound Bengal Tiger AND a 280 pound alligator in his one-bedroom Harlem apartment? The tiger was discovered after his upstairs neighbor complained that a large quantity of urine was seeping through the ceiling. Yes, TIGER URINE was seeping through her ceiling. (Hope she clicked the “Tiger Urine Damage” box on her renter’s insurance!) However, for the previous two years, the presence of the Bengal tiger had gone largely unnoticed. As long as she kept the music down, anyway.
Mr. Yates received a five-year probation, which stipulated that during that time he was “not allowed to own or take care of any wild animal.” But that was in 2004, so by now he’s finally free to get that baby giraffe! Or maybe an elephant? Then, eventually, when his girlfriend confronts him about “the elephant in the room,” she’ll be referring to an ACTUAL ELEPHANT, which would just be awesome.
If the missing cobra needs a safe house to just chill and clear his head for a few days, he may want to ping Antoine. Or, better yet, the snake should slither on down to the nearest KFC-Taco Bell for an all-u-can-eat Rat Buffet.
All New Yorkers will remember the time, a few years ago, when passerbys noticed “hordes” of “agile, plump rats” in a closed KFC in the West Village. It was late at night, and the rats were noted to be “leaping and bounding from table to table.” To their credit, they were just rehearsing for Rats: The Musical, which is heavy on the Bob Fosse-style dance numbers.
One employee resigned over the situation, succinctly stating, “I quit because it was nasty.”
Nasty indeed. And you know what would’ve scared those rats away? A cobra.
(TOMORROW: Tales of New York City’s Lazy-Ass Contractors – stay tuned!)