my cousin larry's unannounced visit has nearly brought total disaster... out of all the people/dinosaurs who could have decided to visit me here in new zealand why'd it have to be larry?
he wouldn't say why though, and it's driving me a little crazy!
making matters worse i wasn't the first to find out about his arrival in town. my landlord ben the gardener came across larry first, and naturally wasn't too happy to discover a fully grown tyrannosaurus rex wandering his garden!
i was barely able to talk my way out of major trouble with ben, but 10 seconds after avoiding that barrel of monkeys i was shocked to see an even greater crisis unfold...
ben wasn't the only one who'd noticed larry (funny that... 40 foot long 20 foot high killer reptile/proto bird) in the garden. tons of locals saw him and frantically rang it into the authorities. it didn't take long for these complaints of a "roving tyrannosaurus rex" to come to the attention of my attache with the department of conservation. however when agent hamilton rushed to the garden to deal with the situation she thought it was me causing the problems...
i've heard a saying about making assumptions, but i can't remember it right now... cause man i'm starting to suspect larry planned his visit solely to destroy my new life in one fell swoop!
now from what little i know about my keeper from the department of conservation, agent hamilton, she'd never seen a dinosaur before me (as most people in new zealand. they've only got 7 known dinosaurs period, and ALL are from the northern island). i think she had done a little reading on t-rexs when coming up with my conservation program, but i don't think she ever realized that i was actually a true tyrannosaur.
what i mean is as i'm only 4 years old i still have a lot of growing to do (especially since i kinda got stuck on the growing factor at age 1... i'm way overdue for a growth spurt anytime now!). if you were to look at me, and not think about it you might not make the connection that i'm supposed to get up to larry's size...
well sadly agent hamilton had to make that realization in a more hands on fashion than she'd probably wanted too...
this was about the moment i reentered the story... having just dealt with ben's concerns about larry i turned to leave the garden's cafe only to discover agent hamilton outside frozen in bewilderment and terror...
with larry loaming right above her. now i know i've said this a million times people of the innerweb, but larry is a JERK! not only does he dislike humans, but he loves to scare them. especially ones he knows are important.
he could tell the agent hamilton was someone important, and more the point concerned with him (her staring in disbelief kinda gave her away). naturally as a colossal JERK! he had to make a point... one that was about to make my life WAY more difficult then ever before!
as larry leaned in closer to size up agent hamilton i felt my heart stop...
you see agent hamilton holds a great deal of power over my living in new zealand. after i completed a bunch of criteria for the government that allowed me to stay in the country i became the responsibility of DOC (that's the short version of the depart of conservation). as the only tyrannosaur (at the time anyway) of new zealand that made me an ubber endangered species, and new zealand takes protecting its wildlife seriously. so they assigned agent hamilton to my case...
the thing is agent hamilton hasn't been the warmest or friendliest of watchers, and i haven't had a chance to tell her much about my heritage or family... i was thinking i could ease her into my background as a tyrannical king lizard slowly... what with my being raised by humans has kind of dulled my saurian instincts. i thought this was a safe enough approach.
however seeing larry lean right at agent hamilton i knew that i was going to regret not mentioning it before...
especially since i knew the body posturing larry was using. he wasn't just checking hamilton out. he was about to declare his dominance...
i ran out of the cafe as fast as my tiny legs would take me (which considering i'm still built like a juvenile tyrannosaur is FAST! we're built like ornithimimids till we bulk up with age and growth) screaming in tyrannosaurese. "larry NOOOOOOO!"
i was too late though... larry paid no heed to my call. he let loose a full tyrannosaur 'welcome'. now i use the quotation marks because, though we t-rexs tend to greet each other with this bellow, it's not a nice greeting. unlike humans who try to get along right away; we tyrannosaurs are a little more confrontational. i guess it just shows the way times have changed.
65 million years ago you had to act big and pompous so that members of your pack took you seriously. sadly larry, and most of my relatives somehow haven't ever noticed that was then, and now millions of years later we'll never properly fit in with humans if we keep acting like the extinction event never happened.
now getting back to agent hamilton. a tyrannosaur greeting to a person (especially whose never seen a full grown t-rex before) can comes across as something between sheer terror and death itself.
i'm amazed agent hamilton didn't pass out. many others with more experience and knowledge have faired worse (most palaeontologists are known to have fainted during their first close encounter with a tyrannosaur)...
as a hardy civil servant agent hamilton was merely frozen in place gazing dumbfoundly where larry's eye had been... as larry himself just walked off.
i had finally managed to make my way to agent hamilton. "are you okay?" i reluctantly asked knowing the answer all to well.
the glare agent hamilton gave me told me everything i needed to know. had i been ice i'd have been boiled instantly...
agent hamilton hauled me off to the opposite side of the duck pond from the cafe, and larry. curious how both she and ben the gardener's first instinct is to talk to me as far out of larry's presence as they can... there is hope for them yet when it comes to dealing with t-rexs!
there wasn't a whole lot of hope for me though... agent hamilton was clearly NOT happy about larry's greeting...
"mr. tyrannosaur," she started in a very angry voice. the most emotion i've ever heard in her voice funny enough, but she paused for a second recomposing herself. it didn't fool me though. i knew she was furious. "i'm not sure where to begin..."
so i decided to take the initiative, and try and stop any more damage from being done. i was pretty sure that agent hamilton's complaints and concerns were going to similar to ben's.
after i finished telling her the few details i knew:
- this wasn't a random tyrannosaur, but my cousin
- i had no prior knowledge or warning of his coming
- larry was only here to visit me, and engage in no other activities
- he was here potentially filming a movie with peter jackson
- he'd only be here in dunedin a couple weeks
"are you aware of the situation this constitutes mr. tyrannosaur?" agent hamilton said digesting the story i'd just told her.
"an ordinary visit from a distant relative?" i hopefully ventured.
"i'm aware of your limited cranial capacity mr. tyrannosaur," agent hamilton acknowledged. suddenly she pointed to larry, and her voice reverted to it's previous dark tone. "but how can even you possibly try and rationalize this as a 'ordinary' visitor?"
i was stumped... technically i didn't think he was an ordinary visitor. that alone a welcome one... i wanted him to leave even more than everyone else. i surrendered to feeling sorry for myself. i'm not sure why i felt sorry though? i hadn't done anything wrong!
"mr. tyrannosaur i'm going to level with you," agent hamilton's voice cut through my sulking to my spine. she was dead serious. "when the department agreed to allow you to stay in new zealand we were under the understanding and impression that you would be the sole member of your species to do so. the fact i suddenly, less then 6 months later, now am faced with a secondary individual is something of an alarming development."
"further more when we agreed to allow you to stay we were under the impression that you were not in fact a proper tyrannosaurus rex, but rather merely a smaller member of the tyrannosaurid family. hence the official designation tyrannasaurus rex traumadorius on your file. now your telling me that not only are you directly related to this proper specimen, but that you are indeed an individual of the same species. thus meaning that one day i could very well receive more welcomes like this afternoon's!"
i could see where this is going... but i was at a loss for words. i'd used up all my crafty thinking with ben... "i haven't grown at all in two years," i sadly stated, knowing that was hardly a defence.
"i'm going to have to conifer with the department mr. tyrannosaur on your status," agent hamilton stated... oh no! the one sentence that could finish me here in dunedin...
now i can understand perfectly why agent hamilton, and pretty much everyone else in new zealand, would be upset with the prospect of a normal tyrannosaur living in their country. their mean and dangerous brutes, but i'm NOT a normal t-rex!
i've spent my whole life living with and working with humans. to show how well i get along with humans (at least compared to other dinosaurs) i'm the only theropod in the world who speaks english. added to that i'm not a huge carnivore. i'm not even medium sized. i'm smaller than a full grown human for crying out loud!
leave it to larry JERK! king of all jerks to just show up, and half an hour later completely destroy my life (again!).
i held next to no hope as agent hamilton got on her mobile and started briefing her people about the surprise situation she'd discovered at the garden. i glared as angrily at larry as i could across the duck pond, but he didn't see me. i wished that i could somehow make him disappear, or wait better yet never exist at all!
he hadn't noticed me starring, and for the first few seconds i didn't comprehend why... that is till suddenly it hit me... larry wasn't just randomly wandering by the duck pond. he was stalking!
it was as if he knew that i had a tiny thread of a chance of surviving his visit, and so he was going to cut that as fast as possible. because you see people of the web wide world larry pounced on a couple of hapless tourists!!!
all whilst agent hamilton was in furious debate with her colleges over the phone about my fate...
for the millionthed time this day my heart stopped as larry clamped down on the two tourists, and proceeded to swallow them whole. nearly a moment later agent hamilton in the middle of her heated and furious phone call happened to look up...
i knew exactly how she felt when larry bellowed in her face that moment, and i nearly collapsed unconscious...
by some miracle agent hamilton didn't happen to look over larry's way as he finished swallowing his victims... hopefully no one will notice their missing!
i kept my eyes on larry for the next several minutes hoping beyond hope that he'd filled himself. interrupting my vigil was agent hamilton having concluded her phone call.
"well mr. tyrannosaur, your cousin," she started in a strained manner. "it appears he entered the country through legitimate, and thus legal means. we have no immediate concerns as to his activities while in new zealand."
"this incident seems to have raised the need for further consideration on part of the department regarding your status," agent hamilton continued. she glowered at me from above her sunglasses. the first time i'd ever seen agent hamilton's eyes! "i will be visiting you next month for a thorough re-examination and assessment of your biologic and behavioural threat margin."
in other words i may have gotten barely off the hook this time, but next month agent hamilton was coming back to find any excuse she could to kick me out of the country...
"good day mr. tyrannosaur," she concluded, and stormed off... it was official. agent hamilton now hated me.
before i could could brood or think about the revelations of this new fact in my existence larry stomped over to me. "so cousin show me around this place."
not only was everything in shambles and disarray, but larry was still here. he'd still be here for my to entertain and put up with for two weeks.
which brings this blog post full circle... i have have incidentally figured out how it could get worse. larry has accomplished to bulldoze major parts of my life in dunedin quite successful in his first hour here.
let us see if i can save any of it in the next 14 days!?!
to be continued...