Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Appendix A: The Problematic Raptor Q. & A.

Your new Velociraptor mongoliensis

  1. Why does my Raptor eat or eviscerate the other pets?

    Because a Raptor is unaccustomed to harmonious environments, all things within your abode—both animate and inanimate—are threatening and appetizing. To successfully train your new pet, always remember: Raptors will be Raptors. This doesn’t mean you should turn away a wincing eye while he sucks out your dog’s guts, but you should understand that reprimands against Fido smoothies are reprimands against his nature.

    Until you can instill discipline in your Raptor, distract him. Make sure to have a lot of treats on hand. Stray animals are ideal for weaning your Raptor off of your home’s other loved ones.

  2. Why does my Raptor hunt me?

    A Raptor’s pride is his stealth. If you find him hiding behind the fern, tripping you on the staircase, or working the doorknob while you are in the shower, do not be alarmed. Your Raptor is merely exploring and adapting to his new environs. You and your family are part of his brave new world, and he is uncertain whether you are friends or hors d’oeuvres. It is very important you convince him of the former, and you can do this by making his nature work for you rather than against you.

    Being hunted is an excellent bonding opportunity. Play along: Let him chase you through the house while you place challenging obstructions in his path. Eventually, his hunting will become more leisurely rather than primal. Just don’t forget to always run. No matter the route, the obstruction, or diversion, your Raptor will catch you.

  3. How can I teach the Raptor to not pounce on me and claw me to death in the middle of the night (or anytime)?
    The Raptor knows when its prey is most vulnerable. In your case, it’s while you sleep. In the beginning, as your pet gets to know you, he will probably break skin and break a few of your ribs. Once a Raptor has you in its razor-like claws (see Filing Claws, pg. 103) its only intent is to kill.

    Therefore it is pertinent that you fight back. Don’t be afraid to stun your pet by throwing him through the window, or stabbing him with the bowie knife kept under your pillow. Violence is the Raptor’s language. Dazed, bleeding, and suffering from a possible concussion, your pet will feel vulnerable and will eventually skulk away.

  4. How can I make my Raptor feel like “one of the pack”?

    You don’t. The Raptor doesn’t want or need to be part of your family. You need to become one of his pack. In short, you need to bond with and understand your Raptor. An excellent bonding exercise is to stand in front of your pet, mimic his stance by pulling in your elbows and bending your haunches, and let out a shrill followed by clicks. For commands and communicative Raptor vocabulary, see Appendix J.

    Perform this exercise everyday for several hours. By the end of six weeks, his hunting will become less lethal and more playful. He will start bringing you food. It is essential that you pretend to eat his offering, no matter how putrid and pungent the kitten corpse may be. Refusing his rank alms will destroy the illusion that you are pack-worthy.

    Having gained and successfully maintained his respect, you can begin dominance training. (See below.)

  5. How can I instill fear in him and establish dominance?

    Only when you’ve gained your Raptor’s respect can you attempt dominance. A Raptor fears only what can kill him, and so far, with the exception of shotguns and fire, that has been the Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Of course, engineers have not constructed a pet Rex yet, but you can simulate a lurking Rex by stomping as hard as you can through the house and breaking a few glasses. However, these effects will be minimal and your curious Raptor will eventually sleuth them out. What you will need is a seemingly invisible source of noise and vibration. Nothing can do this more than a 1987 Crown Vic—sans muffler, and with sonic subwoofers—idling in your garage. Whenever your Raptor is acting poorly, or you suspect he is up to something, crank the Crown Vic and blast a Bakker Tech Roaring Rex™ recording (found at your local pet store) or West coast rap music.

    Even when you are not simulating a Rex, utilizing rap music in your house is a good way to discipline your pet. If your timing is right, he will begin to associate certain areas of your house as Rex territory and will avoid them altogether. Therefore, these spots should be places you don’t want him to go: areas where babies and small children play, the backyard, the kitchen, and your bedroom.

  6. A child has gone missing from the neighborhood. Was it my Raptor?

    Owners have to be especially conscious of where their Raptors wander. It is inadvisable that they be allowed free reign in public, a backyard is a false security. Raptors can jump any fence, especially when given the further incentive of little meatsticks jumping on the trampoline or barking in the next yard.

    Remember: Raptors are furtive creatures. Be concerned if your Raptor has gotten out of the house or yard even for 5.7 seconds. If a neighborhood pet or child goes missing, stay quiet and begin checking your Raptor’s feces. (See below.)

  7. Oh sweet Jesus, I found a human skull (or femur, etc.) in my Raptor’s feces.

    This is a Raptor owner’s biggest fear. If you find human bones in your Raptor’s feces, you have obviously ignored all the rules in Chapter One: Raptor Owning. You are a bad Raptor owner and murder suspect number one. Even though you didn’t eat little Timmy, the law prosecutes all Raptor crimes by incarcerating the owner and euthanizing the pet.

    Don’t attempt to hide your Raptor. If you live in a suburb, everyone has probably heard his tri-chordal shrill by now, and neighborhood children are always on the lookout for lurking dinosaurs. Besides, your Raptor will figure out a way to get out and blow both your covers.

    Don’t make things worse by carrying the bones around like a Paleolithic Hamlet to your neighbors’ homes asking if “these might belong to” them.

    Whether you go to the police or decide to put yourself and your Raptor down, there are no easy and quick solutions for this scenario. Bakker Technologies suggests you let your Raptor finally eat you.

S.J. Chambers lives near the Black Lagoon. People ask her all the time if she knows the Creature, and even though she does know him—knows that he’s a real slimeball—she just shakes her head and says it’s only a dumb flick.

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