Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Advantages of MS #832: Coyote Safety

As my wife and I were about to start a fall hike in the Rio Grande bosque, a beautiful forested ribbon of gold every October, we took pause at a posted sign at the trailhead. The warning was ominous. “Coyotes live here!” The exclamation points were numerous. “Be aware!” And the advice was a complete and total no-brainer for someone with walking issues due to multiple sclerosis. “Do not run from a coyote. Back away slowly.”

Because of my disease and my ability to run as fast as Usain Bolt can crawl with a bum knee, I have the unique opportunity to follow coyote safety guidelines others might ignore. Be a roadrunner and skedaddle at the site of Wile E.? Not me. I would back away slowly (emphasis on slowly), taking full advantage of underwear that absorbs moisture. And since I use forearm crutches, I have a built-in defense system. If a curious coyote dared to approach, I’d beat ‘em back. I’d protect all in my party. I’d be the hero.

“After that first panicked swing, you’d lose your balance, teeter over, and hurt yourself.” Laura had a good point. I had a much better chance of being an afternoon snack—albeit a disease-riddled snack—than being a savior. Admittedly I would have to rely on her to use one of my forearm crutches as a club to fend off that pack of ravenous, mangy coyotes. But it would be my crutch, because of my MS, that ultimately would save the day.

So see, once again MS comes to the rescue. It’s easy to forget all of the good things that can come with having this disease. (Literally, because of cognitive issues, many of us tend to forget things, but let’s not go there right now.) So get out and hike. And protect the normals from coyotes. Beep! Beep!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

My nephew said to me not long after watching an episode of the Walking Dead.

"Its always the white people who fall down when they're being chased by zombies. If you're being chased by zombies don't expect me to stop and help you up...except you Aunt B, I'd help you because of the MS."

See, there are always advantages to having the MS! Some folks can ward off coyotes and people might stop to help you during the zombie apocalypse! Ha!

(the above might have been paraphrased, I can't remember exactly what he said word for word)

Dave Bexfield said...

You bring up a great point, Anon. But if you think about it, you might not even need help. There's a good chance all of us with MS would never be attacked by zombies because they wouldn't want our diseased brains in the first place. Sort of like avoiding moldy bread or Lunchables four years past their sell-by date. Zombie immunity, yee-haw!

Ron Crooker said...

LOL, great story thanks for posting it my wife even laughed at it.

Dave Bexfield said...

Turns out, Ron, coyote experts say NOT to back away and instead make yourself look as large as possible (thank you forearm crutches) and slowly walk (or in my case lurch) toward the coyote until the animal retreats.

Anonymous said...

Check it out
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coyotes-suburban-attacks

Dave Bexfield said...

Naturally like a week after I posted this I was attacked by a coyote. Technically, THE coyote, Howler, the mascot for the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes. When he mock strangled me (I was wearing a jersey from the opposing team), the crowd roared and then the Coyotes scored a critical goal. My team ultimately lost. Dang mangy coyotes.