The Minstrel

Stampeding on I-40
November 12, 2006, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Societal Nonsense

I learned something about the nature of human beings today. We are quite possibly the only mammal that voluntarily stampedes without first being chased by a wild, fang-wielding carnivorous beast.

Allow me to explain. Upon driving I-40 from Raleigh to Chapel Hill, as I do, I happened upon a stretch of road where I could preview the mile ahead of me. Cars were darting from one lane to another, weaving perilously in a high-speed chase to somewhere. Oh, how cars urged others to move faster. Oh, how we galloped, in a constant search for a quicker way. Something, must be attacking us, I thought, and I instantly panicked.

When all at once, my mind’s eye was transported to an African terrain, and I was surrounded by stampeding, hooved mammals—wildebeests, probably, of various makes and models. Our nostrils flared. Our breathless mouths panted for wind. Worse yet, I just knew that my mammalian friends and I were being chased by a “big cat,” family felidae, genus panthera leo. My worst nightmare. Our lives were hanging by a thread.

Or were we? I took a moment to consider my situation, and upon glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw no cat behind me; yet, I raced. Oh, how I raced. Fear and adrenaline pumped through my veins. But if no cat, what wild predator could possibly be making all of these human beings stampede?

Then, it dawned on me. How ridiculous we are. Nothing is chasing us. We might possibly be the only mammal on this vast Earth that voluntarily stampedes.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Perhaps we are the only mammals to have come up with things worth stampeding to! 🙂

Comment by Lance

Good luck with the new blog, Aaron. We’ll be waiting for the next installment.

Comment by Jon

people and lemmings,
stampeding mammals fleeing
invisible cats.

Comment by Tamsie

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