>Many monikers and labels have been thrown at me ("baby killer" is my #1 special favorite, with "stupid cunt" a very close second), but no one ever accused me of being an animal rights activist. I enjoy eating dead animals (even baby ones), wear leather, and feel my blood boil with the urge to kill people who bring their dogs into food markets, drug stores, or boutiques. I almost always prioritize the welfare of children over animals.

I say "almost always" because if a person is being mean to an animal, the rules of the game change immediately. Yesterday, Des and I were at a completely ludicrous home-based barge museum. The captain, a former cruise ship juggler whose partner is also a juggler he met while working the ships and their daughters are trapeze artists who all perform on the barge they live on, pulled out several enormous binders ("My press clips," he explained) that also included personal photo albums. (One of those pictures involved him wearing no clothes while repairing something. I'm not sure what.)

While we (and believe it or not, there were other people at the museum: a guy from a Norwegian historical society researching the stories of Norwegian families that performed and lived on riverboat barges, a Columbia journalism student who rocked and is writing her first school assignment on the Red Hook nabe of Brooklyn, and a woman with a kid) were all staring at photos of this guy and his life in juggling, the woman's kid was playing with the house rabbit who resided on the boat. But "playing" means tormenting. The woman paid no mind as her kid repeatedly hit the bunny (Dewey, a gray and white lop) in the face with the cage door as he tried to come out of his cage after the kid chased him in.

A familiar bubbling sensation overtook my blood supply. I stormed away from the photo show taking place on the kitchen table and approached the brat.

"Excuse me," I said firmly but pleasantly. "Please leave the bunny alone."

Kid stared at me and said nothing, but also did not remove her hand from the cage door. Dewey poked his head out and was rewarded with a door to the nose.

"I said, do not close that cage door on the rabbit." Blank stare from kid. Voice rising, I asked, "How would you like it if someone kept closing a door on you?" More curious looks. Cage door closes on rabbit face. Repeat comment in louder voice. Kid backs away slightly, which is good because I was thisclose to grabbing her hand and slamming it in the cage door. (This, people, is why I am not having kids.)

Long story short, I went back to the table and the mother continued to ignore her animal - I mean, daughter - resulting in the kid spilling the container of rabbit food all over the floor. At this point, Des and I left and went for key lime pie, which Des discovered unfortunately contained gelatin, thus rendering it inedible because she is a vegetarian. I scarfed it down because nothing tastes better than ground up horse bones after an afternoon's work of defending a helpless animal.

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