Part 9 – Freeze

Some animals have this mechanism in their brain that tells them how close a predator has to be before it can get them.  How far away they are calculated by how fast they are and so on.  The reason for this (they think) is so that the animal can keep eating until the last very second before running away.  Is it really worth the risk for an extra half a second of food access?  It must so because it’s a thing.  They think.

It’s speculated that this instinct is why animals freeze when you drive at them real fast.  A wolf runs about thirty miles an hour.  The speediest wolf around who’s really putting his paws to the dirt could maybe go forty miles an hour.  That’s pretty fast.  But, and I don’t mean to shock you, cars can go much faster than forty miles an hour.  For instance former wrestler and noteworthy asshole Lex Luger was once pulled over for going one hundred and sixty seven miles an hour because he was late for a tanning appointment.  Suck on that wolves.

The idea is that when you coming flying down the road as sixty plus miles per hour at a possum that brain mechanism tries to figure out when it’s danger time and instead it freezes up and crashes like Windows Vista because the speed of the car is beyond what the programming can handle, it’s not a speed that exists in nature.  The car is going faster than even a superfast wolf so the possum just sits there and dies because its brain is throwing an input error message. 

Does that mean that a Thompson’s gazelle, the primary prey species of the pretty fast cheetah animal, would not freeze when an SUV comes barreling at it going sixty mphs?  There’s only one way to find out, and the government denied my grant on the grounds that driving cars at high rates of speed at imported antelopes was illegal and immoral and stupid. 

This fun fact is preamble this question – when Grace tells Andrea to come with her why does she freeze?  Is it because bullets are even faster than cars?

Grace walks past Barry Bonds, mostly confident that her prediction is correct and he won’t shoot her, but also wishing that Huddie hadn’t stolen her car so she could have thrown on her bulletproof serial killer raincoat before heading out on this mission.  Kid Greasy finally manages to get to his feet and stands gawking behind her as she pushes open the door to the backroom of Black Hole Doughnuts. The first back room I mean.  The one that just has bulk coffee cups and cardboard boxes with those little plastic window and cleaning supplies and stuff that should be in the back room of a doughnut joint. 

It’s when she passes through that, which is too small to really work well as a storage area, into the larger room behind it that things get interesting.  This room has several boxes of iPhones in a stack on top of larger boxes of smart TVs, which is odd for a doughnut place.  There’s a small skid loader which would be very much out of place in even the largest of doughnut shacks – nobody is moving that many doughnuts.  Is that weirder than the hockey bag filled with firearms, burner phones, and banned Argentine health supplements?  You be the judge of that.

In the room also is a woman named Andrea who’s scared out of her mind.  She looks more than little like Katherine LaNasa, the woman who played Will Ferrell’s character Cam Brady’s wife in The Campaign – which was pretty close to being a good movie.  She’s scared for a plethora of reasons, but chief amongst them is that she’s not alone.  There’s too men with her dressed in police costumes.

Once she sees them up close Grace is disappointed in herself that she didn’t realize they were fake before, one of them didn’t even bother to take the “Officer Nasty” nametag off.  In her mind Grace really gives it to the real cops for not noticing these buffoons, but what she doesn’t realize is that they used some of that old black magic as well – it’s much easier to enspell someone to think a cheap cop stripper outfit is a real uniform that it is something that looks nothing like it, let’s say orange hot pants and a half tank.

There’s a third man as well.  Grace has met him twice before but she never caught his name.  You know him as “Baby”, the skinny dude who looks like a model they used in videos to warn people about the dangers of drugs or rock music or D&D back in the 1980s.  I’ll call his look swamp trash Marilyn Manson.  Or some other more current reference.  Who’s the current freaky fake-Satanist music act that’s hot with the group at school of two kids that like to burn shit and the girl that needs attention? 

Baby is actually more scared than Andrea is when he sees Grace.  He was already on edge because they grabbed Andrea with no plan and he doesn’t know what to do.  And when Grace walks in?  Of all people?  He’s scared because he thinks she knows more than she does, why else would she be there?  But he’s more scared on account of that time she knocked him out cold, an attack which caused not only muscle damage but cervical dislocation.  Damage that hasn’t been treated (actually that’s not true, Jack Daniels and unsubscribed pain pills are a treatment of a sort) because violent criminal assholes aren’t great at going to the doctor and black magic isn’t great at healing. 

Despite this fear Baby manages to keep his cool.  In fact he’s going to say something “cool” about Grace being a bad penny but she beats him to the punch.

Grace points at Baby “Shut up you.” She extends her other hand to beckon Andrea “Come on, come with me, let’s get out of here.  These men are cowards Andrea, they won’t shoot you.”

Andrea doesn’t move.  Probably not because of predator attack radius brain calculations though, probably because of human brain stuff.


  1. When I’m feeling cynical, I tend to think that we attribute most of our actions to “human brain stuff,” when an awful lot of those decisions are actually made by processes closer to predator attack radius calculations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to believe in science but I get squeamish when they talk about brain chemistry and how it all works, makes me worry about the concept of free will. I suppose it should make me feel better though because if it’s all brain stuff we can “fix” it hopefully.


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