I consider myself a country
boy, having been raised for the first fifteen years of my life in - for want of a better phrase - a white trash trailer park
located in a community
known as Wrights Corners New York
It was what is called an incorporated township
, and boasted a population
of about forty people. Wow!
Obviously, everyone knew everyone elses business
; who was drinking
too much, what families were in debt
, who was getting separated
, and on and on and on. I think being rear
ed in a such an incestuous
place like that is the reason why I value my privacy
so much now, prefering to live anonymously
in large cities
Growing up in the country well all had gun
s and, being just kid
s, went through our periods of shooting
at anything and everything, including, or course, almost every kind of animal
that was unlucky
enough to cross our paths.
Like most normal
kids, I quickly grew out of this phase, developing a great deal of respect
for animals and life
of all kind. And even though I shot lots of squirrel
s and such, and I never appreciated the fine art of trapping
like some of the kids I grew up with.
Lots of folk
s in the country hunted to live, and most in my area
preferred to trap since it actually was a lot cheaper and more effective than hiking
around carrying a heavy rifle
. They would simply leave traps scattered around, typically attached to a nearby tree
, and return to retrieve
a few days later.
But I always suspect
ed that it was an unnecessarily cruel
On some level I could rationalize
when shooting a bird
- after all, it died
quickly and relatively pain
lessly. But it seemed to me that trapped animals would suffer, both physically
from the pain of the traps jaw
s, and, no doubt, psychologically
from being held against their will
I was brave
enough once to raise this point with my family
, and was soundly ridicule
d for my thoughfulness
. I even went so far as to opine
that many trapped animals were smart
enough to understand
their predicament; that they knew
when the man
returned they would die
This wasn't a popular
theory and after a short time I learned to keep such heretical
ideas to myself.
s ended up getting divorce
d, so mother
moved to Lockport
New York; a teeming metropolis
of about 20,000 people.
I eventually ended up moving to Buffalo
to attend University (Math and Computer Science!)
, and later relocated to New York City
In New York I lived in what's The Lower East Side
, working as a software engineer
, while making art
and running an art gallery
on the side.
and I at the time liked game
s of the sexual
variety (surprise, surprise, I still do!)
, and we particularly enjoyed a little BDSM
To assist us we had lots of little toy
s, including, of course, multiple restraints featuring several pairs of wonderfully shiny metal handcuff
It was one of these pairs of handcuffs that finally confirmed my suspicion about the cruelty of certain practices, and earned me the knickname Urban Trapper
One day my girlfriend and I were headed to work and stopped on a corner
and generally take a long long time to tell each other have a nice day!
While we talked about this and that I was poking at a lump in my coat pockets and eventually produced a pair of handcuffs that I forgot
I was carrying. We both laughed, continued talking and enjoyed the friendly risque
comments of bypassers who noticed the handcuffs.
Idly, I locked one of the bracelet
s on the fence
behind us. We finished our kissing
and were about to part company when I realized that I didn't have the key!
We were both late so decided there was nothing else we could do but return in the evening.
After all, nobody could steal
them since them since they were locked to a fence, and who would bother? They were just a pair of fifty dollar
handcuffs, not a three hundred dollar bicycle
; they'd be there all right.
That night I got home first, grabbed the key and headed back to the fence where we'd left the handcuffs.
Imagine my surprise
when I saw someone wearing my handcuffs on one wrist, the other bracelet still attached
to the fence! Holy shit! I'D CAUGHT SOMETHING!
He must have been as dumb
as a barn door
to try to fit the open end of the bracelet on his wrist. And he was a big
ugly son of a bitch too, really
pissed off, scream
ing and yell
ing and pulling as hard as he could on the handcuff that was still locked to the fence. But it wouldn't give at all, and he just got himself worked up more and more as time went on.
I stood across the street
and watched with a bunch of other people; nobody wanted to get close to that guy since he was lashing out like crazy
. Eventually someone called 911
and New Yorks Emergency Services
cut him free.
I told my girlfriend what happened and she couldn't stop laughing!
Being the consumate New Yorker she had always considered me a hick
of sorts, and now she had proof! Of course she told all our friends about Mutant, The Urban Trapper
. They all got a good laugh out of it, and I still get this event thrown back at me even now, some fifteen years later.
But I never could honestly
laugh with anyone about it.
I'd always think about those animals, deep out in the woods, in the dark or in the light, in the cold or in the warmth, restrained against their will. And I bet they fought and struggled just as hard and probably even harder than the guy I trapped did.
knew that when man came he'd be released. He wouldn't die.