Daisy Bateman


(Excerpts from the yet-to-be-written book based onthis actual headline.)

It was past midnight in the Cancun Museum of Science and Juan, the obviously expendable security guard, was making his rounds. Humming La Bamba, he played his flashlight across the exhibits on soap bubbles and rainbows and 11-dimensional M-theory, in the bored manner of doomed security guards everywhere.

When he came to the traveling exhibit of animatronic dinosaurs, however, he paused. Not because he was interested in the mot advanced examples of robotic dinosaurs available for public exhibition, but because his shoelace had come untied. As he stood back up, he heard a noise, like giant metal feet trying to sneak quietly across linoleum.

“Hola,” he said. “¿Que es eso*?”

Then he saw it, and before he had time to scream, or even form an upside-down question mark, the giant metal teeth lunged out of the darkness and ripped through his flesh in a way that was nothing at all like breaking open a piñata.

Somewhere in the distance, the surface of an unattended glass of water rippled.

* * * * * * *

“My God, man, what have you done?” said Rick, the well-muscled American expat, living in Mexico for reasons having nothing to do with “tax evasion” or “outstanding warrants.”

Dr. Benson, the older and much less attractive scientist, leaped up from his chair. “I was finishing my work! They wouldn’t fund it as science, but for a travelling museum exhibit the money poured in. I was able to create the world’s first perfect robotic dinosaur replica!”

“But what went wrong?” asked Carla, the hot and caring dolphin researcher who found Rick’s machismo annoying but secretly attractive.

“Nothing went wrong. It worked perfectly! Except for the off switch,” Dr. Benson added. “That went a little wrong.”

“I’ll say,” said Rick. “It’s killed three people so far, and Spring Break starts tomorrow. This place is about to be crawling with drunk kids.”

The scientist went pale. “College students? Oh, no.”

“What? What is it?” said Carla.

“Well, you see, I had some bad experiences when I was teaching undergrads, and it may have slightly influenced the programming. . .”

* * * * * * *

“Dude, I am so drunk,” said a drunk college student.

“Dude, like, me too,” said another drunk college student.

“Dude, we should get a reality show where we get drunk and, like, get girls and stuff.”

“Heh. Yeah. Awesome.”



“Is that, like, a dinosaur?”

“Dude, you are wasted!”

“Yeah, but, du– AAIIIEEEEE!”

Moments later, blood with an alcohol concentration of about 0.07% gushed down the street and flowed into the darkened city’s well-maintained gutters.

* * * * * * *

Rick looked across the table at Carla, or more specifically at the unbuttoned shirt she had thrown on over her bikini top when she heard the news. “It’s up to us to stop this thing,” he said. “The police don’t believe us, they think it’s the drug cartels. We’re the only ones who can save these people.”

“But, how? And by the way, my eyes are up here.”

“Yeah, so? Anyway, we’re gonna need something big to stop this thing. Bullets don’t hurt it, and it’ll tear right through anything smaller than a tank.”

“Okay, well, do you have a tank?”

“Nope. But I can get us something better.”

*Eso no es queso.

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