Amelia Gray, “A Javelina Story”

Collared_peccary02_-_melbourne_zooA clerical error puts a small pack of javelinas in charge of a hostage negotiation.

(from Museum of the Weird) 

The domestic hostage situation had been underway for three and a half hours, and the pack of wild animals heading up the negotiation project was making little progress.

A javelina, is a cute, furry little pig, apparently. The fact that these “skunk pigs” are doing police work, however poorly, could be a joke about cops being pigs. Very on-the-nose, once you know what a javelina is — though that just doesn’t seem like Gray’s style. I was hoping the piggies would be able to resolve their appointed task, once the gunman started interpreting their animal behavior as smart gamesmanship. But that’s crazy. Pretty much everybody in the world of “A Javelina Story” is crazy. This is, I’m betting, about as goofy as Gray gets. Still grim, though. Couldn’t find the story online, but I like what The Collagist had to say.

I also read “Dinner,” about a woman who’s served a plate of hair on a first date. It’s gross and strange. I read it twice. I think we’re talking about social obligation or maybe sexual obligation. Hard to say, really. Might only be about a plate of hair. It’s a funny one, and it stuck with me.

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