One of the things I'll never get used to about living on Earth is being food for other animals. Every year I remember less and less about my former life on Mars but one thing I can tell you for sure is that we Martians were never served up as dinner for the lesser species on our planet. I suppose it's because we were all vegetarians but that's beside the point. Eating animals is bad enough without being eaten by them in return.
I know, I'm lucky that I've never been chomped on by a lion or a tiger or a bear but that still doesn't make planet Earth the Land of Oz. Every summer I'm on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menu of every insect within a mile of me. Sure, I can use insect repellant but who has the time to swab or spray on that stuff every time you head outdoors? And forget about taking a nap on the porch on this bug-infested sphere. The last time I dozed off on the glider I woke up about three pounds lighter and all of it blood. If I want to donate blood, I'll visit the Bloodmobile, thank you.
And who wants to swim in the ocean? Besides being salt water that you don't want in your mouth or stomach or eyes, it's full of really creepy, wiggly things and great big toothy things that think you were put on this Earth to be their supper. Screw that. Hell, I'll gladly give up eating them if they'll stop nibbling on me. But you can't make a deal with them because they have no clue what you're saying to them when you haul ass for the beach with jelly fish stings all over you. They think you're just going to McDonald's to fatten yourself up a little more for them.
Lakes are OK, now that the lampreys are under control but there are still eels. And water dogs (mud puppies) in Pennsylvania streams and catfish as big as rowboats in the Mississippi. Still, I can't imagine what it's like to jump into a lake or stream in Florida just to be tackled and spun dry and then drowned by an alligator because you just look so damn tasty. And they're only a fraction of the size of crocodiles in Africa and Australia who would down your ass in one gulp for an appetizer and then have Water Buffalo for the entree. And I cringe every time I think about being swallowed whole by a python, wondering if I'd suffocate to death before I dissolved to death.
Here in Pennsylvania I only have to watch out for bears and coyotes and that's why I rarely go out in the woods or go hunting anymore. Oh, yeah, I always had a rifle or a shotgun when I went hunting but as I got older I worried about falling down or falling asleep or having a heart attack or a stroke and being alive and helpless as a pack of coyotes divvied me up for lunch
So, now I don't hunt anymore and I don't mountain bike or even walk wooded trails by myself, with or without the protection of a firearm. And I don't doze off on the chaise lounge on the patio anymore, either. I watch TV instead and drift right off after a nice meal or a little snack and I don't worry about being food for anyone or any thing. Besides, nothing could be a better sleep aid than a meal followed by a boring show on TV you use as company after you turn off the VCR or DVD player. That movie can wait.
The trick then is to not dream about being food or waking up with a crick in your neck or numb legs or chocolate drool on your shirt. Still, it's better than having to dress for the weather and a lot better than being on some carnivore's menu.