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Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “anticipation”….

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He would be along in a minute, and everything was ready for him.

In a few minutes the Road Runner was going to be road-kill.

Wile E Coyote rubbed his paws together in gleeful anticipation. The Acme Atomizer Super-ray Gun was in position, pointed carefully at the pile of birdseed that he had left out on the road. Any moment now the Road Runner would speed into view, stop to eat the seed and be killed and barbecued all at the same time.

He had almost had him so many times before, but seemed to be dogged by bad luck. The Acme Trampoline from which he had bounced himself at Road Runner had been too powerful and had sent him sailing over his intended target and then over a cliff. The Acme Jet-pack had shot him straight up, to the very edge of the earth’s atmosphere, and then dropped him, stone-like, over a cliff. His Acme Bow had fired both him and the arrow out and over a cliff. On the Acme Motorised Supermarket Trolley in which he had planned to chase the Road Runner the four wheels had all pointed in different directions (in fairness, he should have seen that coming) and had driven over a cliff. His Acme Giant Fly-swatter was too bendy, and had flipped back to slap him sharply in the face, sending him staggering over a cliff. The Acme Warm-Air Hand-Dryer (which was no help in catching the Road Runner, but had been on special offer) had emitted a gale of air so powerful that it had blown him over a cliff.

Wile E Coyote cliffThere was a theme here, which anyone else would have spotted a long time ago. He was spending too much time near cliffs.

The ground around his lair was pocked with hundreds of coyote-shaped holes. Future generations of scientists were going to think that coyotes had been like lemmings.

But any minute now the Road Runner would be history, and if the gun worked properly then also geography. And then what?

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner

Would Wile E eat him? How much actual meat would there be on that scrawny neck and those stick-like legs? What was he going to do, eat his arse?

Besides, he wasn’t hungry. He was never hungry anymore, every time he ordered something from the Acme Corporation they sent him a giant hamper, since he was the only customer who had never sued them and who continued to buy their products. They were desperate to keep him alive, he represented their entire sales figures for the West Coast. And even if they hadn’t, pigeons flew past, pigs wandered past, whole open-backed trucks with apples rocking on the back like swaying womens’ bums drove past.

He had no need to kill the Road Runner. Yet he had devoted his whole life to chasing a bird, and not in the romantic meaning of that sentence, if indeed there is any romance in the sentence “chasing a bird” in the first place.

He realised that the Road Runner was now his obsession, Moby Dick to his Ahab.

He decided to end it all. No, I don’t mean that, he was going to go back to Tennessee, meet some girl, even if she was coyote ugly, and settle down in the Acme two-storey house that he had seen advertised in their brochure (it quickly became the Acme bungalow, but he didn’t know that. Yet.).

He packed up his collection of weaponry, of which he had more than the entire Swiss Army, though he didn’t have their knife (Acme’s attempt at making one had been so dangerous to its owner that even they had drawn the line at marketing it).

As he walked away he heard the sound of something approaching at great speed, then come to a sudden halt. He heard the tap-tap of beak on birdseed, then the massive explosion as the Ray-gun fired. He held his breath in the ensuing, almost audible silence. Then he heard a “meep, meep” and the sound of something speeding away. He smiled to himself.

He got into his car, turned on the engine and put it into first gear, and hit the accelerator.

And the Acme Ten-Cylinder Go-Faster-Striped Convertible back-fired spectacularly, put itself into reverse, and drove backwards over a cliff.