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Peter Escapes Certain Death in Flushing Meadows Corona Park!
A Tale of Gripping Survival!
Peter Tatara - August 15, 2006

Dear girlfriend,

I'm writing to you to discuss the incident which occurred between us earlier today. Do you remember? If you don't, allow me to refresh your memory. Today, I -- along with 50,000 of my Asian brothers -- attended the 16th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Queens's Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Throughout the event, you repeatedly called me. Each time, because I couldn't hear you, I told you I couldn't talk. (Had you come to New York City to attend the Dragon Boat Festival with me as I suggested, you would have been spared this afternoon of being unable to talk to me and this unfortunate letter. But, no, you stayed at home.) Immediately following the thrilling conclusion of the Dragon Boat Festival -- which no mere words can even begin to describe -- I called you and we proceeded to, at long last, talk.

Our conversation began on the subject of our upcoming two year anniversary. (It's August 24. See, I remember.) I talked about how I feel the first season of The Venture Bros. on DVD would be a nice gift, as would Gangs of New York, as while I don't yet own the film, I feel it should be in every New Yorker's home.

You, then, started talking about Match Point and Woody Allen. I, showing much restraint, did not tangentially bring up underage Asian girls. Instead, I told you, from your synopsis, Match Point sounded a lot like Monk. At this point, perhaps brought on by this discussion of the USA Network's dramedy about a Private Investigator with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, you told me you had to take a shower.

The Dragon Boat Festival I attended was in the Southern tip of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The subway home was on the Northern edge. To travel between the two, I could have taken a quick ride in a complimentary shuttle bus, but because I wanted to talk to you, I, instead, decided to walk across the full expanse of Flushing Meadows Corona Park -- New York City's second largest park, measuring 1,255 acres, dwarfed by only Manhattan's Central Park.

But soon into our conversation, despite my pleas, you hung up. (If your precious Project Runway was on, maybe I'd understand because, well, that's TV, but your reason for leaving me was to get soapy and naked. With neither a camera nor me. Does your selfishness know no bounds?) Do you understand the gravity of this decision? Without your voice as my guide, I could have slipped into a state of dementia. The last time I visited Flushing Meadows Corona Park was well over a year ago, and while North and South remained true, the paths connecting the two were, no doubt, moved. I'm man enough to admit, as I was talking to you, I was lost.

And, after you left me, I was alone. I could feel sinister paranoia set in, but I persevered, keeping a cool head by repeating hymns I picked up during my formative years in the Saint Stanislaus School for Roman Catholic Boys. Still, I was not clear of danger. While I retained my humanity, the wilderness around me was hungry for the juices of my innards. I was lost in the middle of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I could have been eaten by a cougar, or a wolf, or a grizzly bear.

You are most likely now dismissing this claim, clucking that there aren't cougars, wolves, and grizzly bears in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. But there are! The Queens Zoo, located on the park's grounds, houses all three of the above blood thirsty species along with dozens more. Just think of the horror of watching the 10 o'clock news and finding out that your boyfriend had been mauled to death by an escaped Tremarctos ornatus!

My life was in jeopardy every step I took, and I merely wanted your companionship in this perilous time so that if I was indeed made the dinner of a hungry cougar, I could whisper sweet words of affection to you one last time. I could have died! I could have been eaten by a kitty!

In the end, I followed the perpetual crowds of fathers, mothers, and infants in strollers along the park's clearly-defined main road to the subway. I hope you realize, though, that instead of finding safety in numbers, surrounded by infants and toddlers, I was clearly in the middle of prime cougar bait. I could have died! But I didn't, and because I survived, I believe I deserve both The Venture Bros. and Gangs of New York on DVD.

Your hunny bunny,
Xiao Chi

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