Okay, here’s the situation.
I heard that old song (and considering it came out my junior year in high school, it really hurts me to call it an “old” song) “Parents Just Don’t Understand” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (I will remind you all that this was the pseudonym of Will Smith, although I expect he’d rather I didn’t) on the radio this past weekend, and the first line of its second verse begins with that phrase, “Okay, here’s the situation.” Alternately, we can go with THE GOLDEN GIRLS alumnus Sophia’s oft-repeated introduction to a story, “Picture it.” Take your pic, then, peeps.
Okay, here’s the situation. Picture it. You and a group of friends are out for a nice stroll through a remote, but not too remote, patch of woods. You’re not in some jungle at the equator. This spot is more like a park. In fact it IS a park, Woodchester Park in Gloucestershire, England. You’re walking along and you get turned around, and then suddenly you realize that you are being stalked by a big cat. A BIG cat. A big BLACK cat. A black panther, one of England’s infamous ABCs, or “Alien Big Cats.” They call them “aliens” because they aren’t supposed to be there. Yet England as a whole is rife with sightings and encounters with these big cats.
What would be scarier? Being stalked by a normal, potentially hungry, panther? Or being stalked by an entity that might not be a panther at all, one that only LOOKED like a panther? Regarding those reported encounters I mentioned, not a few of them involve sightings of large black cats that disappear as if into thin air, or, more rarely, change shape right before the witnesses’ eyes. Given the choice, and if you had to pick one or the other, would you choose the hungry but commonly mammalian panther, or the phantom ABC?