Twenty four rangers dragged the stubborn giraffe corpse up the ramp and into the undersized flat bed truck, tying its feet together to keep it from dragging on the way back to the station. The men pulled and shifted as a dust cloud lifted and shrouded the workers pushing from the ground. Everything was routine. The sound of the truck’s suspension creaking as the thick neck was loaded on. The taste of kicked up sand in their teeth. The flies. The scurry of the superior officers’ Irish Setters upon catching the recent scent of the area’s lions. Routine. This giraffe, though, was particularly difficult to retrieve, having fallen in a nest of brittle Euphorbia trees, which explains why the lions left it nearly intact. The savanna is not for the faint of heart, some of the men loved to say at home and in bars. But really, to stand in the muck and fish the thrashed neck of a giraffe out of a Euphorbia cluster, you just have to be stone-cold dead to it all.
The chalk is the beginning of the track. The biker on the inside of the track starts on the red, outside of that, lime, then orange, brown. The most outside track is cerulean, a sort of sissy blue, and it’s the loser track. None of the other kids ever figure it out, but the cerulean line is pushed back an extra two feet. Michael and I didn’t mean to make it that way, but sometimes when Gilder four-eyes wants to play with us and takes the outside track, it’s a lot funnier to convince ourselves we did it on purpose.