Jack Gangwish says that as he was posing with a racccoon for a selfie, the animal bit him. He says he accidentally killed it with a crescent wrench.
It's dark. You're driving your truck down the street. You see a raccoon.
A) Mutter to yourself: "Oh, look, there's a raccoon. Miserable, gnarly little creatures," and drive on?
B) Pull out your gun, roll down the window and screech: "Dinner!"
or C) Stop your truck, get out, pick up the raccoon with one hand, extend your cell phone with the other and try to take a selfie?
Those with experience of these pages will guess wisely that Jack Gangwish, football player at the University of Nebraska, chose C.
My erratic reading of the Lincoln Journal-Star tells me, though, that Gangwish might have something of a death wish.
For, as he told the paper, the raccoon was not altogether keen to have his or her picture taken. Perhaps the hair didn't look quite right. Perhaps the makeup was all over the place.
Perhaps that's why the animal bit Gangwish in the calf.
The football player reacted as many a defensive end might. He said he picked up a crescent wrench with the aim of, um, subduing the creature. It was a defensive gesture, you understand. Oddly, it ended the raccoon's life.
The Huffington Post reports that Gangwish even posted images of his raccoon bite and his selfie to his Twitter feed. This morning, I was unable to find them. I did, however, encounter this tweet: "I'm sure y'all be excited to hear that the results came back and i do not have Rabies!"
I also encountered, thanks to Deadspin, record of Gangwish's deleted tweets. Sample: "I googled Rabies symptoms. Irritability, muscle spasms, aggressiveness, confusion? I think football gives you Rabies."
Glorious is the football player who is graced with self-awareness. Glorious is the football player who would risk rabies for a selfie.
Gangwish is, of course, not the only brave fellow who thinks it fun to take a selfie with a potentially dangerous animal. Some adore the idea of selfies with bears. Then there are the tiger-selfie lovers. As for raccoons, Digg founder Kevin Rose seems to have had a brighter idea than a selfie when he encountered a raccoon he said was attacking his poodle. Rose posted to YouTube footage from his home surveillance camera, which showed him tossing the raccoon down a flight of stairs.
I have contacted Gangwish to ask whether the university or his coaches have chatted to him about his selfie escapade. I have also contacted the university to ask whether it will be offering animal selfie guidance to its players in the future. I will update, should I get a bite.