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by Phil Temples


The sound of the blast from the Acme Super Deluxe Bomb was deafening. The bomb went off in Wile E. Coyote’s hands seconds after he had picked it up. 

He had placed it next to a crudely marked sign that read “BERD FEED” but the bomb failed to detonate when Roadrunner stopped to eat. As Roadrunner sped away, Coyote came out from behind the large rock where he had been hiding to see what caused the malfunction. At that moment, the Acme device chose to explode. When the smoke finally cleared, Coyote had been reduced to a charred, smoking fur ball. Per the script, Coyote blinked then he held a blank expression of resignation and defeat for about five seconds.

“CUT! That’s a wrap. Good job, everyone,” cried the director through his bullhorn. “We’ll pick up tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock sharp.”

Coyote muttered a few obscenities under his breath as he brushed the soot from his body. Although he considered himself a professional, the stunts were taking their toll on Coyote—both physically and emotionally. Day in and day out, the typecast villain found himself outfoxed by the feathered hero. Kids and adults of all ages loved the show. Wile E. Coyote was beginning to loathe it despite his multi-million dollar contract.

“This is getting really old,” he thought. Especially since everyone knew that Roadrunner was an idiot who possessed a brain the size of a peanut. 

I’m the real star on this show.

Coyote asked himself why he put up with it. He didn’t see Goofy or Mickey or Bugs stooping to such indignities. Sure, they took the occasional hard fall during a stunt. But it wasn’t at all like the constant harassment and humiliation that he had to endure. 

I need a new contract.

Actually--Coyote corrected himself--I need a new agent.

The following day brought no more relief in sight for Wile E. Coyote. An Acme safe was dropped on his head––he took a fall off a steep cliff––and Coyote had a headlong encounter in the tunnel with a speeding freight train—all before lunch. Coyote was in an ugly mood. 

‘Beep, beep,’ my ass!

Coyote stewed about his dilemma all the way to the dressing room trailer. He would figure out a way to send this bug-eating, two-bit geek from the traveling circus packing if it was the last thing he would do. Finally, he figured it out. It wasn’t that Coyote needed a new contract or a new agent. No, what he needed were real weapons that would work—not the phony-baloney Acme props. 

“Hello, Raytheon? Yes, I’d like to order one of those Massive Ordnance Air Burst thingies. Can you deliver it by next week? That’s great. Yes ... Uh-huh ... Send it to Studio 1-C, Hollywood, California, attention ‘Mister Coyote’… Oh, and would you throw in a few anti-personnel mines and some cluster bombs, too?”

Vengeance is mine, thought Wile E., as he set about baking a mealworm pie as a gift for his soon-to-be former co-star.