WARNING! MOUNTAIN LIONS HAVE RECENTLY BEEN SIGHTED IN THIS AREA
PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE FOLLOWING PRECAUTIONARY GUIDELINES TO ENSURE A SAFER HIKE
Keep close watch on small children in your group. They are mountain-lion magnets. Once on the trail, get away from them as fast as possible.
Pets that are off-leash may increase your danger. A dog that runs ahead of you on the trail may encounter a mountain lion and run to you for protection, leading the threat directly back to you. A remote-controlled shock collar will keep the pet at a safe distance.
IF YOU ENCOUNTER A MOUNTAIN LION:
Do not run. This may trigger the lion’s instinct to chase a moving target, because you look like prey. If you are carrying a Frisbee, now is the time to throw it.
Try to make yourself appear big and intimidating. Wave your arms above your head, hold up your backpack, or spread open your coat. Also, exaggerate your annual income and name-drop as needed.
Talk to the lion softly. If the mountain lion tries to engage you in political discussion, gently steer the conversation toward less emotional topics. Use verbal jujitsu. Try to preface your remarks with nonconfrontational phrases, such as “Don’t you think” or “Maybe I’m wrong, but …”
Be straightforward and nonthreatening. Contrary to popular belief, the use of reverse psychology (“I sure hope you maul me!”) is not effective against mountain lions and will likely antagonize them.
Ask yourself who in the hiking group most deserves to die. If you are with children, surely there is one whom you are less attached to. (Maybe the Harry Potter freak who looks alarmingly like the UPS guy.) Among adults, there must be one who would not be sorely missed. (Does someone have a common name like John, Bob, or Mary? Is someone in the group especially unattractive?) This person should be pushed to the front and offered as fodder.
IF YOU ARE ATTACKED BY A MOUNTAIN LION:
Tuck your head into your chest and cover your face with both arms. This greatly improves your chances for an open casket.
Carry a personal item that can be left as a marker. After killing you, the mountain lion will likely drag your corpse to a secluded spot before feasting on your flesh. Then smaller animals will continue the process. Dropping a wallet or a set of keys where you are first attacked will speed the recovery efforts.
Because medical attention will likely be miles away, be equipped to address the situation yourself. An iPod, a Game Boy, or pornography will relieve the tedium of your final hours.
ABOVE ALL, REMEMBER THAT MOUNTAIN LIONS ARE TERRITORIAL
If you are reading this, you are already in their territory. You can’t run fast enough. There’s no hope. You’re history.
Also, please remember to pack out any trash you generate on your hike.