08-28-2011, 10:20 PM
Back at the intersection, the cow crisis continued. Four frightened cows huddled together in the street, mooing piteously, surrounded by angry, impatient drivers leaning on their horns in an effort to get them to move. Worse, piles of stinking manure lay on the pavement around them, forcing pedestrians to seek refuge behind closed doors to escape the stench.
By now, motorcycle police officers had arrived onto the scene: they rerouted traffic while struggling to keep the cows under control and away from oncoming cars. From the looks of things, they were obviously better trained in the former than the latter--the cows refused to comply with the officers' wishes to move out of the street. Besides, if they did move, where would the police take them? The city lockup wasn't big enough to hold even one cow, let alone four. There was nothing anyone could do but wait until Animal Control showed up.
Criss roared up to the nearest motorcycle cop he found. "Hey!" he shouted over the din without even bothering to introduce himself. "I got an idea on how to get those cows out of the way!"
"What??" the officer shouted.
"I said I got an idea on how to get those cows out of the street!" Criss shouted even louder.
"You with Animal Control?" yelled the officer.
"No, but I wanna help!" Criss yelled back. "You wanna move those cows or not?"
Willing and open to suggestions, the officer responded, "Okay! I'm listening!"
Criss told him his plan on herding the cows to Holy Trinity, pointing down the street where the church was located. "It's got a tall iron fence and plenty of grass," he explained. "They'll stay there as long as you want."
The officer looked at the cows blocking the intersection. Realizing it was by far the best plan he had heard in handling this situation, he agreed. "You stay here!" he ordered Criss. "We need you to lead the way!"
"Got it!" Criss complied.
The officer got on his radio. "Attention all units!" he barked. "We're going to herd the cows to Holy Trinity Church down B--Street! Repeat, herd the cows to Holy Trinity Church down B--Street!"
The cops got the message quickly. Thus began the strangest roundup in the history of the American Southwest: they circled the cows with their motorcycles, leaving a gap facing B--Street, then slowly approached them, forcing them to trot through the gap, down the street in the direction toward the church. The cows trotted onward, flanked on both sides and the rear by their police escort, with Criss Angel leading the way. People cheered and waved as the peculiar little parade passed them by; news crews broadcast it live on television. Some recognized Criss as he rode by: they whistled and shouted his name, extending their hands for a quick high-five as he passed. Ever eager to please the fans, he complied, weaving from one side of the street to the other, reveling in the attention but still mindful of his mission.
Several blocks later, Holy Trinity came into view. Criss signaled a right turn with his arm and turned into the parking lot. The motorcycle officers on the left flank narrowed the cows' avenue of escape by cutting them off, forcing them to turn right. The bovines offered little resistance; they could smell the fresh grass from the street and couldn't wait to start grazing. The foursome trotted right onto the lawn, the largest of them plodding behind. Soon the were munching on the church lawn contentedly, creating an oddly pastoral scene in urban North Las Vegas.
Criss dismounted from his Harley and whooped in triumph. His plan had worked! The cows were safe! He had saved the city! He was a hero! With visions of receiving a commendation from the mayor dancing in his head, he trotted to the front lawn to survey his success. Yessir! Criss Angel had saved the day!
His bravado vanished like smoke from one of his live shows when he came face-to-face with a peeved Father Stefan Mykolos. Suddenly his failure to clear his plan with the good pastor came home to him. Beet-red with embarrassment, Criss stammered out a greeting and fumbled through an explanation about the uninvited guests noshing on the church lawn. Father Stefan merely stood there, arms crossed, an irritated look on his usually serene face. Oh, God, I'm screwed! Criss moaned to himself.
The irritation gave way to a relaxed smile. "All right, Christopher," Father said. "The cows can stay until Animal Control picks them up."
Criss was relieved. "Oh, thank you, Father," he said. "I really appreciate it."
"But on two conditions," Father continued sternly. "One: the next time you want to involve me in one of your schemes, you call me first."
"Got it," Criss agreed.
"And second," he went on, pointing to the front lawn, "you pay for the damages to the property."
Criss looked out at the lawn, pitted by hooves and ripped by the cows' voracious appetites. "Got it," he repeated.
The priest was satisfied. Criss was about to return to his Harley and subsequently the Luxor when a cry for help pulled him back. "One of the cows is sick!" someone shouted. "Get a vet!