The Other White Meat
I throw myself against
The Anvil of the Earth.
Born in Blood
Bathed in Sweat.
Cleansed through Pain.
Will I shatter, before
Does it really even matter? Already the harsh, desert wind says I have never been here. Throughout the ages, man has pondered, man’s inhumanity to man. But what do I care? Here I lay naked upon the scorched earth, with grains of sand in the crack in my ass. It’s like a really bad day at the beach, but without the beer. Just me, naked with a boot that’s not even my size, the hot, noonday sun sizzling the parched remains of my wearied body.
Have you ever noticed how history so often ends with naked men in the desert? Alexander the Great died stark, raving mad, at the age of 30 in the desert, and General George A. Custer was found after Little, Big Horn, naked, except for one sock, one boot, and an arrow through his penis-it’s true, ask your –Maybe, it’s only men who seek to change the flow of destiny that end up naked in the desert? But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning….
This story starts, as so many do, with the protagonist, that’s me, in dire straits. Ok, so it wasn’t a national emergency, the fate of the kingdom didn’t hang on my blade, and the fabric of time and space was still intact-knit one, perl one- But a man’s troubles are his own, however, petty they may be. And my trouble was, that I was broke again, or was it still? Now, I’m not a materialistic person. At least, I don’t think so. On my wages, I really have no choice. Alas, all my life I have spent my life bound by the hands of cruel fate-if I’m going to be bound. I prefer silk. Leather chafes too much– It was time to more than just get by…
My lack of material success has not been through lack of trying. I’ve always been a natural entrepreneur. I remember my very first enterprise- such a classic. A variation of the sidewalk, lemonade stand, the sweet catch was…the stock wasn’t mine. It was the weekend of our annual, family reunion-you remember those? It’s when you see relatives that you won’t even see at Christmas. You eat and drink to excess, and then you promise you will get together before the next wedding. Knowing, that you won’t-I started off selling iced tea and lemonade for 25 cents a cup. Hey, it was all profit, no overhead. Sales were strong, but if you aren’t expanding, you are a footnote in history. I decided to add beer to my inventory-It’s not a family reunion without beer- and business boomed. Until, the little, old lady across the street called the cops. Hey, how was I to know what a liquor license was? But I did add to my vocabulary with juvenile delinquent and culpable deniability.
Licenses? Have you ever stopped to think why a dog needs a license? I mean when is the last time you saw a dog drive?-No fair counting your experimental college days- Americans will do almost anything for the family hound. We tend to be sentimental about our canines, and why not? Dogs really are man’s best friend. I am reminded of a Native American myth, or maybe it’s just the peyote talking…
In the beginning…, the great spirit created man and the beasts, but man was different. He walked on two feet, used tools and fire, created language and learned to brew beer. “I MUST SEPARATE MANKIND FROM THE ANIMALS” boomed the creator, “HE’S DIFFERENT FROM THE BEASTS, AND IF I DON’T DO SOMETHING. HE’S GONNA SCREW EVERYTHING UP.” And so he caused a great rift to open between man and the animals of the world. The beasts watched in wild-eyed wonder, and relief. But the dog leaped the chasm, before his master and the free lunch disappeared. Hey, it sure beats cold nights and an empty stomach.
Yep, the family dog. Every patriotic American has one-You aren’t a terrorist are you?-But what makes Rex different than Rover? What if you could change your canine’s coat to match the living room drapes, or softly glow in the dark? I developed a symbiotic algae that would make my pooch a great night light. It was bound to be the next super fad-Move over disco, pet rocks, and chia pets- Sadly, my poor pooch’s hair fell out, and it was back to the drawing board, sigh.
Yes, my life has been filled with such endeavors-so close, yet so far away, always on the edge of greatness and glory, and one step away from bankruptcy. Oh, I yearned to add to the gross national product and brass consumerism that greases the machine of our economy and add to my cash supply. Cash, pieces of paper, that for some reason everyone has decided is fine for trading for goods and services-see the great spirit was right, try slipping a ten spot to the dog and see what he does-It was the rule of supply and demand. My demand was high, but my supply was low. Money, that magic panacea, that if I only had an abundance of, would solve all my problems. But I’d have as much chance of winning the lottery….
The lottery! Who could believe that it’d be that easy? At last, a life of luxury and ease. But gold loses its luster and leisure gets boring-Well, after the nude, roller derby girls have all gone home and having caviar, those little fish eggs, every day for breakfast-You might think the American dream is to lay on the couch, guzzle beer, and watch sports all day. But I don’t think this is what drives the spirit of a man, and I do mean the male of the species. A woman might be content to bear and raise a child. But a man wishes to carve his name upon the rock of ages, to write his name in the snow, to leave more than just his progeny, but to be immortal….
History, I would add my name to the annuals and it would be the greatest of all. I would be an answer to a Trivial Pursuit question, a question on Jeopardy. I would do more than Pasteur, more than Franklin, more than Hitler. I would abolish the hunger than gnaws at the belly of humanity. I would banish hunger! With my new found wealth, I founded research and delved into possibilities. Humanity had spread across the globe, and mother Earth could no longer sustain him. No one creature or plant in existence could satiate the growing hunger. It was now in the hand of technology and the budding science of genetics. I worked on developing the “other white meat.” Splicing the genes of the red kangaroo, the domestic dog, and the wolverine. I would call my creation the Roo ä-patent pending, my apologies to A.A. Milne-What a boon to humanity, not only would our protein requirements be fulfilled, but we would have a new best friend, and a great asset to homeland security…
Oh, the hubris of man, the arrogance that is me! All I wanted was my name to echo throughout the ages, to have school children be forced to write my name on pop quizzes, to have my likeness carved on a mountain side. But here I lie naked in the blistering desert sun, with one boot-and it’s not even my size- My name a curse upon the parched lips of those who still survive….
The stage fades to black upon our former hero. From the shadows, a lone silhouette flows across the cruel badlands. Suddenly, a spear strikes out and pierces our defunct and now dead hero. Enter the end result of man’s meddling with the double helix, the now sentient Roo Ô .
The sun is a fierce red disc of heat, an angry god of light and fire that casts his wrath upon the lands of the People. I search for safe passage for the tribe, for I am a warrior of my people, and I have sworn the oath of protection. Life is hard, brutal and short in these harsh lands, and the hairless apes still wage their war of hatred and fear against us, but the Roo ä will prevail. I just put a lone, rabid male out of his misery. Stark-raving mad he was. Waving a boot, and yelling gibberish, but the boot is just my size, and tonight there will be a feast and (chuckling) fresh meat!