Friday, May 23, 2008

They don't get the difference between "author" and "narrator," apparently.

The pro-jackboot crowd seem awfully concerned about an entry from an old, now-defunct blog of mine.

So, of course I'm going to reprint it.


I hate the word "special." "Special" is a lie, any truth of it long ago murdered by the masses resentful of differences, originality and deviations. "Special"'s extinction came when it's upper vertebrae snapped under the cruel Birkenstocks of conformity.

But I hungered. I sought something to fill up the black hole inside the pit.

So I forfeited my soul and bought into the corporate marketing conspiracy, long enough to buy a "Special." The shattered pieces of my integrity lay surrounding me, scattered across the fake stone tiles on the Dairy Queen floor.

"Dairy Queen," I noted to myself. The very concept of a Dairy Queen reeked of corporate marketing. As if lactose-containing beverages were regimented into a monarchy.

More likely a reference to a transsexual with functional implants, my inner monologue suggested.

I forked over my paper trade medium to the grotesquely chipper cashier. Abraham Lincoln stared up at her with frightened, empty fish eyes as she put him in the cash drawer. Maybe he thought John Wilkes Booth was hiding in the darkness of the register.

She grabbed a Washington, miserable at the blisters his wooden teeth were wearing on his gums, and some shiny pieces of silver and handed them to me. I didn't count them. Maybe I should have. I wonder if Judas counted his.

She handed me a medium soda cup which was covered in garish blues and reds and golds. Cup has aspirations of being Superman, the monologue continued. As if Superman was something to aspire to. Shallow, fascist bastard. Notice how he never goes out with the ugly chicks.

"If you'll have a seat, I'll bring it out to you when it's done," the cashier continued. How sad for her, I thought. There is no future for her, no Bigger Picture. The most important thing in her life is how closely she can copy the hairstyles she sees in celebrity magazines. She has no bigger dreams than becoming a cheerleader and, if there is a Jesus, homecoming queen.

I've got news for you, honey. Jesus votes against fat chicks becoming homecoming queen. I'm not saying it's right; it's just one of those things that is. Maybe if you quit buying into the corporate bullshit message that says your entire identity is defined by how much you consume, long enough to lose a dozen or two pounds, maybe then Jesus will vote for you.

I grabbed the monstrously loudly-colored cup and went to the drink dispenser. I wanted unsweet tea, but the thought of the hideously pink packets of saccharine depressed me and made my head hurt. I needed caffeine but there was no Diet Mountain Dew and regular Mountain Dew is far too sweet. That was okay, I didn't feel like looking at the fluorescent yellow-green through a whole meal anyway. I wanted something dark. Something black. Or crimson.

I refused to buy into the physically violent ad campaign of Hawaiian Punch. Besides, it was Bozo Red, not crimson. They were out of Dr. Pepper. I refused to salute to the red, white, and blue of the Diet Pepsi nozzle.

That left Pepsi and Wild Cherry Pepsi. I chose the latter and found my way to a table. I should have had coffee.

I stared out the window at the white sky and the terminal late-summer leaves until she brought my food on a bright red, petroleum-based, landfill-clogging tray. The first thing I'll do when I'm declared Emperor of the World is ban cheerful colors, I thought at her. They are depressing.

The double cheeseburger and fries were in a tacky little box, with the burger wrapped in paper. I required condiments.

I arose and drifted over to the condiment table. I chose a small white paper tub and placed it under the phallic stainless-steel catsup nozzle. I depressed the plunger and it ejaculated my allotment of catsup into the tub. Sadly, it was not crimson either. It, too, was Bozo Red.

Catsup should be the color of barbecue sauce or port wine.

I returned to my table and unwrapped the burger. Damn. I forgot to tell them to hold the lettuce. I can live with the lifeless white of the onions and the embalmed pickles and the pale tomatoes, but the combination of green and leafy is just tragic.

I plucked the offending plant product from the burger and lay it on a napkin. It gaped up at me, confounded that I would find it unworthy. I pushed it to the other side of the table, as far away from me as I could.

It was then I saw the cheese. It was obscenely yellow. Not just yellow; happy-face yellow. I can tolerate cheese and it's whole embodiment of decay thing, but why the hell is cheese yellow, I wondered, perhaps aloud. Why can't it be black or brown or even red?

I made it red with half my catsup. I smeared half of the tub on the cheese, then drew a horrified smiley face on it before smashing the bun on top of it. Not so goddamn cheerful now, are we, I gloated, grinning perversely before feeding upon it.

I imagined the little cheeseman screaming in terror and agony. My perverse smile turning to chuckles, I became a vampire and him my prey. He tasted vaguely like unidentified meat.

I noticed the cowering french fries and, between bites of the cheeseman, dunked their heads in the remaining catsup, drowning them before eating their corpses. They screamed before dying. They begged. They pled for mercy. I had no mercy to give them. I was undeterred. Die, you weak little bastards, I told them, again perhaps aloud.

An elderly couple was looking at me with an amusing mixture of concern and confusion. Mind your own damn business or I'll eat you too, I thought at them. Maybe they picked up the thought, or maybe it was the dirty look I gave them, or maybe it was their own embarrassment at being caught staring at me. Whichever it was, they quickly averted their eyes and made fake conversations with each other while picking at their food.

I put the cheeseman out of his misery and finished him off. He had long since stopped shrieking and was by then only whimpering in quiet acceptance of his fate.

My hunger was satisfied, but I hadn't eaten all the fries. There were about a half dozen still alive. This presented a conundrum. I wasn't going to eat them, but they had seen too much; I couldn't leave them as witnesses.

I pulled them apart.

And wrapped their dismembered bodies in the discarded lettuce.

I got up and took the remains over to the trash can. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught the couple watching me again.

So after I dumped my victims in the trash can, of course I genuflected a little.

I took my garish cup back to the drink machine for a refill and headed to the door. Once I got there, I had to check one more time, just to see. I spun around.

They were watching me again.

This time it was DEFINITELY aloud. "What was I SUPPOSED to do? The cheese was YELLOW!"

I turned and pushed open the door. The artificial franchise atmosphere escaping made an audible whoosh.

I walked to my car, opened the driver's side door, and climbed in. I dug into my shirt pocket and fished out my Blackstone Cherry little cigars. I flicked one out of the pack and lit it. Force of habit dictates a quick drag before I start my car.

I stared out my windshield absently. Then I couldn't believe it.

They were STILL staring at me, out of the restaurant window beside their booth.

How sad and empty their lives must be, that they would be so concerned with how someone they don't know eats a cheeseburger and fries, I thought.

I smiled and waved cheerfully at them, then glared and flipped them off, then smiled and waved again.

And then, I started my car, backed out of my parking space, and was on my way.

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