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on November 24, 2013 by paulboylan
Hello, children. I am Brother Grim. Would you like to hear a story?
It is that time of year again. I post this story every November as we North Americans get closer to our Thanksgiving feast – which invariably features a big roasted turkey.
My friends, I give you…
The Somber Turkey
Once upon a time, outside of the Kingdom of Woodland, east of Winters, in the Land of California, there lived a happy turkey farmer named Hannigan. He loved raising turkeys, killing them, and selling them – in part or in whole – to clients all over California – where turkey eating was a big thing, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
On Hannigan’s turkey farm lived a happy turkey named Norman. Norman was the happiest and most contented turkey the world had ever known because he was the biggest turkey anyone had ever seen. Farmer Hannigan often brought other humans to marvel at Norman’s size and physical beauty.
“That’s gonna be some big turkey,” the human visitors would always say.
“Yep,” Farmer Hannigan would always reply.
Farmer Hannigan was happy, which made Norman happy. Norman was proud of the fact that he was so big and fat with lots of white meat, whatever that was.
The other turkeys knew how Norman felt, because he was always bragging about himself.
“I’m gonna be some big turkey!” he would say.
The other turkeys got fed up with Norman’s bragging. One day Leonardo decided to do something about it.
Leonardo was not an especially big or happy turkey. Not being big didn’t make Leonardo unhappy. He could give a rat’s ass about how big he was. He didn’t buy into that neo-fascist farmcentric value system. Leonardo was a fiery-eyed revolutionary with a strong interest in pragmatic Marxism.
“You are one fine, big turkey,” Leonardo said to Norman one day.
“Yes, I am,” Norman preened.
“You know what they’re going to do to you because you’re so big?” Leonardo asked.
“Admire me,” Norman said, meaning it.
“Sure they are. They’re going to admire how good you taste,” Leonardo said.
“I beg your pardon?” Norman asked.
“They’re going to eat you, buddy. In a couple of months they’re going to catch you, kill you, cut off your head, pull out all of your feathers and your internal organs, cook you and eat you, and they’re going to pick you first because you’re so big. Lots of white meat.”
“Oh, my god!” Norman said. “They’re going to eat me!”
Norman realizes the truth.
“You mean you didn’t know?”
“Everyone else knows. Why do you think that so many turkeys die while they’re drinking water?”
“Because they forget to breath?” Norman suggested.
Leonardo laughed. “You believe that? It’s a lie invented by the Man. Have you ever forgotten to breath?”
“Of course not. You got to be really stupid to forget to breath.”
“But we are pretty stupid.”
“No we’re not. That’s just a lie to keep us down, to ruin our self esteem so we will be easy to exploit and so we won’t cause any trouble. I’ll tell you why some turkeys die drinking water. Depression. They’re depressed. Why else do you think those other “stupid” things happen? Why do you think some turkeys kill themselves by opening their throats in the rain and drowning? Why do you think hens sit on their eggs so hard they break the eggs?”
“Oh my god, they’re killing their babies,” Norman said, in horror.
“Right. They know what’s in store and they can’t take it. Would you want someone to eat your babies?”
“No,” Norman said. “What can I do?” he asked, whispering in abject terror.
“Maybe I can get you out of here,” Leonardo said. “On the outside there is an underground network of birds and humans who can take you to a place where you will be free.”
“Okay I’ll see what I can do.”
Time went by. Leonardo often spoke with Norman, teaching the bigger bird the truth about the world, teaching him hatred for the seemingly unbreakable power structure that doomed him and his race to be imprisoned, enslaved, slaughtered and devoured by killer apes.
“But remember,” Leonardo cautioned one night. “Not all humans are ravenous cannibals. Some are good, and eat only plants and bugs. These are the ones that help some of us get away.”
“How?” Norman asked in the star lit darkness.
“Every now and then there is a condition called Dark of the Moon, when there is no moon out and the darkness is as total as it can be. During this time, a human jumps the fence and opens a big box. As many of us run in as we can. We call it the Box of Freedom.”
“Just one box?”
“Yes, one box, but it is a big box, and it is better that some of us escape to keep the flames of hope burning.”
“I hope we both make it, brother,” Norman said.
“Me too, brother. Me too.”
Then came the Dark of the Moon. The turkeys were all quiet, making sure that there was no reason for Farmer Hannigan to investigate.
Suddenly the man with the box appeared. He placed a big box on the ground and opened the side.
“This is it, brother!” Leonardo said, running. Norman followed.
Leonardo made it into the box. Norman didn’t get in before the man closed the box.
“Don’t worry, brother!” Leonardo cried from inside the box. “I’ll be waiting for you in paradise!”
But it didn’t happen. The friendly human with the big box didn’t come back. And Thanksgiving approached. Leonardo was right – they came for Norman first.
Farmer Hannigan and his employees placed Norman in a big wooden crate built out of slats so that Norman could see and breathe. Then Norman was carried to a truck, to an airport, into the belly of a jet, into another truck, and onto a large lawn next to a big white house. Eventually, humans came to set up a lectern, chairs and cameras. More humans came. Some talked at the lectern in front of the crowd.
And then Norman’s cage was opened and gentle hands removed him from the crate.
“My god,” one human said. “This had got to be the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen.”
“That’s why the President is getting it,” another human said, not trying to make a joke.
Norman was brought to the front of the crowd. One human in a black suit made a short speech to another man, also standing in front of the crowd. Humans in the audience took pictures with still and video cameras.
And then Norman did it. He thrust out his neck and tried to bite the man who wasn’t giving the speech. Norman knew that he just couldn’t go gently into that good night.
The man giving the speech reached out, grabbed Norman’s long neck and choked Norman. Other humans helped stuff Norman back into the crate.
“That is one feisty bird,” the President quipped, and the reporters laughed.
In those days it was customary for the President to display generosity, and pardon the White House Thanksgiving turkey. So Norman was taken to a farm in Virginia, where he lived for the rest of his natural days.
Leonardo was not so lucky. He ended up as dinner for the man with the big box, who was nothing more than a thief who just couldn’t get over how stupid those turkeys were and how they would be so quite and just waddle into the box, as if they wanted to be eaten.
Which was, from the thief’s point of view, always possible. After all, turkeys are so stupid.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Posted in And now the snorting starts, Grim Fairy Tales, Rage Against the Machine, rimshot wav download, Small Town America, سكارليت جوهانسون with tags The Sales Pitch, travel on September 16, 2012 by paulboylan
“Hello, children. I’m Brother Grim. Would you like to hear a story?”
THE SAD GARAGE SALE
Once upon a time in a tiny town named Elko, Nevada, a man named Ted was checking out of the Holiday Inn Express.
Ted was driving from Salt Lake City, Utah to Los Angeles, California because he had a passion for alcohol, tobacco and caffeine, all of which were difficult to procure in Salt Lake City without risking social isolation and spiritual damnation, or at least the popular perception of it.
The drive from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles is a long one, and Ted spent the night in Elko, more or less located half way between the two.
“Where are you off to?” asked the checkout clerk at the front desk as Ted turned in his key.
“Los Angeles,” Ted said.
“Take me,” the checkout clerk said.
Ted smiled and chuckled as he hoped was expected.
“No, seriously,” the checkout clerk said. “Take me. I hate this place and I will do anything to get out. I will pay for gas and sexually satisfy you. What do you say?” clerk asked while making a rude and suggestive gesture with a partially closed fist.
“I – don’t think so,” Ted mumbled.
The check out clerk laughed. “Okay, I understand and I don’t blame you,” he said. “If I was younger, well, maybe I would have had a shot, but I haven’t had any action since my 80th birthday. And you know, Elko isn’t such a bad place. At least it isn’t Battle Mountain.”
“Battle Mountain?” Ted asked.
“Yeah. The next town on the I-80 on the way to Reno. Back in 1983 Battle Mountain was voted the Armpit of the Universe.”
“Okay….” Ted said, walking towards the exit to the parking lot.
“You can’t miss it,” the clerk called after Ted. “They put a big ‘BM’ on the hillside in fifty foot letters in an attempt to publicize the town and create a new image. They even voted for a new town slogan: ‘Home of the biggest BM in the universe.’”
Sure enough, Ted saw the letters “BM” on a hillside as he approached Battle Mountain, and he was overcome by the desire to leave the I-80 and take the business route through Battle Mountain. Ted hoped to see the town slogan (“Home of the biggest BM in the universe”) on a building and further hoped to take a picture that he could then post on his blog.
Ted did not find the town slogan, and he was beginning to wonder if the clerk was pulling his leg, when he saw a sign advertising “GARAGE SALE!”
And, as he was about to leave the Battle Mountain town limits, he saw another sign indicating the garage sale was happening in the driveway of the house he was passing.
Ted stopped and walked up to a little boy sitting on a chair behind an empty table – empty except for one old tennis shoe.
“Where is the garage sale?” Ted asked the little boy.
“You’re looking at it,” the boy said.
“And you’re selling this shoe?”
“Was there other stuff for sale earlier?”
“Nope. Just this shoe.”
“Why just one shoe?”
“It’s all I got to sell.”
“What happened to the other shoe?”
“Dog took it.”
“Look, are you going to buy anything or not?”
“You mean the shoe?”
“Yes, the shoe. Do you see anything else on the table?”
“Why would I want to buy just one shoe?”
“How the fuck should I know? I don’t know your life. Do I look like some kind of psychic? Do I look like I even care why you want to buy this shoe?”
“I didn’t say I wanted to buy that shoe –“
“Yes you did. I heard you say it.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Yes you did.”
“No. I did not.”
“Yes. You did.”
“Okay, look, how much for the shoe?”
“One thousand dollars.”
“Yeah, well, that’s the price. You buying or not?”
“I am not.”
“Then this garage sale is over,” the boy said, taking the shoe off of the table and holding it close. “You just fucked yourself out of owning this shoe. It’s a magic shoe.”
“Yeah, magic. If you buy it, it will grant you three wishes.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Why not? This is a magic shoe.”
“If it is magic, why haven’t you used it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if it is magic, you would have used it to get out of this town. Its the most depressing place I’ve ever seen. Even a kid like you has to know there is something better somewhere. If that shoe was magic, you would have used it to get out of here.”
“Maybe I used it to wish for something else.”
“None of your business. I’m telling you this is a magic shoe. Are you going to buy it?”
“Does it still cost $1,000?”
“The price has gone up to two thousand dollars. Cash.”
“Okay, then get the hell out of my face.”
“No problem,” Ted said, turning to walk back to his car.
“Mister?” the boy asked.
“If you change your mind, I’ll be here next week.”
“Selling that shoe?”
“Will you be selling anything else?”
“Do you do this every week?”
“Have you ever sold anything?”
“If I did, would I still be here, in the biggest BM in the universe??” the little boy shouted.
Ted didn’t answer. He just got back in his car, drove out of town and back onto the I-80. He stopped for lunch in Reno, Nevada, where he lost all his money playing roulette, betting on 22 black. Ted never made it to LA.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Gambling is bad.
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on February 18, 2012 by paulboylan
I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t help myself.
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