Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Lobster Pot

You are forgiven if, like us, you first misread the ribbon running through the lobster's head (?) as "Scott / Cyanide." Cyanide poisoning would have offered a convenient explanation for this poor crustacean's demeanor. (WebMD offers confusion and bizarre behavior as symptoms of cyanide poisoning. Other sources mention giddiness. And finally, let us not forget the cyanide victm's "unusually pink or cherry-red" skin!) But enough! This lobster, though giddy and behaving bizarrely—not only boiling himself alive, but doing so in a pot of smiling lozenges?—is suffering from that malady so familiar among "food" animals. This is that same suicidal ideation we have tirelessly catalogued these past 14 weeks. Assuredly, our potted lobster here demonstrates a florid case of it, but we may in good conscience leave aside our suspicions of murder-by-poison.

Our lobster, defined as he is by his final resting place, is emblematic of this particular perversion. But even after so many posts detailing the many manifestations of the disorder, it continues to baffle and depress. It is understandable that the dead animal connoisseur might prefer his pangs assuaged, but can't the soon-to-be-poached-and-consumed creatures simply be left alone, to die in peace? Must they be paraded through the dining room in full, death-defying chipperness, assuring one and all that the pleasure is all theirs?

Speaking of parades, here is a merry little pageant of suicidal animals, all drawn from the same web site that features the Cyanide (sic) Lobster:

Taken in turn, we have

1. A chorus line of skinned shrimp, happy to perform a delightful little number before leaping into your mouth,
2. A bowl of coy clams, each with a smile on its "face,"
3. Two lobster chums, friends to the end, and
4. A final lobster bidding the world a spirited cheerio from his two-handled grave.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Highlands Heritage Pork

Aye, laddie! 'Tis naught but a wee bit o' fun for this fine, frolicsome pig! His bonnie kilt and sporren reflect his gay heart. Still and all, I dinnae ken what this mad rocket thinks he's up to.

What's this heritage the bairn's on about? Is it a custom among his people to slap on a tam, kick up your heels, and toss yourself into the grinder? What kind of heritage is that then? These dunderheids don't see themselves as people. Not even as pigs. Nae, the haddies see themselves as mere stuff—nothin but whatever's left over after you've been killed. Yer whole life is just prelude to that grand moment when yer magically transformed into the substance called pork.

Stick to the caber, pig.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

O.K. Corral Ostrich Jerky

Pity the poor ostrich. Condemned so long to stroll the endless African savanna, to listen to the swaying grasses, to strut beside the mighty acacia. Their awkward forms exquisitely adept at speed and caution, they outran lions. And, from their spot in the web of life, they knew death as well. Quick, often, but sometimes, yes, drawn out. Yet they were ever cursed with freedom, the freedom to run, to sprint, to live, to die. Not even an ostrich deserves such a woeful thing as freedom. Their distant cousins—the chickens and turkeys—had long since been blessed with confinement and subjugation. (Truly, every animal's deepest wish!) But for the ostriches, it was only the trap of nature and those dreaded vast and open skies.

No more! At the O.K. Corral, the ostriches have their pens at last, and how happy they are! No longer condemned to their drab feathers, they now enjoy bowties and eyepatches (?), just like the finest gentlemen.

And, of course, along with the outfit comes the opportunity to be butchered and turned into a "100% Real," "Real Western" snack food. No wonder this ostrich looks so pleased, so smug. He's about to receive the highest honor available to a flightless bird (or any animal, for that matter): death, processing, and encasement in plastic, there to have his Nutrition Facts made plain for all to see and celebrate.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spicy Dan's Premium Jerky


Our Dan is groovy as well as spicy. He's got the patched bell-bottoms, the sandals, the vest. The granny glasses. The headband. The scraggly goatee. The peace sign around his neck. He's got the attitude: catch his groovin'-on-nature vibe, the way he gives the world the thumbs up. He's a hippie and he is at one.

The cow—let's call her, oh, Rainbow—is a beautiful spirit, too. She's got the hooves and the horns and the udder and everything? Life is fine. The pasture is, like, green. I mean it's green, you know? And right there, with her every step, there's Dan. These two, they are, like, together. Togetherness is a beautiful thing, man.

But something's not right. Something is wrong. Rainbow's got the pasture, right? The fields? The green? She's smiling, you know? But the smile, it's not on the inside. Her heart isn't smiling. She wants to check out. As in check out. The pasture's not enough for Rainbow. But while this is going on, like, where's Dan? He's there, but he's, like, not there. It's almost like he wants her to leave it all behind and join the Universe, you know?

A theory: Spicy Dan is The Man. Ask yourself: would a real hippie sell out his sister? No way. He would talk her down. Show her the sunrise after her dark—dark—night! Wouldn't he, like, get her through this shit? A real hippie would do that. But that's not, like, Dan's trip. He's just thinking about all the jerky he's about to score.

Like, total betrayal.


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Mabel's Barbeque

Granted, this tasty slab of ribs is long past her/its days as a living creature, but cast your thoughts back to her/its once-upon-a-time animalhood.

Is this what she/it dreamt of, to become merely a piece—a portion—of herself/itself? Bizarre as it is to contemplate such a world, surely this is the only thing that makes sense. How else to explain the form she/it has taken and the state she/it is in? So composed, at ease, sanguine.

For who else did her/its makeup? No union specializes in the application of cosmetics to pork ribs. She/it put on her/its own face.

And then there are those Mary Janes and the feet crossed in extravagant casualness at the ankle.

The fork held aloft as though she/it is so tender—as she/it knew she/it would be—that she/it wants the first bite. Such refined sensibilities! In life, this must have been one demure pig: who eats ribs with a fork? Behavior like that would get you summarily dismissed from the Royal Order of the Grill Corps(e).

And then of course, there's that shrug, that half-smirk—here is the clincher. This is an expression of satisfaction. Everything has proceeded according to plan. And, really, isn't this the only way to dine? On food that was once a sentient being desiring nothing more than the smoky release of death? Wanted it so fervently that it is only in death that she/it can finally experience true happiness?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Lake Pleasant BBQ Cook-Off

Now now, boys! The cook-off is high-stakes, to be sure, but this? A physical confrontation? (These pigs seethe with enmity. The one pig is even baring his mysterious jigsaw puzzle tattoo. He means business!) Armed as you are with barbecue fork and stiff patty flipper, you could do some real damage! What would your corporate sponsor say? You, yellow shirted-pig! And you, black-shirted pig! There must be another way to settle your dispute without giving each other a vicious forking or spatulation.

And yet... Have we misread the situation? Perhaps the two rivals have come together, snout-to-snout, in the spirit of friendly—yet intense and manly—competition. Of course. That must be it. It's a cook-off, and they're going to cook-off their asses off. Which, in the intense and manly world of competitive barbecuing, can only mean grilling members of your own family (as well as the odd bird) and then hopping on the coals yourself.

"You call that sizzling? Listen to my meat cook!"

"You're drying out, loser! This is how you lock the juices in!"

May the tastiest pig win!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Broken R Ranch

So that's how it is at the Broken R Ranch.

On first glance, something cruel and sinister seems to be happening at the sun-baked BRR. That porcine desperado has lassoed him a prize piece of poultry and he's a-reelin' him in. (Again with this "choking the chicken" trope?) But wait!

It's not what it seems. The chicken, while being strangled harshly enough to pop out feathers, isn't pleading for help. That is not the international "I'm choking!" gesture. No. It's a wave. The chicken is waving to us. And with his left wing, he is welcoming us to the ranch. ("Ta-daaa!") Whether this is perverted or pathological, it's unwholesome. This playful pair, interrupted during a murder-suicide pact—or, is it merely prelude to the most revolting sex ever?—doesn't even have the decency to be embarrassed. The pig's ten gallon hat is pulled down tight enough to shut out the world, and the bug-eyed chicken just wants to get on with it and get it on.

Kill me, cowboy. And don't be gentle.