Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Are the Butchers on My Side?

I'm the big man. I exercise a lot of control and throw around a lot of weight. With me, exercise and weight go together. As big man, I oversee this area, saying what goes and even what's true and false. It's from an abundance of grace that I stoop to say this much.

I was recently shaken ... upbraided by someone. My lieutenants told me about him, calling him a pipsqueak, someone who needed to be crushed. Of course, I said, "Crush him!" But the signs weren't good. As soon as I took him on, I felt resistance. The people had gone over...

My grace, it turned out, had to end. Instead, I needed to work the levers of supply and demand, and lack and demand. The big man, to keep his place, has that one last key. Too much grace, the people rise up. Too little, they're listless, drifting.

The latest problem was the greatest problem. I was that close to losing it all. I had given too much. The people were on the pipsqueak's side! "What he says, goes!" was their retort. I found myself in the command room, surrounded by the latest command gear, machetes and night goggles. And yet, seemingly, there was nothing I could do to turn the tide. Every threat was ignored.

Other signs were also bad. The sky was cloudy, it hadn't rained in two weeks, all my darling locusts were dropping dead left and right. Otherwise, I could've sent them on the fields and starved the people into submission. Which, actually, I guess I eventually did, except I did it in such a way as to keep the crops. Thanks to my all-knowing football...

"They're against you, Big Man," my chief lieutenant said. I trust him implicitly. He knows which side of the bread has Blue Bonnet on it. He listed the revolutionaries: The pipsqueak himself, the little old ladies, the little old men, the middleaged, the young, and the children. What about the divisions of labor? The farmers, the delivery men, the manufacturers, the newspapers, the copy desk, filmmakers, artists, educators, nursing home executioners, tadpole importers/frog exporters, morticians specializing in insect burial -- the list went on and on, including my chief listmakers.

So basically it was just me and a few lieutenants, suddenly a lonely reign. "What do you suggest, Lieu?"

"I've read mythology, Big Man, and you could offer yourself a sacrifice. Go sit in a lonely place, and when you feel the people and the pressure closing in, you will the energy that makes up your physical form into your spine. Then as it comes together, much like an atomic blast furnace, you channel it out the head, consuming this whole area, and leaving your form behind, like a charred locust husk."

As good as that sounded, I waved him off. "No, there has to be a better way. Bring me ... my things ..." My things include a football without the lacing. I love the challenge of turning it inside out, then back. It gives me time for intense thinking. So there I sat, hour after hour, internalizing like you wouldn't believe, turning that football over and over in my hands, inside and out, thereby thinking of every option.

Finally, I hit on the key: The Butchers. "Are the butchers on my side?" Short answer, they could be! Butchers are gregarious characters and solidly secure in every way. Only two occupations are like that, TV meteorologists and butchers. And I lost the meteorologists with all the cloudy weather. But not the butchers, surely not them. My meat was still showing up at every meal and was cooked to perfection. They were, however, hunkered down in fear of the people.

Long story short, we brought in the butchers, who liked my plan. We would deny the people meat until they fell back in line! I would get it all! Steaks, chops, fish, chicken, hamburgers. Everything but red slime, which is what they would get. That would hit them where it really hurt, in the gut. Even the vegetarians were upset, since it took away their status as contrarians. Submission was quick and complete.

As for the pipsqueak, he was brought in for chastisement. I punished him the best way I could, not with death or banishment, which would only martyr him, but by kicking him upstairs, making him my chief science officer. Now he is kept busy in the tower, figuring out how nature works and keeping it all to himself. I supply him $500 worth of chemistry sets a year and he's content in his curious vocation.

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