Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Two Cannibal Giants

“I must stress: these are not allegories,” the tour guide said, leading her group between the two giant corpses. They were big beyond recognition, one flabby arm from each mashed together, forming a natural, if putrid, valley of flesh.

“Liberalism and Conservatism were once majestic creatures. Natural enemies, they fought each other on a daily basis. While happy to eat little anarchies and heresies, these super-predators mostly ate each other.

“They would tear off hunks of flesh from each other to sustain themselves. There have never been two beasts quite like them, able to survive by eating while not killing their prey, and simultaneously survive being eaten. This was apex parasitism. For centuries we thought them immortal.”

“But they’re dead,” said a teen in the group, one of those at the age where missing the point in favor of pith seems the like utter genius.

The teen’s mother pushed him to stand next to one giant’s elbow. Which giant, she didn’t care. She just wanted a picture of her son in the shadow of so huge a joint.

“Obviously they weren’t immortal,” said the tour guide. “But what killed them is the most interesting thing. They picked the nits off of each other. They licked the filth. See how their skin is completely clean? They died sucking on each other, looking for just a little more.”

The tour looked up and snapped photos. The valley of two titanic arms was almost pristine, as though the ancient carcasses still cleaned each other.

“They sucked each other so much that in time they were made up of the same things. Originally Conservatism couldn’t digest gay marriage, but eventually its innards spawned gay organs. Some went into denial and functioned half-heartedly, but others naturalized and swelled into simply conservative gay organs.

“Still other organs were torn out entirely, like the time Liberalism tore out Conservatism’s compassionate lung. It already had plenty of compassionate lungs, but Liberalism wanted that one too. It swallowed it, naturalized it, and soon had the same traits.

“They were too big to mind biological paradoxes. So what if organs were working against each other? One kidney was militantly secular while two others had lunch with the Pope. Both of them became so fat and so inconsistent that anything they licked or bit out of their prey could survive inside them. It was all about the cells.”

Since the teen looked bored, the tour guide pinched his cheek. She held up thumb and forefinger, as though she held a few crucial cheek cells there, somewhere beneath visibility.

“Cells are the little individuals that make up an animal, that wanted national healthcare but also wanted to eradicate the tax code. Did these cells belong in Liberalism or Consvervatism? They were both, which was why the beasts could eat other. They were entirely compatible. But insisting on eating each other until no cell belonged in one or the other is what did it. Eventually these transmuting cells went cancerous. The beasts got so big and meaningless that their bodies collapsed. That’s how they died.”

The teen frowned up at the valley of flesh.

“Are they really gone?”

“Not entirely,” said the guide. “The smell lingers.”

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