Rotten Hamburger

Eject, Emit, Expel, Gag, Heave, Hurl, Nasty, Puke

 

Hey Gang!

My aunt’s birthday was Monday. The family got together, which rarely happens, and we all went out to dinner. It was a great day. The End.

Kidding.

It was a fantastic day, but I couldn’t help but realize how different I act around my family. I’ve been to college and I consider myself a somewhat douche-y intellectual. However, above all, I consider myself a good dude. It takes family to remind you just how awful you really are.

My family has always been a pretty dark humored bunch. Dark humor tends to come about from dark circumstances. My family is no different. We yell and we cry and we laugh through the dark times, of which there seem to be many. Usually, I am silly and goofy and joke about fun things but when I get together with my family, I can tell how much I change. Normal things I find taboo tend to  come front and center for cracking jokes about.

I drove down a few back roads on our way to lunch. The cool air ripped around us while we remained toasty inside, to my lament. I always enjoy things between 65-67 degrees. My aunt likes her temps between 73-hell fire degrees. It was her birthday so I said, “Well, I suppose it’s okay that I have back sweat for a little while.”

“Turn down that road over there,” Josh said pointing left. As we’ve gotten older and dealt with our own demons, I notice our bond growing. Pain knowing pain. He points down an old road leading to town.

“I thought you were hungry? Eyes on the prize,” I said.

“Oh yeah,” Josh said as he sat back into the passenger seat. He looked the smallest bit defeated. I would have felt bad had I not been hungry enough to literally eat a person (not the whole person, just, like, a leg or something).

“Well, we should go by there after dinner. There’s a creeper* van back there for sale. Who the hell would buy that?” he shook his head.

“I mean, maybe it’s meant for kidnapping,” I said. “You know, long windows and all that. Pretty easy stuff.”

We laughed. What follows from there is a conversation only meant for those in the car. However, I will tell you that, by the end, Josh had a Haram and massive house where they stayed in a particular wing and cleaned or made love to him. I, on the other hand, was madly rich because I “procured” people. Basically I was like the other side of Taken but for high class individuals. No garbage, drug-laden prostitute dens. Sultans only!

We grabbed dinner and hopped back in the car. There was a lot of heavy breathing and burps, as usually follows a trip to Golden Corral.

Josh mentioned he felt like he was about to throw up. I told him he should just let loose as it wasn’t my car.

“Must’ve been all that ROTTENNNN HAMBURGERRRR,” Josh said in a gravelly voice and glass shattered in my mind.

Isn’t it funny how things in our childhood drift away? We say or do something that is funny or terrible in the moment and then time happens. You fall in and out of love, go through school, and live your life. All the while, this one event gets pushed further and further back until someone casts their line out, hook it, and reel it to the surface.

All I needed to hear was “Rotten Hamburger” and that old memories wriggled on the hook like an angry bass.

I was seven or eight; Josh would have been twelve or thirteen. We spent most of the day together and had McDonald’s. He started feeling nauseated and we went home. He started throwing up and I was an asshole. I decided to peek my chubby brown face around the corner and lightly taunt him.

“Oh, not feeling so well?”

*blargghhhh*

*huffing*

“You know what it probably was? That hamburger. Didn’t it taste funky?”

*wretch*

*heavy breathing*

“Chris, shut the hell up and go sit down,” my mom yelled to me as she rubbed my cousin’s back.

“That’s it. It must have been that ROTTENNN HAMBURGERRR”

*violent barfing*

“It was so brown. I bet the cook didn’t even wash his hands when he served it up. I can smell all that ROTTENNN HAMBURGERRR.”

*coughing*
*brown puke*

I repeated it in differing ways, each time met with a concert of burping, puking, gagging, and farting.

I finally weaseled my way between my mom and aunt to continue my verbal assault but I stopped in my tracks.

It was the combination, really. The mixture of the sour bile smell mixed with a big mac all swirled up with half-digested fries hung in the air while the toilet in front of me bled brown, chunky liquid. The high pressure of vomit smell and the low pressure of disgusting brown chunks everywhere met and created a tornado in my stomach.

I felt dizzy and stumbled backward. To the kitchen, threw my head into the sink and through up so hard my back popped. It was one of those vomit sessions where it just keeps coming and when you finally feel like you have nothing left in you, it comes again.

My cousin walked in watery eyed behind me. I turned for a moment to see him smiling.

“Must’ve been that ROTTENNN HAMBURGERRR,” he smirked.

My stomach convulsed and a symphony of terrible noises came from my body as I hurled everything I had into the sink.

A split second later, I was back in my car’s driver’s seat.

I nearly crashed laughing. I apologized profusely.

“It’s okay. It’s funny now,” Josh said.

It is funny now. All of it. When you’ve known someone your whole life, you’re watching their life movie while living yours. My movie left that scene on the cutting room floor but for his movie, it made the cut.

I realized how much of an asshole I was as a kid. Doing anything for a laugh. Then I thought about who I was just hours before when talking about the creeper van. I’ve come to realize, for better or worse, we are our truest selves when around those who hold a mirror up to us and show us who we were.

-Chris

 

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Momento Animalis

Gorilla, Monkey, Primate, Animal, Portrait, Face

Hey Gang!

I recently came across the Non-Human Rights Project (NhRP). Essentially they are proposing we treat animals such as elephants, wales, dolphins and, most notably, chimpanzees as “persons”. Steve Wise, founder of NhRP, made it his mission to treat them as civil cases much like the women’s rights, civil rights, and gay marriage movements. It isn’t quite the same, of course, as he isn’t saying the personhood for animals is at the same level as the previously mentioned, but he is saying that we have different concepts of what a right is and those groups eventually found legal rights in America.

It’s funny to me that this search is even a search. I think his argument should be pushed through but probably not for the reason you think. You see, I, of course, have empathy for chimps and other animals great and small, however, I also see that we are all animals.

I have this quirky thing I do sometimes. Unfortunately, I am going to make you step into my head.

Picture this:

You walk down the street and there are animals everywhere. Chimpanzees skulk along busy sidewalks as they chip and chirp to one another. They stop into small stores and grab a bite. The smell of exhaust permeates your senses and they drive through the busy metropolitan streets that other chimpanzees built by sheer mental fortitude.

You walk further down the street and look down an alley. There, in the darkened hall of brick and mortar are two chimpanzees brutally assaulting another. It feels barbaric and you want to stop it but the sheer brutality of it makes you realize how much of an animal they really are. How uncivilized they are. You run away. You cross street after street as you try to forget the tableau of violence you stumbled upon and end up at a small park. You see chimpanzees roaming around. They crawl up trees and down them. They run openly in the park. A chimpanzee sits on the black, metal bench across from you. In her black fur covered arms, two small brown eyes blink back at you. She begins breast feeding the small chimpanzee. She looks at the baby with delight. Her eyes are large and round with a watery glisten to them as she looks at her tiny progeny.

You look down at your feet and, when you look up, you are surrounded by monolithic grey creatures. Their tusks jut out in front of them and their trunks sway back and forth. You’re in a grassy area surrounded by tombstones. In front of you is a small mound about the size of you. A tombstone just behind the dirt mound says the elephant died at the age of two. You see them walk in time as the elephants’ trumpeting trunks scream into the darkened sky. They circle the grave shaking their heads back and forth crying out in emotional pain. They’ve lost something. They’ve lost someone.

You’re back. You’re reading this and wondering why I’m juxtaposing these things.

What makes you a person? If you think it’s because your part of a community, you’re right. So are they. If it’s because you think and feel, so do they. If you think it’s because you speak and articulate, so do they.

I only spoke of this, not to show you how close to humans they are, but to remind you of the animal that YOU are. We are animals navigating the world. We give meaning to society because it’s a natural thing to do in the animal kingdom. Insanity is defined by Miriam – Webster as extreme foolishness or irrationality. We share over 99% of our genes with Chimpanzees and yet we cage them. We cage our own creatures because we fear them. In Africa, Human Zoos were quite common just a century ago. These dark skinned people looked so odd and different. They dressed strangely and worshipped different gods. They were lesser. It’s archaic to say that now and even more so to imagine it happening again. Creatures caged simply for the oddity of existing.

We make laws not meant for protecting them as entities but as things.

How can one thing hold so much over another. If they’re “things” then so are we. Look at how similar we are in “thingness”.

Replace the city street scene with humans. Is that brutality still animalistic or is it just “human nature”? Is it a mother feeding her child or is it indecency? Is it a funeral or are they just upset animals?

I could show so much more here of how we are nothing but animals who out number most semi-large mammals and how we are ruining the planet for the others.

In the end, this whole post was meant to do one thing. It was to show you that you, an ape, can read what another ape wrote. That communication is happening and you understand me much like every other animal on earth understands those within their own species.

This is your reminder that you are part of something bigger in this world.

Remember that you traverse the same ecosystem as every other creature and you are just as fragile.

Remember how it feels to lose another human creature. Then think of other animals’ losses and how much they feel.

Remember, when you stroll through the zoo, that you share 50% of your genes with every creature there. Expand that to every living creature on earth. One creature looking back at another.

Remember why you have hair all over you and why your teeth are structured the way they are and why you have opposable thumbs and why you still have a tail bone.

This is your reminder.

This is your memento animalis.