Home Is Hard To Swallow
It is frequently apparent to me that not only don't I know what day it is or what's going on but I also have no idea what coded messages I'm missing in ordinary conversation, possibly even with myself. This morning, I dreamed my sister Daria had brought her secret agent friends to Grandma Edith's apartment and the three of them were being followed by assassins. Edith's tasteful apartment had been redecorated in circus tent colors and I was sitting on the kitchen floor, trying to avoid being seen from the front windows. Family members reading these words are already suffering seizures of laughter because no sliver of light ever passed through the trees concealing those windows, but I digress. The assassins get into the apartment, now filled with people who should not be there. Edith, for instance, has been dead nearly fifteen years but she's sitting on a couch next to one of my co-workers and a son the co-worker does not have. The whole room is like that. I'm sitting on the floor cross-legged, with my fingertips arranged in the dharmacakra mudra. I know we are all going to die. The shooting starts in the other room. People are falling dead. A tall, shaggy haired man who looks like Bruce Dern after the coke runs out walks toward me pointing a pistol at my head. He walks around to face me. I say, "Please, just make it quick." He kisses my forehead and places the gun against my teeth. I relax and wait for the headache but instead I am suddenly wide awake at 4:30. It's still dark out. Instantly, I regret that my last words weren't, "Let the little boy go." Damn it, I'm editing my last words! And I can't fall back to sleep. Because Siobhan and I start work while birds are still hitting the snooze bar I call at 7:45.
Siobhan: You have got to be kidding.
Tata: No, I'm pissed! My subconscious has a secret it's not sharing with the class!
Siobhan: The Jewish old wives' tale is that when you dream your death you're getting married and when you dream your murder you're eloping.
Tata: I don't know what you're talking about. I have no intention of sharing a bathroom on any but a temporary basis. Damn bathroom hogs!
Siobhan: I've decided your cousin Monday's wedding is bothering you more than you let on and your brain wants to put this behind you.
Tata: I made reservations. Auntie InExcelsisDeo informed me that the hall runs shuttle buses to the hotels and no one will be driving drunk. I need a camera for pictures of the right and left Darias lying across the seats in formalwear.
Siobhan: Which you take from the floor?
By then I'll have given up holding a camera in favor of looking at someone and saying, "Click!" Everybody wins! On the other hand, perhaps everyone can still lose if I understand this sage and our docile pussycats are plotting the end of civilization as we know it.
Anyway, my first inkling that something was amiss in the Human vs. Every Other Animal Species sweepstakes came this fall, when I noticed that you could not drive more than a mile on an Iowa highway without seeing a deer carcass.
At first, I thought, "How dumb can a deer be? Don't they know the difference between a busy highway and a quiet forest?"
And then I thought, "It's a deer, you idiot. They don't know about highways."
And then I thought, "You probably shouldn't be sharing these ignorant debates with yourself in the newspaper. People might begin to worry."
I figured the deer were innocent until I saw several reports that they seemed to be "attacking" vehicles, by waiting until a car happened along and then running full speed into it.
Which is why I, for the first time, actually cheered for the hunters during the most recent deer season and proposed that they be allowed to use machine guns.
He seems smart. Maybe he knows what's going on.
For much of the winter, Des Moines served as the Crow Capital of the World. (New city motto: "Welcome to Des Moines. Don't look up.")
Half the sidewalks in town were covered with so many crow droppings that they resembled a Jackson Pollock painting.
These birds knew exactly what they were doing. I left my car parked on a street for five minutes and found, "Surrender, Funny Boy" written on my windshield - and it wasn't in ink.
I haven't seen the crows lately. They probably moved to Waukee like everyone else.
It would explain a lot if I'd moved to Waukee, Iowa without my knowledge. Damn sneaky subconscious! No wonder I'm eloping to get away from me!
In the beginning, I found it charming that the [giant monkeys] had cute names like Kanzi, Panbanisha, Matata and Nyota, although I kept confusing those names with those of the McCaughey septuplets.
And, yes, it was amusing when Sen. Tom Harkin visited the facility, and the creatures immediately signed a petition to impeach the president.
But I've watched enough bad movies to understand what's really going on: The apes are telling the other animals to attack us.
Snap! How will we save ourselves?
The fact is, I think the apes are so incredibly smart that they are participating in one of history's greatest scams.
During the day, they tease the researchers by showing that they've learned another simple phrase, like "pizza delivery." At night, they send out complicated telepathic instructions to crow and deer on how to release all the animals in the Blank Park Zoo.
I know how troubling this all sounds, so I promise to stay on top of the story. The last thing we need is for your pet cats to scratch your eyes out as you sleep.
If my cat gets a gun permit it's him or me - no matter what the monkey says.