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A Piece of Cake
Posted on Mar 10, 2012
“Maybe we should go through the Bible once to make sure we’re not breaking any rules,” he said, his unblinking eyes wide enough to be emitting a sound that I swore was just beyond my decibel range, something I imagined capable of driving termites out of wood or forcing entire fleets of corn crop to miscarry.
“Listen, the Bible isn’t going to tell us anything worthwhile,” I said. “There’s no scientific reasoning in there. I remember reading in Deuteronomy that a zebra was really just a gray pony that wasn’t vibrating fast enough to appear gray. It’s all crap.”
“You’re not thinking about the story of Lot’s wife?”
“No, don’t be silly!” I said.
“What if my brain can’t comprehend what I’m looking at inside that box?”
“Dude,” I said, “it’s a fucking cake! What are you, a C-cup? If there’s one thing that you comprehend a little too much, it’s cake.”
“You know what I’m talking about!”
“No,” I said, “I really don’t!”
“Aren’t you afraid that whatever is in that box could rob us of our innocence?”
“How innocent are we?” I wanted to know.
“Pretty goddamn fucking innocent,” said Beats, mopping the sweat off his brow with the palm of his hand.
“How do you figure that?” I asked.
“Well,” he began, “we’ve never given birth or lived through a world war.”
“You call living through the last few years under the constant threat of a national metric conversion easy? You know how many nights I lay awake staring at the ceiling and trying to remember if kilograms is a measure for a liquid or a solid?”
“Well,” said Beats, rubbing the back of his neck, “we’ve never seen a baboon shoot a billiard ball out its ass before.”
“That’s your measure for lost innocence? Seeing a baboon shoot a billiard ball out its ass?”
“One of them, sure,” he said.
“Well,” I said, “we did see Nina Sussenberg pull down her pants and take a leak into her own rain hat.”
“What does one have to do with the other?” he asked.
“Are you kidding?” I said. “The only thing that separates Nina Sussenberg from a baboon is a prehensile tail!”
“What are you talking about? A baboon doesn’t have a tail.”
“That’s what I just said,” I said.
“Oh, right,” he said, sighing.
Somewhere in the distance a dog barked and then stopped. Beats sighed. Then I sighed. The afternoon breeze moved through the massive mushroom cloud of leaves above our treehouse, momentarily fooling us into believing that we were adrift on a limitless sea and that we were destined to never set foot on solid ground again.
“Do you think that maybe we should consider not opening the box?” Beats asked sheepishly, fingering a rotten tooth of dirty rubber at the back of his sneaker.
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