Mechanically Separated Chicken.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003


Also, are you even allergic to bees?  This seems like it might be important.

I just don't know about the bees anymore.

It used to give me arms of gooseflesh, imagining the black cloud swimming through your home like an airborne manta ray. The swarm, as I pictured it, would hang in the air, drifting from room to room until it found you undertaking some mundane household activity (perhaps in the kitchen, hands submerged in soapy water, humming along to The Boys of Summer and not realising that this would be the very last time you would ever scrape carrot curls from the blades of your chrome Alessi cheese-grater).

The cloud would hover a moment, silently contemplating the angle of attack. Undulating sexily, it would float into position just behind the nape of your neck where it would form a shape like an exclamation point, or an arrow, or a swordfish aiming its sharpened snout between your atlas and axis vertebrae.

In my vision, this is the best, the most beautiful, the most excruciating part: this ballet of strategy. This moment of stillness before the uncoiling of potential energy. Soon after, of course, there's a mess of writhing and stinging and screaming and squirming and scrabbling for purchase on the kitchen linoleum and so on, just like in the movies. In fact, at this point the special effects go a bit low-budget: we go from, say, Industrial Light and Magic to George A. Romero. But that's okay.

Recently, however, problems more pressing than aesthetics have begun to emerge. I'm starting to rethink my approach. For starters, how expensive are bees these days, and how am I going to get them into your ventilation duct? Can they be trained? Is it realistic to hope that they will actually descend upon you rather than upon the heavy yellow stamens of the arum lilies on your dining table?

Also, are you even allergic to bees? This seems like it might be important. I'll have to slip it into conversation at the next staff meeting.

[This story appears in HEAT #7 and on the Going Down Swinging #22 spoken word CD.]