Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Regular Man, thus Animated

What is it in the design of a table that so reminds me of a jokeman’s jackass, a cartoon horse?
     Is it its linen, slung like a saddle?
     Its stiff legs, splayed like a young colt?
     Its eaves, opening like the wings of Pegasus in Disney’s Fantasia?

Imagine living on your hands and feet, nailed to metal shoes, eating from the ground, never standing erect. Think of the effort it would take to simply discharge your waste – your built-in disposal unit no longer benefitting from gravity’s pull – your Honey Bucket tipped on festival grass.

Of course, we are not only the envy of the equestrian model sheet – so too is the canine ink line left wishing upon a bipedal star, every one a covetous Pluto tethered to Mickey’s leash, cursing the storyboard fates that have left the trousers to Goofy – that chosen dope strutting the animated street, the upright dignity of his naked cousin erased like the flash of an artist’s pencil.

For the urban dog, no Hong Kong Phooey he, this usually means seeking roughage in the coarse blades of grass found growing along the curb – those hard-to-swallow green scimitars so effective at channeling the body’s residue – the recycled heart of the fruit, the vegetable, the nut – the flesh – that juicy chop floating over the head of the ravenous wolf as the pink-bowed lamb prances by his twisted hiding tree.

For birds – nature’s two-legged table, riding like a seesaw as they feed – it means a tiny stone, swallowed like a grinning missile, the impish bullet sent shooting along the gullet to the stubborn bull’s eye, acting as a powerful enema – ferrying the blockage through the feathered back door – something Snow White’s little bluebird never revealed for a song so fair and sweet.

We seem not to recognize the benefits of our vertically-aligned spine, of having the feeding maw at the top, our bristled chins so effectively dropping to receive – each Scooby Snack sent tumbling joyously to the editing orifice situated some twelve ribbed stories below.
     Early man, he of no porcelain latrine – the Flintstone toilet yet to be drawn from the primordial ooze – presumably squatted to defecate – a posture far more beneficial than sitting upon one’s posterior – a position that puts the onus squarely on the anus.

It is through our desire to ignore these primitive particulars, our societal avoidance of the natural urges, that we have we become – much like our four-legged cousins – a full table – the flush-faced, claw-footed tub in need of the plumber’s snaking blade to send the waste running – leaving the foul villain in a cloud of dust – fecal and otherwise.

And yet, we avoid the easy-to-attain natural laxatives, coloring them bright shades of shame as we so busily fill ourselves with fat, sugar and whey – necessitating the exacting humiliation of stool softeners and candy enemas – to say nothing of embarrassing visits to the clinic – the doctor’s inbetweener slipping on her glove to paint the back side of our design.

Still, we can’t see our way around such things, our proud intellect being too preoccupied, housed high in its skull-shaped aerie, visited by cloud and harp-bearing angel, divorcing itself from all bodily-drawn concerns – inking in a day when a hundred billion heads will rise to the perforated atmosphere, every one bearing the satisfied smile of the regular man thus animated – he who has discharged everything he ultimately did not need.