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(Not) Me and McSweeney's

Here's one of my rejected submissions to McSweeney's. The humor category was Short Imagined Monologues.

Urgala: Hunter-Gatherer Chef, circa 400,000 B.C.E.

Ok, it's food assignment time. No grumbling, please.

Now I know some of these may seem like just stupid exercises, and a lot of them don't pan out. That's true. But we've had a lot of spectacular success as well. Remember the artichoke? Remember everything we had to try before we finally stumbled upon steaming it, then dipping the petals in butter, then scraping them against our teeth? There's a lot things out there in the world, and how will we know what we can actually eat -- and how to prepare it -- unless we conduct these tests?

First, some updates.

Bootak, how's that mouse under your armpit doing? It's been a month. No? Still nothing? OK, we'll give it one more week, then maybe we'll switch you to a pomegranate. There's got to be something we can do with mice. They're everywhere. Yeah, I know you're tired of being the under-the-arm guy, but someone has to do it. Would you like to trade places with Lodc, the up-the-- I didn't think so. Next season, you can be grinder, I promise.

Crom, how are you coming on the white part of the egg? Stirring it slowly for an hour didn't get you anywhere? Man, I thought for sure that would do something. Try stirring it slowly for two hours today. If that doesn't work, add some ground tree bark.

Forg, how did your team do with eating all of the lion? Eyeballs, no; testicles . . . yes?! Well that's certainly unexpected. OK, go get a cheetah and try those testicles.

Now the new business.

Suuino, we've been letting those grapes we plucked dry in the sun for three weeks now. You give those a try.

Haar, the goat's milk has been out in the sun just as long. I'm sure that's ready for a taste.

Koow, I want you to grind the cocoa beans really finely, then add some sugar, then mash in some peanuts. I have a good feeling about that one.

And remember, people, you have to think of posterity. We may not benefit from the research, but future generations surely will. On that note, I'm putting a condolence tablet outside my cave. I'll be taking it to the widow of Rutith, who, you will recall, ate all those three-leaved plants for us last Tuesday.

Okay, everybody back to work . . .



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