Animals Don’t Help

A non-helping animal. I photographed him in my yard last Sunday, contributing nothing to society.

A non-helping animal. I photographed him in my yard last Sunday, contributing nothing to society.

Some pretty weird stuff ends up in spam filters.

My good friend Ben Trube recently got spam containing an entire short story mangled up with shoe ads.

The other day, I got this:

I’m mad and that’s a fact I found out animals don’t help Animals think they’re pretty smart Shit on the ground, see in the dark

It was all one line, but the capitalization suggests line breaks:

I’m mad and that’s a fact
I found out animals don’t help
Animals think they’re pretty smart
Shit on the ground, see in the dark

Not prose at all, but poetry.

And what poetry! Note the ambiguity of “mad.” Is our poet merely livid, or openly insane? Too, savor the implicit question: is there a difference? Already we’ve embarked on a tragedy redolent of Lear.

Our unnamed poet (O poignant anonymity!) is concerned with fact. His is a rational worldview, a fair-minded outlook: naive, perhaps, but thoughtful. He goes about his daily business: helping, shitting in toilets, exercising vision only by daylight. He merely assumed the rest of the planet was as lofty-minded as himself.

Alas, that is not the Earth we live on. Imagine the devastating revelation: these animals, billions on billions of them, aren’t helping at all. Armies of meerkats, unemployed. Hordes of hippopotamuses, spurning our ceramic receptacles, literally shitting on the ground. Owls, staying up all hours and leering at Lord-knows-what in the shadows.

You may sneer, gentle reader, at his simplicity. Your vaunted culture, your bourgeois “education,” have left you jaded and superior. You cannot know his pain: an agony that, evidently, drove him out of his chosen career (“helping”) and forced him to spam blog comments for pennies in a thankless economy.

So I salute you, Nameless Poet. Though I shall not click your link and risk infection by malware, you indeed have already clicked the link – of my heart. Excelsior!

And to the rabbits shitting in my yard:

Guys. Seriously. It’s called a toilet. Look it up.

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