Lee has always been of two minds about being eaten alive.
(How’s that for a fucking opening line of a story? I dare you not to continue.)
While not actively seeking his own demise, he knows inevitably he will die and the idea of continuing the whole circle of life thing at the hands of a bear or tiger seems on many levels attractive to him. Most everything else in the animal kingdom gets eaten, why not him?
He was reminded of this at McDonalds recently.
(By the way, whatever happened to the McBLT? Hot on one side, cool on the other. I remember the big marketing campaign. The entire sandwich based on the idea of keeping the McB hot and the LT cold. Apparently they did not have the technology to pull it off. They were fine with the hot, it was the cold that caused them problems. There is nothing, despite what you might have read in a comic book, as a cold lamp. The only way to do it was to use polystyrene and eventually the idea of buying a hamburger wrapped in a container that would still be kicking around the planet hundreds of thousands of years later did not appeal to the average consumer.)
As he ordered a Big Mac he wondered whatever happened to the McBLT. Obviously a victim of the survival of the fittest in the hamburger marketing game. Much like the meat between the buns he was soon holding, another cow that lost in the survival of the tastiest game.
Unknown to Lee at the time, but the creator of the McBLT was standing only a few feet away. Emerging from the bathroom, mop in hand. A grim reminder of what corporations think about people in the marketing department who suggest a sandwich which ends up flopping.
It’s unclear, even to the person who is making up the whole thing, how they started talking but it soon moved to the point where Lee exclaimed “You’re the guy who came up with the idea of the McBLT?!” This was soon followed by “They have you cleaning restrooms now?”
The man explained that he actually derives most of his income from running a nearby bed and breakfast and that he only occasionally wielded the mop and bucket so that he could “stay in the game.”
Lee couldn’t help but admire the man’s humility. So much so that he accepted his invitation to come and stay at his B&B for the weekend.
So it was that he found himself walking into the front hallway of a very nice home, travel bag in hand. (‘So it was’ adding gravitas to any story. Making it suddenly feel epic. You might want to write that down.) The proprietor couldn‘t have been more welcoming and told him that his room was not only ready but he’d already taken the liberty of running him a bath.
(If you think that’s odd, or even creepy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. No ‘so it was’ needed.)
Just the idea of a nice bath made Lee relax, he could already feel his muscles loosing and his outlook brightening. He checked in, ran upstairs, threw his bag on the bed and walked into the steamy bathroom to find the tub full and ready for him. He began to strip off when he noticed two things in the fog; the man was standing behind him and the tub seemed to contain a variety of vegetables.
Lee was reminded of an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where someone had offered Bugs a bath and then, when Bugs had climbed into the pot, began to add an assortment of ingredients that you typically associate with a stew.
The last thing he ever wondered about was if it had to be a bear or tiger that ate him for him to be part of the circle of life.
(Sort of makes you wonder when the B&B guy said he wanted to “stay in the game”, which game he was referring to. Typically I leave that nugget for you to come upon after some post-story rumination, but there’s always a chance that you’re not a ruminator by nature or don’t even know what rumination means. I get a lot of that. Although it’s heartening to know that the devoted rumination crowd will then ask themselves whether or not Lee’s ethnicity would change how he tasted.)