Pungent animal hormones infuse the air with fight-for-survival heat that can only mean two animals have claimed the same territory. Sensing the
possibility of bloodshed, the other creatures in the vicinity of the impending fight determine the immediate location of safer ground.
The competitors’ pupils dilate; allowing a wider field of vision should the opponent pounce from an unexpected strike zone. Blood pumps to talons reinforcing their power tear flesh to
pieces. With an angry hiss, they suck in the massive amounts of air needed for combat.
Then … the battle cry.
“Excuse me, your Jimmy Dean Sausage is touching my Ding Dongs.”
With a spit of saliva dripping fury, venom, and loathing … the other creature counterattacks with, “Oh really. Well, your hamburger buns are sitting on my Charmin scented toilet paper.”
Both beasts have violated the most basic manifestation of marking territory; not urine, droppings, nor scent glands.
No, the animals on the brink of destroying each other defied the only natural device God ever evolved for keeping the peace — the grocery- store stick.
The disarmingly friendly message embossed on its spine, “Please place between orders. Thank you!” is misleading.
Instead, the grocery-store stick should be tattooed with the infamous Tina Turner line from the movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome:
“Two men enter. One man leaves.”
This involuntary function must have been encoded into our DNA in the remote past; before we split off from our insect ancestors. In the beehive, two freshly-hatched virgin queens will, without even a “Howdy Doo” or “How’s It Going,”
viciously fight to the death over control of the hive. Should animal behaviorists train a microscope on their deadly struggle, they should not be surprised to find a tiny grocery-store stick made of beeswax between the battling queens.
I know how they feel. The minute I place my groceries on the checkout belt, my antennae extend; on an automatic search-and-destroy mission for any pinche pendejo who foolishly, foolishly places their purchases down without benefit of the grocery-store stick or stupidly, stupidly lets their peasant slop come close to my gourmet comestibles of caviar, capers, and Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks.
My friend Donna encountered a grocery-shopper-gone-wild in Maryland. Upon seeing Donna place her groceries on the belt, the harpy snarled, “You don’t put those groceries down on that belt until I am done.”
Donna searched her highly-evolved, Enya-like, New-Age soul for the appropriate response and then chanted an Ohm-like, “Fuck you very much.”
Traumatized, my friend moved back to the safer environs of Texas where the worst that can happen during a check-out-stick-encounter is a shotgun blast to the face; a far more acceptable scenario for Donna’s genteel, Jane Austen-like nerves.
In her blackest of nightmares, I am sure mi amiga envisions the Chupacabras-of-the-checkout-line still hunched over her rotting groceries; shrouding them with leathery, Pterodactyl wings while screeching victory over the San Antonio girl who dared defy the stick.
Be warned. Like you and everyone around you, I possess the same dark, genetic heritage as the Blair Witch of Baltimore.
Should your Cheetos try to chat up my chorizo mexicano, I will stun you with my Vlad the
Impaler glare, shock you with my mil mascaras growl, and terrify you with my potential to inflict harm by demanding both paper and plastic.
I will also fight the urge to steal the stick and ship it to warring nations.
While not eradicating hatred and divisiveness it will, with its mystical power to control our inner-animal, at least hold the pusher of the Armageddon Button at bay.
If not world peace then détente over
If not global harmony then a no-fly over Fritos.
If not universal love then a stalemate over Saran Wrap.
I can just imagine the strategy in their War Room, “Drop the bomb! Drop the bomb!”
“Sir, we can’t drop the bomb.”
“They put down the stick.”
Get in touch with your inner-animal
when someone puts down the stick.
Reconoce tu animal internal
cuando alguien asienta el palito