“A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he
turns his back on it and starts to wither away.” – Gene Roddenberry
The Dump Co. Meat Processing Company
<<the drive away from the McCow Towne General Hospital to the Dump Co. Meat
Company is a short and silent trip. Finnegan, you stopped talking not long after
Timmy the underpaid intern did. you just walked through the maze of hospital
halls holding Ruben’s lab coat to your chest like a human child holding it’s security
blanket. Hopskotch thanked Timmy for his help and for letting go of his eBay item.
you walked out into the late morning sunshine. Hopskotch followed you out to the
stolen car (a 2013 ToYoda Pre-Us) that the two of you now called home. normally
you always try to take the lead. you try to maintain control. you always put
yourself at the wheel, ready to drive into whatever there is to drive into. but the
mind picture that Ruben’s underpaid intern painted for you, of men employed by
Ruben’s father taking him away, has left you temporarily impotent. Hopskotch
watches as you unlock the car and uncharacteristically take residency of the
passenger seat. when Hop hops into the driver’s seat you pass him the keys. in
silence Hopskotch drives you through the business district of McCow Towne and to
the location of the meat processing plant and cow pasture. the McCow Towne
business district consists of a courthouse, a police station (complete with a giant
prison containing many of West ‘Merican’s undesirables, yay people boxes!), a
meager selection of some of West ‘Merica’s favorite corporate whore shopping
stores (selling cheaply made shit made by under-fed, low wage East ‘Merican’
workers at amazing profits to the corporations!), and a large selection of corporate
whore fast food restaurants (which serve highly processed fried foods loaded with
salt, sweetness number nine, lies and high fructose corn syrup guaranteed to make
you fat as Cooter-Brown and just as at-risk for heart failure! this “food” is made by
low-wage workers from the cheapest materials available at an amazingly high
profit to the corporations.), and two gas stations (with angry underpaid gas station
clerks who make amazing profits for the owner, Navin Johnson.).>>
<<Hopskotch drives past all of this and down a gravel road that leads through
chemically painted green fields that are the temporary home to hundreds and
hundreds of fat cows eating the painted grass. the end of the road is in-front of a
giant red brick building with the words, “Dump Co. Meat. McCow Towne Meat
Processing Company” painted on the front of the building in black block letters>>
“What do you think we are going to find in there Finnegan?”, Hopskotch Sunday asks.
<<Hopskotch Sunday rouses you from where ever your mind has retreated to as he
pulls the stolen ToYoda Pre-Us up to the guard gate at the Tronald Dump Meat Co.
parking lot entrance. even though the only thing of interest in this are is an animal
slaughtering business, there is a sign posted that reads, “five dollar parking.” this
Tronald Dump guy knows how to make a buck. he should run for office… he could
make ‘Merica’ super swell again.>>
“Call me and optimist, but I’m hoping to find a love letter from my kidnapped husband
with a map on the back of how to find him and my Baby Thor………and perhaps a fortune
in gold dab loons.”, you reply.
<<Hopskotch laughs and rolls down the window to speak to the guard. the guard is
a balding white man in his mid thirties, dressed in a blue long sleeve shirt and pant
embroidered with the Dump Industries logo. the man stares first at Hopskotch and
then at you, and then back at Hopskotch………and then back at you. Hopskotch
hesitates for a moment and then says,>>
“We are here for a meeting with the boss.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
<<the guard looks back at Hopskotch Sunday and then back at you……and then back
at Hopskotch Sunday and says,>>
“Which one? The two legged one or the four legged one? Cause the two legged one done
run oft with his daughter to a meeting with Lush Rimbaugh.”, says the guard.
<<the guard speaks in a mechanical red-neck fashion. Hopskotch smiles at the
guard and turns to you to say,>>
“Cow Zombie Human Slave?”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“Cow Zombie Human Slave.”, you reply.
<<the guard hasn’t moved any of his six hundred and fifty six muscles since he
asked which boss you two want to see. including his heart……which Hopskotch
pierces with the sword that Star reluctantly gave to him before the two of you left
Normal Towne. you climb out of the passenger window and onto the roof of the
ToYoda Pre-Us with your black axe in hand. your battered black leather jacket
warms in the early morning sun as you walk down the hood and chop off the
wooden two by four gate arm. Hopskotch drives through the formerly gated
entrance to Tronald Dump’s Dead Cow Meat Processing Company. the Horde’s
mental connections are fully functioning and two meat packing, gun toting
employees run up to greet you and Hopskotch as he pulls the Pre-Us around the
guard shack and up to the entrance of slaughter house number one. you waste no
time with words, but do waste two slaughter house employees with your axe.
Hopskotch Sunday presses the power button of the ToYoda and exits the stolen car
with Star’s borrowed sword in hand>>
<<you and Hopskotch enter one Dump Co. cow slaughter house after another. there
are five in total. the cows in the fields shuffle back and forth at first, but by the
time you reach slaughter house number five, the field cows are gone. each
slaughter house is comprised of a similar scene. Cow Zombie Human Slaves
injecting cows with what you can only assume to be Ruben’s “gene therapy
medicine” followed by Cow Zombie Human Slaves operating cow killing and cow
chopping and cow part packaging factory equipment. oh how our meat is made>>
<<the Cow Zombie Human Slaves in each slaughter house do attempt to fight you
and Hopskotch Sunday, but only after the two of you start to disrupt the meat
processing process. which means that you and Hopskotch can make short work of
slaughtering the slaughterers of each slaughterhouse. after just under an hour at
Dump Co. Meat Processing Factory, you and Hopskotch Sunday have brought
Tronald Dump’s Zombie Cow Patty Construction to a screeching halt. the cows in
the field are nowhere to be seen and the movement in the slaughterhouses is
minimal. you aren’t sure what to do about the reanimated meat already infected by
me, so you and Hopskotch just set the buildings on fire and drive away from the
financial devastation that the two of you have dealt Tronald Dump.
all in a days work, eh Finnegan?>>
It would have been cooler if we had found the maniac who owned the place.
“I’m sorry what?”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
<<it is lunch time. Hopskotch watches both you and the road as he drives. he finds
the road dull, to his pleasure. you on the other hand are pulling a pint of alcohol
out of your back pack, with your red blood and red dirt stained hands. you drain
the last of the eighty proof vodka out of the bottle. the empty plastic makes a
satisfying sound when you bounce the bottle off the red dirt road the sit between
the burning factory and the two of you. Hopskotch’s smile fades as he wipes the
disappointment from his face with his left hand>>
“At least if a cop tries to pull us over we can assume it’s safe to shoot him.”, you say. <<to
your agitated driver>>
“Right.”, says Hopskotch Sunday. <<your drinking wears him out more than the
monster murdering he just accomplished>> “Just so we are clear, you manly carry
that backpack around to transport guns and liquor…right?”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“Well yeah, thats what’s of most use right now.”, you say.
<<Hopskotch Sunday smiles and nods. he thinks back to a time his mother taught
him the simple truth that common sense was ironically named. the red dirt road
and that which humans call time, passes. now in a diner called, “Oh My,
Antoine!!!”, there sits a man and a woman at window table 3. the diner will still be
serving up gruel in the year of the Horde, 4325. same fucking cooks will be cooking
here too. the woman sitting here at window table 3 today is you. Hopskotch Sunday
is the man’s name and Finnegan is yours. i imagine even you remember that,
whiskey, vodka or not>>
Were you saying something Virus?
<<talking to myself again. inside your head. Hopskotch and Finnegan in a diner.
the two of your talking over coffee. the two of you trying to figure out how your
husband was involved with Tronald Dump and his meat factory. the waitress has
come back for your order>>
“I’ll have wheat toast with bacon and eggs.”, says Hopskotch.
“I’ll take the same.”, you tell the waitress.
<<this diner does not have a sign displayed proudly telling of how it uses locally
grown meat and dairy. so the two of you order and hope for the best. the waitress
(according to her name tag, her name is Anne) takes down your order on her
notepad and says,>> “That’s funny, I took the two of you as a couple of them Vegans.
You know, those veggie eating college kids, ‘fraid of meat and hurting baby chickens?”
“I’m actually a second hand vegan.”, you say to the waitress. <<with your best sober
“A what?”, Anne replies in confusion.
“Well, first I let the cows and chickens eat the vegetable only diet and then I eat them.”,
you reply, matter of factly.
<<Anne slaps her thigh, cackles and says,>> “Harrr dee harr harr, thaass good.” <<she
starts to walk away>>
You continue, “But sadly in ‘Merica’ we feed our cows this processed corn diet that just
turns to sugar. So basically I am a second hand diabetic.”
<<Anne walks away with her hand on her head. for some reason you are reminded
of Hopskotch Sunday when she does this>>
“If the work that Ruben was down at the hospital was funded by his father, and the meat
factory was owned by Tronald Dump, are they tied together? And what is the connection
of the prisoner medical work Ruben was doing over at McCow Towne Correctional
Facility? I’m sure your estranged husband wasn’t healing prisoners out of the goodness
of his heart.”, Hopskotch Sunday says.
“Right…”, you say. <<and then you shift directly into woe is me mode. silly human
just role playing your life away>> “I was thinking about Baby Thor on the way here.”
<<your shoulders sag and your eyes lock onto the nothingness in the distance>>
“No way…”, says Hopskotch Sunday. <<his sigh flows into his coffee along with the
contents of a creamer cup and bountiful crystals of sugar>>
“And when I realize there is no way to get to him and no point in talking about it over
and over, I just want to sit and cry on the table or in my unending glass of beer. All day,
every day.”, you say.
“Everyone has to have goals buddy”, say Hopskotch jokingly.
<<Hopskotch reaches across the table to pat your hand affectionately.. you move
your hand before he reaches it and punch him on the shoulder playfully. but your
extra added strength pushes him and chair away from the table you wish to cry
upon. Hopskotch pulls his chair back to the table and rubs his sore shoulder>>
“I used to draw a picture of Baby Thor every afternoon before his nap.”, you continue on.
<<undeterred in your lamentations>> “In a book that Dasha gave me when Baby Thor
was born. ‘The Light of the World’, was written on the cover. Sasha said she bought it
from these two little blonde kids who worked at an airport. She said the kids hustled
passengers in baggage claim as they disembarked from airplanes. The kids were also
working airport security or loading the planes or something. The book was covered in
faded blue leather embossed in gold lettering. I would read a story of a child who was
destined to become the light of the world and then draw pictures of Baby Thor in the
designated picture areas.” <<as you talk, you wheeze and cough up some of the
persistent junk in your lung>> “The drawing was fun and the story was breath taking.
Ha. Speaking of breathtaking, I imagine I wouldn’t be much of a nap time story reader
these days.”, you say. <<with self pity and 80 proof vodka emanating from your
“Reeeeeally bud? You’re talking up a storm now. And you are making me really sleepy.”,
Hopskotch replies. <<calling you out>>
“I know. I know. I just wish my breathing was as quick to heal as the rest of me was…is.
I mean if ruben had taken the time to help me before running away to do god knows
what…”, you say. <<you are starting to whine Finnegan>>
“Jeeeeesus you are a sad bastard friend.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“It would be easier if he were dead or something. But instead the love of my life is out
there living his life, with our child. He is out there enjoying his time fucking who knows
who and not giving a good goddamn about me and my mountain of self pity, my concern
for the world. He is working with or for his father and that lunatic with the orange mop
on his head. I am so goddamned lonely without my family. No offense buddy.”, you say.
“None taken bud.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“I settled down, gave that fucker my heart and promised him as much of forever as I’ve
got. Damnit, he made that same promise to me!!”, you say. <<alcohol laced water fills
your eyes. “Now he’s probably blowing dudes at a Love’s Truck Stop. Or sleeping with
some rich hipster for Christ’s sake. That’s not love. That’s horse shit.”, you add.
“I agree. You are not wrong my friend. But you have to face the horse shit. Ruben didn’t
or does not love you. Sucks, I know. Now you are either someone who gets over it or
you’re not. Pick one. Are you gonna live your life in spite of that asshat or are you gonna
candy ass it up and prove that he was right to kick your drunk ass to the curb? A man
either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on
it and starts to wither away.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
<<the gospel truth>>
“Oh Spock, where is my lost youth? Who’s going to rescue my old flesh from the couch,
from the small screen, from the bowl of guacamole and chips? Chips, broken, like my
dreams?”, you say. <<you have stood up and hold your fist in front of your chest as
you say these artistically tragic, incoherent lines. Anne puts down her coffee pot
and claps for your dramatic performance. the middle aged couple in the corner
“An incomprehensible sad bastard you are bud.”, Hopskotch Sunday says. <<as he
shakes his head.>> “Look at the bright side, at least he is gone. Just think of how
miserable you would be if you had the opportunity to still be around him. You know, if
he were still here, you’d be watching him live his life and be all happy continuing on
with someone who wasn’t you. Living life unaware or uncaring of how much pain you
are constantly in.”, Hopskotch Sunday postulates.
“Yeah that would be quite unbearable. Watching the love of my life replace me like some
worn out underwear? Man, kill me now!”, you say. <<you drain the last of the drink in
<<i have sorted through many of the conversations you and Hopskotch Sunday have
had that still float around in your head. seventy five percent of those conversations
are of a similar nature. you claim that you want to be happy, but you continue to
dwell and soak up misery and sad thoughts like whiskey. come to think of it
Finnegan, did you know that alcohol is actually a depressant? consuming mass
quantities of it makes humans sad. and yet you still drink it. you claim that you are
having a great time and chasing away the pain, when in reality you are just causing
yourself more of it. ahh, the logic of an addict. you revel in your ability to fail, to
fall to spiral towards the infinite nothingness.>> “After death there is nothing! There
is No Thing!”, the atheists cry. <<you seem to be seeking a little of that Nothing now>>
“So do you think the world’s going to end?”, you ask.
“I wouldn’t put it past it.”, replies Hopskotch.
“I can’t get past the thought of being without all day everyday.”, you say.
<<Hopskotch looks you in the eyes, nods and pulls his coffee closer to him. i guess
he thinks sadness makes you a coffee thief>>
“They are my family, how am I supposed to learn to do without? I can’t live without my
son. I can’t! He is the world to me. All of the starving, suffering people that I normally
cry about all day? Well they can just continue to do so as far as I’m concerned. Without
my son around, I just don’t care about the fate of the world. I guess I am just selfish like
that.”, you say.
“Sad sad Finnegan.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“I just know he’s out in the forest loving some other girl. It’s like I never existed. I know
I have a lot of faults, but I was always there for him in his time of need. I’d have done
anything for him, selfish prick that he is. He is married to his laboratory like I’m married
to my bottle. I woke up alone with a broken body, and no spouse. No one to hold me
and tell me that it is all going to be ok. I just wanted that, needed that. The world is
falling apart and I just need my love to lie to me, and tell me that it is all going to be ok.”,
“I don’t think anyone can tell you enough that it is all going to be ok. I don’t think you’d
believe them anymore. I mean I have tried to convince you of it time after time, and I
am sure your husband told you once or twice before he ran away…”, says Hopskotch
<<that is when you start to find yourself choking off into tears and sobbing into
your coffee. the oceans are filled with the tears of the broken hearted. Hopskotch
nods again thoughtfully. he wants to say something to you, his friend, but he knows
that you are not done. indeed you are just in the middle of your dark monologue.
Hopskotch Sunday watches, Finnegan, you wipe your eyes with a napkin, and blow
your nose. your nasal cavity produces a defining roar in the restaurant.
conversations die. the cooks pokes their heads out of the kitchen to see if a has car
crashed into the building. and your drunken car crash actually quieted your bull
horn of a nose quite a bit too. you produce another bottle of vodka from your back
pack and take a generous swig and fill half of your coffee cup up with the demon
alcohol. the bottle goes back into hiding when Anne returns with the coffee pot>>
“Y’all doin’ alright?”, Anne asks. <<she refills your two coffee cups. toping off your
vodka with strong black coffee>>
“Yeah, just toasting the end of the world.”, says Hopskotch Sunday. <<he raises his
coffee cup and toasts Anne with a smile>>
<<with fresh tears in your eyes, Finnegan, you raise your glass to your friends. to
you and Hopskotch’s surprise, Anne pulls a bottle of booze out of her apron and
touches it your coffee cups and says,>>
“To a thousand better tomorrows, cheers friends.”, says Anne.
<<you all drink. the waitress puts away her bottle, picks up the coffee pot and
shuffles away. you and Hopskotch are alone again. you start to go back into your
sad story again, but the world interrupts. one of the owner of “Oh My Antoine’s!!!”
favorite plate glass windows on the restaurant shatters and the clickety clack sound
of hooves follow, as the diner’s front door opens”
“Well, Hop-a-long and Junior! Ain’t ya’ll just the delinquents I was lookin’ fer?”, says
<<the Cow Zombie Horde leader from the future, talking to the Hopskotch Sunday
and Finnegan from the past (or is it the present?) Future Notnek enters the diner.
he is wider than the “Oh My Antoine!!!”’s front door, what with his four added
cow/human hybrid hand and arms. Notnek turns sideways to enter, but he has a
flip top cow head, kind of like a meat body suit hooded pullover, and it is all the
owner of the Bucket o’ Blood can do to get through the front door. Notnek narrows
his eyes in concentration, farts, burps squeezes his cow ass (complete with barbed
wire covered tail) through the diner doorway. gross stuff, this vile villain. Future
Notnek bends the door’s metal frame upon entering the diner. in Notnek’s many
hands are an assortment of medieval and future tech weapons. he still wears his
glasses and his trademark Hawaiian shirt, modified with extra sleeves ofcourse.
Hopskotch turns to look at you, first in amazement, and then he lifts his upper lip in
a sneer of disgust>>
“Did I miss my invitation to the ‘former employee’s of the Bucket o’ Blood party?”, asks
“What the fuck happened to Boss in the past twenty four hours?”, you say.
<<the former dishwasher of the recently fallen Bucket o’ Blood shrugs his dark
skinned shoulders. Notnek finishes his remodeling of the “Oh My Antoine!!!”’s
entrance and walks past your table surveying the place and reorganizing his limbs.
he pops his neck (both heads actually. the neck with the cow head atop gave you the
stink eye as he past your table Finnegan.)>>
“It has been along time since I have seen the two of you like this.”, says Notnek. <<he
points an axe at each of you in turn>> “And you Hopskotch, not even evolved yet.
How delightful!”, says Notnek.
“Evolved? Umm, are you into racist jokes now that you’re a cow Boss?”, you ask.
<<Future Notnek turns to face both you and Hopskotch. he rests his original pair of
human hands on his waist and tilts his human head in a way that makes him look
like an angry dad about to scold his children. Notnek’s cow body has black hair
with large white patches, but his cow head is predominately white. you think to
yourself that he reminds you of a barnyard Frankenstein’s Monster. if he weren’t
here, presumably, to kill you both you’d ask him if you paint his new and amazingly
“I know you are old and mean and soft in the head…heads, but we were just working for
you yesterday Boss. Although we have never seen you quite like this Notnek, not even
after a shitty Friday night rush.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“Well, now you’ll be seeing a lot of me son.”, says Future Notnek. <<he grabs an udder
and shakes it vulgarly as he says this…yuck!>>
“Awww hell no man.”, says Hopskotch Sunday.
“At least until I let you die, that is.”, Notnek adds.
<<you stand up and raise both hands, palms out in a pleading gesture and ask,>>
“I have always enjoyed and appreciated the way you express your feelings Boss, like the
time you screamed about how you felt you were paying every employee way too much,
or the time you told me being pregnant made me look fat; but we thought you had died
back at the fall of the Bucket o’ Blood. And when did you start wearing around a cow
suit and carrying lasers and axes?”
<<Notnek paces the floor>>
“Junior, have you ever woken up to find that you aren’t part of the normal order of
things? It’s like the play, called life, has moved on to the next act and you are no longer
one of the main characters, but are now part of the audience. Or maybe I’ve become the
writer, or the director.”, says Notnek.
<<Future Notnek’s cow head searches the surroundings as Future Notnek waxes
eloquent to you and Hopskotch>>
“I’m guessing that you are off of your medication again, huh Boss?”, you ask.
<<a note of patient patronizing sweetness in your voice Finnegan>>
“You smell like you’re still taking your medication Finnegan. And it smells like your
waitress is on the same stuff!”, says Future Notnek.
“Is that another drunk joke at my expense boss?”, you say.
<<a real life human smile spreads over Future Notnek’s face. you know the
situation is bad when you see that smile. as you and Notnek have been talking you
have been stuffing napkins into your half full bottle of booze. Anne the waitress
has been edging closer to Future Notnek armed with the butter knife from the toast
prep area and Hopskotch has telepathically sending goodbye letters to all his
friends and family. Anne raises her butter knife to stab and rushes at the half
man/half cow. Notnek doesn’t take his eyes off of you as he raises one of his gun
holding hands a fires a laser blast that slices off Anne’s favorite butterknife holding
right hand. the cooks in the kitchen scream, a sound that temporarily distracts
Future Notnek with sweet memories of human cruelty>>
“Die Human Scum!!!”, Notnek says.
<<the former restaurant owner, turned Leader of the Horde in 4313 A.D., screams
(from both heads) at the top of his lungs. he fires lasers and hand guns at the cooks
in the kitchen. the restaurant’s soda machine is behind Future Notnek. you throw
your molotov cocktail at the machine’s pressurized CO2 canisters. fire covers the
wall and splatters Notnek’s back. the CO2 gas lines melt and an explosion ruins
Future Notnek’s day. kaboom gots lots of stuff, including Future Notnek’s explosive
grenades. you and Hopskotch are blown out of the front window of “Oh My
Antoine!!!”’s and into the parking lot. explosions are loud. they hurt your ears.
gravel parking lots are uncomfortable for your epidermis to be thrown onto. after
a minute you and Hopskotch start to process your current life situation again. your
current life situation is this: run away from the burning restaurant with the giant
angry Notnek monster firing shots at everything in sight. you pull Hopskotch to his
feet and start to run. despite the temporary deafness the explosion caused your
ears, you and Hopskotch sense the roof of “Oh My Antoine!!!”’s as it collapses upon
your former employer. Hopskotch pulls you back and points to the Pre-Us you guys
drove here to “Oh My Antoine!!!’s. Hopskotch walks up to the passenger door and it
unlocks, sensing the key in his pocket. you are placed into the passenger seat and
your backpack is thrown into your lap by Hopskotch Sunday. your head throbs
from the explosion and you fill sickness in your belly. Hopskotch is in the driver’s
seat already and starting the Pre-us. you pull out a flask of vodka to calm your
belly sickness and swallow feelings down. you don’t see any sign of emergency
vehicles until you’ve already passed Navin Johnson’s gas station. your belly is not
calming down. the first shot of vodka didn’t bring you peace from your troubles, so
you try a second and a third. the second goes down. the third catches and you
spray the contents of your stomach all across the inside of the front windshield.
Hopskotch screams and starts to vomit. the car hits something in the road and goes
out of control. the vomit obstructing the windshield no longer becomes an issue;
when the windshield comes crashing in on you and Hopskotch. the glass windshield
becomes an angry boss. Notnek growls and reaches for Hopskotch. Hopskotch tries
to push Notnek away with one hand and steer the Pre-us with the other. you
thrown yourself at Notnek and scratch and claw and punch. the Future Notnek
seems to continue entering the car through the windshield in spite of all resistance
that you and Hopskotch offer up against him. an idea pops into your cerebral
cortex via your idea flux capacitor. you projectile vomit the rest of the contents of
your stomach onto the former and future owner of the Bucket o’ Blood. then you
and Hopskotch are spinning and bouncing and landing and vomiting and bleeding,
and then it all goes black>>
&&&image of finn and hopskotch going into the forest with an axe and a burning restaurant and upside down car behind them&&&