I tore off the top of the thick, plastic bag and immediately popped the first piece of dehydrated meat into my mouth. I sat the bag down next to my keyboard and continued on with my internet travels. On occasion I would pop another piece into my mouth. The sixth piece caught my eye. One end of it was covered in what looked like a thin layer of cotton. It certainly peeled off the meat like cotton. I was just about to pop the now naked meat into my mouth, but then a small suggestion in the back of my head trickled forward and suggested I look into the bag o’ meat. There I saw that mass of meat pieces, stuck together to form a single entity, were covered on either side of the two-dimensional bag with more white cotton. I was confused at first. It took a good thirty seconds for the next suggestion to trickle forward: inspect the bag. It didn’t take long. I flipped it over and saw it. A long slice right down the middle. Probably made by the person opening the box containing these packages of jerky with an appropriately named “box cutter”.
There were only two questions left to answer. What the fuck was it and how lethal was the unknown amount that had already passed my lips.
It was the monthly visit to the exotic shopping center. It was exotic in that it was over five miles away from where I live. And it is at this shopping center where a specific brand of a jerky in a bag of a specific size and costing a specific $9.99 can be found and nowhere else. I’ve enjoyed this fine meat product many times before and every time I walk through the doors of the exotic shopping center its presence is always in my mind.
Near the end of this trip I happened to wander over to the jerky area and there I saw the blue bag I’ve held in my hands many times before. It was a familiar sight and my movements were swift and precise as I lifted the bag off the metal hook and tossed it with a practiced spin into my basket.
I am not a professional fortune teller. I have no psychic abilities (that I’m aware of). Yet I saw my future in front of me. It involved porcelain and a sour taste in my mouth. I was already doing myself in mentally. I could feel the alien growing in my stomach and it was only a matter of time before I suffered the same fate as John Hurt. Even though I knew it’d be hours before the eventual, my stomach was already starting to turn.
The problem, I told myself, was the bacteria. How the hell do you kill bacteria? Well I know they use rubbing alcohol to disinfect things. And that’s when the light bulb went on. I had a couple beers left over from the night before. Alcohol is alcohol right? I scrape my knee I could pour a cold beer over it.
I needed to pump my stomach with beer.
Sterilize the jerky.
A couple beers and a short nap later and I was feeling just fine! Success?!
Maybe not. Coming out of my nap I quickly relieved the day’s events an that nauseous feeling returned. I played it safe. I had some soup. Much easier to ungest soup that it is a steak or some chicken.
All was quiet on the gastric front.
Was it the beer? Had my friends the hop and the grain saved me from a horrible doom? Or had those few pieces of jerky been the only ones in the bag not bathed in evil? Maybe it was the echinacea Alan Alda told me to take.
Whatever it was, I was in the clear. Time to celebrate.
And a dance.