Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Disney buys Lucas, Episode 21 - Training The Vultures To Kill

I often go to a section of California Central Coast beach where the sight of Hearst's castle is visible toward the north, high upon a ridge of smooth green hills, standing there, like a spiritual home for my soul, where I tour the halls and patios and grounds in my mind and soak-in the dead and forgotten spirit of American Ambition that is no longer allowed to the individual unless he is prepared to travel a strangulating and ever-tightening corridor of politics and strictures and regulations and laws and eternally looming threats from "the authorities."
   I also train vultures there.
   Actually it is not so much a training of them as it is an "opening of their minds," as it were.
   As I have endeared myself to the species of crickets that inhabit Southern California by joining into their - science would call it primitive - Grand Collective via various acts of kindness and trust that have been communicated to the rest of the pleasant singers of the summer evening - - so too have I joined the vultures of the central coast. This was done not so much with acts of kindness as it was done with acts of slaughter.
   The details are a bit disquieting. Even to me.
   And it involved many many years of - to me - fascinating and totally-absorbing patience and love. Do not be fooled into complacency or begin to swoon with delight at this: animals can in fact feel your love. Many are the naturalists who know this. What these naturalists fail to notice a lot is that animals do not subjugate their other emotions and instincts to your feeling of love toward them. They merely recognize it and respond to it: at least until a more intense emotion or instinct suddenly takes its place. Such as fear. Or the sudden impulse to kill you.
   The California Vulture is universally unregarded as anything other than an omen or a companion of death.
   It is never regarded as a delightful aspect of the natural flora and fauna of the sort which special-needs children and retarded brain-dead adults and the sierra club find so giggly and precious and fuzzy and fun.
   But now, me, on the other hand, not being a special-needs child or a retarded brain-dead adult or a member of the Sierra Club -  i find California Vultures to be charming ambassadors of the sea and sky; the faithful hunting dogs of the dead and the watchful sentinels of cleanup from on high. Yes, they are like dogs to me.
   Humans get along with dogs.
   And I get along with vultures.
   Vultures, I don't know if you have noticed, and I don't suppose you have, are extremely cooperative with each other and astoundingly uncompetitive with other vultures. They do not even have a pecking order.
   Look at seagulls surrounding a dead fucking carp in the smelly, sodden, slimy sea rocks of low tide. There is more fucking noise and chasing-off-the-kill racket going on there than from the racket from all the episodes of the New Jersey Housewives being played simultaneously through a wall full of Altec Lansing concert speakers in a steel echo chamber. You can't even hear the fucking sea, what with the fucking noise of seagulls screaming at each other over a dead piece of miniscule crab snot.
   California Vultures at a kill?......whole 'nother story, my friend. Silence reigns serenely majestic and supreme. Vultures could be eating your own dead aromatic carcass inside a library and you would not hear a sound entering your own dead ears. Flesh is pulled-away peacefully and effortlessly and without a crunch or a crinkle. Bones fall from mighty, clinging, raw sinew like lemon grass is pulled from Thai soup with a spoon. All California Vultures are shown deference and honor and respect by all other California Vultures. "You want to wrench a wad of guts, my brother? Wait, I will pull my head out of the slop and nonchalantly gaze about whilst you ram your ugly face into the Stomach Pie. Take your time my friend! I will wait for you and contemplate the eternal mysteries of death and death."
    Competition at the dining table?....What is that. All eat quietly in tranquility and with calming reverence for decorum. Some do not eat at all but stand by the corpse and bask in the aroma of putrefaction or think about flying while others do the same from a nearby fencepost.
   There can be 20 vultures in a head-down dining circle around a dead fucking gopher and you never hear a fucking peep out of any of them. A dead horse in the thick grass might have 50 vultures standing ten feet away just looking at it for an hour, not one of them making a move toward it, each of them waiting serenely for another, perhaps more worthy or honored to please be first my friend. If a steer drops dead at the Vulture Shopping Mall, all the vultures will just look at it for days if necessary until the first whiff of death-caused-bonifide decay drifts to their snouts and even then they wait a while longer just to be sure.

Vultures are complete ladies and gentlemen, in other words.
   Because vultures fear the living. Vultures have no defenses. Vultures cannot kill. They don't know how. They have no idea what violence or aggression or quibbling or haggling or challenging or combat or dominance even is. They only know death. Death caused by something other than by them. Vultures are like flying cows. Carcasses are their grass. They are the bovine airheads of the sky. They have the faces of Satan, red, raw, and uglier than Michelle Obama. But also like Satan they have wings. Soft, feathery wings of silk that catch every current of air so that only rarely need they even flap them. They recline comfortably with mint juleps on their feathered verandas at 300 feet and look for death. And. also like Satan, they are very intelligent. But unlike Satan they are not fools. They're just birds. Silent birds. They don't tweet, they don't caw, they don't chirp, they don't beep, they don't buzz. They just land. And then eat. And then leave.
   They never have to hunt, and because they always find dinner simply awaiting them upon Nature's Nightmare Terrestrial Landmass Of Carnage - they never worry about their next meal. They know it is already laid out for them somewhere. They just have to go look for it. Which they will do just as soon as they finish with this one, hold on, I'll be right there, corpse, let me eat this corpse here first and then I will be right with you, thanks, bro.
   They are the living advice of Jesus "be not anxious about tomorrow, today is more than appropriate enough for all your attention."
   A California vulture has the anxiety level of a Department of Motor Vehicles license renewer and only half the energy. And Department of Motor Vehicles license renewers are as inert as sunken vessels.
   California Vultures are inert but not unaware. They are hyperactively timid. If it moves and it is not a breeze they will stay away from it. They will not let a moving frog come near them unless it is a dead one. And then it would have to stop moving before they would be brave enough to approach it. They don't even want other birds around them. The only living things they are not terrified of is other California Vultures. And as for humans, when was the last time you saw one in your vicinity at a picnic or a camp out or hopping around your car in a parking lot. "Never" was the last time.
   If you were to stumble upon a herd of feeding, somehow unalert, vultures, not only would they fly off, they would not return probably for days just to make sure that you were likely tired of waiting for them. Because why should they hurry back? If something else comes along to eat their meal, they are going to eventually leave something. And the vulture will just come back and eat that. And if nothing comes by to take his meal? That means the meal is only getting better and more flavorful with putrid disgust and foul and filthy filthiness. So what's the hurry to return. And what's the problem with delaying the meal: it's not as though a vulture is a humming engine of internal and external frenetic excitement. Vulture life is a life of leisurely lethargy on-high, soaring comfortably and calmly among the upper mists -  like grampa in his hammock, his belly filled with beer, and pissing himself in urinating, snoring delight. A fast-moving vulture is a vulture that just got slammed by a highballing Semi and whose blood is now radiating away from him at 100 miles and hour. In fact, how vultures manage to keep from accidentally eating each other, thinking each other dead, is something I haven't figured out yet.
   I seem to have lost my place. Talking about vultures tends to put me to sleep.
Oh yes, training them to kill.
   I guess I haven't even broached that yet, have I.
   Well! turns out!!...California Vultures can be turned into unerring, flying, attack serpents!...silent in approach, deadly in damage affliction, and generous in their cooperation with you! "You" being me.
   How exactly does one go about doing this, you say. And you might also be saying what would be the  reason, exactly, why you would yada yada and so on and so forth.
   How one goes about this is a long story. And as for why anyone would bother doing this - that's a short story but I don't want to go into it. Maybe you can get it out of me if you put a gun to my head. I often become extremely cooperative when there is a gun to my head.
   There are two versions to the "how you do this" lesson, one of them true, one of them false.
   I am going to select one of these versions and put it here.
   Once upon a time I found an old robe on the beach. It was soaking wet of course, it was wedged into the rocks and at the moment that i saw the robe the rocks were being hit once in a while with the remnants of an onto shore exhausted wave, slapping its last inch forward before sliding back down the slope of sand to its brethren, already coming forward to meet it.
   The day was hot and the beach was barren, and as is often the case, I was in the mood for a nap.
   Wringing out the robe and going to the hot dry sand closer to the bluff I laid down more to listen to the sea with my eyes closed than to sleep. And the robe, i was convinced, was germ free, being scrubbed by the salt water  and the stones for probably days. The fact that it still existed at all meant it couldnt have been there too long. Cloth seems to never exist at the seashore i have noticed. Parts of trees? -  yeah. A lotta those at the seashore. Cloth? Not really. Clothes and the sea seems to be natural enemies. And the clothes always wind-up being the thing that eventually ain't there no more, while the sea, it kinda just stays there. The clothes don't get rid of the sea. The sea gets rid of the clothes. That seems to be the pattern.
   I seem to have lost my place again.
   So I draped myself in the robe, and it had a cowl so that was cool - cool in both ways - and i kinda just laid down on the warm sand and pretended I was a hauled-out seal, living the normal seal life of being absolutely useless and ugly and serving no earthly purpose.
   Apparently I had given the same impression to the vultures which inhabit the central coast like illegals inhabit MacArthur Park.
   I had fallen asleep. And when I awoke it was in a state of motionlessness. I just sensed something was not quite right. The cowl was covering most of my face and the first thing I noticed out of the one eye that was able to peer out from under the cowl with was that the light had gone from day to sunset. The other thing I noticed was that there were a dozen vultures 30 feet away standing on the dried seaweed, looking right at me.
   I know enough about vultures to know they find food by scent, not by sight. I also knew they will never approach a living creature, no matter how ill and helpless it might be. That just ain't their thing, to eat the living. Which I think is astoundingly admirable. I have no idea why vultures are reviled. A fucking goddamn housecat, if it was hungry enough - or if it just took a fucking notion to -  would take a fucking bite out of your ballsack while you were napping on the sofa, forget about waiting for you to fucking die or even get fucking sick. There isnt a predator on earth that would hang around and give you the courtesy to fucking die and let your soul leave your own body before the fucking asshole started gnawing on ya if you were alone and helpless and weak and it was starving. You would sit there and watch yourself get digested by rats and cats and dogs long before your eyes closed for the last time. You would die pissed.
   A vulture never puts you through that. It waits patiently until you are done living your worthless little life and then it will even wait a little bit more, give you that little bit of grace period to let maybe some of the chemicals and meat and other goo that makes you you turn to fucking rotting snot before it hops quietly over to you and starts effortlessly pulling the bones off of your ligaments and pulling your ribs off of your spine. The commonly called "buzzard" is a bird of politeness and respect. It is a noble and distinguished respecter of your personhood. And it waits until your personhood is esconsed comfortably in Hell before it even thinks about desecrating the "temple" that you formerly lived in.
   I love vultures.
   And I am not what you would call an animal guy!
   Where was I.
   So there I was; me; a noble, fair, long hair, leaping gnome, the star of a Hollywood horror movie.
   This really blew my mind.
   Actually it's more that it caught my mind's attention. It didn't  really blow it. It just woke it up a little more than is usual for it.
   Apparently I looked like a dead seal, I thought to myself.
   My brain, already more awake than usual, as I just mentioned, instantly wondered what would happen if i did smell like a dead seal.
   I had no dead seals in my possession to smear all over myself and I didn't feel like laying there until i was actually dead, so I stirred myself just a tad. I didnt want to traumatize the polite and courteous watchers of my earthly departure, I just wanted to get on with my pathetic life, they could have me soon enough, so I just moved a foot or two a bit and they calmly arose from their location in a blanket of courteous waves of the wings and slow but efficient departure and I watched them variously separate and sail away with scarcely a flap of any wings and I put one finger to one lip and thought and pensively mused.
   What followed is too disgusting even for me to take any real enjoyment in telling, plus it violated many of the State Fish and Game Commission and Coastal Commision and Environmental Protection Agency Commission and Interior Department Commision and Federal Wildlife Management Commission and Bureau of Land Management Commission and Harbor Seal Commission and Haul-Out Protection Agency Commission and Rookery Oversight Commission statues and bylaws and one or two Seal Pup Protection edicts.
   Let us just say that the robe underwent some scentorial alterations. Grievous ones.
   I frankly don't know how the robe managed to endure it's own existence as long as it did, considering the stuff that was being done to it, but whoever lost it knew a few things about quality control and fine craftsmanship and solid materials and attention to detail. Because I think is lasted at least two months. I was sorry to see it go, it must have once belonged to a Persian mystic with a sultanship, it was so well made. The robe of Jesus that the Roman Grunts gambled over could not have been of better quality.
   Lesser robes were of course easy to acquire and since the eradication of the original treasure these inferior products have sufficed, though I have to be careful with the amounts of offal and evisceration I can slather onto them because rotting cloth besoaked with liquified death does not hold together well, especially inferior rotting cloth besoaked with liquified death.
   And, dear me, I seem to have let some of the gutted and disemboweled cat out of the bag, haven't I. It is no matter, for this, after all, could be the false story and not the true one, if you will remember.
   Laying in the sun on the sand inside a robe sopping with not only seal stench but with dead-seal seal stench is not something I would suggest anyone ever do if fun and excitement and feeling the reassurance that life is worth living is your goal.
   But if your goal is becoming a divine, wondrous, all loving, all providing God to a herd of idiot vultures....then I would highly recommend it!
Teaching the vultures to hunt and kill... I had long ago decided would not be all that difficult. Teaching them to hunt and kill and then bringing to me the dead, uneaten carcasses, however.....that was something I decided would be a little bit more difficult.
   The upshot of all this is that i can now command vultures to bring to me peoples' pet dogs. At the moment I cannot make these forays dog-specific. Species-specific, yes. Individual dog-targetting, no. They now limit themselves to owned housedogs. But the sad fact is the vultures are as apt to bring me the rare "nice" dog as they are the ordinary asshole fucking dog that people seem to enjoy accumulating into their human families, assuming these people are actually human and are producing human offspring, which I doubt. I would define a "nice" dog as one that never shits or pisses on other peoples' property and never barks at non-threatening objects or people or planes flying overhead or birds roosting quietly in Borneo.
   The good part is I can never tell just by looking at the delivered carcasses which dogs are - or were - the formerly good dogs and which ones were the formerly asshole motherfuckers. And that sort of bothers me, actually. But bees bother me too. And yet I put up with them. So fuck it. Ya know?




At March 9, 2013 at 3:35 AM , Blogger Woodstock said...

You know, I'm gonna miss you when they finally kick your door in and drag you off into the night to where ever it is that the cocksuckers take people like you and I.


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