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Behold My Brilliant Use of Subtle Metaphor!

October 2, 2007

So there was a group of us riding in a van down the highway. Recently, we’d had an argument over who would get to drive, but that was pretty much settled and done with.

Then some asshole rear-ended us, and a couple of us got hurt real bad. Later there would be some argument over whether or not we should have sold this guy a car several years ago in the first place, or if the driver should have seen him coming in the rear-view mirror, but for the moment, we were just pissed. So we take off after this guy and along the way we get on the phone and call a couple of our buddies out with us and we’re all chasing the bastard down the road, ramming him like he did to us. We got in a few good hits, and just when it looked like we were about to drive the son of a bitch right off the road, our driver saw a sign on the side of the road:

Alligator farm- 10 miles

The driver said to us, “Hey, since this guy is an asshole, let’s go drive into the alligator farm and start running over the alligators.”

And about half of us in our van, and most of the people our friend’s cars all said, “What the fuck are you smoking? Are you insane? These alligators have nothing to do with the man who rammed us.”

But the driver was insistent. “No, you see we know this guy is a snake, see, and alligators are reptiles too, so it makes sense that we should drive into the alligator farm and ram the alligators before they come bite us.”

Now you have to understand, several of us on one side of the van were still very angry and scared from being rear-ended, and they decided that so far the driver had been doing a pretty good job teaching that punk a lesson, so they threw their support behind the driver. “How dare you question our navigator-in-chief in a time of conflict? He’s trying to protect us, to fight them over there so we don’t fight them over here!”

“But he’s clearly on crack,” said the other side of the van. “If we go into that farm, we’ll run right through it until we get to the swamp, and then we’ll start sinking and the surviving alligators will eat us alive.”

“That doesn’t matter,” said the scared and angry side. And they kept saying it, while the driver continued to insist that the alligators were a grave and growing danger, telling all sorts of scary alligator stories until eventually most of the van had been convinced that it was now a good idea to drive into an alligator farm. By this time, most of our friends in their cars had seen the looming clusterfuck on the horizon, and had peeled off from the formation and driven home. Only a couple cars stayed with us, and most of the people in those cars didn’t actually want to be along for the ride anymore, but they were stuck and couldn’t do anything about it. In all this confusion, the original asshole who had rear-ended us had driven off into the sunset, and we still don’t know where he is to this day.

That didn’t seem to matter too much though, because now most of us were really jazzed up to go trample some alligators. The farm was just a mile or two ahead, and when we reached it we just drove straight in and nothing stopped us. In fact, we got all the way to the other side of the alligator farm, and pretty much every alligator that stood up to us along the way got pasted.

About then it became apparent that we were in the swamp, that we were starting to sink, and the alligators were coming to eat us alive. It didn’t start all at first of course; it built slowly. First, the mosquitoes started swarming us and biting everything in sight. The driver didn’t seem real concerned. Then an alligator slowly swam past, checking us out.

“Doesn’t matter,” said the driver. “He’s just a dead-ender. He’ll figure out what’s what pretty soon. We’ll ram a few more of them, and that’ll show ’em who’s boss.”

Another alligator swam by. Some of us were starting to get nervous. The driver revved the engine to see if we could get some traction get moving again, but the more he pressed the gas pedal, the deeper we sank into the muck as the tires dug holes for themselves. It was when an alligator reached through and open window, and dragged one of us out to be torn to crimson rags as the rest of the van looked on in horror that it became apparent to most of us that things were now officially Really Bad. The shock of that screeching, bloody death distracted us for a moment, and when we looked up we realized that the few friends who had driven into the alligator farm with us were starting to leave. Either they managed to back their cars out of the muck and leave, or they just abandoned their vehicles and swam to safety.

A big argument broke out. Some of us said that the man who’d driven us into the alligator farm was a total fucking moron and that we should choose another driver. Others said that we should stay the course, and try revving the engine some more. They questioned if the people who wanted a new driver were loyal to the carpool, or if they were just getting schadenfreude kicks out of seeing the alligators pick us off one by one (while this argument was going on two more of us had been eaten).

Eventually, amazingly, the driver kept his seat and the argument settled down. The people riding in the few cars that had stuck with us this long seemed distraught at our choice. They got very angry at their drivers for following our driver into the alligator farm, but nobody in our van really cared about that one way or the other. I mean, who gives a shit about England anyhow?

So we stayed the course.

Occasionally we would manage to get a little traction, lurch forward, and crush an alligator, but there were always more than we could hit. By this time, some of us had gotten the idea that it was time to give up on showing the alligators who is boss, and try using some ropes we found in the trunk to pull our van out of the muck. Maybe we could even catch the bastard who rammed us and start beating up on him again. More and more people in the van seemed to be warming up to this idea, but the supporters of slogging it out here in the mud got ever more shrill in their arguments as they felt the mood of the van slipping away from them.

They said, “You guys are showing weakness. We need to stick this thing out to the very end.”

And we replied, “In case you haven’t noticed, we’re stuck in an alligator farm, and we’re being eaten alive!”

They responded, “Such criticisms are irresponsible. They give aid and comfort to the alligators, and you should never do that. Some constructive criticism is appreciated, but don’t go crazy.”

And we repeated, “In case you haven’t noticed, we’re stuck in a goddamn alligator farm! We said this would happen before we drove into the alligator farm, and maybe if you’d listened to us then, we wouldn’t have to be saying it now.”

“Be that as it may,” said the others, “you’re a bunch of whiny liberal saps who just love to see us get eaten by alligators and you really need to shut up and support the driver so he can finish beating up the alligators. Hearing your complaints is the only thing that keeps them farm giving up. They really care about what you think.”

“Who gets to decide what is reasonable criticism of the driver?” we asked.

“The driver,” said the driver’s supporters.

Just then the driver spoke up, “Hey, I think I can see a sign…yeah, there it is. It says ‘Piranha Aquarium, 5 miles.'”

Oh no, we thought.

“I got an idea…” he said.

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One comment

  1. Now do one on unwaranted vetoing!



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