▲HEAP

Greetings from the Golden Corral

I have certain information to share with you. I recently moved into a room separated from a smaller room by drywall. Where I can hear someone shifting around inside, listening to the BBC World Service.

I can tell you that horses are measured in hands. The tallest being over 20 hands high. Also: the nub on a horse's leg—a vestigial thumb—is called the chestnut. And the bottom of a horse's hoof is called the frog. (Truly.)

I submit that the horse is the only animal that wears shoes, tho not by choice. The police horse is the only animal with a job it hates. Their big eyes are foggy with anomie, bowels inflamed with the heightened contradictions of the capitalist state. Working horses are kept blindered, and their internet browsing closely monitored.

By classical conditioning, a pigeon can be made to play the first two bars of "Dixie" on a thumb piano. Dogs can be taught to sniff out drugs. Honeybees can smell contraband better than dogs, and at less cost, but the public still doesn't trust bees.


My brother got a lab assistant job at a medical testing center in Stilwell, Kan. They specialize in animal trials. They use mice, rats, beagles, and Crab-Eating Macaques.

Part of his job is to play with the monkeys. He blows bubbles with them, turns on a movie or some music. They like Finding Nemo and bluegrass. The Crab-Eating Macaque doesn't eat crabs usually, but will if they're available.

There’s a little chair to tie them down for injections. Some of the monkeys have microchips implanted to measure their blood pressure. They're given medication with a device called a pill gun. It perforated the throat of a monkey, once, and the monkey had to be put down.

I've caught fish and thrown them back, but I've never had the chance to kill an animal with righteousness. To put down a hurt dog, to crush a snake with a shovel, or even burn a brown recluse with a matchstick.

My brother says he could never have a pet beagle.