Approaching Demise: Burger King, Clapton, and Bin Laden

[Editor’s note: the following story has been confirmed true by numerous sources.]

October 29, 2002:

I sat in the university Burger King reading Chomsky. I was feeling inferior, enraged, impotent, invisible and alone. As I ate my fish sandwich, my mind wandered over the concept of how everything in this world, even love, is at the mercy of money and power. Without either, you are vulnerable to the cruel and evil ways of humankind. Capitalism is unforgiving and merciless. And capitalism is at the heart of everything we do. Darwin was a paranoid bastard, but he was right. Kill or be killed. Obviously, as I sat there, I was feeling the treachery that is Chomsky. That fucker will make you question your own mother.

Anyways, as I chomped on my psuedo-friend-from-the-sea, I noticed that the majority of patrons around me were Muslims speaking their native Arabic. I suddenly felt on-edge and somewhat nervous. My prejudices were kicking in from 9-11; I was in survival mode.

It was a strange moment indeed: Chomsky, Muslims, and a fish sandwich. What was going on here? Was I being given some sort of metaphysical Truth right before my eyes? Could all three entities be moving toward one understanding within a lonely student?

But wait! There is more.

Sitting there, trying to grasp the severity of the situation, I noticed a picture on the wall across from my booth. It was a photograph of two baby seals – a close-up of their faces. Each was staring at the camera, their black eyes sad and lonely. Underneath the photo it said: “Save Us”.

Save us? How true. How incredibly fucking true, brother.

Now we are in the absurd. How can all these messages be connected? “Save Us”? Save who? Fuck that, save me. I’m sitting here alone, eating chemically injected, mutated and poisoned fish, surrounded by what may very well be terrorists, and these seals want my help? Fuck that!

What a chilling moment I thought. What a ton of reality to lay on a single person at a singular moment. What brought me back to the warmth of denial, the acceptance that life is fine, that we’ll be all right, was the music being played in the fast food chain. It was none other than Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”.

So God, you rat bastard, you do have a sense of humor.

Copyright © 2003 William Seifert. All rights reserved.

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