Allegory of the Grocery Store

You’re at the grocery store. It’s the only grocery store you’ve ever been to, the only one you know. Maybe you know there are others, and you’re just comfortable there. Either way.

You’re there to pick up some rat poison for dinner. Here’s the thing: you’re really fucking tired of rat poison. Everywhere you go, every meal served is rat poison. It doesn’t taste good, and you suspect it’s harming your insides. But there at the grocery store, the only thing on the shelves is rat poison. Thirty aisles of rat poison. Stand-up displays of rat poison. Small packages of rat poison near the register.

At least, that’s the way it was the last time you were there. This time, there’s something new, interrupting the sea of rat poison for one lone shelf: “Rrrat Poison”. Look at all those r’s in a row. Below the brand name, in big bold letters: “Not like all the other rat poison.”

You’ve got to eat something. And you’re really fucking tired of rat poison. So you buy the rrrat poison. You have it for dinner. And it’s a little different than rat poison. It’s not the same taste. You take another bite. Golly, weren’t you tired of that old rat poison? You take another bite. Yep, it’s definitely not the old rat poison. It’s at least slightly different. Another bite. How did you ever manage to eat all that old rat poison?

Then one day, you’re talking about rrrat poison with a co-worker or friend. You two share conspiratorial looks. How can anyone eat that horrible regular rat poison? Some people have no taste.

At home, during dinner, the TV plays a commercial for Rrrat Poison. “If you like rebelling and being different, have we got the thing for you. This ain’t your grandmammy’s rat poison!” A recipe blog on your tablet screen tells you only trash boil their rrrat poison. The new method for those with class is oven roasting their rrrat poison.

A little blood drips from your nose. You wipe it away. You’re distracted, thinking about where you can buy an oven. You wonder if there are t-shirts you can buy to let everyone know you prefer rrrat poison.

You’ll mention this idea to your co-worker the next day. They’ll call the hypothetical shirt “sheep repellant.”

You will try to get a side gig going selling “Rrrat Poison Rrrules” shirts. The company that makes Rrrat Poison will sue you into debtor’s prison.

You’ll read in the court filings that the company that makes “Rrrat Poison” is owned by the company that makes regular old rat poison.

In debtors’ prison, they don’t serve Rrrat Poison. They will say, “This is prison, not a teen center.” Everyone’s eyes will bleed. Everyone will run out of sleeves to wipe themselves clean.

Author: Andy

Writer, storyteller, poet, dreamweaver, fantastician, explicator, translator, innovator, potater

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