Monday, May 28, 2007

I've Come A Long Way, Baby!

Many people have asked, who is this Snag, international gourmand, music critic, and poet?

Excellent question. Please allow me to introduce myself.

I was born many decades ago in a small hamlet in Peru, the scion of missionary parents. My father, a well-known cartoonist, died during childbirth. Shortly after, my mother, a devout follower of Aleister Crowley, despaired of her lot and traded my twin sister and me for a handful of tin.

In keeping with the traditions of the natives who subsequently raised us, my sister was home-schooled while I was put to work tending the tree squirrels that were the basis for our tribe's economy. So successful were the shaman's teachings that my sister left our home for the University of Chicago Medical School at the age of sixteen, the same year that I was packed in a shipping crate and airmailed to Waterloo, Iowa.

The choice of my destination remains shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the bond I had formed with the squirrels disconcerted others of my tribe and Waterloo seemed a safe distance away. Perhaps my brethren's fondness for Abba led to some understandable confusion. No matter. Waterloo it was.

As can be imagined, the people of northern Iowa were more than a little surprised to open the crate and discover a six-foot tall hunchback speaking in clicks and whistles. The good people of the Midwest, however, swallowed their disappointment and took me under their wing. Before long I had a steady job washing cows and had begun to make friends. All was well.

That is, until the first spring rolled around. In spring a young man's fancy, and all that. My mistake, I admit, but really, how was I to know the fine points of bowling alley etiquette? And it's not like you can't wash a bowling ball. Nevertheless, a series of harshly worded court orders led to my taking leave of the friends I'd so recently made.

Fortunately, my time with the squirrels had taught me many useful foraging skills. On these I relied for almost fifteen years. Whether it was nuts, berries, or road kill, I could get there first and gorge most. It was a good life, but I wanted more. I needed a degree.

I took my entrance examinations and applied at most of the major research universities. While several expressed interest in me as a subject, none were willing to gamble on me as a student. Was it the ACT essay written in crayon or some deeper prejudice? Who can say. In any event, it was a bitter pill to swallow but I vowed to persevere.

I did, and took the drastic step of joining the Peace Corps. Although I had hoped for a posting in Cameroon or Uzbekistan, I soon found myself in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, building schools and digging wells. I'll always cherish my memories of those two years, helping these forgotten people reclaim a small shred of dignity. These two years were also enough to turn the heads of the same admission counselors who had previously rejected me and I quickly found myself bombarded with brochures from most of the top-tier schools.

By then, my motto was fool me once, won't get fooled again and I dismissed their entreaties. I had bigger fish to fry. Fortunately, there are several Lisbon-based mail order colleges offering a number of very attractive study-at-home degree programs and I promptly availed myself of an exciting opportunity in biomedical research. My isolated, unmarked cabin in the far reaches of the
Gifford Pinchot National Forest was the perfect place for me to hone my skills in the vivisectionist arts.

It is not an easy life, trapping and gutting prey, wrapping it tightly in butcher paper, and hiking the many miles to the nearest post office, then waiting weeks and sometimes months for an evaluation in Portuguese, a language I know nothing about. It had to be done, though, and after three grueling years and a graduation ceremony conducted entirely by telegraph, I was ready to strike out on my own. I sharpened my blade, left my homestead, and headed for the big city, ready to make my mark as a freelance coroner.

Business was slow at first and the drain tile I installed in my garage seemed to trouble many of my neighbors. This is a great country, however, and anyone can live his or her dream. Within months, I had more clients than I could handle and took on several assistants.

Since then, I have built one of the more successful
abattoirs in the quad state area. I have met and married the woman of my dreams and together we are raising three angels from heaven, plus our children. I mostly telecommute now from the spacious doublewide I welded myself on seventeen acres of the most beautiful termite mounds you've ever seen. In my spare time I coach Skee-ball and grow nettles. I have a five-legged dog named Katie and a horse with no name. I've even reconnected with my sister, who has been recently released from a long stint for Medicaid fraud and has promised to take a look at my hunch.

And yet, with all I have, I occasionally find myself wondering, is this all there is? Will I never climb the Pyrenees on the back of a llama? Will I never raft the wild rivers of Nebraska, or hunt the mighty shrew, or eat salmon from a box?

We shall see. My life is a young one and the offal I consume promises me a long and vibrant existence. I am merely happy for the opportunity to share it with you and to tell you a little about me, the man you thought you knew.

8 comments:

fish said...

My god! That's no bowling ball!! That's my wife!!22!!!!

Jennifer said...

"Will I never climb the Pyrenees on the back of a llama?"

You'd EAT the llama!!!

Adorable Girlfriend said...

To quote Fish Fry:

You've crossed a line!

P.S. Katie still hates you.

Kathleen said...

this so reads like a jumbo mad libs.

billy pilgrim said...

If you had it to do over agin, snag, would you still have left high school to become a Sherpa in the mountains of Iowa? Do you think you would still leave your first love, paper-hanging, to become Rangoon's top mule dentist?

In retrospect, is it still a good idea to use beaver pelts to pay your taxes? And should you have kissed that yeti, knowing how high-maintenance they are?

All water under the bridge now, I suppose. You'll have to be content with a three room rambler and your gross of specially trained guinea pigs.

All in all, I always preferred "Hope I die before I get old in my Magic Bus" as a motto.

Snag said...

Good one Fish! I tried it out on my wife. I'm spending the night on the couch.

And don't knock llama until you've tried it.

The best part of paperhanging is eating the paste.

plover said...

Just yesterday I was eating salmon from a box. I don't terribly recommend it if you can get your salmon some other way.

fish said...

In a house? With a mouse?