Larry Kahaner

Archive for the month “October, 2020”

At Least I Didn’t Screw Up as Bad as Pandora

But I Still Shouldn’t Have Opened that Can of Worms

By Larry Kahaner

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Image by Richard Duijnstee from Pixabay

This story was first published in The Haven

My friend Horace, well, he’s not actually a friend, more of an acquaintance, handed me a can of worms and said not to open it.

“Why not?” I asked.

He looked at me like I had an extra head, which I often carry around to scare little kids, and said: “Because it’s a can of worms, for god’s sake. Everyone knows you’re not supposed to open it.”

Everyone but me. Apparently. But his admonition scared me enough that instead of opening the can, I set it aside and Googled: ‘What to do with a can of worms.’

The answer came back strong and clear. ‘Don’t open it.’

I was directed to several web pages, one of which relayed the story of a woman named Pandora who was given a jar by Zeus. He was a big deal, king of the Gods, and then there was something about Prometheus stealing fire, yada, yada. Anyway, he warned Pandora not to open the jar, but she did anyway and released all the evils into the world. I wouldn’t want that on my head for eternity. Not only that, but people on the web were arguing about how Pandora’s Jar became Pandora’s Box over centuries of retelling the story. It has to do with translating from Greek to English, but I became bored with the discussion and moved to the next site which offered suggestions about hitting a hornet’s nest with sticks.

‘Don’t do it,” the internet people advised once more. Again with the negativity.

To bolster their position they showed me a video of a guy with a large gut spilling out of his T-shirt holding a beer in one hand and a tree branch in the other whacking the hell out of a hornet’s nest. His friends were laughing as his head grew to twice its size and his eyes swelled shut. They laughed even harder when the medivac helicopter’s downdraft blew the beer out of his hand.

Is this what I have in store if I open my can of worms? Do worms even fly? Are there more evils to be unleashed that I don’t know about?

I stared at the can. Then I stared at the can opener. Then I noticed the pull tab. The universe was telling me to open this can.

So I did.

What was inside? Worms slithering around in dirt and moss, minding their own business except for that one worm, the largest of the lot, who squinted from the light for a few seconds, then looked me squarely in the eye and said: “Now you’re in trouble. Don’t you know that you’re not supposed to open a can of worms?”

He was right. My life is in shambles. I don’t want to talk about it. Trust me; you don’t want to know about it, either. Just know that I am rebuilding my life from scratch.

It’s a long road, but I will get there, because I’m learning from my mistake. Yesterday, I saw a sleeping dog and let him lie.

Baby steps.

Stop Anthropomorphizing Us Cuddly Critters Just So You Can Write a Poignant Story

Don’t force us to tell your kids the truth

By Larry Kahaner

Image for post
Image by Andy M. from Pixabay

(This story first appeared in Jane Austen’s Wastebasket)

I am the spokesanimal for Small Animals Against Anthropomorphizing® and we’re pissed off.

You people never seem to understand that every time you give us human characteristics we suffer. Life is difficult enough being a small critter without you piling on the addition of people-type feelings and then projecting your emotional issues on us. Yeah, I’m looking at you C.S. Lewis, A.A Milne, Lewis Carroll, E.B. White and Walt Dis… I can’t even say his name. And what’s with all those letters instead of first names? Ashamed? I thought so.

We have our own problems: pesticides, traps, predators, grimy kids squeezing us to death, pulling off our little legs while dancing (RIP, uncle Benny), feeding us people food — all because people think we love them.

And where do people get the idea that we love them? From your inane, bullshit stories that makes us seem human.

Do you understand the vicious cycle of horror that you wreak upon us?

I know what you’re about to ask me. Aren’t you now exhibiting the human characteristic of anger?

While this makes me appear humanlike it’s not the same. This is bona fide animal fury and my shrink has told me to own it. That’s why our members, including me, don’t need any more emotional projection from you people. Deal with your own shit.

And another thing, when you misspell our written words or make it seem like we’ve got a human child’s fractured vocabulary that’s… that’s… UGH! It gets me so angry that I can’t even talk about it. Don’t even get me started on backwards letters.

Let’s be clear. We’re not talking about dogs and cats. They’ve long ago relinquished any rights to not feel like humans. That was their choice, and it works for them. But for the rest of us, stop making believe that we’re a font of human foibles. It’s damn depressing.

Beware. We’re growing in numbers and keeping track of your transgressions. We’ve received interest in joining our group from insects. Not to mention non-animals like plants, trees, rocks, and vegetables are getting tired of having human emotions thrust upon them just so you can tell one of your feeble tales.

I know what else you’re probably thinking. Doesn’t my plea itself reek of meta self-awareness, a human trait? Screw you. That’s none of your business.

This is your last warning. We’re mad as hell. Though definitely not in a human way! And we’re not going to take it anymore.

Watch out! You have no idea (unless you attribute it to us, you bastards) of how we will seek our revenge.

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