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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #463
Burrito Boy
David Gunn

Oldchief Pescador thought he had seen everything over the course of his 108 years, but he had to admit to the tribal elders that he'd never before seen the boy-creature that for the past two days had soared overhead in the sky astride a giant goose. Some of the villagers thought it was a reincarnation of their god Quetzalcoatl, however the image didn't jibe with anything in Toltec or Aztec mythology. Quetzalcoatl was always depicted as a colorfully plumed serpent, sometimes carrying a bucket of calamari festooned with wriggling Möbius strips. This boy-creature seemed to be encased in a giant tortilla. And the rest of his raiment suggested cloth representations of beef, beans, cheese and chili peppers. The bird he was riding shared many characteristics of regulation-sized geese--webbed feet, a down coat, long and powerful jaws that bore dozens of curved, serrated teeth with which it tore the bark off of dogwood trees to get to the tasty veins of aspartame below. However, it also had a storage bin built into its torso that could accommodate small parcels. Hence, the UPS logo on its flank. And, judging by the lurid tattoo that appeared underneath its wings when they unfurled, there was no question that it was a gander.

Pescador, the tribal elders and the villagers--who together numbered about 40--were all that remained of a tribe of Zaparro Indians reputed to be the last living descendents of the trilobites that ruled the world for a couple of months during the late Paleozoic Era. They lived on a high mesa far up in the remote mountainous hinterlands of the Mexican state of Zacatecas. Twice a year, they shed their longitudinally lobed shells. A member of the tribe, usually one who was petitioning to gain an adulthood merit badge, took them to the open air market at Ciudad del Ajo to barter for food and chemicals. Thanks to the Kevlar-like nature of the shells, they were very much prized by the local mercenaries.

The oldchief was absent-mindedly picking at a whiskery piece of calcium carbonate on his chin that hadn't molted with the rest of his shell, trying to decide what to do about the airborne interlopers, but it was Perromudo, the youngest of the tribal elders, who suggested convening a meeting. Dutifully following both custom and the precepts of Reglas de Roberto, the meeting was properly warned, and enough villagers attended to constitute a quorum. Since neither goose nor boy-creature had shown any hostile intent, it was decided to officially welcome them into the community. But, what to call them? Just then, the merit-badge-seeking villager returned with large bags stuffed with boron and burritos. The resemblance of the latter to the goose wrangler instantly suggested that they name him el muchacho burrito, Burrito Boy. The motion was seconded, and carried with an amendment that his giant gander escort be called Newfoundland. The formal recognition of the strangers in the sky did two things: it prompted Burrito Boy to forthwith guide Newfoundland to earth, and it inspired the village musician to compose the shortest song in the history of the tribe--a mere hemidemisemiquaver long. It probably would have been longer, but before the musician could add a second note to his impromptu composition, he was flattened by the goose alighting.

The elders waggled their pygidia in horror. Horror readily turned to horripilation, as they were grazed by Newfoundland's unfurled wings as it landed and began to lap aspartame from the ground. Horripilation, better known as los gansos topa, or goose bumps, is of course the bristling action body hair takes when bumped unexpectedly by a goose. Burrito Boy clambered unsteadily down from his perch, extracted a small theodolite from a recess in his tortilla robe, and surveyed the villagers. They scrutinized him back. Up close, he didn't appear quite so godlike. He was small, like an intestine, an analogy that was helped by the aroma radiating from his garments. His adobe hat was battered and grimy, and had none of the regal qualities of those of the tribe's other gods. And when at last he opened his mouth to speak, the heavens didn't reverberate in sublime counterpoint from the Choir Invisible. Instead, he sounded like a slowly leaking bagpipe.

On the other hand, Newfoundland--once he had had his fill of aspartame--displayed a demeanor of utter imperiousness. He honked and hissed and broke unpleasant wind. He pecked Burrito Boy unmercifully until the latter was a writhing mass of goose flesh. Then, spotting the village refrigerator, he stomped over to it, overturned it, and sucked all of the aspartame from the vapor compression chamber.

Formally greeted or not, the two newcomers had swiftly worn out their welcome. Oldchief Pescador and the elders retreated to the community center, Casa Calamari, and convened an emergency meeting. A motion was made to drive Burrito Boy and Newfoundland from the village. A loud and horrific cry interrupted the seconding of the motion, and the elders looked out just in time to see Burrito Boy and his fetid wrappings disappear down the goose's gullet. The motion was referred to committee, which recommended striking el muchacho burrito from the proposal. But how to rid the village of Newfoundland? He was certainly no ordinary goose.

Again, it was Perromudo who came up with the answer. Showing great courage, the youngest elder doused himself in aspartame and ran past el ganso gigante. Hissing greedily, Newfoundland instantly gave chase. The goose was fast, and it had nearly caught up with Perromudo as he dived through the door to a hut. Newfoundland followed, too voracious to realize that the hut was really the village kiln. Perromudo wriggled up through the chimney to safety, jumped down and latched the door, and turned on the oven. By the time the elders arrived, Burrito Boy's goose had been cooked.

A week of revelry and foie gras followed, and might have continued ad infinitum, had not the oldchief interrupted the festivities to tune in today's 463rd episode of Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar--a formidable task, indeed, considering the village's chimerical radio reception. You, our listening audients, on the other hand, need only sit back in relative comfort for the next two hours and let this program's patent-pending W-rays coat you with august noises from California. Details soon follow.