andy rooney

rooney or manatee

This is a bold blogging experiment, or ‘blogxperiment,’ as it’s known by most. Instead of smacking down a single entry and dictating your reading material to you, as if I were some Idi Amin of Ublogda, I’m giving you a choice between two possible blog entries. Two! Possible! Blo! Gentries! You can either read about #1) my habit of keeping useless receipts, in the style of an increasingly deranged Andy Rooney, or #2) my desire to imitate a manatee. You can’t read both, though, so make up your mind now.

#1. It seems to me that it’s getting harder and harder to do anything in life without someone handing you a receipt. Four dollars at Starbucks will get you a cup of coffee and a slip of paper telling you what you already know – that you just got ripped off. Why do you want that painful reminder riding around in your billfold, just so you can file it away later in the hope of a tax break?

I think my liver just stopped. No, wait, there it goes. Good for another day.

My Marguerite is dead, but if she were still around, she’d tell me stop bringing home those damn receipts. Andy, she’d say, Those receipts are trouble. And she’d be right. I’ll never send them to my accountant. The mongrel races are trying to raise Cthulhu again, people, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here while the fatcats in Washington cower in their padded seats. Time to heatseal the uniform on and dive back down to R’lyeh Under the Sea, where the dark god waits in the stone mazes of his lair. Time to finish what I started so many decades ago.

Why are you staring at me? Am I doing it again?

#2. I was thinking – what if I told everyone that I was a manatee, and not, as I only appear to be, some half-Portuguese dude with a strong chin and a bad back? Because I have a hunch that when humankind finally annihilates itself, and the exhausted survivors are left gasping on the shoals of extinction, the manatees will rise from the waves and hunt us for sport. I’d like to be on the right side when that day comes. And even if my hunch is off, what harm could it do to insist that I was a manatee? What a novelty it would be to go out and spot a real live manatee out for dinner, talking with friends, or trying to cash an out-of-province third party cheque at a gas station just living it up, manatee-style. Eating some algae, chillaxing in the warm waters of the Gulf, getting busy now and again. Until the propellers and the red algae come to harsh on my manatee mellow.

Man, I wish I had a little animated .gif of a dancing manatee right now. I’d put a line of them right across the screen. Or even better, a nifty bit of javascript that compelled a gaggle of the lumpy critters to follow your mouse pointer around the screen. Would that convince you of my sincerity? I’ve even written a national anthem for my adoptive species, to the tune of “O Canada”:

O Man-a-tee
You damp and pond’rous beast
On hu-man flesh
You’ll soon joyously feast

When the waters rise
You will claim our home
From New York to the Keys
And the lands we knew
That we called our own
Will swarm with man-a-tees!

You’ll chop us down
Manatees with swords
It’s payback time
For our new overlords

It’s payback time
For our new o-ver-lords

Wait a minute. Why would be a manatee anthem be sung from the point of view of human beings? Because, like the ancient Greeks, the manatees honour their defeated enemies by commemorating them in their art. As a manatee, I understand these things.