The menu at the Alternative Café has exotic sandwiches. I use them as writing prompts, but I can’t recommend them as gourmet cuisine. For example, take today’s special. There’s not much meat on a rat. Don’t be put off by what you may have heard about the species. These are not wild rats. They’re raised for this purpose. They’re hairless so they can be prepared quickly. Still, a rat is not a hog or a steer. Even though a rat farm produces more protein per pound of feed, one must eat a lot of rats to feel satisfied. Let’s face it, they’re scrawny.
I’ve suggested the proprietress serve the livers, but I’m told that livers are not widely acceptable, even if they are made into a wurst. She’s also heard that polar bear livers cause hyper-Vitamin-A-osis. It does no good to point out that rats aren’t even remotely related to polar bears and no other animal liver has been shown to contain so much Vitamin A as to cause disease. Admittedly, the medical literature is sparse on this subject.
Despite the risk, there are people who eat polar bear liver anyway in an effort to improve their eyesight. It’s against the law, because government authorities believe it will enable one to see one’s neighbors naked. Only airport security personnel are allowed to do that and they must use expensive x-ray scanners and scan everyone, even people nobody would want to see naked.
Those who partake of polar bear liver pretend they have their habit under control by telling themselves that they’ll only eat enough to see people in their underwear, but they know full well that many people no longer wear underwear. Among those who do, it’s fashionable to let pants hang so low that the world can see one’s underwear. I’m not just talking about boxer shorts, thongs too. With thongs, it really doesn’t matter if one is wearing underwear or not.
Another reason I come to this cafe is that there’s a female customer who wears a thong under her jeans and sits at the counter. Her jeans are so low, that even without eating polar bear liver, I can tell she’s wearing a thong. She also has a tattoo.
So, I don’t need toxic Arctic liver. I’m just saying, try the rat’s liver on toast with gravy and scallions and a side order of hummus.
John A. Ward was born on Staten Island, attended Wagner College in the early 60's, sold his first poem to Leatherneck magazine, and became a scientist. He is now in San Antonio running, writing and living with his dance partner. Links to his work can be found at Booger Jack