Well, we’ve come to the end of my writing assignments from last year. But, I’ve saved the best for last. Also I’ve saved the weirdest for last. Seriously, if you are the type of person who only watches 60 minutes, or The PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer, (Is that even a show anymore?) or you only listen to public radio and read War and Peace, and Emily Dickinson novels, then you will probably not like this story. Actually, you will probably find this story to be so far beyond the bounds of reason that you will think I need to be locked away in a mental institution. However, if you enjoy things with a strange, slightly darker sense of humor, perhaps Lemony Snicket books or Adventure Time, then this story will be right up your alley.
Of all the things I wrote during this class, this story was the thing that got the best response. People really loved it. And I’m not just saying that. I was kind of surprised at how well received it was. Normally I feel like my humor is too strange for the general public. :p Just listen to these rave reviews written by my teachers and classmates:
“An odd (and wonderful) piece.”
“Trippy. This story’s like a weird acid trip.”
“Haha! I believe all of these experiences and thoughts!”
“Amusing, creative, and full of life.”
“The title alone makes me want to read this piece.”
“This is your BEST WORK YET. Seriously, this is HILARIOUS but also deeply moving.”
“You transcend the absurd topic and provide profound depth and emotion.”
So now I suppose you’re all dying to read this weirdness. Or you just want to confirm your suspicions about my mental state. Either way, here it is! I even decided to design a graphic for the title. :)
What am I? I feel as though I have just come into being, but I have always existed. My ever-changing form has been reshaped once again into something entirely new. I was once a tin holding reels of film. But all things must come to an end, and I am remade.
I am carried away. Conveyed across a world of tubes and reservoirs. My empty form is filled and sealed. I am boiled in a vast cauldron, with others like myself. We are given coats. Shiny paper coats that read… Creamed Corn? Creamed Corn!? I am a can of creamed corn?! What the H? I once held The Wizard of Oz! I once held Casablanca! And now these people pump me full of creamed corn!? Like some common tin can!? Is that what I am? I’ve held The Ten Commandments you fools! I don’t deserve this!
Here we go again, down another conveyor belt. Look at all these other idiots, excited to go be sold in a grocery store. This is probably all they’ve ever known. Recycled and re-recycled into the same boring tin can they’ve always been. None of them have ever known what it’s like to hold something of REAL value.
Oh, you’re going to shove me into a dark box now? Really!? After all you’ve put me through you’re not even going to show me where I’m going?
I’m sitting in the dark. I think it’s been like three weeks. I know I’m in a grocery store now. I can hear them out there, opening up the toilet paper and baby food. Open ME you idiots! I need out of here!
I’m not sure why I’m in such a hurry. What’s so great about out there. I’m just going to be taken home by someone’s mother and fed to a baby. Or poured over some old man’s mashed potatoes. I know I shouldn’t care. I should be glad to be free of this glop inside me, but it’s like it’s a part of me now. Besides, once I am empty, what will become of me? Will I forever be recycled into tin cans like the other half-wits in the boxes around me? Content to live a life of mediocrity?
Finally! Light! I’m free! I’m on a store shelf. I still hate this, but at least I’m not in that box any more. Friggen’ carrots next to me just couldn’t shut up. He was so excited to be thrown in a stew. What an imbecile.
Someone is putting up a sign. 3/$1. Well, at least that means I’ll be bought quickly. The sooner this nightmare is over the better. Hey! Here comes someone!
“Zedediah, you grab all them cases of peas, and Haink, you get them there creamed corns. This apocalypse aint gonna prepare for itself!”
What? Alpaca lips? Who are these people? Suddenly the thought of an old man’s mashed potatoes doesn’t sound so bad.
I am taken away, along with just about every other can in the store. Ma delivers me to the Reverend Lovesong. He prays over us and we are locked in a vault, deep underground. This was the last human I saw for years.
Slowly I went insane. If I were truly alive, I think I would have been foaming at the mouth and biting my neighbors. But none of us are truly alive and we are stuck there, alone in the dark with our thoughts. And the invisible inferno bats that live in my imagination. Fly my little flame warriors. Wreak my terrible vengeance upon the whole of humanity.
Years pass. I know we are forgotten. We are doomed to spend the next thousand years in this prison of steel, waiting to be discovered by the alien archeologists that will inevitably colonize this planet.
“Chastity! Bring up some a them cans! We’ve got to use up them stores! Now that the apocalypse is over, we don’t need to hoard all that food no more!”
Could it be? Are we finally to be released from our prison?
“Mama! For the last time! That was a forest fire! There was no apocalypse!”
She picks me up, along with several of my neighbors. Now, my fiery winged beasts! Burn her to a crisp! Fly, fly!
“Chastity, it was vengeance from above! I saw the moon dragons darken the sun!”
Yes! My lovely inferno bats have already begun the cleanse. Disguising themselves as moon dragons! Genius!
“That was an eclipse. There was no apocalypse, and there never will be! The Reverend was just a paranoid lunatic!”
Kill the Reverend! Away my beauties!
“Don’t you talk about your father that way!”
Uh, oh, this is getting domestic. Moon Dragons! Free me from this place!
“Just give me those cans! I’m making mashed potatoes and cream corn for Grampers.”
The woman grabs me and sinks the metal teeth into my head, peeling back the lid, revealing the corn that has been festering inside me for all these years, filling my thoughts with fire and vengeance. As she pours out the rancid contents, I feel a peace come over me that I hadn’t felt since I had held the final cut of Forest Gump. Then she throws me in the trash. A few days later and I am alone at the bottom of a landfill. What a way to go. My insanity is gone with the corn, and I am alone. No inferno bats to whisper their evils into my brain. No one. Nothing.
For the next few hundred years I lie beneath composting debris until it has become dirt. Slowly I lose consciousness, and my unconscious memories take over, taking me far from the landfill. For next three millennia I lie with nothing more than my memories of the films I have held so dear to my heart. I guess you could say, in my own way, I am at peace.
“Humaria Excavation Log: Granuary Sneventh, Feivthousent, Nynehunder & Voor. I seem to have found one of the Hyumanty’s ceremonial crowns! My hypothesis has been confirmed! The Hyumanity did indeed have infant rulers! This crown could not possibly fit anyhyum older than Snex Mohnths!”
I feel the warm sunlight hit my face for the first time in over three thousand years. A greenish man is holding me with a hand that only has two fingers and a thumb. Obviously this is not a human.
The creature takes me away in his starship where I learn that his name is Krevin, an archeologist from the planet Fyusha. I briefly wonder what became of my planet, and why the Fyushan archeologists are excavating it, but I don’t have much time, as I am whisked away and meticulously restored by Krevin’s crew. I am cleaned, and my dents are smoothed out. I look better than I did when I was just a can. When I am finished, I am put in a glass case to await our arrival.
Three years later we land on Fyusha and I am given as a gift to the Repositree of Hyumaria, a museum dedicated to the tragedy of a planet that I knew as Earth. I am put on display next to a spork from McDonalds, and left to be fawned over by Hyumanophyles, a group of Fyushans who seem to be obsessed with my home planet. Apparently they are the total nerds of Fyusha, because three of them are cosplaying as me, along with two who are dressed like the spork.
So, yeah. Life is pretty weird right now.