Three Wise Men, A Brew, & The Cat In The Box

Cat and the Box

Captain’s Log. Star-date… Ehhh, something, something, numerical gibberish. I’ve just been invited to chat by the societal counterculture chiefs against the status-quo. I’m to be the special guest of a rebel alliance, a subversive element in state of upheaval fighting those dry gray-beards of the archaic scientific fabric.

They’re called “El Gato y La Caja,” but for the sake of this interview, and on account of my spiffy two dollar decoder ring, we’ll refer to them as “The Cat In The Box.” I’m not the sort of true-blue Americano that doesn’t put subtitles in his films. The founders of “The Cat In the Box” are a group of enthusiastic, high-flying, entrepreneur, IQ defiant geniuses, that go against the norm and constantly become a fly in the conservative ointment of an academy based science culture. They support the idea and philosophy of POP-SCIENCE. Their products, which range all around a graphical and audiovisual gamut, stay firm to this motto. From posters to articles, from books to radio throw downs, from dissertations with packed audiences to lonely YouTube videos, they mix and match art with psychics and have quickly seized the public’s imagination.

What do they do?

Not even they are sure, but still, they somehow hit the jackpot. Their product is constantly evolving, and like a spiny tentacles, they are slowly branching out everywhere.

Join me, as we shoot the breeze, drink the night away and discuss the age old topics of life, the universe, the meaning of existence and what really goes on in the Noble ceremony backstage once the lines of coke are finally and  evenly divided.

 “Never trust a scientist with the tour map of your altered state; they’ll bogart the dope.”

A wise man once said that. No doubt somebody of grave importance or enterprising foresight. At the very least a sophisticated reprobate with more than a dollop of understanding on the very nature of what was what.

Most likely Oscar Wilde or the Avon Lady.

“Never trust a scientist.” I pitter-patter about, arms beating with sweat, seconds from entering the proverbial wolf’s den. The words escape my steel trap of a mouth, like vapor below the frame. “The logic they work on is a bit surreal.” I am off to a great start, as my host gawks at me no doubt wondering at the social gaffe I had just allowed to slip through. It’s a trapdoor that can only be properly done up and shut with something far more valuable than the legendary blossom of roses and lily. Luckily, I’ve come heavily prepared to grease up my wayward limb and extricate its 5 smelly piggies from my blowhard of a mouth. I am talking about removing my foot from my mouth.

“Beer,” with the grin of a buffoon, I offer the malty magic of the dove of peace. “Two.” Doubling my gamble.

“Oh,” goes Juan, eyes lighting up like a prospector hitting gold.

“Too early?”

A generous hug, that can be loosely translated as, “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

“Thanks for agreeing for this impromptu interview. It’s not everyday I mince words with wizards and connoisseurs of the hidden truths of reality.” My photographer and I waltz inside. The drawbridge is lowered, an armistice achieved by the fermented arm of toasted grains. The world once more in realignment.

“Well,” goes Juan plopping down on his throne. “You’ve met the lads. Lads, you remember Max.”

Of the lads and Juan books and dictionaries could be written. Treatments and manuscripts inked into paper. Notes penciled, cave paintings drawn. But since that is neither here nor there, it is simply best to catalog them as such: a brain trust so dissimilar to the other as a tomato to a sprout; both floral, but all relationships and analogy stop on that fine point.

Juan is a tall stalk of a fella’, with the cultivated three-day beard of a hobo by way of Christian Bale. The enriched and refined bearings of a hippie with the conscious and strategic planning of a school of fashionistas. Besides him, there hangs a wisp of a bloke, wraith-like and mysterious. He sports a roguish smile, teetering on cruel, and eyes that seem to perceive and analyze the very atoms that swirl about. World upon worlds gyrate in the cosmic makeup that is his neural pathways. And the final stooge sits closer to the wall, the Winnie the Pooh of the bunch. A laugh and chortle hanging freely off his shoulders. He’s the sort of sport who can defuse any situation given enough time and patience.

Three characters are they, perched on their stools, aloof, aloft, astute, acute and adroit.

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Of the ambiance and locale we can say the following: there were copious jiggers, pessimistic and jolly, of blondes, stouts, lagers. A command center of laptops all hopping and singing on the high-wire act of WiFi acrobatics. Mountains of crates scattered about, each heavy with copies of their last straits. Dead trees of Amazonian strength stacked on top to the tenth. Baroque adornment posters hung here and there, walls plastered with their roaster.  All this and more adds nothing, subtracts less and furthers the ramblings. The narrative is forgotten, this paragraph misbegotten.

It’s a mad scientist’s lab, all atmosphere, Whoa’s and Myst. Galvanic energy twists all around, with Igor taking a mickey, while the good doctor F takes leave of his senses and basks in the certainty of being three sheets to the wind.

“Nice,” I said. “A real Animal House meets the Island of Doctor Moreau, vibe.”

Whack.

“Ahh.”

“Behave yourself, you dullard,” the judge, jury, and executioner of good grace and manners, my buxom leggy photographer declared. “Start the f-ing interview.”

“Great,” I clapped and took in the trio. “Why don’t you tell the readers of this fine piece of literary hogwash called ‘The Guy Society’ who you are and for that matter why we should care?”

“Well,” goes Winnie the Pooh. “My name is Pablo, I’m a molecular biologist.  About two years ago I went and started a project with these two neanderthals. By my left, allow me to present yet another biologist, Facundo Alvarez.”

The enigmatic specter twists upon hearing his name. He smiles, a boa sizing up it’s next kill. I gulp and downed half my beer.
Pablo, previously called Pooh, continued. “And pasted to his computer is Juan Garrido, our graphic designer.” Our host nods, a task spellbinding him to matters few mortals could understand. A social network automaton tapped to the very pulse of the trend. # and @ flashing behind his classy eyes. Eyelids twitch with potential weaves and threads of the digital monkey-sphere. When he spoke, a hidden second layer of information fast-speech served as a twitching background mutter of information and fast innuendo. An underscore of binary spiel, of cabalistic digital hootenanny few gurus, could discern. In their kitchen, a toaster and microwave peeked in attention and exchanged knowing glances. The chaps vernacular was dead on, although his accent could use a further musing.

“O.K., well we have two biologist and a graphic designer. You know, if we include a rabbi and a bishop, perhaps a hooker with a heart of gold and the obligatory barkeep, we could very well have a prime-time sitcom on our hands? At the very least a couple of jokes.”

The lame attempt at humor is deader than a stillbirth.

“Trailing on, tell me a bit about the project. Here at The Guy Society we’re easily distracted by boobs and firm behinds… Anything with a PhD or a degree of seventh grade understanding of the laws of reality seems like Hocus Pocus to us. So, go on, what on earth is ‘The Cat and The Box’?”

“Whoa,” Pablo thrusts up his hands. “I just did the intro. Jumped on that grenade. It’s someone else’s turn.” Head swiveling, rapid fire editorial cuts of different pairs of eyes. A beat of sweat cascading. Nerves electric. Who among the three would take up the reigns.
“Well, don’t fear the reaper. Pick up the mic’,” said the commander in chief. “With all due respect, I really must insist that.”

Finally, faltering Facundo fell on the flame. “Well,” went he, adjusting his previously unreported spectacles. “It all started a long time ago. I was chatting up this bird on DM, who as it turned out was Juan. To me, he’s always been extremely feminine…”

“Long live the rainbow community,” I gave the hauled-out-of-the-closet Graphic Designer two thumbs up. “Gay pride and all that.”
Like a groundhog, a head shot up. Whut???!!!” Juan started skittering about. Whut??!!!”

“… Well, unfortunately, despite his extremely sexy avatar, it turned out that Juan was a dude,” continued Facundo. “Although, I’m fairly certain there’s a level of hidden desire somewhere in there.” Facundo fanned his hands near Juan.

Whut??!!” continued, the unbalanced social media expert. “I’m not gay, I have a girlfriend.” Blink, blink, blink went many gazes. “Not that there is anything wrong with that. I’m all for a deeper exploration of the myriad of geometrical configurations we can derive from the Kama Sutra. Long may they live, explore, thrive, conquer and teach us. Go Elton John and Ricky Martin and all that. I’m just into breasts, period. and I won’t turn away a fine pair of legs.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” Pablo chuckled below his breath.

“… Well,” trailed on Facundo. “Basically it all began because I wanted to score with a hottie. Which, in hindsight, I’m fairly certain is the only reason why anything gets done.”

“No doubt the first monkey left the safety of the trees cause some leggy mandrill went for a walkabout.” I said.

“Precisely,” said Facu. “Anyhow, from there on we started following each other on Twitter. After a while, and we mustn’t underscore this, we began to communicate through 140 characters. This developed into a hobby and, despite the initial hiccup, we sort of began submitting the medium to a more complex prodding.”

“Yes,” Pablo picked up the strand. “The structure, the cadence and the utter violent nature, in its rapid-fire way, behind a Tweet intrigued us as biologists. The rate of back and forth, and the way this media was changing the very composition of grammar and language little by little seduced us…”

“I am not gay,” went our host as he fiddled out photos of his gorgeous femme fatale. “Want to clear that up. Once more, not that there is anything odd about it. Long live Liberace.”

“… Focus, Juan,” went a smiling Facundo. “We blew past that ages ago.”

“Ahem,” Pablo alerted. “As I was saying, we started chatting up. Each of us coming from completely different backgrounds. Facundo from a neuroscience laboratory. I was presenting my thesis in molecular biology. And Juan was knee-deep in a world of artists and trendsetters. Three utterly and completely different angles. From those dialogue, from those debates, from those clashing of Universes, the ‘Cat and the Box’ evolved into being. It is basically science and reality viewed from out of the backseat of a non-subjective observer, through postmodernist..” And here, I lost all grasp on what Pablo was spewing. Words like vanguard, allied disciplines, Neolithic neuro-imaging and cyto-architectonic map, made their grand appearance. My reality show prone brain swelled inches from an aneurysm.

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“Empirical evidence of Twitter’s…” added Facu.

At breakneck speed, unwilling to relinquish their hold on their educated tongue – the swines, I had no other recourse but to forgo my compunction and fall flat on the pavement slab of haphazard awareness of continuum. Discount, defenestrate, defrock, defile, decry and all around dump that unhealthy but verily vivacious vamp, verisimilitude. Correlation and continuity would not be respected in a move to cultivate a posher target. I quickly decided to forgo the art-house route.

“Cool,” I said in a puddle of ignorance. “Let’s dumb down the rhetoric. So far, I haven’t understood a wink, aside from the fact that he likes to get his kit off with the rugby league.”

“You dick!” Juan crossed his arms.

“Phrasing, buddy,” went Facundo. “It’s amazing how quickly you fly to that corner.”

“Guys,” I went and started scanning the table, searching for some mind-expanding narcotic that might lend me a hand. “I’m really lost here. In the deep end and drowning. What are the three of you babbling about? P.S.: do you have anything that might tweak my mindset?”

“Want to fire one up?” The always helpful Pablo passed along a roach.

“Nope, that won’t help. Mind expanding. Got any acid?” 

“Just High Times candy. But, I’ll try to curb the I.Q., pissing game and give you a sensible answer.”

“Cool,” went I. “Give me an elevator, a chimp might get it, pitch on what exactly is ‘The Cat And The Box’.”

“Oh, I got this one,” went Juan. “‘The Cat And The Box’ (El Gato y la Caja), is a multi-platform project based around scientific and audiovisual communication…”

“That’s an elegant way of saying, ‘we’re not really sure what it is,” went Pablo as he shrugged. “Which unfortunately is the truth.”

“…Nonetheless,” Juan marched on. “We do know what it does. It generates content for just about every network available.”

“We even organize events, synergy team-ups – between different fields and experts, and have gone so far as to conduct classes and the like. The majority of our work relies heavily on the use of guest illustrators and artists. Fundamentally, in theory, our desire is to try to weave and mesh two tentatively opposing viewpoints, art and science, into one balanced composite. A symbiotic ecosystem that works dynamically with one another. Facebook, Twitter, our web page, that was soup, our original stomping ground; our primordial ooze,” Facundo added.

“Don’t forget the radio, or the podcast, or the YouTube channel,” Juan chimed in. “Then, it just took off. We didn’t exactly realized when it started gathering a cult but after awhile, although everything is usually done at a cost with no benefit, we realized that we were stacking a heavy fan base. Mind you that doesn’t equal a dime in return. But it is rather exciting to see your baby, your enterprise and blueprint gathering steam with such alacrity.”

“I think the moment it really hit me, was with the crowdfunding campaign,” Facundo fished out a tome from one of a dozen cardboard boxes strung across the room. “We wanted to launch a book. A collection of all the tweets, articles and collaboration we had done during the year. Hence, lacking all financial backing, we went the crowdfunding route. In less than 24 hours we not only hit our mark, but we had actually surpassed it by twice the initial amount. We sort of broke a record on the fundraising page. Then, we had the book launch. That was a pretty big thing. Right, guys?”

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“Huge,” went Pablo. “The place was packed. We felt like absolute rock-stars. Groupies, who knew scientists and geeks could have groupies?”

“For me,” went Juan. “When the totality of the whole fiasco really smacked me and my eyes were slapped awake, was the tattoo incident.”

“The tattoo incident?” I asked.

“A girl came up to me and showed me her tattoo. It was our logo, stenciled for the rest of her life on her wrist. Freaky as hell… Although pretty cool.”

“Oh,” Facundo exploded. “I want to change my answer. Screw the book signing. The day I realized the project was hot and on fire, was when I was offered a boob from out of nowhere.”

“Whutt?” In unison we all turned.

Yup got recognized in an event and a bleach blond wanted to gift me with her considerable cleavage. Wanted me to sign them.”

“I don’t remember that,” Juan said.

“Me neither. Are you sure you weren’t stoned?”

“Nope, although on second thought I might have been dreaming. But, when I tell my grand-kids this story, that’s my answer. I said it first and now it’s in print.”

“Damn it!” Juan screamed.

“What?” Facundo asked.

“He’s right, it’s in print. He gets the Mick Jagger treatment. I want a do over!”

“So, you’re all jumping like loons at the level of stardom that you’ve acquired, right?”

“Not really, Max,” went Pablo. “We’re not saying it doesn’t help, what we’re saying is that it’s not the main reason. Not why we get up in the morning. What we truly appreciate is the ability to thrust science and the mysteries of the world back into the limelight. Past the ever evolving specter of a media empire that caters to the lowest denominator. Into a spotlight of mass communication distribution. In this day and age, grasping the attention span of the ADD generation, of the 15 minute news cycle, of a world that twists and turns with the drop of a hat, is perhaps one of the most Everest-like challenges out there. It’s no easy proposal. And frankly, there’s nothing on Earth that deserves a greater exposure than things as fundamental as the ones ‘The Cat and Box’, constantly tries to bring to dinner table discussions.”

“Plus,” I go. “Nerds are in. So you have to strike while it’s hot.”

“Well, precisely,” goes Pablo.

“What do you all account for the level of success you’ve acquired?” I ask.

“Do what you like, and do it with vim and vigor,” went the neuroscience road warrior.

“Never underestimate the value of a communication strategy. Analyze your market, your channels and adapt each of your shout outs accordingly. It’s amazing the hold you can manage to grasp, on a hot topic, if you play in concert with the field you decide to step up on. The world flows and ebbs on our fingertips nowadays, it’s foolish to bypass all the tools at our disposal. It’s not screaming into the digital void, if you take but a second to analyze the correct language. Social Media is just that one language with different regional shifts. Each tweak of the tone, might very well open up a new world,” the graphic swami pontificate.

“I truly believe, that part of what we’ve done here is on account of such a kaleidoscopic, and mix-match, assemblage of ideas and backgrounds. Playing outside our comfort zone, but in the other’s backyard. Juan’s not a scientist, yet here he is. Facu and myself aren’t like him, yet here we are. Most of our best ideas have sprouted in part because of our differences. Of challenging the other and rip-roaring into rousing debates. Heated and timely discussion where we constantly gamble our way of seeing world,” went the biologist yogi, who was not Winnie the Pooh.

“Why the name?” I asked. “Why ‘The Cat And The Box?’ I imagine – and this is only on account of my Pop Culture references, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and all – that it has something to do with Schrodinger’s Cat.”

“Sheldon really illustrated that experiment far simpler and far more succinct than any of us,” Facundo says.

“Bazinga,” goes Juan. “We toyed with the idea of calling it ‘Faraday’s Cage’, but…”

“It sounded like a 70’s coked out disco,” Pablo picks up the ball.

“So we settled on ‘The Cat And The Box’.”

“Right” and “Oh,” calls out Juan as once more his eyes are caught in the event horizon of some spike in Social Communication. For all intents and purpose, the man, like Elvis, has left the building. What stands is a rapidly clicking husk, his two compatriots pull double duty.

“Yeah, ‘The Cat And The Box’,” Facundo tries to catch a glimpse at what arrested his co-conspirator’s fancy. A concentration previously reserved for NASA engineers during that legendary countdown of ten, clutches Juan to the computer screen. The eavesdropping kitten does his level best to snatch the mouse understanding. A preternatural chain, links, clasping to one another, drawing one to the other. Pablo lurks closer. The laptop, the laptop to Juan, over his shoulder Facundo and coming in fourth, creeping in closer, Pablo. The leash of curiosity clasped to the heel of one another; a couple of NORAD muckety mucks switched on after the DEFCON level has shot a shade or two over black.

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“Hey,” click-click-click go my digit and my thumb. “‘The Cat And The Box,’ eyes on the prize fellas’, why?” Scientist, if there’s one stereotype that hits the mark, it’s the scatterbrained quality of their concentration.
“Zoned out there for second,” oddly, like trained dogs, the three barked out in one voice. Down goes the onyx top of the portable. Attention once more on deck.

“If you truly want to appreciate the riddle of the Cat and The Box, you have to understand the essence and the importance of Schrodinger’s parable or riddle,” on strove Facundo.

“Which is?” I asked, just to keep the audience in sync.

“It was a breaking point, in a way. As you steer away from classical physics,” continues the biologist. “The type taught in high-school.”

“Toss any pebble in the air and manage to calculate its highest point as well as vector of acceleration, or some other pretentious tommyrot like that,” clarified biologist number two, not to be confused with number one, although I never really labeled them. It’s a discombobulate bit of wonky identification now that comes to bite us in the ass. For this skit’s sake, they are merely background players, interchangeable pieces of stage props, so two dimensional that if turned sideways they would likely disappear.

“Correct,” goes one, who might as well be two. By now my photographer is incredibly lost, while Juan is trying to convince her on the merits of his manhood. Oh, you dirty pervert, head out of the gutter, you depraved bibliophile… That’s a jab at the reader, by the way.

“Make him change that part,” Juan pleads.

My savvy lens fondler, like every paparazzo counters: “Two hundred bucks…”

“Then, as you sink deeper into matter of it all. Start going into a microscopic level. Atoms, protons, quarks, electrons…”

“Quantum mechanics and physics.”

“I only have a 20?”

“Po-popo to that,” snaps back the flash totting dame. “I have a code of honor. Which is ironclad.”

“… Well, those rules, those properties, that state and all other quantifiable characteristics of that object are, well, quantifiable. Easily viewed and designed.”

“A rock’s a rock,” I go.

“Could be a mineral, could be a radioactive isotope. But, no matter what it is, we more or less get the grasp behind it.” By now, both biologist have melted together into a single entity. This parody gangs up on the very nature of what is and veers into magic.

“Which is just science we can’t explain,” goes the Facundo/Pablo creature.

“Hey, you dung weasel,” I shout. “Stop reading my mind!” 

“I wasn’t, I only read what you wrote. Up there on the paragraph above.”

“Oh, well, we will have none of that, I tell you…” Finger waggling I protest.

“Two hundred bucks? You cow! Code of honor the barkeep’s balls.”

“… The fourth wall will not be obliterated. Away into the night with that tactic.”

“Now it’s 500 hundred, and if you keep it up, I’ll tell him to make you into a fat little gnome with a tiny wee-wee.”

“Shutting it,” a run towards the dollar heavy emergency stash.

“In quantum psychics those laws, or those tangible realities, a equals b. Or b conducts to c. They don’t apply. You have a probability, but not the certainty that something is there and will act accordingly.” The creature continues his spiel. Now, from out of nowhere, I hear a theremin, a clear signal that either we’ve slipped into the Twilight Zone or the blathers have spiked my drink. The little grey man in the corner, a Rastafarian martian from some other dimension, gives me the A. O.K. “Just roll with it,” he whispers.

Definitely putting a paper napkin over my beer next time.

“If everything atomic is so unpredictable, the idea is that you place a cat in a box.” Wham bang, from thin air a cat melts into being.

“I only got 150,” goes Juan.

“That will only buy you a thorough edit of dubious acts of random violence and perversity. I’ll scrub it clean, the manuscript, of those nasty parts. Especially,” my photographer leans in and whispers into Juan’s ear.

Whut?! Bestie…Whut?! When did he put that in?”

“He didn’t. Think of this,” she flaps the bills. “As insurance.”

“Cow.”

“What did you say?” 

“Oh nothing, just bewailing my lot and striking hymns on your holy generosity.”

“… In goes the cat, into the legendary box. Or a crate. Or any one thing that will fit a cat. Mind you it should very well be absolutely sealed,” meow the imaginary feline follows suit.

“Now,” continues the amalgam biologist. “If you stick a particle inside the box. Say something that might or might not act rationally. Something at a quantum level. And, you also stick a crystal beaker of poison. And snap the top on the box.”

“Meow,” goes the kitty. Which in pussy talk means, “you dirty rotter, you.”

“Two things might happen. One, the particle goes haywire, breaks the flask, poisons and kills the cat. Two, the flask doesn’t break, the particle acts differently, the cat lives.”

“I promised we wouldn’t harm any animals during this interview. P.E.T.A., is already quite irate with the lama and rhino incident I was tangibly responsible for.”

“Well, it’s an imaginary cat,” goes the creature as it splits back to two different forms. Facundo continues, “so forget about the cat.”

“The cat’s in the box. You devils put cyanide or ricin in there. How can I forget about the cat?! Where’s your humanity.”

“He has a point,” goes Pablo. “I quite liked that cat. I had even given it a name. Remington the cat. You went and sentenced Remy to a black spire of uncertainty.”

“Did we get a cat?” Goes Juan. “I was brokering my respect and good standing in the community with that hag.”

“What did you say?”

“Nothing, madam,” shouts Juan. “Told them that you were a paragon of virtue. About the cat?”

“Facu, murdered poor Remy the puss,” I shed a tear.

“You blackguard!” Bong goes a fist against a noggin.

“Stop it, Pablo! Geez, I was just trying to prove a point about probabilities, chances and the ever twisting nature of quantum entanglement. What could be, what is, and what might be.”

“I get that, but did you have to go on and kill our imaginary cat. That’s low, even for you. Feline-sine!”

Whack, whack, whack and a kick from Juan just to round up the wallop.

“Stop it, the cat’s alive! He’s a cyber-cat. No ordinary puss. Happy.”

“So, if the cat,” I go. “Has technological modifications.”

“Or genetics,” goes Juan.

“Or he’s a zombie,” adds Pablo.

“Don’t forget that he might very well be from outer space,” cracks the extraterrestrial, who’s made his last appearance, I promise.

“Yes, if any of those happen to be true, then the experiment is poppycock. Rubbish. It’s all academic, anyhow. It’s just to prove a parable,” goes Facundo.

“Hurray, we solved a quagmire,” cheered Pablo. “I’ll call the Nobel committee.”

“Unless,” Facundo mutters.

“No unless,” Juan interjects. “But me no buts. I was already dreaming of nude Swiss blonde bunnies and chocolates. Do you know the orgies and nasty insanity those Nobel laureates get too? Even Caligula blushes, when Stephen Hawking starts to buggy.”

“Yes, but…”

“Here it comes,” I say.

“If you stick the cat, all modified and the like, inside, I don’t know, a big steel box. Something the size of a city. Expertly constructed. And, instead of poison, you toss in a nuclear warhead, or a dirty bomb. Well, same principle.”

“I fucking hate you,” up goes the middle finger of a man deprived of his chocolates, not to mention glorious one night stands with those blond Barbie jobs they seem to make like cuckoo clocks up by the alps.

“Juan’s right, this is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. First, you kill and Lazarus up our phantasmagoric puss and now you deprive us of bimbos of the double ankled persuasion, you curd.”

“Swine!” shouted the less than objective journalists, which on a second helping of editing, is none other than me.

“Hey,” Facu says. “Could you simply ask another question? That last bit was no doubt a complete fabrication, lies and more lies.”

“Our audience will decide,” I go. “A perfect example of possibilities. Did it happen? Did it not? A clear analogy to the whole quantum conundrum.”

“That’s not exactly how it works,” Pablo tries to remind the group. “But, seeing as this is getting us nowhere, I will grant you that comfort if for nothing else than inertia’s sake. Now, give us a final question.”

“Yes,” nods Juan. “Something to cap off this claptrap, this filibuster, that’s less than stellar. Something meaningful and insightful.”

“All right, let me think, hmmm?”

“Helen Mirren and Brad Pitt,” bellows Facundo. “And Penelope Cruz for Pablo. And our favorite film is Fight Club. Although one of us, and out of shame we won’t divulge names, hasn’t seen it.”

“Hang about, I never asked that.”

“But you were going to,” a sharp-witted Juan says. “It’s a rule. A trick. End all interviews with the same routine. An old charter. Give us something new.”

“Fine, how about this?” I went chuckling at my audacity. “In a deserted island, the classic stranded –’oh Wilson, oh Wilson’ – predicament, who would be the first to get tossed on the barbecue?”

“Anthropophagy? That’s your question?” Flabbergasted and catching many flies, Pablo stares. “You want us to rate each other on the level of yumminess? Man, are you dark.”

“Well, it could be fun,” three chairs scuttle a meter or two away from the enigmatic Facu, who may very well have a distant family member in New Guinea or the Lesser Antilles.

“Aren’t there like fishes and fungus, or freaking cactus? Why are we going the Donner Party route right from the outset?” Juan enumerated.

“It’s a brain tease,” goes the salivating Facu. “A fun exercise.”

“A,” up goes Juan’s finger. “From now on I’m sleeping with my door closed and heavily barricaded. B, no more Hannibal for you. And C, I’m fairly sure between us three we can fare better than Tom Hanks.”

“I once tried to do the call of the wild fiasco,” goes Pablo. “The complete, check all boxes, routine of getting in touch with nature. Went and tried to camp out, all hippie and the like in an abandoned archipelago. Took provision and all that. Five days of my adolescence foolhardiness I will never ever repeat. I’m rather certain, that cannibalism did not blossom into my technology deprived mind during those long dark nights.”

“No, no, no,” I correct myself. “Not cannibalism for cannibalism.  What I’m trying to playact at is, given all your background and your abilities, who would be, well, the first one that rationally and logically, after much discussion, would end up as main grub.”

“Well, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that it’s one hundred percent desolate. Not even one palm tree. That’s a toughie,” scratch scratch scratch went fingers against chin. Pablo switched into hypothesis mode.

“Well,” goes Juan. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m probably last. Golden till’ the end.”

“Say again?” Facu demands.

“Firstly,” goes Juan. “You’re both scientists, so why would we need two? Secondly, come on you lot, I’m rather indispensable in an island. You NEED, and here I’d very much like that word in caps’, a graphic designer. Essential, end of discussion. You two can fight to death to see who will first honor my taste buds.”

“A graphic designer? In the middle of an island?” Arms up in an uproar, Pablo’s about to lift off like Superman.

“Of course, it’s rather simple. You need somebody to design and think of stuff. Like shelter and hammocks.”

“A logo for our flag?” Facu chuckles. “Maybe a poster depicting our atoll struggle?”

“No, are you taking a piss? I’m talking about protection from the elements.”

“If I give you a saw, you’d probably end up murdering yourself,” Pablo told the daydreaming designer. “It’s an island. I’m certain we can manage to solve the ‘where to sleep’ predicament, without the need of Adobe Illustrator. I nominate Juan, as our entrée.”

“Hold on, wait.”

“I second that notion,” beaming with realization, Facu cheers.

“Here here,” my, still a bit sour at having to give a discount, photographer flings in her two cents. “Toss the tosser on the toastie coals. Serve him up with coconut juice and plantain leafs.”

“That’s settled then. Shall we continue?” 

“Get out,” a Vesuvian reaction crawled up the imagined long-pig. “Get out!” The pointy finger of an usher. “Get out of this house, you knave!” 

“Why is he looking at me?” I go all doe-eyed and innocent like.

I believe, that you have acquired the three-day reek of the legendary dead fish. A record for you,” packing up her tools and pillaged loot my nouveau riche photographer explains. “We best take our leave.”

Up goes Juan, from out of nowhere, a wooden broom doth materializes. “Away into the night! Never darken my doorstep again!”

“If we are going to eat him,” goes Facu. “We best do it while he’s sleeping. I doubt he’ll concord with logic and come willingly. Maybe poison him on the island.”

“Out!” Goes the future main course. “Away!”

“Right,” up I go. “You’re right, my savvy photographer. Best take our leave,” one dodge of a swing. One dash towards the door. “On the hurry up… Ouch!” One final kick in the ass. One parting farewell.

The End.

I

El Gato y La Caja went off to fame and fortune. A revival tour, on the company’s 40th anniversary, crossed the star system, the very cosmos, and entered a new galaxy. As anyone can tell you, particularly those that have dealt with pesky visitors and uninvited guests, their brash unannounced knock on Alpha 234, was not met with glad tidings and many shakings of hands. Their 41st anniversary special was a bit more somber on account of all the death and mayhem from the previous year. Galactic wars were seeded because of that cultural faux-pas. Elton John’s tribute album, dedicated to that sad sorry affair, topped the charts for 12 whole years.

The photographer, the vision of womanhood, managed to renew her professional kit with the latest technology and the fancier accouterments. she even had a bit and bop, and pence or more, left for a Summer Cottage in Honolulu. The promise of a thorough sanitized version was not entirely kept.

Pablo never discovered where Remi disappeared to. Not a night passed by without a heavy heart clouding his chest. The cat’s loss an eternal thorn in his side.

Facu finally managed to win the Nobel Prize. To this day wise men, scholars and grey beards are completely stumped on how his theory not only had the cat disarm the nuke, but ultimately proved that all matter in the universe was a direct derivative of marshmallows and gummy bears.

Juan went on to bed Jennifer Lawrence… His biographies, on which there are many, can’t decide whether or not she was a beard.

Remi, on the last days of the 21st century, materialized on the White House lawn and proclaimed himself God, master and supreme overlord of reality. His reign, for nine whole lives, was an unmitigated success. He is fondly remembered.

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