One purpose of a myth was to create a story to explain some sort of aspect of the natural world when no scientific explanation existed.
However that isn't the only reason.
"George Washington never told a lie."
That was a lie.
It was also a myth.
Typically speaking, people think of myths as being created by ancient people who took what they did know and tried to apply it to something that they didn’t have a clue about. Well here is a myth that I have created in that vein about why you shouldn’t eat pork.
Now personally I have no problem with pork. However since many of you do, I thought I would take this opportunity to pork bash too.
In order to create this myth I have taken something I do know about, being overworked in a mundane, thankless position while being hovered over by middle management warlords who get paid twice as much as I do to do half the work, and I applied that to something I don’t have a clue about, the physiology of the human body.
My son: Dad why don’t we eat pork like everyone else?
Me: Well that is a good question son. Let me tell you why.
Inside the head of each and every one of us there lives a man named Frank whose job is the very definition of thankless.
Frank’s job, day in and day out is to examine all of the information that comes through the five senses and then he either approves, suppresses, or removes information that we can’t deal with.
The information that he feels is safe to pass on to access again he places in one of three baskets which tell the office clerk exactly where to file them, short term memory, long term memory, or a basket labeled “creative department” where that information is to be incorporated into the “sketches” or what we commonly refer to as “dreams” that they perform in our heads at night .
Examples of this kinda of information would be
- the ass on the cute girl in your gym class
- where you were when you heard that a pair of planes had crashed into World Trade Center
- or the time you got punked out by that girl when you and your friends cut in line to get your picture taken at the comic book convention with Chewbacca.
Me: Remember that?
My son: Yeah…sort of.
I'm not surprised son, because each memory we collect is stored at various degrees of clarity in our data retention center located in our unconscious.
With only so much space to store this data in our heads, Frank also has the responsibility of determining to what degree he will reduce the quality of recollection on each individual piece of data to allocate for future memory storage.
Frank knows that by reducing the clarity he is potentially jeopardizing the accurateness and even the believability of your own experiences but he has no choice.
A relatively small percentage of the information that he feels is outright dangerous he slaps some encryption on, zips it up and off it goes in a manila envelop through inner-office mail to be dumped in some nearly inaccessible area of the brain where chances are, barring any bad drugs, close head injury or intense psychotherapy sessions it will never see the light of day again.
Examples of these kind of memories are like
- when that girl punked you out for cutting in line at the comic book convention and you were scared to get back in line after that.
My son: What the hell does this got to do with why we don’t eat pork?
Me: I am getting there son.
There are times when information comes across Frank’s desk that is so distressing that Frank can’t just file it away because circumstances are such that a course of action must be taken ASAP.
My son: so what does Frank do then?
It is in these circumstances when Frank has a trick at his disposal to buy himself a little time to decide what course of action to take, its call a panic button.
In the absolute back of the unconscious, in his cubicle, under a flickering fluorescent light, against the wall, next to a picture from the neck up of his internet girlfriend is a huge red button about the size of a football helmet labeled PANIC in white bold type.
The result of hitting this button is complete psychological and neurological work stoppage.
In other words, you faint.
Before Frank accepted this position, he worked in the seminal management and flow control reservoir. Before upper management offered Frank the job they made him swear that he would only hit this button if he felt the welfare of the host depended on it.
For example, the guy who’s head Frank is living in rushes home from work one evening because he suffers needlessly from this neurotic rule that he doesn’t, under any circumstance take dumps on public toilets.
My son: Just like you dad.
Me: Yes, just like me son.
Well after his third submarine Sandwich in two days this guy has to shit real bad.
But it’s only like 1 o’clock and he doesn’t get off work for another 4 hours.
So he holds it, and he holds it until he can’t anymore.
He shoots his boss across the hallway a short e-mail about he just got a phone call that his 65 year old mother-n-law just went into labor grabs his car keys and he rushes home.
Once he gets home he goes to the bathroom, and after he is finished doing his business, he bends over, wraps a piece of tissue around his hand, wipes, takes a look at the tissue before dropping it into the bowl and notices dozens of tiny white worms crawling all over the tissue and throughout his feces.
Then he says to himself “These look like little white worms crawling around in my shit. Damn, I think I just saw one crawl off the toilet paper and hit the floor.”
My son: ewwwww
Me: Tell me about it.
Luckily the system works. This guy hasn’t processed what he just said yet, because everyone knows that you always have to hear god awful news twice before it actually registers.
Thank God Frank doesn’t have to hear it twice.
He hits the panic button.
Oxygen flow immediately stops to the this guy’s head.
His eyes roll back.
He falls over, cracks his head against the linoleum floor tiles and lays there for several minutes with its bare ass in the air and his pants around its ankles.
The next thing that has to be done is get the heart pumping again. So once the involuntary twitching stops, painters hurry down to mark off where the bruises will be painted on the next morning and the guys down in “fluids” bring their hoses down and start pumping blood into the enormous hematoma on the side of his head .
An all clear is sent out signaling everyone down in "cardiac" to get back on the bikes to get the heart beating again.
The second thing that has to be done is get the man's breathing back on track so a phone call is placed to the girl that runs the switch board down in involuntary functions.
Following protocol to the letter she flips the switches under the labels “breathing”, “blinking”, and “other” in that order.
However Frank’s job isn’t over yet.
The brain still needs to be rebooted. But before Frank gets into that mess Frank goes into CYA mode (cover your ass) and he begins frantically going over all of his e-mails for the prior week just to make sure that there weren't any messages from “digestive and waste disposal” alluding to anything about “worms”.
Had there been, it would have been his job to recommend to the creative department upstairs, those are the people that write the skits that you dream every night, to insert something into the one of the sketches about going to see a friggin doctor.
Well in this particular case he doesn’t find a memo on worms per se, but he does find an e-mail attachment dated from three days ago where “digestive” did mention something about under cooked pork being detected in a Turkey, Ham, Bacon melt toasted sub passing through the small intestines and something about not having enough resources in the budget to handle this kind of job properly without using overtime hours.
“Hours that we don’t have.”