In final, sun-filled days of the “Done-In-The-Sun Summer Genocide Concert Series” on planet Earth, in which the Bed Bugs financed a mass migration of those counted among the living to blood-retrieval executive sweat-shops in what was recently Hell proper, the Earth basked and spun silently, save for the austere purr of the occasional Jet-Pack. After a while, the mountains sifted any themed-debris that lay between them down into the bowels of the valley and on out into space, sighing audibly all the while.
The Bed Bugs had decided to undertake a massive renovation of human consciousness, which was to take place inside thousands of weapons-grade modules mounted in deep space. The whole project was funded by the wholesale absorbing of the Earth’s economy by the Bed Bug’s daring to inject patented products and advertising that served intensely physiological human needs into a market dominated by worthless intellectual properties. After making a profoundly opaque deal with Satan to purchase Hell and the ‘Hell’s Restaurant’ franchise, which served a drug compound rapidly causing a free-market inspired gold-rush to Hell, the Bed Bugs had enough of a blood supply at their disposal to create the vital metadata reduction of DNA the human consciousness program required to operate.
The Bed Bugs had spent their whole existence observing from the fairly intimate vantage point of mattresses the way our global civilization operates, and decided that for humanity to have one class of people who toil without dignity so that the other class can explore matters of consciousness and awareness-of-the-potentiality-for-the-existence-of-wishful-thinking-inspired-alternate-realities-related issues at their leisure, would be a compassionate and culturally sensitive way to gradually transition them naturally into the next level of their evolution.
Oblivious of their recent non-consensual conception, their unlikely, but undeniably exquisite, Reality-Based, snowflake-shaped physical form; and the fact that each one of them was an absolute miracle of Bed Bug ingenuity; the people who had been created by the Bed Bugs lived simply, housed solely within the physical representations of their internal projections and the visible, cumulative manifestation of very old, totally unrelated, nomadic space debris from a previous age. Each engineered consciousness was it’s own master, and lived without need, since no one lacked anything that everyone else did not also lack. The things that did exist independently of them, that no one could tell you when or how they got there, or if they had been made or fell from the sky, or what; were treated with reverence and awe.
“Smell that?” he said alertly.
“What?” he whispered brusquely, eyes darting with able-bodied apprehension.
“Frozen Pizza close by. Smells like it’s wafting from that clearing by the river.”
His companion put his nose to the air. “Yes! I can smell it! It’s incredible.” He put a hand slowly on the Panini grill hanging from his belt.
“What are you doing?” he hissed. “That Frozen Pizza is a free agent! You cannot take him against his will anymore than you can just pluck a patent from out of the sky or put a river in the microwave! We must speak to it.”
The two approached the Frozen Pizza respectfully, so as not to surprise it.
“Hello, Pizza.” They nodded ceremoniously.
“Hello, little ones,” replied the Pizza sonorously.
“We couldn’t help but notice your delicious, naturally-occurring smell.”
“Yes,” he rolled over and said laboriously, “I like to sit in the sun when I can’t sleep.”
“Can’t sleep? What troubles you, ancient one?”
“I am haunted by terrible dreams of late. I see visions of a time when my people were consumed mercilessly, and seemingly without end. I have never known anything like it in my time here; here in this wonderful place.”
“When did you arrive here?”
“We have always been here. Here with the otters, among the fields of camera phones, with tiny, joyous bed bugs scuttling underfoot. I have spent many an afternoon sitting by the river, telling humorous stories of folly featuring the bumbling, immaterial jester Satan and his hard-headed, but impressionable, mythological friend, The Murdered Girl. Here with the gorillas under the twinkling patents, suspended in the canopy of night. I have always been here, I am as old as the camera phone’s ringtone.”
“You are the scenery,” they said in awe.
“As you are mine, little one, though certainly the youngest of our siblings,” the Pizza chuckled affectionately. “Do you have something to ask of me? Surely you are not content to just listen to me ramble on and on!”
The two stared at the ground and said quietly, “Frozen Pizza, we are hungry.”
The Frozen Pizza closed his eyes slowly and said with peaceful abandon, “And I am far too old and talk too much! Please, consume me, for I have lived long enough, and I perceive any need that exists to exist for all of us. Just make sure to share me evenly. I grow weary of these dreams, and, besides, I have drunk deeply of paradise. It is time for me to see the ocean. I can see in my old age that being cooked by you would be my life’s ultimate purpose, and your highest honor.”
The two assembled a smattering of people at the river and sang “Goin’ The Distance” deep into the night, reveling in the Frozen Pizza’s retelling of his fantastical dreams around the glow of the microwave.
“I have seen a place where human children, drunk on victory, consume me and my people under even the most marginal of celebratory circumstances. No matter our quality or ingredients, we were exclusively associated with communal, ritualistic joy. We ceased to exist for what we were and became only what we represented.”
Eventually he fell asleep to the chorus of far-off Sea-Otters and the humans thankfully consumed their precious brother, leaving no part to waste.
By the time the effects of rampant population growth due to the Bed Bugs’ steady supply of human DNA became unsubtle, the scenery had provided a storehouse of collective wisdom for the young human consciousnesses of the snowflakes, and they bureaucratically set their hands to the fashioning of a deeply flawed deck of cards to commemorate the lessons nature had bestowed on them:
THE SEA OTTER
The Sea Otter, typically associated with the month of October, primarily represents sacrifice, though, more often than not, futile in nature. From Sea Otter to Sea Otter there are very few exclusive traits available to distinguish one from the next, contributing to the difficulty in discerning whether or not the Sea Otter you've drawn has made a sacrifice pertinent to you specifically. If The Satan card appears in conjunction with the Sea Otter, it is more than likely that the sacrifice implied is irrelevant to your circumstances. The Sea Otter is also often associated with roadway safety, purple, inaccuracy, clarifying dialogue, luminous re-contextualization, sexual lethargy, shovel, recognition of arbitration, metaphysically dubious exercises, and unwavering indifference to mystery.
THE MURDERED GIRL
The Murdered Girl represents ideological imperialism in the face of radically unsolicited relocation. Her resilience compels her to quantify and tag newly encountered animate symbols with, previously non-existent, persono-emotional significance. She has no need for universal realities, so long as the ones of her fashioning are existentially sound. She is ruthless in her dedication to cultivating a language with which to address a rapidly-changing personal reality. The Frozen Pizza card is her only foil, otherwise she will determine the context and tone of any reading she appears in. The Murdered Girl is most commonly associated with the number one million, rings, unwarranted expectations, an excess of water, indigestion, valid dining experiences, blood density, Western Panting, breaching isolation, contortion, free Tuesdays, internalization of rejection, Mommy issues, dissonance, doubt and light.
THE ANIMATRONIC ALBINO GORILLA
The Animatronic Albino Gorilla card signifies perceived ascendance, paralyzing duality, and existential snacking. When in the vicinity of The Gorilla card, it can be almost as benign and youthful in it's folly as a Bed Bug card, but when in conjunction with something like the Murdered Girl, it can signify any number of unmentionables, from financial gonorrhea to regressive shame seizures. The Animatronic Albino Gorilla card indicates the presence of jazz, heart surgery, conversational forgery, barbeque, high-concept uphill walking, hypothetical mountains, roadway hallucination recovery, whittling, Mellow Sword, harmonic fakery, biscuit flour, basket-ball shoes, plasma and bile.
The Gorilla card represents reality-based economic principles and a series of anonymous creative successes predicated almost entirely on a deficit of lust. The Gorilla card can undermine the influence of nearly any card in the Deck save for The Murdered Girl or The Mattress, even when upside down. He will neutralize any indirect illumination The Animatronic Albino Gorilla may be co-opting, depending on it's position in the hand. The Gorilla represents blood retention, organic redemption, folksy punishments, non-actualized resentment, bowel disentanglement, involuntary breathing, the reasonable expectation of a non-terrifying future, language-based intercourse, resource-driven industriousness, temporary employment, early onset childhood water-sickness, racking laughter and porch-light.
The Satan Card represents principled self-loathing, addictive causality, and ham fists. He symbolizes the stupidity of allowing yourself to have been created without free will. He most closely resembles what evil looks like in the hands of the Benevolent Manager. It is not uncommon for this card to be a harbinger of nearsighted business-related impulses, dormant pity, forceps, child misplacement, chocolate croissants, cognitive transmutation, patricidal purging, satirical night terrors, irrelevant magazine subscription, sarcastic trembling, office re-purposing, multiple middle-child complexes, and thoughtfully retroactive consideration of options. The Satan Card itself is mostly harmless, but when emulated by another card in the hand, his effect can be devastating. That almost never happens, though.
THE FROZEN PIZZA
The Frozen Pizza depicted in the Frozen Pizza Card is seen hanging high in the black-hole-black night sky, perpetually out of cycle with the sun, preventing it's ever being cooked thoroughly. More than anything else, The Frozen Pizza represents confusion. As long as the Frozen Pizza looms over a reading, there is no hope for clarifying dialogue. The Sea Otter is totally decommissioned by it. It casts a subverting luminescence on everything in it's vicinity, and draws people to it by emitting a faint Pizza-Themed smell just as it and the sun converge for a moment before daybreak. The Frozen Pizza is sure to manifest befuddlingly Caribbean gates, sexual dyslexia, questionably relevant foreshadowing, tremendous deductive leaps, abstraction-based pricing, camera phones, ethically morbid scenarios, lighting cigarettes for drunk teenagers with learning disabilities, literal representations of metaphorical depictions, antique software, resource-driven economies, vital bureaucratic mantling, political ambition and sustenance-based espionage.
THE CACTUS ENCOUNTER
The Cactus Encounter Card represents illuminating violence and chaffing perspective. An "encounter with The Cactus" reminds us that nature is blameless in all it does, majestic or assaultive. Sometimes both simultaneously. The Cactus goes on to remind us that we are, in fact, part of nature, and that parts of Nature-themed nature, at least, only own a few basics (if you're insistent on looking at it from that perspective), and maybe it's high-time you stop making ultimately arbitrary distinctions between Nature-themed nature and the variety of Nature that includes you. This card is to be avoided at all costs. If you're doing a reading with someone else, ask them, politely, if they could run and get you a bucket of ice tea or something because this reading stuff makes you thirsty and, while they're in the other room, put the card back at the bottom of the deck where you're sure you won't accidentally draw it again.
THE BED BUGS
The Bed Bugs Card is far and away the favorite of lost, or otherwise, children, by virtue of it's colorful depiction of a merry Bed Bug picnic, replete with bouncing balloons, sand castles, barbeque grills roasting unidentified meats, and a nothing-short-of-gay maypole circled by plump, swaying Bed Bugs flying around on Jet-Paks in their spring best. The Bed Bug Card is welcome in any reading as it is a surefire indicator of new beginnings, plentiful resources, wild horse islands, language-based hallucinations, mandatory dancing, incredible views, erotic obligations, the accumulation of delightful knick-knacks, the illumination that comes with shedding knick-knacks, handless flight, community-based recreational pet-touching rentals, temperate climates, airline preferences of an exotic nature, foreign parting phrases, and knowing better.
(Sometimes referred to as:
THE BLACK CANVAS)
The drawing of The Mattress Card denotes a reconfiguration of reliable context. It pertains to a physical, and more often ideological, sense of place. Bed Bugs are the most common inhabitants of the interior of The Mattress, while Mr. _____, the Animatronic Albino Gorilla, and The Gorilla are exclusively found above it. Satan and The Murdered Girl typically reside underneath it, but when paired can explore the top-side. Bed Bugs have the freedom to traverse to the top of The Mattress as well, but, for them, to journey below means certain peril. The Mattress can be sourced for many things, though it is regularly taken for granted, and thus, rendered invisible to most. The Mattress serves to highlight competing Realities, Ordinary and Non-Ordinary; non-refundable metaphysical encounters, Jet-Paks, blood-storage, theme restaurants, the year 1992, non-repeating, practically symbolic correlations; corrupted information-inspired device removal, patented Reef Co.'s Out Of Sight, Out of Mind Alternative Coping Medication, acute Oneirophobia, interactive advice submersion, orange, romantic constipation, hung juries, carpet and upholstery aesthetic congruency, video game proposals, warrior phantoms and Death-Euphorics.
THE MR. _____
The Mr. _____ Card is a card in the deck with biographical information about the illustrator, and features a Non-Eco-Ad-chastisement on the back. This instructional pamphlet advises that you dispose of the card immediately so as to not compromise the accuracy of your reading.
THE BENEVOLENT MANAGER
The Benevolent Manager Card is, historically, the most recent addition to the official deck.
Upon the evolutionary emergence of hands, thousands of years into the snowflake experiment, the first things to be stolen were the intellectual properties embedded in the images represented in this deck of cards. It was of utmost importance to certain members of the community, representing those born closest to the river, to make sure there was an ideological infrastructure in place to secure the exclusivity and imposed universality of the images’ meanings. Naturally, the infrastructure itself would need someone who most innately resembled the idea of "infrastructure" to simultaneously regulate the infrastructure's duties, while acting as an intermediary between the infrastructure and the people too busy hunting and harvesting. Eventually "infrastructure" was replaced with the folk-ism "Pant-ent", named such after the wet, anxious sound people would make when considering the prospect of their interpretations of the cards being questioned, and with the emergence of some contemporary dialect mutations, it's etymological evolution wound down at "Patent". Interpretive authority was a pretty nuanced claim, and you had to be a real fast talker.
One such fast talker had bested just about every hypothetical challenger in the mundane interactions he regarded as speed-trial elections and was soon instituted as history's first Benevolent Manager of Patents. His role was to preside over the logistical considerations necessary when you decide to make sense of the world in terms of what can be owned and owed.
The Benevolent Manager Card is surefire, Reality-Based Proof that the following will spontaneously materialize almost immediately in your Ordinary Reality:
equally distributed resources, delegated in terms of most need; an air-sealed metric for determining the inherent own-ability of objects, objectified or otherwise; a sense of accomplishment upon acquiring arbitrarily property-based consumables, the peace of mind that when starting at the bottom, you are guaranteed to get to the top, if you do it right; that you have the right to be reimbursed for your observations, that you will not go insane with grief when others who live closer to the river determine your observations were just patented Universal Ideas you had inadvertently run into while staring deep into your camera phone, the validity of intellectual knick-knacks, you deserve Old Man's love, you can be everywhere, no one will have to die to reach the hypothetical mountain-top ever again, information deserves no special treatment, and be a good tipper