He knew it is was unlikely that Kitty would leave a stone unturned in making her case, but Stephen clung to the faint hope that she would. He wanted very badly to pick up a big, fat stone, and beat his prosecutor, his illegitimate son, and his of-a-sudden very old, unattractive, and annoying girlfriend into submission from his Dien Bien Phu position on top of the food chain. There was one problem with that scenario, though; Stephen King couldn’t even spot a stone for him to grab.

No, Kitty had thought this one out far more than he had. She’d picked up all the stones, turned them over, and dismissed what was written on the bottoms, by knuckle-dragging cavemen, as immorality rationalized by what had long been considered simple common sense, but was, in actual fact, no longer all that common, nor at all sensible.

Thus, it was Kitty who was on the top of the hill at Dien Bien Phu, and she was pounding his ass, as he cowered down in the valley below. And here came Kitty Kaboodle, vegan crusader, hottie heroine, friend and defender of animals one more time, screaming down the helter skelter slide, like death from above, with all guns blazing.

“Are you, per chance, one of the legions of hypocritical, confused carnivores who condemn trophy hunting as a grotesque, ritualistic act committed by barbarians?” King said nothing. “Never mind. I’ve heard it all before. Your position on the matter is irrelevant, because trophy hunters are no worse than those who hunt to fill their fridges and freezers.”

King had considered bringing subsistence hunting into the argument. A fat cat like him could not claim a need to resort to hunting to feed himself, and his family, obviously, but those who did were unassailable, so far as he was concerned. Until Kitty shredded that paper tiger of an argument, that is.

“Do you think the animals who are murdered by hunters care if their bodies are eaten? Do you think that they factor that into their considerations, as they run for their lives, chased by packs of blood hounds? Do you think they say, ‘Hey, he’s only trying to feed his family. I can relate to that. So, maybe I’ll just let him kill me, and save us all this running around bullshit. Who am I to deny the two legged thing on top of the food chain?’ Do you think that’s what they’re thinking, when some sadist with a rifle is blasting away at their asses? Would you be okay with the aliens hunting all the people you love, instead of just slaughtering them? Would you want that proposition to be made in-camera, or would you have the balls to make in front of these two, and the rest?”

Without prompting, Madonna and Lance started shrieking, and hurling obscenities simultaneously. Kitty was fascinated by the vitriol Madge was unloading. She made a mental note of it, just in case her and the boy who would be King had to turn the old folks against each other, at some point, for strategic purposes. When the pair decided they’d had enough fun, Kitty got back to work.

“No, the animals don’t give a flying fuck if you’re killing them for fun, or for fur, or for food, nor do their friends, or families. You’re just an insane, blood-thirsty terrorist to them.”

Holding her empty glass up, and waving it at their waitress, Kitty asked for, “More water please, and thank you.” She drained half the glass, suppressed a burp, and continued.

“But let’s not dismiss the plight of the subsistence hunter. Compassion must be splashed on not just four legged animals, but two legged ones, as well, and we all need to eat. So, let’s say Billy-Bob really does need to resort to hunting to feed Mandy-Mae, and little Billy-Bob 2. Here’s the compassionate way to do it.”

Compassionate murder? Stephen was intrigued. Where the Hell would the girl go with this?

“Billy-Bob is not issued a license to kill. Rather, he is issued a license to dart, tranquilize, and tag. Let the victim live out its natural life, then pick up its carcass when it dies. Some enterprising soul will start a company to do that for you, if you can’t be bothered. But, if Billy-Bob can’t wait that long, having an urgent need to feed, let him sell the pickup rigts to someone who can wait. If Billy-Bob is real clever-like, he can use the money to start gardening , indoors, out, or both. The meat of an old, bull moose is too tough? Tough shit. Grind it up.”

Finding this idea as amusing as it was confusing, King grinned. Kitty mistook his display of admiration for condescension.

Does he ever stop with the condescension, she wondered. Well, whatever, she was gonna make him eat shit again, “Don’t like that idea? Ask the ones you love if they like it.” Lance and Madonna commenced with barrage of appreciation for the idea. “I don’t know if you’re gonna be able to talk the aliens into it, but it’s the best shot you have to save your people, bucko.”

Pretending to be shooting birds in the sky, Kitty said, “Leave the birds out of it. They’re above us, anyway.” Turning to catch Madonna in the glare of her searchlight, Kitty asked, “And what of the fish?” Are we to deprive them of the humanity we are about to extend to land and air creatures? How would that be justifiable?”

Continuing to focus on Madge, Kitty asked, “Is it because they are dumb? Are they dumb? If so, could the aliens not simply say, and prove, that they are to us, what we are to fish, when it comes to intelligence, even the Einstein’s of the world. I hasten to point out that I am not thrilled about having to save the stupid, because letting the aliens eat them all would save the rest of us a lot of problems, but if we are to be compassionate, if we are to be humane, the stupid sink, or survive with the rest of us.”

Whenever she had played this drama out in the past, when the donkeys managed to contain their braying enough to let her stage the whole thing, that is, Kitty had left them with something they could use to dismiss her as a raving mental case. She had dared to quickly present a philosophical case that two human taboos were morally superior to eating the flesh of murdered animals. But this time Kitty opted to skip that bizarre ploy, and keep it, more or less, kosher.

“Eating the flesh of murdered animals has been part of our species’ daily routine since Fred and Wilma walked the planet. But so has war. If we are going to evolve into what we are capable of becoming, what we may be here for, we have to change. You know what else has been a heinous, yet common practice over the course of our collective history? Wife beating. Do you know that when the first shelter for battered women was opened, in the Uk, in the 60s, the woman who had the balls to open it was attacked, not just by the wife beaters, but by, guess who?”

“The churches,” said Madonna. “The churches said she was breaking up families, and tried to shut her down.”

“Yes, that’s what happened,” Kitty nodded. “Einstein once said that great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. After a lifetime of nagging guilt about eating meat, Albert turned veg, a year before he died. The smart guy finally figured out how stupid it is to eat meat. A little late to the party, but welcome aboard, uncle Albert.”

Once again Kitty paused to crack her knuckles, once again eliciting a delighted squeal from Madonna. Kitty smiled at the old gal, then turned back to King. “Mediocre minds, Stephen. You wanna stick with them, the wife beaters, and their priestly class apologists. You wanna continue to live in denial, like Einstein, or do you wanna demonstrate that yours is not a mediocre mind, just as Einstein did? He was 76 when he died. You’re 72, I believe?” King nodded. “Be like Einstein, Stephen. Be smart. Smart like Einstein. It’s easier than you can imagine. You don’t have to do anything, as a matter of fact. You just have to not eat meat, the same way you do not beat your wife. Don’t eat meat, don’t beat your wife. Beat your meat, and eat your wife.”




dj jc cover front