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More Reasons Not to SUpply Dogs with Kielbasa Sausage

CHARLIE NADLER

I was falling in love with a girl playing air piano to a song with no piano in it when the fabric of the universe began to unravel. Moments earlier - having watched her play for a couple songs - I had the idea that perhaps if I joined her on a different air instrument, she would be appreciative of my fun-loving attitude and our relationship could blossom from there. After a short stint on the drums, I switched to bass. She seemed to be more receptive to that, because she turned her piano to face me. I stepped closer. There was a softness about her that I hadn't noticed before.

I told her that she sounded good. She agreed, and then pointed out that my low string was slightly out of tune. I adjusted my air tuning peg accordingly and smiled to reinforce how well we were getting along. She smiled back and lowered her head close to where the keys would have been in a vaguely Ray Charles sort of way. I laughed and called her Ray Charles.

It was then, with her head lowered, that I had a clear line of vision into the kitchen. There was a group of them crowded around our table. At first I figured they were playing Texas Hold ‘Em, because they had been playing a lot of that recently. There were, however, no cards to be seen. There were plates. There was a cutting board. There was a big knife. And there was kielbasa.

You see, they told me it was just for our Friday the 13th party; that no Friday the 13th party is complete without it. They promised me that it is simply what is done at these things, and that of course they would not actually be eating any. And I believed them, mostly. I know it didn't look good in that kitchen, but there was no way to tell exactly what was going on.

I did not immediately recognize the unraveling of the universe for what it was. I did feel something, but I interpreted it as that inevitable turning point in the evening at which the party has peaked, and the social tide has begun to ebb. I returned my attention to the piano girl, but she was no longer facing me. There was now another guy playing air bass and grinning at her. It was starting to look like our moment was slipping away. I informed her that I was considering taking a bass solo, but she showed no sign of having heard me.

Before that night, I had never really been in love. I was lonely, and I know that this was because I merely allowed relationships to happen to me. I risked nothing for love, and I had nothing to show for my passivity. I knew that I loved the piano girl, and at that moment I decided, for the first time in my life, to make something happen.

Without saying a word, I propped my foot up on a chair, threw my head back and began to slap away at what was supposed to be my attention-grabbing solo. It did not stop me that there was no bass solo happening in the song, so this may have been confusing to those watching. In hindsight, it almost definitely looked downright masturbatory. It mattered little. By this time, the unraveling of the universe had really picked up momentum. There was no mistaking it now. The space-time continuum was the first thing to go. Energy was created and then destroyed. Actions failed to produce equal and opposite reactions. Matter ceased to exist. And so on.

I will not sit here and profess that I had no idea what would happen if the dogs ate the kielbasa. I had a pretty good idea. But I am human. I wanted my party to be complete, and when the end came, I was drunk with love and beer and the possibilities of life.



Charlie Nadler lives and works in Chicago. He has recent and forthcoming work on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.