Geritol! fake programming always sucked, will always be present. Is it a rabbit? Colonel Sanders was born 124 years ago today. I did not know today would be Colonel Sanders' 124th birthday when Brad started reading Stanley Elkin's The Franchiser in Belgium this past week and then posted not one but two excerpts from The Franchiser and I then suggested an Elkin Excerpt Throwdown (and quickly unsuggested it). Bless Serendipity, have an Elkin excerpt from the scene when Ben Flesh, the narrator, meets Colonel Sanders in The Franchiser:
"Ben Flesh," Ben Flesh said, extending his hand."Colonel Sanders," the man said grudgingly.Ben pushed his hand out farther. The man took it finally and Flesh grabbed the chicken king's hand in both his own and pulled it towards his face. Before Colonel Sanders knew what was happening Flesh opened his jaws wide as he could and shoved as much of the man's hand inside his mouth as possible. He sucked the startled man's knuckles, ran his tongue along his lifeline, chewed his nails, the heel of his hand, tasted his pinky. The Colonel made a fist and fought for his hand, which Ben still held to his mouth."Lemme be. What's wrong with you?"And Ben could not have told him, couldn't have said that he'd pulled his first stunt, an engram of character and aggression. He stood before the Colonel with the man's hand still at his lips. "Finger-lickin' good," Flesh said. "It's true. What they say. About Dixie," he added lamely....
...Ben looked at him. The man had removed his glasses. He touched a corner of his mustache like a villain in melodrama and, as they all watched, began to peel it back like a Band-Aid of hair."What?" Ben said. "What's this?""I ain't him. I'm not he. I'm Roger Foster of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and I own airport limousine services in three states.""You're not the chicken prince?""I'm Roger Foster of Cedar Rapids, Iowa," Roger Foster said."Then what - But why - You look - ""Certainly, I look. There's a basic resemblance. I enhance it. I'm a Doppelganger.""Does this mean you can't get the franchise, Ben?" Gus-Ira asked.
EATING FRIED CHICKEN
I hate to admit this, brother, but there are times
When I’m eating fried chicken
When I think about nothing else but eating fried chicken,
When I utterly forget about my family, honor and country,
The various blood debts you owe me,
My past humiliations and my future crimes—
Everything, in short, but the crispy skin on my fried chicken.
But I’m not altogether evil, there are also times
When I will refuse to lick or swallow anything
That’s not generally available to mankind.
(Which is, when you think about it, absolutely nothing at all.)
And no doubt that’s why apples can cause riots,
And meat brings humiliation,
And each gasp of air
Will fill one’s lungs with gun powder and smoke.