PITTSBURGH—It was just after lunch when area man John Anson bit into his turkey and swiss on wheat with lettuce, tomato, and a spicy brown mustard.
“Hmm,” Anson reportedly thought. “This has kind of a burn to it. I guess they really mean ‘spicy’ when they put it on the bottle. When you think about it, they are putting a lot of horseradish into mustards now. Stone grounds… oooh chipotle, that’s a spicy one. Wasabi. Jeez, do you only have plain mustard if you want a little flavor without some burn? Man, if you ask me, mustards are just getting too spicy.”
To the uninitiated bystander or to Anson himself, this was just a mundane mental digression on sandwich spreads. But unbeknownst to the Pittsburgh resident, this mental train of thought was, in actuality, a sign from the universe that he should kill himself. Immediately.
The sadness of this digression, that this is the kind of thought that would occupy valuable mental space over a long period of time in an adult, was meant to trigger a self-realization in Anson on the futility of his life and meant to spur him to self-improvement. Upon the inevitable realization that he did not possess the willpower to do so, Anson was supposed to muse on his mortality before deciding the only viable option was suicide.
“With all that’s going on in the world, this motherfucker is spending serious time thinking about mustards?” asked a curious and vengeful God.
“Oil in the Gulf, global warming, numerous wars overseas, the general awfulness of human cruelty, poverty, sickness, everything I plague humanity with… and he’s thinking about Gulden’s during a refractory period. And it’s not like he’s spending serious time on this stuff outside of sandwich time. No, it’s mostly mustard, what’s on TV, whether it’ll rain, and the minor personnel signings of his favorite sports teams.”
“Christ,” The Lord sighed. “Fucking end it already. How many more signs to I have to give this dead end?”
When informed of these universal developments, Anson’s friends were quick to agree with the conclusion that he should probably hang himself or sit in his garage with the car running. Nothing painful, it just has to end.
“Yeah, it’s not like it’d be a step back for him,” added co-worker and ‘work friend’ Janet Davies. “We had CNN on in the office the other day during the Supreme Court hearings–-we were switching it between that and a press conference on the oil spill and a World Cup match--and he came over mumbling about Madras shirts and where he was thinking about eating dinner.”
“C’mon man, spend some mental energy on something important,” she concluded.
But none of this seemed to register with Anson, who was off on a mental tangent about the prevalence of the chipotle flavor in modern foodstuffs.
“Isn’t there another hot pepper?” the poor bastard wondered, still refusing to re-evaluate his life.
The cosmos perked up when Anson lurched over to a kitchen drawer and pulled out a knife, but their hopes were crushed when he headed over to the fridge.
“Gonna need some mayo. Gotta cut this mustard flavor a bit. It’s just too spicy. Mustard is just getting too spicy in general,” the human cul de sac thought, steadfastly refusing to use the dull butter knife to open his veins and let the blood flow.
As of press time, God was going to give Anson another couple days to come to a realization and take the honorable way out. Then, according to the Almighty, he was just going to start lobbing lightning bolts at him.