BY FRANCIS CROT
The reality question – it is to do with dreams. Monkeys cannot afford to believe their dreams are unreal. So they must use a flawed notion of reality, conditioned as much by emotional salience as intellectual consistency, a notion of reality weak enough to do for dreams. Soon MacGuffins were everywhere. They came in £1, £50 and £1,000 versions. Their main selling points were:
1) Many outlets stocked cut-price MacGuffins.
2) The first generation of MacGuffins were likely to be very collectable and valuable in the future.
3) Retailers would be judged by their success in selling MacGuffins; to buy your MacGuffin from a particular retailer was a way of showing your support for that retailer, and would help to prevent that retailer from going bust.
4) If you had one, and somebody tried to sell you one, you could say, “No thanks, mate, I’ve already got one.”
5) They let market researchers understand monkeys’ buying habits, and so as long as you bought honestly and from the heart they would get clean, clear information and be able to create more competitive markets, as well as to buttress the distribution of goods and services against market failures.
6) They were audaciously ironic – if you were savvy to consumerism you could ironically buy a MacGuffin as the ultimate placebo commodity.
It would be misleading to say they didn’t “do” anything. They “did” of course many things. One example, they generated revenue for their makers Delight & Touch, a company better known for its innovative insurance products (insuring against being unable to claim on your insurance, insuring against having no insurance for something, insuring against wasting money on insurance premiums and then nothing bad happening to you – this was the kind of complicated iterative stuff they adored), and for the entrepreneurs and professional “trendy goods”-counterfeiters who successfully sold forgeries of the £50 and £1,000 MacGuffins.
The Mashing Shamans of Delight & Touch thwarted efforts to understand their processes. They put up a smoke screen to maintain their distinction from ordinary people.
Who would not snigger to have it termed priestcruft. You think all I care about is that the zeitgeist had a goitre i.e. that I’m not going to tell you what MacGuffins were actually like as objects. Well I am. They were the same shape as a matchbox and slightly larger than one and as great as one. They were of satisfying weight. They had on them a design which people very quickly got as tattoos. The difference between the differently priced versions was in the colour and a few other very subtle features. The £1 ones came in a variety of pastels, the £50 were black and the £1000 were the colour of moonlight. One time a clerk did not offer Julian one – although the signs clearly describing the offer were abundant, and the date that day was between the two dates circumscribing the period during which the offer would be valid – but reached over the counter and in one clenched fist pulled free his chin, jaw and tongue. Obviously during that his shriek became a strange, keening spluttering.
Julian conducted himself like – well “headless chicken” comes to mind but then so does “jawless customer.” He left the store, incidentally activating the alarms with clutched merchandises. The smog snaked into his promiscuous lungs, there was nothing to disincline it, and his bellows, after all, pumped like death throes. He made mayhem of the busy street by standing woozily in it.
Shards of tooth and bone dribbled from this “face hole” like boulders tumbling in a blood waterfall. With a chunk! his upper jaw stuck into the windshield, as though a tool designed for it. The driver – Chinwag and no other – had had it! He left the engine idling and went to the boot, where along with his Chinwag headgear – he did not bother, this first time around, with the rest of the suit – he requisitioned a billhook and a double-barrelled sawn-off.
What Mr. Chinwag did not realise is that most of the people he was “slaughtering” were the living dead. Dead bodies, of cancer patients for example, moving in. Depending what you judge to be an acceptable amount of “collateral damage” Mr. Chinwag was either psycho or hero. If say 0.35 innocents cut down per zombie cut down was acceptable to you, you would see Mr. Chinwag’s status fluctuate excitingly between these two possibilities. If you can’t see what’s happening I can’t be bothered explaining it to you.