By DAVID NG
Today, I feel like doing a plant – no, an animal. Yes, today, I am going to make an animal. And it will be a masterpiece. I shall call it the…. No wait! Maybe I should think of the name later. Yes, you should always name your pieces after you have completed them. Better that way.
OK then. An animal it is. More specifically, a vertebrate. Large body, four legs, one tail, one head, usual stuff on the head – i.e., let’s just follow the standard animalia rubric. Nothing exciting there. Not yet anyway. So let’s give it an armored tail, with poisonous tendrils and a stink that can kill. Oooh, I like that – but maybe it’s too much. Why such a fancy tail? Maybe the tendrils can come out of its nostrils (note to self: Have I designed nostrils yet?). And the stink can come from the body itself.
But it doesn’t quite feel right. Feels forced. No matter, I suppose I can simply start over. Besides, I did the poisonous tendrils last week. But keep the stink? Yes, let’s keep that.
I know. How about we give it three, no eleven, no four stomachs! Four stomachs! For the efficient eating, of the grass. I am truly inspired! Don’t stop there. How’s this? This animal should urinate milk. From its groin, no less. From little appendages which I will humbly call teats that collectively, communally, reside on a mound of tissue I will call a brother.
Now I am on a roll. Milk will flow from the teats of this animal’s brother.
No wait, I cannot call it a brother. This animal has no lips – don’t want it to have lips – too common a thing for a masterpiece. Seen that, done that, yesterday’s news. But you can’t say the word “brother” without lips. Poor animal, that would be cruel. Instead, let’s call it an udder. Yes, an udder – that’s much better.
Now, of course, I need to work in a clown somehow. I love clowns. In truth, clowns are my all-time favorite design. How will I do this? Perhaps give the animal a raucous and overt sense of humor? Make it wear funny shoes? Make it scare the shit out of young children? No, not subtle enough – I want this animal to be so much deeper than that.
What if, and I’m just saying things as they come to me, this animal-can-be-ground-and-shaped-into-a-meat-patty- which-can-be-mass-produced-and-fried-on-heating-elements, and-then-sold-by-a-corporate-entity-bent-on-feeding-the-obesity-line-to-young-children -by-using-as-their-public-representation-and-symbol, a-clown, whom-we-shall-call-Jesus (no-wait,-let’s-save-that-one-for-later), whom-we-shall-call-Ronald-McDonald, and-these-meat-patties, which-will-be-inexplicably-and-mysteriously-called-hamburgers -after-a-completely-different-animal-I-haven’t-created-yet, will-also-be-considered-sacrilegious-by-fully-one-sixth-of-the-world’s-population, and-oh-oh-why-is-it-that-the-numbers-0157-cry-out-to-me? because-OH-MY-GOODNESS-I-can’t-believe-it, but-this-stuff-is-just-so-brilliant!
Take a breath. WHheeeew-hooooooo. Calm down. That’s pretty good. But maybe just think about some of the simple things now. Like color. Yes, color is good. And easy – let’s go with the rustic look, plus spots. Et voilà. We have finished yet another creation, which for some reason, I feel inclined to call a cow. Hold on, one last thing. It shall go “moo” when it speaks. Yes, that’s a nice touch, even if I do say so myself. People are sure to talk about that one, maybe even create a song or two.
Originally published at Inkling Magazine.
Great example of how intuitive data interpretation can get it wrong.