Marvin Winsome, the richest politician and premier anti-gun advocate in California, laughed as he added up the latest proceeds from Tinsel Town. Yes, the future looked very bright indeed. After passing a series of bills that would effectively harass the gun owners of California, he was the darling of the Hollywood Snowflake set.
Martin chuckled to himself as he thought about the denizens of the movie industry. Most of them, absurdly rich, had their own armed body guards and high walls protecting them. But after all, they were Stars! Protection was their due.
The very thought that ordinary people, their slavish fans, might own firearms positively horrified them. Why, they were even thrilled when he proposed that the police be disarmed. That idea bought him the endorsement of the famous, diamond encrusted, actress Merry Gabber. He was now the focus of her white ribbon group “Surrender Now”. Invited as their guest speaker, he drew standing applause when he accused armed police of being over-militarized.
As he prepared to go to sleep that night, he smirked to himself about stupid ordinary people, and their doubly stupid Second Amendment. What a nuisance. Did the Founders really have to throw a bone to the hick backwoodsman of their time? Someday he would coast into the White House on a platform of repealing the 2nd Amendment altogether. And that was his final thought as he drifted off into a deep sleep.
When Marvin awoke the next morning, he was aware of being excessively warm beneath the covers. He looked down and noticed that he was covered with fur. Fur? What the . . . he rolled out of bed and promptly landed on his four feet. No, not four feet but four hooves! Martin tried to scream but the only sound that came was “Bwaaaaaa . . !”
“Get a grip on yourself,” he thought as he walked to the mirror. “It’s only a dream.” However, staring back at him was a very real looking Black Angus bull. The only familiar sight was that the bull was wearing a neck medallion with a big gold number seven. It was the very same neck piece that Marvin wore every day for good luck.
Snorting nervously, he glanced at the clock which read 7:55 AM. My God, room service at his high end hotel would be serving breakfast at eight! Exactly five minutes later, room service knocked and set out a tray of eggs, orange juice, and steaming coffee on the small dinette.
“Will that be all, sir?” said old Goodwin, who was very near sighted.
“Bwaaaaa . . .”, answered Marvin. The waiter jumped back a good foot, gasped and then hurried from the room. Marvin, who was quite hungry, sniffed the eggs but they smelled disgusting.
A good hour passed and then the door opened cautiously. Staring at him was Goodwin the waiter, the hotel manager and Harry, his chief legislative assistant.
“Tha . . . Tha . . . That’s him,” whispered Harry. “He’s still wearing his medallion, which I’d recognize anywhere.”
“Marvin, I don’t know what’s happened,” stuttered Harry, “but you can’t stay here. You . . . You just got to trust me.”
The door closed but soon Goodwin was back with a big bag of lawn clippings which smelled delicious and Marvin started munching with gusto. A little later he returned with a halter and led him down the back stairs to a waiting cattle truck marked “Steakland Ranch”.
After an eternity of bumping along an unimproved road, the big transport came to a halt. A gangway was lowered and Marvin, along with twenty other cattle, was herded into a pen. Suddenly, he felt a painful shock on the left side of his rump. Marvin yelled “Bwaaaaa . . !” as the cattle prod hit him again.
“Git along!” yelled the gruff old cowhand. “You ain’t a celebrity no more”.
“Some nerve,” thought Marvin as he made for the watering trough. As he was about to drink, he was slammed out of the way by a bull twice his size. He tried to defend his place with a butt when suddenly he felt a coarse rope around his neck.
“Look, this ones got horns,” yelled another cowboy.
Instantly, Marvin smelled burning tissue as his head appendages were sawed off.
“Don’t do it!” cried Marvin, but all the cowhands heard was “Bwaaaaa . . !”
Hungry, tired, and thirsty, Marvin huddled in a corner of the big pen. Suddenly an inviting scent came his way. By chance he was standing next to a very attractive heifer. Marvin was becoming interested when suddenly one of the herders yelled, “Hey look, that one’s not been fixed!”
Again the coarse rope looped around and then he felt “the unkindest cut of all” tearing through his underside. “I’ll get even!” he screamed but all they heard was “Bwaaaaaa!”
At that moment, a chute appeared guiding the cattle into a long building. In the far distance Marvin saw the moving assembly line of skinned Angus on meat hooks. “So this is what it’s like to be defenseless,” he thought. He wanted to cry but only tears of watery mucous dripped out of his muzzle.
“If I had only known” I would have acted so differently.” With that last bovine thought, Marvin found himself trapped in a tangle of sheets.
“I don’t want to be meat, I don’t want to be meat!” he heard himself say. “Say . . . say? Yes—I actually said something besides Bwaaaa!” It was a dream after all.
Marvin jumped out of bed and ran to his desk. He tore up the check he’d received for speaking to “Surrender Now”, and stuffed the shreds into an envelope to return to them. Never again!
“Hey Hollywood, the show’s over,” he said out loud. Marvin was excited. Change was in the air. He showered, dressed, and took off to his office.
He never even noticed the grass clippings on the floor.
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[Editor: Posted with respect to Franz Kafka . . . ]
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—Wallace Schwam, MD is a retired internist with interests in geriatrics and pharmacology who trained at Duke University. He rated expert in marksmanship in the Army and continues to enjoy hunting and tactical training with handgun, rifle and shotgun.