Friday, October 25, 2013

An Open Letter to PETA

Dear People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,

I’ve been thinking about killing my fish.  I feel compelled to justify myself, although I know you won’t approve no matter what my reasons are, and in truth, my reasons aren’t very good.  I’m just tired of taking care of it.  Every.. single.. day I have to drop a few paper specks of whatever the hell fish food is into a stinking tank filled with green algae and floating fecal matter.  I suppose I could try and get rid of the stinking green algae and floating fecal matter, but why?  Why should I have to clean the tank every... single... month or two?  Just so the tank won’t stink and be gross?  That’s not a reason, that’s like a Catch 22 or something. 

And if that isn’t enough, the people at PetSmart tell me I have to change the filter on a regular basis as well, although this has been rendered a moot point since my pump stopped working after I tried to reconfigure it into a sexual aide.  Technically it was a masturbation machine.  Alas it did not work, and on some level I think that may have exacerbated my hostility toward little Swimmy.

Several times recently, I’ve found myself standing over the fish tank with a butcher’s knife.  I like to fling open the lid suddenly and scream, “Die Swimmy, Die!”  You’ll be relieved to know I haven’t actually stabbed it because Swimmy is very quick and agile, but I hoped to at least give it a heart attack.  So far, no luck. 

I guess I shouldn’t have said that I was thinking about killing my fish because I am in fact actively trying to kill it.  Is that wrong?

I took my dilemma to one of the clerks at Pet Smart, but he was not at all interested in helping me assassinate little Swimmy.  What a jerk!  Still, it was an interesting discussion, and  I’m thinking of using a distilled version of our exchange in a pilot I’m developing for network television.  It’s one of those stupid family sitcoms where the dad is a fat jerk with a beautiful wife and two adorably precocious children.  Right now I’m calling it, “Here Come the Tootersons.” You might want to get in on this.

When casting, we’ll need to find someone who can pull off a smart alecky Pet Smart clerk to reel off funny banter with our Dad character.  Here is some sample dialogue:


I can’t help you murder a defenseless animal.  I’ve taken an oath to protect animals.


 They make you take an oath at Pet Smart?

(insert laugh track)


They didn’t make me.  I volunteered.

(laugh track)


Is it true fish don’t have any feelings?


Well, I’ve never seen one cry if that’s what you’re asking.

(Laugh track.  You get the idea.  There should be a laugh track after pretty much every line.)


No man, can a fish feel pain?


You mean like the kind of pain I’m in now?

Hysterical!  I’m hoping to get Bernie Mac to play the dad.  Do you think he’s available, or did he die?  What about John Goodman?

Here’s something else that I’m trying to work into the episode since it is also animal related.  Maybe you can help.  The other day I was driving in the country with my wife (try picturing a stupid jerk instead of me), and we kept seeing these dead dogs and possums and things on the side of the road, and I started wondering if these animals were run over by cars or did they just crawl up to the road to die.  Like maybe they were really sick or something, so they tried to hitch a ride to the animal hospital.

You can see the problem of course.  Dogs and possums and things don’t have opposable thumbs, so how are they going to hitchhike?  I mean, they could hold up their little paws but it would just be confusing to the drivers.  The driver would be like, “Hey, what’s up with that possum over there?” and his wife would be like, “I don’t know.  I think it’s asking for money.”  The husband would then become indignant. “Well I’m not giving my hard-earned money to some lazy possum.”  Maybe that’s why so many of those animals die.  You guys should look into it. 

Anyway, I have to go now, but please get back to me with any fish-killing ideas you might have, and remember I’m willing to offer you a producer’s credit if you can find a network to buy my sitcom.  Stay strong.  Stay safe.  Save the road kill!  Spay and neuter! 

Your fellow animal loving friend,

Purvis McGrew

Other popular posts:Review: Foxes and Chickens, An Allegory,
An Open Letter to Jack Kerouac, An Open Letter to Tom Wolfe, An Open Letter to Dave Eggers, An Open Letter to JK Rowling, An Open Letter to Cormac McCarthy,

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