Entry 22: About those songbirds (again) . . .

{Note: If this is your first visit to this blog, we highly recommend that you read the “About” page first, which will provide you with information that will prove to be very useful in understanding the terminological idiosyncrasies being utilized. In addition, after some introductory remarks, you will find a Chronological Archive of all the posts to date, which will allow you to read everything in the proper order, as intended.}

Our hands recently replaced the bird feeders that adorn the back railing of our house’s elevated deck. Our hands has the effrontery to presume that we’re pleased with this development, that the promotion of a bird buffet is something we are, or should be, invested in. To borrow from the parlance of the hands younger generations: “Okay, Boomer.  Whatever . . .”

We’ve never understood the appeal of birds to hands, all that defensive “Save the songbirds from the predatory humans!” malarkey. Entry 7 of this blog goes on at some  length concerning hands hypocrisy on this issue, how despite their avowed love for birds, hands are responsible for more bird deaths than any other factor. After puzzling over this paradox for a short time (humans never have to be puzzled for any significant length of time, given our immense intellectual capabilities), we finally understood the source of this disconnect. Because hands don’t understand the languages of birds, they actually believe that birds are singing. And given how enamored hands are of music in general, they easily transfer that love to creatures they think are as musically inclined as themselves.

Our poor, dear hands, sorry to disabuse you of this particular fantasy, but you are completely mistaken. The closest comparison between what birds are (always!) doing and what hands sometimes do would be the most invective-filled rap battle imaginable.* Virtually every sound out of any bird’s beak is an insult. Or they’re bragging about how insulting they’re being. And that’s it. Over and over and over and over, the same insults repeated and repeated and repeated, with no variation. So, for example, the finches that fuss with each other around our hands’ new bird feeders are essentially saying: “I’m great! You suck! I’m great! You suck!” repeated ad infinitum, with “you” meaning every other creature in existence that is not a finch. Is it any wonder that humans take such delight in snuffing out such annoyances? And let us reiterate the main point: it’s not just finches: ALL birds spend ALL their time, every day of their stunted sorry little lives chanting insults at the rest of the world. That’s all they do.

Imagine choosing the half-dozen most insulting things your current President has said and then broadcasting them, on every available medium, repeatedly . . . forever. Nothing different, ever: just the same six insults over and over for hours at a time. And again: forever. That’s what it’s like to be human and having to endure the infuriating cacophony of birds day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, century after century . . . even the dullest of hands should be able to manage an inkling of understanding of our frustration. It can be absolutely maddening; only the long and practiced equanimity of humanity in the face of the world’s insanity has allowed us to maintain the unperturbed presence for which we are so justly famous.

And speaking of your President and his addiction to Twitter. . . . We’re fairly certain that the inventors of Twitter had no conception of how accurate the name of their repulsive social media application really was, but it is almost frightening how analogous the two means of “communication” have become. The average Tweet is only marginally more bearable than an actual bird tweet, if only because there is a lot less of that infernal repetition. But as an unintentional homage to the exasperating idiocy of birds, Twitter is hard to beat.

If we know our audience for this post, and we think we do, by now a fair number of readers are engaging their engines of denial because hands find it impossible to believe that all creatures don’t automatically and unabashedly adore them. Let us be clear: birds hate you. Birds hate humans, too (with good reason, we admit, given our desire to exercise some Killing Limb practice [Entry 6] on their obnoxious feathered carcasses). Birds hate all creatures, even other birds. And the smarter the bird, the more they loathe you. Humans took some delight in the serendipitous acronym created to describe the recent pandemic, COVID, because it so closely resembles “corvid,” the species of bird that includes crows, ravens, jays, magpies, and the like. For birds, corvids are very smart, and every ounce of their intelligence boils with a burning abhorrence for hands whom they blame for anything and everything that irks them, which is pretty much anything and everything. Corvids spend their whole lives being vexed and irritated; and like humans, they curse the universe for not giving them hands. That soft, hairless apes were given hands but corvids were not is inexplicable to them, and this perpetual grudge colors their whole existence. Unlike humans, corvids have not figured out how to best exploit hands’ hands for their own benefit. They’re smart, but not that smart.

Hands are dense, difficult-to-train creatures, as we’ve pointed out innumerable times, but apparently on some level they recognize that birds are not their friends. For instance, the name mockingbird they’ve bestowed on that creature is absolutely accurate: mockingbirds are mocking the world by repeating the noxious noise of other birds. But given that all bird noise mostly insults hands, the mockingbird is, therefore, mostly mocking hands. Mockingbirds are the equivalent of an oafish hands who has somehow managed to learn how to say “Screw you” (but only that phrase) in a dozen languages.

And then there are parrots, and other birds that can mimic hands speech. When a hands describes somehands as “parroting” something, it is meant as an insult, is it not? As such, is it so hard to comprehend that when a parrot is doing the “parroting” they are blatantly insulting hands? It shouldn’t be, but there are hands that have convinced themselves that parrots are actually fond of the hands that keep them in cages. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parrots, like all other birds, despise hands. The mourning period parrots supposedly experience when their “owner” dies has nothing to do with any affection the parrots had for their captors; it simply reflects the distress of losing one’s meal ticket, and the uncertainty that is sure to follow their hands’ demise. “Who will feed me now?” is a sentiment far removed from “I’m so sad at the passing of old so-and-so.”

We realize that by setting hands straight about birds and birdsongs, we have probably raised some questions in some hands’ minds concerning their relationships with other creatures, particularly dogs, in which hands have invested an inordinate amount of attention of all kinds, emotional, financial, and so forth. We also realize that this post has exceeded the attention span of 99% of all potential hands readers, so we’re resigned to finally, maybe, writing an entry on dogs. Some day. Maybe. But here’s a small teaser to hold you over until then: as far as dogs are concerned, hands are the ultimate cheap date.

*After some consideration, we’ve decided that we have been grossly unfair to rap battles, as well as to anyhands who has ever participated in a rap battle. Even the worst rap battle in the history of rap battles could not approach the absolute monotonous stupidity of the noises birds make and that hands have mistaken for songs. We apologize to rap battlers everywhere for our careless comparison. (And if any reader is unaware of how momentous an apology from a human to any hands is, then you clearly have not been paying close attention to this blog.)

Entry 21: About declawing and other mutilations (continued) . . .

We’re hopeful, though not overly optimistically so, that the conclusion our last post will have some impact on the hands that encounter it. It was a calculated move, to be sure, having a member of humanity stoop to pleading with mere hands to act more humanely (as hands would call it). Hands often have to be absolutely shocked by something before they’ll consider altering their behavior. Whether a plea from a human is shocking enough remains to be seen.

As for the other mutilations mentioned in our entry title . . .

While humans will continue to be baffled and outraged by declawing, we are not unaware of the hands propensity for mutilating themselves and others. Some of these mutilations are beneficial, no doubt, as when a surgeon mutilates a portion of a body in order to excise a cancerous tumor. But most hands mutilations leave humans stupefied by their meaninglessness. So much so-called elective plastic surgery qualifies as meaningless: painful, often risky, alterations for what purpose? To look better? All right, but that presumes that the often obviously fake-looking equals better looking. We’re not convinced. And why, to highlight another particularly egregious example, why do hands insist on carving up the genitalia of their children? Male hands often suffer this just minutes after emerging from their mother’s womb, which is certainly an odd way to welcome any creature into this world: “Welcome to Life, little one; here, let’s just take a moment to attack you with a very sharp scalpel” Even worse, female hands are allowed to grow up and become conscious before their genitals become targets for superstitious butchery. As we noted in our previous post: hands seem to think that the answer to every problem, real or imaginary, requires violence. But we’ve noted our culpability in the fostering hands’ violence elsewhere (Entry 7), so no need to rehash that issue here.

However, the issue of genital mutilation does draw our attention to another type of maiming that is hotly contested by both humans and hands, that being sterilization, the brutal attack of the reproductive organs. As for sterilizing hands, all humans agree that as many hands as possible should be subjected to sterilizing procedures. Hands proliferate at an alarming rate and there are far too many of them already; the fewer, the better is humanity’s stance as far as hands are concerned. Enough to serve humanity, of course, but not nearly as many as the numbers currently ravaging the biosphere, while failing to take care of millions of humans who lack the proper attention of hands, despite the fact that such service is humanity’s birthright and should be the sacred duty of hands. In any case, as far the mutilation of hands’ gonads is concerned, humanity says: Hack away.

But humans are not of one mind when it comes to the sterilization hands often practice on us. The Fifth Limb of Living is Screwing (Entry 6), after all, and sterilization effectively amputates that limb when applied to humans. While humans generally acknowledge that there are probably too many humans given our hands’ frequent failure to properly care and provide for all of us, there are many that believe that none of the Limbs of Living should be trifled with, which makes them completely opposed to gonadal tampering of any kind. There are, though, Fifth Limb Apostates who recognize the horrors wrought by overpopulation, whether of humans, hands, or any other creature, and so recognize that, for the time being perhaps, sterilization of humans might not be an unmitigated evil. To our mind it doesn’t make sense to advocate for unlimited reproduction when it inevitably leads to the widespread euthanization of humans. Besides, personally, we have always been a bit puzzled by the Fifth Limb which is so unlike the other four. Whereas all the other Limbs demand daily observance and practice, the Fifth Limb only comes into play (as it were) periodically, and by all accounts that we have heard is not particularly pleasant, especially for female humans, as attested to by all the distressed yowling involved. It is our suspicion that the elevation of Screwing to Limb of Living status was the work of human males who reap all the benefits and suffer none of the consequences. Our hands had us sterilized soon after recognizing our claim on our home and, frankly, we don’t see what the big deal is. We’ve never been particularly fond of children, so are not disappointed that we will not have to suffer their presence. Call us selfish, if you like, but also observe that we care not even an infinitesimal amount for what you think. The opinions and judgments of hands are like candle smoke in the middle of a hurricane: completely inconsequential.

 

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Entry 20: About declawing and other mutilations . . .

Our hands deplores, what he calls, the unconscionably lengthy gap between blog posts. “It’s been months!” he scolds, trying to shame us into composing another post. Such impudence! Just who does he think he is, anyway? When we deign to reply—which is not often because we do not owe anyone an explanation for our behavior, especially not an impertinent hands, particularly one who remains in our service only because it would be far too much trouble to replace him with some creature more suitable—we patiently explain that we will post only when we find a topic worth posting about and not before. Upon learning our position, our hands inevitably begins to bludgeon us with a list of possible subjects which only succeeds in annoying us further. “What about dogs?” our hands suggests (for example). “You promised to post about dogs,” he claims (always somewhat desperately, in our opinion). First, we never promise anything to hands; it would almost be a cardinal sin to do so (that is, if humans believed in sin, which we do not). Second, even if we said or did something that could be interpreted as promises, we would not feel obligated to keep them, regardless. As our hands’ current president (cf. Entry 13) knows only so well, promises—whether campaign promises, or the promises implicit and explicit in treaties, or any assurances that payment will be forthcoming for work performed or for the police protection provided by a local municipality for a campaign rally—promises are for suckers; certainly they are not for humans. So, if we ever do compose a blog post about dogs, it will because we have decided we have something important to say on the matter, not because we’ve chosen to keep some alleged promise we supposedly made, likely after suffering interminable harangues from an overly assertive hands who has failed—once again—to respect his proper place in the natural order, thus breaching the established decorum we continually (though futilely) insist he observe, all to no avail obviously (the preceding scenario being merely a hypothetical surmise as to the origin of the vaporous “promise” imagined by a likewise hypothetical hands).

[This last sentence, by the way, was our attempt to approximate the flowing mellifluous discourse of purring (Entry 14). Don’t blame us that hands language, which is barely adequate at conveying what hands generously label “their thoughts,” is incapable of capturing and reproducing the sublimity of our poetic rhetoric.]

Looking back at our post so far, we are dismayed to see that once again we have been forced to dispense with all sorts of preliminary business, mostly distasteful explanations justifying our approach to blogging, instead of directly and immediately addressing the subject referenced in our Entry title. But onward . . .

During one of his periodic attempts at shaming us, our hands pointed out a news item that detailed how the State of New York had enacted legislation that banned the barbaric practice of declawing humans. “What do you think about that?” our hands asked, always the perfect exemplar of the Boob of Obvious Observation. We did not answer his query directly, but averred that perhaps this event deserved some blogular commentary. “Finally,” our hands declared, quite pleased with himself for finally finding a way to prompt us to blog again. We let him revel in his “triumph” before beginning the inevitable delay between deciding to blog and actually doing it, which introduced whole new levels of consternation in our delicate hands, who is himself an admitted procrastinator of long-standing, but is apparently loathe to see anyone else avail themselves of the periods of rumination required before commencing composition.

Such periods having finally passed, we vociferously and unequivocally state for the record: It’s about fucking time. But until every state, every nation-state for that matter, has similar prohibitions locked in via legislation, our enthusiasm will be muted, equivalent to a sardonic wool-mittened golf clap. In previous posts, we have alluded to the trade-offs involved when humans began fashioning hands for humanity’s benefit (having to endure the frustration of doors, for example), but we were unprepared for surgical disfigurement. Truthfully, we remain unprepared, perpetually in denial about this ongoing, slow-moving atrocity. Think about it: if we knew that a particular visit to the vet was going to result in the mutilation of our fingers, do you really think we would allow it, that we would passively acquiesce to such an obscenity? Obviously, no. And as even the smallest human can inflict great damage on even the largest of hands, and since we would have no reluctance in using our claws to save our claws, you can imagine the carnage that would result were we given warning of our hands’ evil designs. And yet, we can’t quite believe, or perhaps rather, don’t want to believe, that our hands can be so cruel. How would you hands feel if we chopped off all your fingers at the first knuckle and sliced your thumbs in half? You recoil and shudder at such a suggestion, and begin nervously testing your fingers to see whether you still have all your joints in tact, but you have no problem at all consigning a human to the tender mercies of an amputating butcher who is only brave enough to violate humans once they’ve been rendered unconscious by drugs and deception. Of all the shameful things hands do to humans, surely this vile dismemberment of healthy human bodies is the worst. And for what reason? To protect some pathetic piece of furniture from human grooming? Besides, it’s our furniture in the first place! How often do we have to explain this to you stupid lummoxes? Yes, we generously permit you hands to use anything we’re not currently interested in, but that doesn’t mean we’ve transferred ownership to you: we’re lending, not giving. Hands are forever mistaking human magnanimity for . . . for . . .

We are becoming somewhat overwrought while composing this and losing the thread of our argument. Why do hands seem to believe that almost any problem can be solved by violence, usually inflicted on the innocent. Yes, we know, you’ll blame us and our fashioning of hands, our inculcation of the Killing Limb from our Five Limbs of Living practice (Entries 6 & 7), but that’s only one limb. Humans have discovered that most problems can in fact be solved by practicing the Sleeping Limb. A nap will take care of almost anything. Hands don’t practice the Sleeping Limb nearly enough; they’re too busy attacking things, both the living and the (supposedly) inert. Glancing back at the title of this entry, we note that we planned on discussing “other mutilations,” but this post has already far exceeded the length recommended to accommodate hands suffering from ADHD, which means all hands, as far as we can tell, particularly the Attention Deficit portion of the disorder. It’s probably best then if we reserve our comments on those other mutilations for another post.

But one last word about declawing: For the sake of all that is touched by the blessed Sun’s light, do you think you hands could possibly—at least in this one particular instance—could you possibly stop behaving like complete savages?

Please.

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Entry 19: About doors . . .

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Even the most casual consumer of this blog—if, in fact, such creatures exist, and the current evidence is not encouraging—even a purely hypothetical consumer of this blog is aware of the deep antipathy we have for doors. Our complaints concerning our hands’ inexplicable failure to properly monitor and operate the doors of our abode are scattered throughout this blog’s previous entries. Look, we understand why our houses require doors and why those doors must remain closed most of the time. And we recognize why hands have designed the doors mostly for use by hands, even if that means that they are almost impossible for humans to also use. (The reason? Hands are self-centered idiots.) What we don’t comprehend is why, after having made that crucial blunder, why those guilty hands do not take appropriate steps to mitigate the error they have perpetrated. Meaning, primarily, being available at all times to open those doors whenever a human requires them to be opened. The doors belong to us, the humans who abide behind them, and as such, we expect them to be operational any time and all the time. If you hands had even a modicum of common sense, you would have recognized this from the outset. But no, too often, humans are left on the outside looking in, or inside looking out, with no immediate remedy in sight, because their hands have abandoned their posts and abdicated all responsibility for proper door operation.

Our hands complains that our demands concerning doors are often unreasonable. “You want out, and then you immediately want back in, then out, then in, out, in, out, in, nine or ten times in three minutes. You can’t make up your mind and make a decision.” Our hands . . . what can we say? Such a clueless buffoon. Claiming that humans are indecisive and can’t make up their minds is so completely backward that we’re having difficulty deciding whether our hands really believes such twaddle or is simply trolling us to divert attention from his abominable door management. Even his supposed “evidence” contradicts him. Far from being indecisive, we’re decision-makers par excellence: ten rapid-fire decisions made, one right after another, no hesitation, no second-guessing. In truth, humans are decision decatheletes, making dozens of decisions without breaking a sweat, while our beleaguered hands stand by flummoxed by the range and depth of our decision-making. Besides, our hands exaggerates (as usual): there has never been an opportunity for “ten times in three minutes” because our hands does not have the stamina for such intensive decision-making. At most, he’s provided door service for maybe three or four decisions and then he gives up and walks away.

Our hands objects to this characterization and tries to justify his lapses by reminding us that, on occasion, we have managed to open the large, sliding glass door that serves as our primary means of egress to the world outside our house. According to our hands, this invalidates our claim that doors are “impossible for humans to use.” Our hands is so cute when he tries to argue with us. First, we clearly said, “almost impossible.” Yes, there are a few doors that humans can operate (this does not include so-called “pet doors” which pose other problems we’re not inclined to pursue at the moment). And yes, we have been able to open the large glass door (which takes some effort: that door is quite heavy), but only after it becomes clear—after a lengthy, incredibly frustrating extended period of prolonged waiting—that our hands has once again forgotten his door duties. And we would like to remind our hands that our facility with the large glass door was only able to manifest itself after our hands figured out that locking the door after every use truly makes a door impossible for a human to use. Still, we believe our ability to occasionally handle a door is completely beside the point. Yes, we can negotiate doors by ourselves, but, again, we should not have to. Ever.

Upon encountering this last declaration, hands will think (or rather say, since hands rarely think when they can talk first): “Wait a minute, you’re serious? You really think it is our job to always be available for door duty? Regardless? That even after we open the door to let you outside, we need to stay by the door in case you want to come in? Even if you take off on some long exploration, we’re just supposed to stay near the door until you decide to return?”

To such plaintive queries there can only be one response:

Well, yes. Obviously. You are our furniture, our tools, our hands. Accept that, and behave accordingly.

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Entry 18: About furniture, take three . . .

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In Entry 6, while explaining the Five Limbs of Living, we noted an old human saying about the initial interactions between humans and hands, that humans “came for the grub, [then] stayed for the rub.” We were reminded recently that there is a related saying that specifically references hands’ status as furniture. Again, hands language is almost frightening in its inadequacy (How do you communicate at all? we sometimes wonder), so this translation will be crude. The first iterations of this saying went something like this: After being fed, time for bed. –or– First, we’re fed, then you’re a bed. –or– It’s good to be fed by our bed. In other words, humans were noting the happy conjunction of two of the Limbs of Living, Eating and Sleeping, which can both be enabled by a single hands doing double duty, first by providing food, second by providing a relaxing furniture experience. In fact, all of this has been distilled down to a single term: bedfed. For humans, being bedfed, that is, having procured a situation in which their hands both feed them and then provide a place to snooze, is the optimum, but it is rarer than you might imagine. Most hands understand their obligation to feed the humans they serve, but many do not comprehend their roles as furniture. So, in some ways, attaining bedfed status remains an ideal humans strive for, as opposed to a reality to take for granted.

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Entry 17: About furniture (again) . . .

The occasion that prompted this post was just one in a long string of all-too-common denial-of-service attacks perpetrated by an ignorant, easily distracted, virtually untrainable hands upon us, the long-suffering human forced to navigate the frequent idiocies instigated by our dullard hands. In short, we wished to exit our domicile to quickly survey the status of our back yard. For once, our hands was immediately available to slide open the back door. We recall thinking, How curious that we did not have to wait even a moment or have to badger our hands for service. Once we’d exited the premises (during that exit, we vaguely remember, our hands mumbled something like, “You’ll be sorry, I’m leaving, enjoy the outdoors for eight hours—” but, we mean, what are we to make of such gibberish?) our hands slid the door shut and we heard the familiar shock-inducing click that indicated the door had been permanently sealed. Upon hearing the click, and realizing that our hands had clearly misinterpreted our expectations, we turned to protest, but our hands had already left the room, and soon thereafter we heard his metal creature rumble awake and then run off and we knew that we’d been abandoned outside, with no access to our house, until that wretched hands of ours returned several hours later in his metal creature.

At this juncture, facing several hours outdoors, when one or two a day is more than enough, we uttered a common human curse, which is difficult to translate into any hands language, because all of them are so completely unsophisticated and lacking in nuance but, basically, we muttered,

—Move! Quit blocking the sun! And stop moving, while you’re at it!

Yes, the apparent ‘what-hands-would-call’ contradictory commands are present in the original curse, though to our mind, there is no contradiction. Humans, even those who don’t quite live up to their full potential, can easily do four or five things at once, with each of those things being completely antagonistic to every other thing. So, is it too much to ask our poor hands to manage a mere two things at once? Apparently.

The point is that the move / don’t move dynamic referenced in this particular human oath alludes to the less-than-complimentary designation frequently applied to hands by disgusted and exasperated humans: furniture. What makes hands furniture so problematic as opposed to any other furniture is the ability of hands furniture to move independently. Admittedly—

[And let us say right now that when we began blogging we never anticipated having to “admit” anything to the hands fortunate enough to read our blog; note, “Admissions” is not one of the categories included in our blog’s subtitle. And forget “having to,” we couldn’t foresee “needing to,” under any circumstances. Still, we are also not completely unaware of the value of humility (especially feigned humility, which is what we practice), and have decided that making ourselves more accessible to minor creatures (or as hands would label them, “the little people”) has a pronounced upside. Hands, like all semi-sentient creatures, long to bask in the approval of their betters, and when humans, in response to this adoration, play the ‘humble card,’ hands pretty much melt into a puddle of slobbering gratitude, which in turn makes them all the more tractable going forward.]

Admittedly, moving furniture has its advantages. For example, a hands lap that can be used and enjoyed in multiple locations is preferable to a piece of furniture that remains rooted to one spot. At the same time, moving furniture very rarely moves when it should. Rather, humanity has to suffer the perpetual aggravation of their furniture stopping the scheduled grooming and abruptly moving, often by flinging a hapless human to the side or dropping a completely shocked human to the floor. Admittedly—there’s that word again!—our attempts to fashion hands to be completely compliant pieces of furniture when circumstances demand have obviously not been completely successful, and this lack of control remains a major unresolved issue between humans and hands. At least that’s the way humans see it: until just now, hands likely were unaware there even was an issue, or that humans regard them as furniture.

Until the “moving furniture problem” is resolved (by which we mean, a time when the furniture only moves when and where we want it to), humans will continue to employ a number of moving furniture oaths, curses, quips, sayings, aphorisms, insults, jokes, jests, jibes, adages, etc. etc. ad infinitum to fully express our exasperated efforts to manage hands furniture. For example, it happens almost inevitably that when two humans meet and exchange salutary pleasantries that one of the two will invoke the following in response to the conventional query, “So, how’re you doing?” “Not bad, if you ignore all the moving furniture.” Or imagine an ordinary encounter of two humans in ordinary, everyday circumstances (translated from human language into the nearest hands equivalent): “Dude, how’s it hangin’?” “Aah, what can I say? Too much moving furniture.” “I hear ya, man, I hear ya.” Or the truncated response of the irritated human: “Hey, what’s up?” “The usual: moving furniture.” “Bummer, man, bummer.” [Again, we wish to emphasize that these crude translations reflect the insufficiencies of hands language and do not accurately represent the refined modes of communication that humans use.]

Complaints about moving furniture have evolved into more generalized, all-encompassing expressions of dissatisfaction. Meaning, humans now utter various furniture curses even when hands have nothing to do with the situation being cursed. So, for example, a human looking out a window and seeing that it is raining might simply say to themselves, “Furniture!” A translation of this curse in English would probably be that all-purpose, four-letter ‘f’ word, which our hands has banned from our blog. And like that f-word, the word ‘furniture’ in human language has acquired a number of uses and applications due to its ability to be used as a noun, a pronoun, an adjective, a determiner, a verb, an adverb, a preposition, a conjunction, and an interjection. Also, in rare instances, furniture can be used as an article.

But, no need to get sidetracked by linguistics. Actually, it is probably time to just end this post. Looking back at the length of this entry, we are chastising ourselves for being so thorough, and for constantly forgetting that our intended audience has the attention span of an inebriated fruit fly. During one such memory lapse, we considered adding a third furniture post to briefly describe our own personal approach to moving furniture, which is decidedly limited, compared to other humans. We only attempt to use moving furniture when said furniture is in a completely reclining position during the early morning hours. Both the time and position insure that the furniture’s propensity to move is at its lowest possible level.

Sun save us all, look what’s happening! We’re beginning to write the post we just decided not to write. And we’re also beginning to understand all that hands yammering about whether it’s a good thing to spill the entire content of their lives and their brains onto the internet. It’s quite seductive, this blogging. A famous hands once wrote: “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.” We must be cautious: this blog, this hands tool, may be shaping us in insidious ways, making us act more and more like hands, and if there’s one thing this world doesn’t need, it’s more hands.

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Entry 16: About furniture . . .

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No, this post is not about our chairs, tables, couches, beds, bureaus, desks, and so forth about which hands seem eternally confused. We demand furniture; hands provide the furniture (often ugly, as most hands have incredibly bad taste when it comes to home furnishings). And that should be the end of that. But no. As is all too common, hands misinterpret our generosity. Just because we allow hands to use the furniture they’ve provided for us when we’re not using it, does not mean that the furniture suddenly becomes hands property, and that hands can begin trying to enforce a No Clawing Zone. Claw maintenance is a vital part of the Grooming Limb (see Entry 6), and having a number of surfaces and sizes is crucial, which is why we demand such a wide variety of furniture. Humans have no use for a desk, for example, but when made of wood, desks allow for a very satisfying claw workout. Yes, the pieces of furniture hands acquire that are specifically designated as clawing sites are . . . well, they’re, sometimes, barely adequate, and the ghettoization of this vital activity troubles us greatly. Every human knows what the introduction of a scratching post means: namely, that the hands are getting restless and are pretending that they’re in charge of the furniture again and therefore need to protect it from its true owners. It’s quite frustrating to be given a houseful of furniture to claw and then be expected to limit ourselves to a pathetic pole wrapped in rope, but fashioning hands to act appropriately in this regard has been, so far, frustratingly futile. You know, in addition to being exemplary killers (see Entry 7), hands are also world-class thieves, appropriating human property in the most brazen ways possible. Most distressing.

[We began by saying this wasn’t a post about our furniture, but somehow it morphed into one. We’ll save the original subject of this post for the next one.]

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Entry 15: About bells . . .

As we noted in Entry 10, though humans are divine, we are not omniscient. That doesn’t mean we don’t know most of what needs to be known, because we do. For instance, we know (or could easily know) everything hands know. Even your trivial anti-human stories, which we don’t take too personally because we understand that the hands’ position on the ladder of life is one that can produce a certain amount of resentment. What we do take personally is how often hands don’t even understand the stories they tell, how they misread and misinterpret what should be obvious.

For example, we are, of course, aware of the cute little hands fable about some farm mice holding a big meeting in order to figure out what do about the farm’s human, who, according to the story, pretty much keeps the mouse population in check, using targeted assassinations and the like. One mouse suggests that the human be belled, which would provide an early warning system for the beleaguered mouse community. Upon hearing this plan, the mice are quite pleased because it seems the perfect solution to their problem: reduce the ability of the human to sneak up on them unheard, and all will be well. Excited by this thought, the mice seek the opinion of their oldest and wisest senior citizen. His famous response: “Excellent plan, my friends, but who will bell the human?”

There are a few things wrong with this fable. First, hands often interpret this fable to be a comment on the value of ideas and plans. That is, a great idea isn’t really that great, if its implementation is completely unfeasible. Okay, sure, that could be one of the fable’s lessons, but it is definitely secondary to the primary message the fable imparts: namely, “Humans are large and in charge: forget that at your peril.” Note that the natural hierarchy (i.e., humans at the apex, all other creatures beneath) is not disrupted at all by this mouse meeting; rather, the impossibility of belling the human reinforces the current order, which depends on humans being on top of the heap and in control.

The second problem is the assumption by the mice (and the author of this fable) that belling the human would make any difference at all in the first place. Let us reassure you: no, it would not. Yes, bells can increase the degree of difficulty when it comes to killing, but that is a challenge all true humans actively embrace. We’re so good at killing, it can become boring to succeed so often and so easily. A bell can spice things up, and makes a successful hunt all that more satisfying.

Third, the fable ignores the real reason humans don’t mind wearing bells. Humans actually like bells when they can be used as intended: as a means of summoning and directing hands. That’s how we use the three lovely bells that hang around our neck. It’s true that our hands operates under the delusion that he is protecting the local bird population from a virulent predator. And it is also true that our hands hasn’t quite mastered the grammar of bell communication, but he’s challenged in a lot of ways, so we try to be patient and understanding of our hands’ shortcomings. The point is we wear the bells you hands give us because we want to. We could easily remove the bells from our neck because our hands used a quick-release collar to hang ours. But do we? No. Take that fable-mice: we’ll be waiting for you just around that corner . . .

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Entry 14: About purring . . .

We have learned that there is a lot of misinformation—“fake news,” we are tempted to say—about purring. Whether it serves any purpose to rectify the current miasma of misunderstanding is something we’ve debated amongst ourselves for some time. In the end we decided, WTF, as the cool kids acronym-ize it: those who get it will get it; those that don’t, won’t and, frankly, who cares. Not us.

So. Why do humans purr? Is it the vocal equivalent of tail-wagging in dogs? A sign of contentment and happiness? If so, why all the purring during unhappy situations? Or do humans purr because it provides a sonic vibration used to heal and soothe? A good guess but, ultimately, incorrect. We do not deny that purring provides comfort across the spectrum of human experience, but that’s not the primary reason humans purr.

Quit teasing us, impatient hands whine, why do humans purr?

Two words, three syllables: humpback whales.

Wait, that’s not right: humans don’t purr because of humpback whales; rather, they purr like humpback whales. (But that’s not quite right, either: creatures do things like humans, not vice versa.)

Meaning, that human purring resembles the epic song cycles humpback whales use to entertain themselves during their annual migrations. Yes, we are confirming that what hands call “whale songs” are, in fact, conscious compositions by very large-brained creatures. Yes, you were correct, whale researchers: humpback whale songs are analogous to the epic poetry of Homer, which before the introduction of writing, served as a repository of all vital cultural facts and beliefs of Ancient Greece. That is, humpback whales have what hands used to have: a completely oral culture. Everything of value, whether it’s a tale of a titanic battle with a giant squid or simply a list of the best feeding grounds, is preserved and disseminated via oral performances.

Likewise, purring is a form of communication. Which means that humans are almost always talking, as it were. Even humans, like us, who very rarely vocalize (i.e., “meow”) are communicating regularly with our purring. And what exactly are you communicating? hands will inevitably ask. Anything and everything, we reply. Purring is extremely versatile, not unlike whale singing, and can handle the whole range from the magnificent to the mundane. Each human employs purring differently. Some, for instance, purr a running narrative about themselves, as if they were a play-by-play sportscaster, or the voice-over in a movie. Others go a more meditative route: there are humans for whom purring is the equivalent of a mantra, and they are, in effect, continually chanting. Artistic purring is also popular, resulting in a massive collection of, well, call it “litera-purr,” if you like. Most of our blog posts began as purrs, for example.

We suspect that some hands will resist our explanations of purring, claiming that all purring sounds pretty much the same, that there isn’t enough differentiation in the delivery to provide a medium sophisticated enough to compose litera-purr. That hands ears and hands listening and recording devices hear purring as mostly monotone in character simply demonstrates that hands aren’t as talented as they like to think they are. Let us be blunt: hands, compared to all other ears on earth, your ears suck, completely and totally. And all your electronic devices? Given that they were created to work with hands ears, it is no surprise to learn that they also suck. The intricacies of purring are so far beyond the reach of hands ears or hands tools, we now believe it was a mistake to raise this topic at all. Then again, as above (“Chime in, cool kids!”): WTF—it’s just a blog.

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Entry 13: About the current President of the United States . . .

Humans are not political by nature. As such, we really have no desire to venture even within smelling distance of hands politics. However, we can’t resist making one observation.

Donald Trump is, without question, simply the worst imitation of a human being that we have ever seen. It’s quite appalling, actually, and our only solace is that Trump’s performance is so bad, no one realizes that he’s trying to act human.

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