Captive Bolt I love steak

Captive bolt

 

I love steak. I’ve always loved it. My parents practically put it in a blender and had Gerber slapped on it before I had teeth. My brother never liked it; he thought chewing was overrated. Of course what got him in trouble was thinking that drinking was underrated. I believe I assisted the slaughter of my first bull calf at eight when I was finally man enough to wield a proper boning knife and I had my own sheath on my belt. But watching the slaughters must have started earlier than that. My first memory of the knife’s smooth slicing connection with the jugular and red liquid vomit exploding out from the hanging calf’s chest was actually majestic. The stunning though – I don’t think I really got used to that until maybe ten, two and a quarter years before Jeremy did in his life I might add. Watching the calf flop around on the ground like it was having a seizure just freaked me out until I stunned one myself. Then it was different. Feelings of nerves and power had a brawl in my stomach and the power won. I had life right there in front of me and I could control death. I didn’t think anyone could really control death when it came right down to it. You either held hands with it your whole life and it took its sweet time sitting on your chest, suffocating you, or it was a little bastard and jumped right out and punched you in the face one day, BAM! Then that’s it, no more. I was punching the lives of these calves right in the face. No slow drifting away to nothingness. I wonder if I’ll be smacked in the face or slowly and painfully suffocated. I think I’d rather be smacked. Never have to wait for it, never piss myself in my own bed, needing someone to come in and turn me every few hours so my ass doesn’t rot right out from under me. That’d suck. Dad said I’m going to get to take over the family business. Except I was his second choice. He asked Jeremy first because he’s the oldest and I don’t get squat unless Jeremy doesn’t want it, or he screws it up so bad that Dad takes it away and gives the crap pile to me to deal with. I’ve actually accumulated a good amount of skills in the field of crap-pile management. I guess it at least gets me toughened up for when suddenly I’m in charge of something important and all the old guys who have given their fingers for the business remind me oh so kindly with blood-slimy lunch presents that I am, and always will be, the rookie. Only when I have seven fingers left and have lost my gag reflex to steaming carcasses am I considered a real meat man. Until then I would just be the discarded bloody fat trimming that Dad scraped off his rubber boot and put into the manager’s office. Of course I’ve been helping out for years, but never with something where I’d necessarily lose my fingers. I like my fingers. Missing fingers seems to be very popular among those guys. I just wanted to be the stun man. Spend all day standing just inside one of the two doors to the outside of the main building, watching dirty, hide-covered pumping hearts file in, and flailing seizure-vessels swing out by one hind hoof up along the rail on the ceiling one after another. They don’t even get to see it. I guess that’s the point so they don’t get all freaked out and the meat gets ruined, but it makes the stunning so much more of a surprise to them. I guess it would be more of a punch in the back of the head than the face. My stun man status depends on the fuck-up that is my brother. If he suddenly decides to act on his illusion that he’s some sort of business god, it’ll be a lot of years of ties and white shirts before I get to be in charge of death. I’ve had to fix all sorts of old cars that Jeremy totaled in not-so-accident accidents of the bottle and were given to me by Dad like it was some sort of honor to get the leftovers. I never said anything though, I’ve never really thought about why I didn’t throw Dad the old screw you and got my own car that might be worth a damn and have doors that were the same color. I figured one day my colloquial decking would come and what did it matter anyway. This way the skills of my youth grow. Maybe someday he’ll burn the house down and I’ll be a carpenter too, throwing in some architect and electrician skills for usefulness’ sake. For now I think I’ll just stun. Find a girl who thinks stunning is manly and that complete sets of fingers are sexy. We’ll just up and leave together I think. Maybe a note for mom, but brief. Leave Dad and his liquidated-dung-accumulation of a son to run the family business. I’ll be a travelling stunner for home-slaughterers with my trusty body-sectioning wife with me for the home-slaughterers who don’t really want to slaughter. She’ll be the best steak sequestering knife goddess in three states. We’ll sit around with our own personally cleaned sides of beef slicing up the psoas major (filet mignon for those who insist on using French in random intervals) and eating the raw chunks right off the scrupulously sharpened tip of our knives.

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