The human female just sent off the large order to the Purveyor of Dead things, that almighty conglomeration of pickled fauna which will constitute this year’s Dead Cat Ballet.
Since it can take for. ev. er for the PODT to amass such a mountain of carcasses, especially the cats and sharks, and since the Powers That Be have not finished specifying which particular cadavers they want to include in the new 112 labs, she has put in an order of just cats and sharks and sheep brains, which she knows she needs for the upper level Anatomy lab. She will make the huge order later, whenever the final cast of Dead Things has been made.
She has not forgotten the “difficulties” the PODT and I have made for her in previous years–how orders have come wrong, incomplete, late, leaky, or not at all, so she took special pains to set constraints on this order. The professor teaching the class was quite specific. One triple-injected pregnant cat; two double-injected cats, two male and three female; ten sheep brains; one triple-injected pregnant shark; and three double-injected sharks, two female and one male. She wrote,”NO SUBSTITUTIONS ON SEX” in the description of the cat and shark line items. She included “PLEASE DO NOT SUBSTITUTE SEXES ON CATS AND SHARKS” in the area of the P.O. that’s for notes to the vendor. When the Helpful Representative from the PODT called and said, “We’re short of male sharks, is it all right to go ahead and send three females now?” she replied, “Augh! Please do not! We can wait until August to get what we asked for.”
The sheep brains arrived. The pregnant kitty arrived. A double-injected female shark arrived. And then…
Oh, dear. Would you look at that.
Two more lady sharks, with nary a gent among them.
She called the PODT and tried to point out the error of their ways. The Helpful Representative on the receiving end of her exasperated expostulation seemed very surprised that the human female was not 100% satisfied with the three sharks she had received. Higher math appeared to be beyond the grasp of the Helpful Representative, who could not quite be brought to understand that 1 + 2 does indeed = 3, but 1 apple plus 2 apples does not equal one apple plus two oranges, and that for the purposes of the fruit salad in question, any apple beyond one is a useless surfeit. In the end, the PODT agreed that she could keep the two extra females at no cost and that they would send two males when–or if– they get them.
Of the regular dead cats, there has been nary a whiff. (Which is good, because those things are…aromatic.)
It is not a ballet, it is a graceless, lurching Dead Shark Shuffle.
I think I can string this out all summer.