Warm Weather

What is that large, bright, warm, glowing ball in the sky? No, I don’t mean the sun. I mean the one next to it with the angry robots coming out.

The Proper Preparation of Haint Meat: A Pamphlet for the Edification of the Public

In times of economic distress and great privation, it seems fitting to peruse the afterworld for alternative comestibles. As the price of animalistic meat, by example, becomes more dear, one must seek quasi-organic venues for the basic proteins. But whereas the restrictions of species, edibleness, poisonous issue, extinction, fictionality, taboo, ethos, vainglory, and mobility forbid and/or forfend the consumption of sundry animals and protozoans, no laws of man, god, daemon, or avatar prevent the butchering, preparation, and mastication of homo espiritu, more casually known as the human ghost.

Allay your fears, gentle reader! Though our society teaches the avoidance of dearly departed souls, modern science assures us that to invite the ghost-creature into our diet (and thus our alimentary canals) is to ensure a longer, more salutary, and fulfilling existence for ourselves.

While difficult to apprehend, please to remember that the ghost desires to share its essence with the animate. They of ectoplasmic construction who spend centuries flitting about, moaning with melancholy, and rattling chains in search of acknowledgement and validation from the material world would graciously lay their non-corporeal corpuses across our barbecue grills, subjecting themselves to momentary soul-death for the knowledge that they yet exist, if only in our abdomens. Consider these simple admonitions and instructions in capturing, cooking, and consuming the departed, and how unlife can raise the quality of your life.

Q: I am discontented and nerve-jangled. Is this not anthropophagy?

A: It is not cannibalism. Forfeiting life, the ghost ceases to be true humankind. Likewise, the substance one consumes does not occupy the selfsame status as human flesh.

Q: Does this not destroy the ghost’s soul, preventing eternal happiness or damnation?

A: It does not cost the ghost either for overlong. The soul is vast. limitless, and self-regenerating. By absorbing and entangling its nutriment essence with your physical form, you permit the death-beast a new level of existence. Unsurprisingly, the gratitude of the dead is substantial and warming. You will feel the salubrious effects of spectral digestion almost immediately. It is considered, though not widely reported, that 95 percent of all major deities shall gaze down upon you during the eidolon repast, praising your munificence of grace.

Q: Does this not destroy my soul in turn?

A: Nay. Alongside the aforementioned benefits, your soul shall be replenished, indeed cleansed with ectoplasmic roughage, if not burnished entirely. You shall furthermore be appended with a golden corona perceptible by the living and dead as a feeling of ease, well-being, and slight euphoria. And your bowel movements be pronounced and glorious to behold.

Q: Truthfully, is there no haint meat that is harmful?

A: No haint meat is harmful, in that there is no injury to the consumer’s physical well-being or even spiritual health. But consumption of criminals or the guilt-ridden who have passed on may create a feeling of ill-ease and dyspepsia. Their souls are saturated with condimental emotion ridden with evil and heartsickness. Best to equivalent them with a hot dog purchased at the faire.

Q: And how-so, wise consul, does one capture the spiritual esculent?

A: With forbearance and time, and a few simple household materials. Gather together the following:

* A silken cord
* Three (3) iron nails (unbent)
* The ulna of an ungrateful man
* Star gravy captured in silver-threaded sack
* Seven (7) thylacine feathers
* Sealable plastic bowl (8 oz.)
* Candy, pref. with a hard outer shell and a warm inner life.
* Two (2) eggs, enfolded with the aether
* One (1) cup of brown sugar, emboldened
* Holy text (pref. written in the angels’ tongue)
* Angel tongue
* Ball-peen hammer
* Emotional wrench
* Spiritual Inculcator, 230 V (pat. pending)

1. Visit the place of haunting, and seek, through local lore, the terminus of the spirits.

2. Combining the worthy ingredients in the sealable bowl, mix them throughly until they have vanished, never to be seen again, except in one’s nightmares.

3. Place the bowl centrally in the preferred loci. Have a care that you do not wear a color of offense to the revenants.

4. Wait in the darkness with cord and hammer, chewing unmindfully on the angel’s tongue. You may become aware of a slightly bitter taste of fear. ignore this, or be branded a coward and wear the white feather of the cozening poltroon.

5. Plug in the Spiritual Inculcator. If you cannot find a 230 V outlet in the Western Hemisphere, alas.

6. Activate the Spiritual Inculcator with your smallest impulse. Stand back apace and travel abroad as it warms up, for this is the time of challenge.

7. As the silhouetted tendrils dance about the phantasm, weave and gambol to avoid the spirit’s psychical hooks. If caught in your brainpan, they may lead to discomfort, hectoring, and harrowing of the soul. Remove with tweezers and a suspension of cornstarch and blood.

8. Soon, soon, the tendrils shall ensnarl the eidolon. Calm its postmortem madness with a gentle, rhythmic stroking of its hair or exposed skull, reciting, “All is well. All is well. Within my belly soon thou shall dwell.” The shade will quaver with relief that its eternal wanderings are no more. As a side benefit, a becalmed spirit produces the sweetest and juiciest meat.

9. Release the spirit from its bonds, shake whatever appendage it offers, then direct it to a butcher’s block made of hamadryad wood.

10. Stretch out the specter across the block. Taking a butcher’s knife blessed by a vagabond, begin cutting the silver cords along the astral joints.

11. Whilst cutting, sing merrily of life’s pleasures to remind the spirit of what it once had. if it joins in, harmonize, stepping aside during alternate verses. Should the ghost possess a mandolin, allow it the joy of a final solo during the bridge.

12. Removes the cuts of beef in this pattern, and observe the raisons d’être:

Necks and clods—For smooth hair and strengthened bonework

Chuck and blades—For sanctity and clean teeth

Silver loin—For bamboozling of the underworld and magnificent thighs

Rump—For the heartstrings’ lubrication and the lungstrings’ education

Silverside—To mock the gods who punish us with their capricious frivolity. Also good for soups.

Topside—For the brain cells, that they do not become bedizened with vanity

Thick rib—To increase the vision until one gazes beyond time and space and into one’s own soul, for that is the truth of our existence

Thin rib—To increase the vision until one can discern street signs from very far away

Brisket—To ameliorate the shyness of the sex organs, so they may emerge from their shells and enjoy the company of other shells

Shin and leg—To increase the pituitary gland’s endurance until it can hammer through the hardest substance known to man—the heart of a wicked child

Flank—To emblazon the circulatory system with inner tattoos declaring in pre-Adamic language humankind’s emancipation from fear, ignorance, and want

Thick flank—To provide regularity

Feather blade—To bolster the efficiency of the earlobes, so their true purpose may be revealed, bringing the consumer of haint meat the powers of invisibility, telepathy, and echolocation.

Q: And how shall the meat of ghosts be prepared, I ask thee?

A: In much the same manner as other flesh: broiling, frying, souring, sweating, blanching, creaming, blackening, shirring, pickling, steeping, trepanning, embellishing, broadening, punishing, embarrassing, adjudicating, demolishing, and parboiling.

For picnics, barbecues, and icebreakers, marination is recommended. Slither the haint meat into a large trash bag filled with chopped onions, walnuts, soy sauce, blackberries, garlic, catsup and ketchup, vile intentions, elbow grease, shoe leather, bricks from the path to Hell, and an F minor chord (Puréed). Stow it away in your attic, beside the holiday decorations, unfashionable clothing,  and unknown dreams, and forget about it until the day of the event.

That morning, gasp aloud at your idiocy, and rush to the attic to recover and perhaps save the dish. But it will be too late. Far, far too late. Throwing open the attic door you will behold a Gigglebeast, vilely propped upon its haunches and supping most indelicately upon your stores. At this point, you must order takeout.

Or die trying.



P.S. After a idle search for “ghost meat” online, I discovered Tracy Morgan/Jordan (probably) coined the term. Foo! I have changed the title of the story because I hain’t no plagiarist.