Alien Jerky

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.  (Hamlet, scene v.)

So true, so true.  I found out how true this past summer while driving outside of Las Vegas.  Heading west out of the city we began, almost immediately, to see a series of billboards mysteriously advertising “Alien Jerky“.

alien jerkyWe were quite a distance from the small town that boasted this interesting meat product, so I didn’t pay much attention to the signs, offering a snicker perhaps, but otherwise easily dismissing the teasers.  Strangely though as the tedious miles ticked by and as the signs periodically popped up along our route, I began to become intrigued.  It was an easy decision then when it came time for a pit stop to pull off and go in search of the jerky.

Strange barely begins to describe the scene we found when we rolled up to the “store” that distributes Alien Jerky.  But, inside we went and sampling jerky began. I am still not completely certain if the claim was that aliens had made the jerky or if the jerky was, in fact, made from aliens (ewww, gross!). I couldn’t justify paying the asking price for the jerky, so we eventually headed back down the road with the taste of jerky in our mouths but without jerky to enjoy later.

I share this story because today I feel the need for a bit of whimsy.  A touch of silly to balance out what has felt like a somewhat serious day (maybe it’s the clouds and the rain that are lending a sense of somberness to my mood.)  And friends, if you want whimsy, I point you to Alien Jerky or any of the dozens of roadside attractions which dot the highways and bi-ways of the United States. Most are just looking to make a dollar or two, but if you take the time, you don’t have to pay a dime to make a memory, enjoy a laugh and have some fun. And I think we could all use a bit more laughter and humor in our lives.  What with North Korea making threats and Syria in turmoil and national economies collapsing and disease killing millions and…

Yes, friends, we need to take the pit stops for Alien Jerky.  We need to encourage the pursuit of goofy and bizarre and weird and different.  These things make us human just as much as violence and hatred and mean-spiritedness.  They may even represent the better parts of us.  The parts that dream big dreams.  The parts that hope against the odds.  The parts that are connected to smiles and hugs and laughter and love.

There are more things than are dreamt of in my philosophies, in all my learnedness, and for that I am thankful. So here’s to celebrating silly and whimsical and odd.  Here’s to the music makers and the dreamers of dreams (where’s that from?  here.)  Here’s to those who bring us giant balls of twine, Carhenge, Cadillac Ranch and all the other fun we are invited to sample along the twisty road of life.  Be sure to stop and smell the roses and/or sample the jerky.

Life is better together,
Shawn

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