good-bye horses, i’m flying over you.
Well, it’s officially not 2006 anymore. Horse heads are hard to come by these days. Legally anyway. Don’t believe me? Just try finding a horse’s head at a butcher shop. Pig, cow, lamb, goat, even deer heads can be easy to come by if you know where to ask. Really, pig heads are as common as a box of macaroni and cheese. But a horse’s head? A fool’s errand, apparently. Better you were off to cut down a tree with a herring.
I contacted every butchery within a 200 mile radius about laying hands on a severed horse’s head and all I dug up was a big goose egg. Undeterred, I made the rounds at all the stables and horse farms in the tri-state area. Zilch. I can, however, tell you that asking breeders about severed horse heads is just a little too near the knuckle. Didn’t work any better when I changed tack and mouthed “cabeza” while pantomiming a slit throat either. From there, I considered going whole hog and just buying a horse outright. Take the head and toss the rest, that sort of thing. But it was a lot of red tape and, as I was now blacklisted at every horse farm in the tri-state area, not a very promising enterprise. And I didn’t trust feral horses. Not after that time at the nuclear power station.
Where’s a gift horse when you need one? I flirted with the notion of substituting a pony’s head, although that was really playing ducks and drakes. Taxidermy presented an interesting avenue: hollow it out and whip up a Providence piñata. Unfortunately, my explosives guy was out of town and I didn’t know anyone else I trusted ready to work on short notice. Plus the taxidermist seemed somewhat unglued when I asked about filling the piece with C4 and ball bearings. Admittedly, it was a bit much — I only wanted to needle the guy, not shatter him into a thousand tiny pieces.
On a whim, I put in calls to a couple of glue factories. Bust. Only all hides and hooves, they told me. I thought the dog food companies might play ball, but that proved to be a dead end too. Even with my inside man at customs, importing a horse head from Argentina was prohibitive: too many mouths wanted a taste and, more importantly, too much time. I couldn’t overnight the thing and every second that that fork-tongued rat lived thinking I believed in a baked goods underworld left me down in the mouth. I needed to squeeze him yesterday.
I was in the wrong box on this one. Horse heads were out, no longer part of the equation. A part of me wanted out too – without a horse’s head in my pocket my godfather math didn’t add up. Still, I wasn’t left with much choice. No, there was nothing to do but take the next step, close my eyes and think of England. Bette Davis Eyes was going to tell me how many beans make five even if all I could manage was slipping a Klan hood fashioned from an old Star Wars sheet set over his lawn gnome to let him know he was in my bad books.
So, I knew what I wasn’t going to do. Then, I got an idea.