Thursday, September 6, 2012

Interlude: Two Muffins in an Oven

There is a story, perhaps only a parable, that been passed down through the haze of time. The story, or parable, is not true. It is as follows:
There are two muffins in an oven. The first turns to the other and says, "It sure is hot in here.". The other one says, "Oh, my god! A talking muffin!".
This story is not true.

  • Muffins do not posses the musculo-skeletal structure required to turn under their own power.
  • Muffins lack the motivation to address other muffins with idle comments.
  • Muffins to not posses the sensory capacity to experience heat, and anyway lack the processing power to understand sensation.
  • Muffins can not talk.
It is said that every tale contains within it a germ of truth, or possibly of Truth, the former being embellishments of historical accounts and the latter being illustrations of moral imperatives or philosophical outlooks. The tale which follows is True:

There exists, or at one time existed, a Fabricator. This Fabricator was capable of collecting and combining materials in order to create things. On a particular day it was decided, either by the Fabricator or some outside force, and agreed to by the Fabricator, that the Fabricator should create two muffins.

The Fabricator collected ingredients together. I do not know what, exactly, goes into a muffin, and would certainly not venture to guess what would go into two muffins, but perhaps the Fabricator's collection included such things as eggs, flour, muffin sauce, and perhaps a splash of brandy, because all the fancy recipes call for a "splash" of some manner of liquor. This is probably because writers of the fanciest cookbooks are all alcoholics or Julia Child, who was firmly in the pocket of Big Liquor.
The Fabricator applied his muffin creation skills to the ingredients. With the passage of time the ingredients had been formed into a proto-muffin goo sufficient for a pair of muffins. The Fabricator possessed a metal tray with twelve muffin shaped indentations arranged in a rectangular array. The proto-muffin goo was inserted into two adjacent indentations, one on a corner and one next to it on the longer axis. These two proto-muffins existed as muffins, but also acted as a metaphor for the human condition.

The muffins were inserted into an oven, which was then heated to temperatures twice the boiling point of water. Chemical changes brought on and accelerated by the thermal energy transformed the proto-muffins into muffins, enhancing their taste and aptness as symbols for the human condition. At no point did either muffin speak.

At the appointed time and the appointed hour, with a set of known and proper conditions having been met, the tray containing two heated muffins was removed from the oven and placed on an unheated surface. When the muffins cooled, they were subsequently removed from the tray, in every symbolic detail identically to the fashion in which mankind yearns for meaning.

A Consumer, who may or may not have been the same character as the Fabricator, manipulated one of the two muffins whose existence was also burdened with the power of metaphor until the muffin was partially inside a hole in the Consumer's face. Two clamps made of sharpened crenelations of bone came together, messily severing a chunk of the muffin. that chunk was mashed by the powerful workings of the bone clamps and mixed with the saliva of the Consumer, transforming the detached chunk of muffin into post-muffin goo. 

The post-muffin goo was induced deeper into the Consumer, bathed in a bladder of acid and, in the fullness of time, excreted. This process brought to the mind of a Theoretical Dispassionate Observer the deeper truths of the human condition.

The other muffin, equally metaphorical though at this point in the narrative more physically coherent, was lifted by another Consumer, who may or may not have been the same character as the previous Consumer, and may or may not have been the same character as the Fabricator. The other muffin was manipulated into the face hole of the other Consumer and a chunk was ripped off. The muffin was aware of none of this.

The muffin possessed no awareness.

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