Having been knocked rudely out of my non-bed, I hastened to get the number of the intemperate bulldozer that had done the knocking. Unfortunately, it was an unlisted bulldozer.
Then, with a flash of horror, I realized that it was Thursday: Decision Day. I had to decide whether to step up to slugdom or to slouch into one of Bill Gates' discarded bodies. (Apparently, he only uses each body once. Kind of the incarnate version of Handy Wet Wipes.)
As I said, it was a tough decision, so I turned to my email for help. To my everlasting joy, I had received a missive from "Freddie Maraschino" (I struggled to suspend my disbelief that this was some kind of nom de spam), who had demonstrated his consummate compassion on me and about 10,000 other computer owners by sending me this advice:
"Make the decision to move forward, NOT stay the same or worse, backwards!
Since many Opport-unities [sic] on the Net are of dubious nature, it's getting noticeably catchier to filter out the good, legit ones! Ask for detailed f.r.e.e. information that helps you make a firm decision in the future! Remember: Always do your Due Diligence first! This Approach will save you from Horrid disappointments."
God knows, in this critical juncture in my life, I desperately needed Freddie's f.r.e.e Help and Education about this essential topic, and wanted to avoid Horrid Disappointments if at all possible, so I gave him a call.
"Hello?" He sounded half asleep. I wondered what time it was in India. At the same time, I fumbled around in the drawer of the end-table. I know I put about a half pound of Due Diligence in there last Friday.
I explained the problems I was having with my cow body, and the slug-Gates body quandary.
"Are you, steady email customer, some kind of idiot? It's three o'clock in the morning!"
I made a notation on my wristwatch. It is three o'clock in India.
"So you think timing is essential here for me to grasp this Opport-unity?"
"Look. I'm hanging up now, and if you call again, I'm going to phone the police!"
(Sound of distant telephone falling into grace, if not into Freddie's wastebasket.)
I'm not stupid. This was not getting me the f.r.e.e Help and Education I was expecting. Quickly, I threw on my yellow Florida shirt (aardvark standard issue #835) with the brown and green palm trees and rushed out the door regretting the fact that I had accidentally pushed Redial. I could hear Freddie screaming obscenities as I glided my Hupmobile (lovingly manufactured by the Hupp Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan in 1938) out of the driveway.
I had decided to go directly to the Axis Mundi, the Oracle of All That Is Right and True... Yes, you guessed it, my Glove Compartment Guru. Unbeknownst to upwards of 93 percent of the general public, most 1938 Hupmobiles were equipped with an optional Guru, sort of like GM's OnStar in a loincloth.
I pushed the button and the glove compartment flapped open, spilling the bulk of my Pupi Campo trading cards onto the floor.
"You rang, O hopeless initiate?" said the Guru.
I explained to him yadayadayadayada...
"The answer is obvious, O Aardvark of Minimal Brain," he said, smoothing his loincloth. "You must refuse both options and follow your heart’s desire, which is to remain Aardvark to the end of your days."
He was spot on. It felt right. I was suffused with an effulgence of rightness. I quivered with rightness for about three seconds. I threw the guru a peanut, then popped open the cell phone. It was shouting obscenities at me.
"Sorry, Freddie," I said, and dialed the Big Giant Eye. He took an eternity to answer.
"Eternity Help Desk! We don't answer the phone! Stop trying to jump the queue!"
"Hey, Big Giant. It's Aardvark Al. I know you're there, so stop trying to act like a recording."
Suddenly, the sky opened up...big fiery clouds...huge burgeoning pillar of lime-green Jello, etc. etc.
"Have you made your decision?" said the Big Giant Eye. He had eaten something with garlic for breakfast.
"Count Chockula with Garlic Buds," he opined. "What's the scoop?"
I told him the Glove Compartment Guru's advice.
"Man, that smarts," he said. A giant tear rolled from his eye and rearranged my wardrobe. "You're up a crick."
"It can't be that bad."
"No, I mean that literally. Up the Moo Crick. The only way you're going to get an aardvark body back is to jump off the Mile-High Mooburg Gorge again and hope like hell you land in Aardvark Heaven."
I had forgotten about Aardvark Heaven. The problem is, I had been a bad little aardvark for most of my life.
I was up the crick.