Slaughterhouse Employees Face Challenges

Brooks, Alberta – The Octuple A Abattoir was abuzz with activity this week in preparation for the tenth international Bring-Your-Kid-to-Work-Day. “Obviously, meat workers face special challenges on this day,” said spokesperson Bud Clot, “and the important thing is to lay the groundwork so that the kids understand what Mommy and Daddy do, and why.”

“You see, Pumpkin,” a father might say to his daughter, “what Daddy does is he hacks the tongues out of cow heads for eight hours a day. This may sound strange, but cows really don’t need tongues, do they Pumpkin – not when they don’t even have heads. This makes sense, right? It’s true that I didn’t grow up dreaming of the tongue-removal business, and I don’t have to do this, no one is forcing me – but Daddy deliberately has a shitty life so you won’t have to have one. Does this make sense? Your mom bags intestines all day long so that you won’t have to bag intestines ever. Do you see the logic, Pumpkin? We justify our daily horror-movie existence by telling ourselves that this will somehow make your future brighter. For some reason, we feel it’s A-okay if we waste our lives in this hell-hole, and we assume that when you grow up and have kids of your own, you won’t adopt this very same philosophy, we don’t know why. Do you see, Pumpkin?”

There was a carnival atmosphere outside the plant on the day, and loveable old Shambles the Clown was there to greet the children and juggle kidneys. The under-fives enjoyed the piñata – a life-sized cow that each child in turn beat the shit out of until it yielded its treasure. The “Scare-us Wheel” delighted the older children since, like the line itself, it never stops, and the children are simply hung by their belt loops on giant meat hooks and spun around until, like their parents, they can’t think straight.

Unfortunately the day soured somewhat when the children were actually taken inside the plant. “Admittedly we made a big mistake,” said Mr. Clot, “because the children just weren’t prepared for what they saw.” The big mistake was the ill-advised decision to take the children to the management offices, after which many of them emerged pale and visibly shaken.

“I never knew jobs were so boring,” commented one wide-eyed tyke who, like the others, was horrified by the tedium of administration.

“It’s like school,” said another horrified tot, “except there’s only one subject, and you have to do it all day long or they fire you.”

“All those forms!” cried another. “And those were just the waivers! My God! The waivers! The waivers!”

The kids cheered up considerably when they were escorted into the belly of the plant and allowed to sled down ramps to the killing floor on inner tubes made of inflated calf intestines. “It’s veal-ly fun!” quipped one clever youngster. And happily, the day ended with extra merriment when loveable old Shambles ran over some animal rights activists in his clown car.

Excerpted from Dwynwen's Feast by I. H. Smythe