Monday, May 9, 2011

Fabio and the Goose

In writing an article for When Falls the Coliseum last week, my often wayward brain had occasion to reference an event that occurred in 1999: the injury of legendary romance-novel cover model, Fabio. This, to me, was, at once, perhaps the most philosophically profound, the funniest and most ironic event in the history of the world (the injury of Fabio, not the publication of my article). Within this event lies all of the profundity of the questions of fate and Creation.

But, damn it, I can't seem to get anyone else to see it. In the attempt, I have annoyed the ones I love and estranged the ones who merely tolerate me. I have even caused a few people to move seats on the train.

Here's what happened:

I tremble at the responsibility before me. Yet, I shall try to do justice to this defining moment of human existence. Let us travel back to THE BEGINNING (Try, if you can, to picture "THE BEGINNING" in towering letters of cracked stone):

The mists float, the waters roil. A shore stands devoid of sentient life, but legions of microscopic beasties eye (so to speak) its sunny expanse and feel those first and most natural desires of life: to be; to feel; to walk under the sun; to breathe the warm air; to someday gain the evolutionary edge of opposible thumbs that will enable them to gather unto themselves a reasonable sum of money to invest in mutual funds, thereby securing a comfortable retirement, despite fluctuations in the market and the devastating effects of housing bubble calamities. Life struggles toward the nourishing air and the energizing light of the sun and calls out to the heavens: "I AM!"

Out of the slime, two creatures eventually climb. One (oddly handsome for a piece of primordial goo) will build a line of descendants bound for handsome, square-jawed, romance novel cover glory and knee-deep-in-chicks-ness. The other, a lowly creature to spawn ancestors equally lowly -- creatures without speech or height on the food chain but with wings to soar.

Time passes. Caves are inhabited. Huts are built. Bricks are laid. Nails are driven. Great buildings rise.

The first creature proves to be first proto human and, then, as its descendants are born, fully human. The second spawns a line that eventually takes to the sky, first as dinosaur and then as avian stock. Both lines remain unbroken, despite millions of occasions over millions of years during which a death or a mere glance away from a potential mate could have broken the path of Fate. Millions of events occur: the jaws of a predator snap shut on nothing but tail feathers; a thief in the night loses his hungry resolution on a dark city street and drops his big stick at the last moment, unbeknownst to the passing descendant of the slime creature; the Black Death leaves only the necessary few alive . . . the ones who need to live.

The man. The nose.
And, Lo! We are given the two players in this epic tale: Fabio and The Goose. Against all odds, these two exist. God's will? The dictates of predestination? Mere chance? No one knows. But, barring any ridiculous philosophical arguments about proving that what it is is, we have this much: There is a Fabio and there is The Goose. Suffice it to say Fabio is Fabio and The Goose is The Goose and they both are.

And it all comes down to a day. The day that Fate has written. And on this day, people whose chance of existence is just as unlikely as that of our two heroes, make the choices in life that lead to their involvement in the amusement park business. When the ride in question, a new roller coaster, opens, they ask Fabio to be the celebrity to take the first ride.

Unlikely as his mere existence is, Fabio sits in the front car, his flowing hair flying in the wind as a flag that waves in honor of the miracle that he is -- in honor of the line that remained unbroken from the dawn of time until this moment of roller coaster butterflies. He sits, I say, four abreast with pretty girls in -- what? togas? -- and the inaugural ride begins among a flurry of applause. The proud chin juts forward.

Somewhere, The Goose decides upon a certain precise moment to take off into the sky.

Had the ride operator said, "Okay, Fabio, here we go. Enjoy the ride" instead of "Ready Fabio?" the drop would have been delayed by the necessary seconds to avoid the calamity; if The Goose had seen a morsel below and landed; had a wind-gust come along and pushed The Goose six inches to the right; had Fabio awakened with a tummy-ache that morning and canceled, the Event would never have occurred. But the stretch of all time, over millions of years, came to this moment.

At the top speed of the coaster, during the first major drop, The Goose made impact. With Fabio's nose. Fabio's nose, of all the noses in Creation. The nose on the face of a man whose handsomeness is so intense, it is comical. The nose on the face which is a satire of itself. No other nose would have been as funny; no other nose as unlikely.

This either should never have happened or it had no chance not to happen. If it was the Design of the Almighty, one thing has been proven: He has an uproarious sense of humor.

Fabio was fine. The Goose was dead. Every question of human existence was answered, even if in a code we will never decipher.

Let the ironic, bloody, cosmic laughter begin. Laugh the hollowly reverberating laugh of Eternity. All hail Fabio. All hail the Sacrificial Goose.


  1. It looked to me like Fabio was none too happy to be boarding that coaster in the first place. Like maybe he PR guy told him he really should do this for his career, but Fabio has a gigantic fear of roller coasters.

    Which really just makes it even more funny. Big, strapping handsome Fabio is afriad to ride a coaster, but does so at the recommendation of his carrer advisors only to be hit in the face with a bird during the ride.

    He goes back to his PR guy's office and bursts into tears. "See! I told you it wasn't a good idea!!"

  2. This is absolutely ridiculous. And I love it. I definitely don't remember this happening, and only you could use this Fabio fable to explain fate.

    Nice goose pic, too.

  3. Well, Karen, if he wasn;t afraid before, he sure is now. How could he not be, standing as he is in the sites of Fate's rifle?

    Maddy -- ridiculousness be praised. But don't let the ridiculousness fool you. The key to the meaning of life floats among the weirdness above. I just nknow it. A cosmic joke that good simply must have a life-changing point . . .