Do you remember Speedy Gonzalez? The show was about a Hispanic mouse whose love of refried beans and saucy salsa warmed the hearts of millions worldwide before a shocking final episode where he got caught in a glue trap and his tiny internal organs and beating heart were shown in highly graphic detail pulsing while his little whiskers furrowed, mouse eyes shook and cried and his little ears needed antibiotics and he died in the cold.
You were dreaming before you were even born. I remember the day you turned me heartless. You were supposed to be my Valentine. We were meant to fall in love, now my heart is dangling out of my chest, you customer. You. You know who I am, don’t you? I’m all too familiar now.
I work at Taco Bell. I’m known as “The Bellman” a clever double entendre due to my large package and proficiency for delivering pounds of fast authentic Mexican cuisine at a breakneck pace. When I wasn’t servin’ up Bell cuisine for the customers, I was in the back, preparing the meat paste and tubin’ the cheese paste.
It was twenty years ago today that I decided to start my journey into the world of “the bell.” I loved the hot and spicy sauces that I prepared in packet form for the saucy clientele that frequented my establishment. But I also loved speedy gonzalez.
One day a huge plastic mouse floated into the restaurant and crashed into the tables. You probably don’t believe me, it was on strings or something, but it floated in and it was smiling but it crashed into the tables and wiggled around. A promotional toy for the fuegos del churros, a spicy hot twisted piece of sugar bread we were supposed to feed to the pigs at the trough known as the Hispanic-food craving American public.
I was gonna call the police, but the statue was crying. Tears were squirting out of the mouse body, squirting and crying, and it claimed it was dying, that there was a real man in there, and that he died a long time ago. He opened his mouth and spit a VHS tape into my face. It knocked me back into the hot grease fire, violently scalding my body with third degree burns, deep frying the tape. I reached in with my bare hands, frying my hands in the process, as the mouse toy rattled around the kitchen, crashed into the stove, knocked a coworker into the salsa traps and eventually exploded into sawdust. The mouse head flew across the room, breaking a window and killing several ducks outside that were craving some of “the bell.”
But you don’t know about that. You don’t know what it’s like to love something so much that you’re willing to scald your hands for it. Scramble your eggs for it. Me? I’d die for speedy gonzalez, the little baby mouse who just wanted to undelay-arriba into our hearts, eat the cheese and party with the best of us.
I quit. Resigned. I didn’t need to deal with this plastic ghost mouse that followed me home, floating over my head like a guardian archangel and whispering things. After a while it started to decay and its skin cracked, and I could see its organs dripping out.
I had a tape to watch. I shoved in there, I was bleeding from the heat burns and the mouse man was battering the window. “Let me in Gonzelaz!” He screamed, battering and beating against my window, but I wouldn’t let him in. Never let a speedy gonzaelz into your house, he’ll never leave.
I opened the window though, because I wanted some fresh air, and he floated in.
The hatred-filled mouse began sucking my blood like some kind of vampire. Mouse teeth began draining the fluids from me as I screamed. I picked up a whiffle ball bat and beat mr. gonzalez so hard that his glass eyes broke off and flew across the room. Hot cheese sauce and blood squirted all over me, now I’m too old to fall in love, I’ll just die here frozen in stone. Me and Gonzalez? We’re two peas in a pod.
“UNDELAY!” The rodeo-mouse dial radio squealed, the tinny police radio chatter stuck in his fat fuckin rat cheek face. “Arriba!” He flew up into the ceiling and broke into five pieces, the head smiling at me. There were hearts in his eyes now. “I love you.” He said. But the head was broken, and he was dead. I picked up the mouse head and chucked it out the window.
I trashed it with the flowers and the valentines cards. My disheveled mailman had been reading my mail and I could see him weeping for me. I died years ago when you killed me. I just wanted to watch the mouse tape. The mouse tape.
I put the tape in and hit play, bleeding and crying, gauze dripping, my career was ruined. Speedy ran in. The cartoon was horrifying. Speedy’s eyes were bloodshot, and he was more realistic.
“Hello Consuela!” He waved and ran through a mouse hole. “Dios mio!” He yelled. “el empleado de Taco Bell tiene una cabeza gorda y un culo de gran tamaño!” That was an insult. What he said next really confused me. “The americans will buy the tacos. We sell the tacos and they buy the tacos.” I wasn’t gonna buy any tacos. “Try a taco.” He said. And then he produced a taco, but I wasn’t gonna try a taco. “It’s sooooo gooood! Mio delicio el campanado mushroow0ao0o cvrfrth!” that wasn’t Spanish, it was just gibberish. I knew Spanish. “TU PADRE CHUPA DICKS EN TIENDAS DE BIENES DEPORTIVOS!” That was an insult, and not a very polite one. Then speedy screamed. There was a cartoon man who was never on the show before. He had a mustache, a german accent and looked german. “These goddamn mice.” He said. “I’m gonna kill these goddamn mice.” He put a tiny piece of cheese on an industrial strength glue trap. Speedy ran up to nibble on the cheese, the fast mouse wanted cheese. But what happened next shocked me to the very core of my being.
His little glue face got stuck in the glue trap, his little mouse eyes crying. He struggled to escape the glue trap but the more he moved the more he got stuck. His hat ripped open and his little face was stuck to the side. He tried to pull it off but it was just ripping his little whiskers and flesh, and it turns out the cheese had chewing gum in it and it was jamming his intestines and destroying his internal organs. He clutched for air, crying and then his little mouse teeth chittered. “Papa!” He cried, tears in his little mouse face, beady little button eyes glistening. He could no longer move and his flesh was separating from his body.
Speedy’s neck twisted back and you heard a crack. Then a woman came in and started cooking him on the fryer. She fried little gonzalez to a crisp and began distributing his organs into a taco bell dinner.
I could see all the baby rats being made into taco bell food. So that’s what that plastic ghost was telling me. I had to free all of the dead souls from Taco Bell.
Taco bell is rat meat. Taco bell. Is. Rodent. Flesh. Taco bell is made from mice. Now I speak in rhyme.
Taco bell broke my heart twice. First when they fired me, then when I quit, then when I went back that night and broke in.
I was gonna put an end to all this. I had a mission. A purpose. I had to sabotage “the bell” and free the ghosts of little gonzalez and his many Hispanic cousins. I could save the animals, I could be a hero, finally I could be of use. I’d die knowing I’d lived for something, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I was gonna save the cute baby mice from the hot dinner plate known as the American dining public.
I heard the chittering and the crying from the mice in the fryer, the mice in the meat, the mice in the walls and mice under my feet. There were mice in the salad, mice in the salsa, mice in the tacos, the mole sauce and balsa. The mice in the floorboards cried out for freedom, but my burnt hands and broken spirit were feeling quite numb. I picked up the grease trap and knocked on the walls. The manager came in and hit me square in the balls.
“So you figured me out, after all these years.” I squinted, and cried, tried to hold back the tears. “Yes it’s true, it’s true dear friend. We all end up cooking and eating mice in the end.” He handed me a huge sack of money. He offered me a chalupa covered in golden baked honey. “And there’s more where that came from.” He smiled, eyes glistening. But little did he know, I wasn’t even listening. The manager released his dog, but I bit her. “You know I’ve been told I look like a young Adolph hitler.” Indeed he had a mustache, and a large german grin. I would’ve believed it more if not for the nacho cheese sauce on his chin.
“There are even mice. Mice under my skin.” He smiled and stabbed himself with his lapel pin. I blinked. I blinked, and then I blink twice. The fat german man exploded into mice. His face was mice and his eyes were mice, and the PA began to play a song by vanilla ice. Their furry mouse fingers would itch like head lice as I noticed more mice in the salts and the spice. The taco bell exploded, as tiny ghosts appeared. Indeed, indeed it was worse than I’d ever even feared. The gonzalez statute knocked and banged as it leered. It was 2 AM when the last few mice appeared.
The taco bell collapsed into smoke and flame, the police showed up and asked my name. They wanted to know who would talk the blame. I told them about the rat-man that came. They said there’s a mice infestation and I should feel shame. I told them the mice are the denizens of this planet, we’ve tried to plunder and pillage, and took them for granted. Now they’re getting their revenge, they’ll inherit the earth. It’s too late for us we’ve shown what we’re worth. Humanity’s failed in a selfish ball of madness, the tiny mouse screams only filled us with sadness. The cop pulled out his gun and took me to an asylum, I told him I’m not insane, I’m crying acidophilum.
The bacteria, you see, the bacteria is me. The virus is love and the diseases are free. We can all just be sick and kill ourselves together, we can get pneumonia no matter the weather. We’ll all drink the kool-aid in a group suicide, me and the mice don’t mind if we died.
A few days later they released me. I had medication and everything was going to be alright from now on. I haven’t really felt sad in a long time, I could glue mice together and that would be a woman and she’d love me.
My doorbell rang. It was Mr. Gonzalez. A stout but limber Spanish man in a tank top and neon shorts was jogging. He was in his 60s, balding and his salt and pepper beard was patchy. Part of his ear was missing, like it had been caught in a glue trap. He was jogging in place. “Thank you for freeing me.” He smiled. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a wings-for-life fun run to attend to” He ran off then, he had become a real boy. If you’re brave, truthful and unselfish, maybe one day you’ll be a real boy too. The establishment is trying to keep you down. Break into labs and free the rats from cages. All this “order” you see is meant to make you complacent. They don’t want you to know the truth. They don’t want you to know that mice have souls. Family. Culture. Longing. Mice have dreams, they even saw you in a dream. All of life is in fact, the dream of one mouse. Wake up.
They’ll call you crazy if you break the rules, lock you in a cage. You’ve been acting all these years, speedy. You know the truth. You know you’re the one that can change everything. You were dreaming before you ever opened your eyes. You were dreaming before you were even born.