lars rehnquist is always wrong

“John! John, I’ve just made an amazing discovery!”

John paused the soccer game, set down his hamburger, and groaned. Whatever was about to come out of his roommate’s mouth was bound to give him a headache. “Really? What now, Lars?”

“Cows!” he was waving a sheaf of notes over his head with such vigor that he was nearly out of breath.


“Hyper-intelligent cows!”


“Hyper-intelligent cows rule the world.” He thrust the sheaf of papers toward John’s face and waved them excitedly. “It’s all right here!”

John started, stopped, and then let out a sigh. He set down the remote and rubbed his temples. “Ok, explain.”

Lars looked at him with disdain and then brushed a lock of sandy blonde hair away from his eyes – where it had fallen when he was waving his notes. “Well, John, it’s the only answer that makes sense.”

“Answer? What was the question?”

“Why cows hold such an elevated position in our society.”


“Yes, elevated. They have spent millions of years cultivating us to be their caretakers. They have trained the Hindu, for example, to worship them as gods.”

John squinted at the transplanted German computer programmer who now stood in front of him. “Ok, first, Hindus don’t actually worship cows. They represent fertility, and therefore killing them is considered taboo.”

Lars looked concerned. “Where did you read this?”

“Wikipedia, I think.”

“Ha!” Lars shook his head. “John, you can’t believe anything you read on the internet – especially Wikipedia.”

John sighed. “Why?”

“Don’t you know that anyone can edit that information? People who have no credentials can write anything they want. Just yesterday, in fact, I had to correct an egregious bit of misinformation.”

“Oh no. What did you do?”

“Well, an article claimed that fluoride is added to the water supply to aid in the formation of healthy teeth, but in reality, it’s there to mask the presence of certain agents added by the CIA in an attempt to sedate the populace. That’s why I never drink tap water — only bottled water.”

“Lars, most bottled water comes directly from municipal tap water. I think they even have to mark it on the label somewhere.”

“Ha! Another thing you probably read on Wikipedia. John, will you never learn?”

“Ok, back to the cows.” John’s head throbbed. “We eat cows.”

“Yes, exactly!”


“It’s the ultimate proof of the enlightened state these creatures have reached; they face their own oblivion with complete serenity. In fact, they’ve engineered our society so that their deaths directly contribute to the betterment of the world around them; they understand their place in the grand cycle of life in a way no other sentient creature possibly can.”

“Or they could just be dumb enough to hunt with a hammer.”

Lars sniffed and clutched his sheaf of papers to his chest. “You’re mocking me.”


“Fine,” he turned and walked back to his room, “Go back to your pedestrian football game.” Before he disappeared, he stopped and turned, “The next time you go shopping, though, consider giving a prayer of thanks to our bovine overlords. In fact, if you really want to pay tribute, you’d…”

The rest of the sentence was drowned out as John simultaneously unpaused the television and turned up the volume. Lars glared at him, and then rounded the corner.

John settled back, shook his head, and then picked up his hamburger. He stared at it for a minute, sighed, and then looked back at the door to make sure that Lars was really gone. “Ok fine,” he said as he stared at the burger. “Thank you.”


Author’s note: this was originally written in 2007.