No Country for an East Coast Lab Technician

We are pleased to report the result of last week’s experiment: inconclusive but still fairly enlightening. One of our lucky SlantShack experimental lab technicians got a round trip ticket to the heart of the smoldering, desiccated landscape known as Arizona. His task was to film our east coast-raised jerky in 115 degree mid-October heat, to see how it reacts to such an other-worldly environment. Here is his latest report:

“From the keypad of Richard Gaines – 10/20/11

Your friendly east-coast scientist has no companions in the desert, and the desert seems to enjoy this. E.G.: after walking solo from the airport straight towards the really brown and dry looking mountains, I came across literally zero water fountains. Several sand-worms found it necessary to bust through the earth’s crust all hither and thither, making fairly treacherous holes to circumnavigate and water-fountain-finding even more difficult. A true pain. Soon I lost my way (the sand-worms had me all turned around). The surrounding cacti didn’t help. They just stood there shrugging all like “don’t ask me, I’m just a cactus.” After hours in the sun I became pretty confident they were just stubborn and I decided to pass the time applying coat after coat of Chapstick until they were ready to give him proper directions. They were not jealous of my Chapstick abundance. I awoke several hours later beneath a dying shrub to the gently kicking of Park Ranger Lillie, who took advantage of my kittenish state and stole my jerky.
desert jerky“Park Ranger Lillie is from Boston. I didn’t care but she told me. She told me lots of things, in fact, about 21 different things specifically related to the flora/fauna of the area. She even accompanied each tid-bit with a highly realistic “day-in-the-life-of…” simulation, complete with rubber animals and predictable voice acting. Once in a while she complimented me on the jerky (yay!). I kept my sanity by deifying  the person who finally made her snap and leave the east coast to become the sole keeper of this uninhabitable death-zone. I wished it was me, and would have told her to, but I didn’t want to interrupt the admittedly tense battle occuring between the rubber Gila Monster and the rubber Tarantula.

“I asked for my jerky back and she said I was probably so dehydrated and the slightest amount of salt intake could kill me. I had upset her. I could tell by her tone as she said, “Now can I finish,” before launching back into her take on a jack-rabbit’s internal monologue, which, after a few attempts, she decided she had to start over.

“Presently a little uncertain of my fate, but I will not abandon the mission. I do however need additional supplies. Please send three pounders packs and if you can spare it a few east coast rubber animal toys (something ferocious) to:

MacDougal Mountain, East
c/o Richard Gaines
Scottsdale, Arizona 92810

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