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christine c. salas
christine c salas has his own sense of peculiarity. The frivolous is written all over his collection of short stories in "." In a story called "Babycakes," Gaiman explicitly describes man in the not-so-distant future downing infant meat, because it's the only edible carnage. A strange way to satiate man's hunger.

I cringed at the mental imagery. I am not holding anything against Gaiman, who in great fact is one of my favorite writers. I just simply couldn't finish the story. And Gaiman is just sick.

But he must have sent the message across successfully. It clung to me like a wet papier mache. The image was just so revolting, I kept turning away to prevent it from developing in my head. You see, my mind doesn't turn like clockwork. It goes bonkers too, probably just like Gaiman's. And I'm afraid if I continued reading him, I won't be far from creating my own strange views. Or be tempted to.

And then it struck me, like an annoying "salubsob" from a kawayan stem. The picture was just there, floating in oblivion, subliminally taking over my imagination. And deep in my cranium camp, there they were—fancy little what-ifs (Kindly excuse me).

It all happens some time in the future: where garbage problem is already a thing of the past, where the battle between paper and plastic is over, and where Earth is compacted in a rectangular glass case for preservation. The pollution-related brouhaha is gone and is just projected to a flat screen for viewing pleasure. Humans are no longer embarrassed to go out naked, they aren't even too proud to go out anymore.

It's because they can't. Cigarette butts, oil-leaking car engines, and chlorofluorocarbons are housed in a neat museum ran by pseudo-humans. Underneath the glass case is a label that reads: WHAT KILLED THE HUMANS.

At this point, the pseudo-humans (humans who choose to co-exist with garbage, nuclear wastes, and plastics) live on artificial programs created to make the living condition a little bearable for their future, if they have any. Even cockroaches have gone extinct now.

The program is called CHORVA.

I see tiny colorful tablets sold over the counter at a local drugstore. The drug doesn't cure anything or combat the rampaging signs of the skin's deterioration from global warming. Neither does it make the consumer lose weight, nor gain some. Time has drastically turned into an era where all human excretes should be in style. Everything looks awful, and the CHORVA attempts to beautify whatever's left in the present.

One drug can make sweat drops look like Swarovski crystals. Those who can't afford the top of the line drug should be content with "colorless crystals" each time they sweat. The well-to-do can choose from a wide variety of hues like pork-skin pink, shuteye black, raped red, or cancer mahogany.

Another tablet is pre-programmed to make the human fart visible and come in unique shapes. Of course, the effect also comes in fancy fart colors. Go loco with heart-shaped pink fart, feel like royalty with crown royal blue butt, feel extravagant with Saudi-gold yellow yoyo (the fart goes in and out at will), and stand out in the dark in silver spoon magnetic muff (the fart comes out silently shining, shimmering splendid, and stays on).

Add-on drugs can make the fart go glow in the dark or musical.

Thinking of weight alteration pills? These inventions may have been ingenious once, but move over, here's Zapper. It's a wearable contraption designed to fit any human size, shape, and amount of money in your pocket. Just put on the Zapper underneath your clothing and presto, you can be one size smaller or larger, depending on your mood. But of course, you have to compromise for the body mass you're camouflaging. If you want to move from size 2 to 1, the excess body mass can protrude out of your body either as a tail, a third hand, or horns. At least you have the freedom to choose, and there are customized fashionable clothes to match your new physical form.

On the other hand, gaining some weight would mean your cheeks might be sucked in, you lose your boobs, or you go no-butt. Most pseudo-humans go for the butt-less look (Hey, it's a choice!).

The CHORVA also makes transportation more efficient. And there's no heavy traffic at all. This is because nobody uses vehicles anymore. Engines are so revered (at the museum, that is), everybody walks! It's both leisure and law. Anyone who is caught using any kind of device that emits fumes is sent to the garbage collector's house. The painstaking punishment of licking the old man's feet after a day's work sends everyone law-abiding. How peaceful!

And the form of government? Nobody argues over politics anymore, it's history. But, anyway, the form of government is dictatorship, and everyone is okay with it. In great fact, they so adore it. The country is headed by a garbage collector. The electoral process has been transformed into a contest. Whoever has the stomach to collect human garbage for a week daily gets to run the place. Of course, corruption is impossible, albeit garbage collecting is a lucrative business venture.

If this isn't so much of a strange view for you, maybe you have been feeding on iodized salt too much.

[About the author. Christine C. Salas graduated AB Mass Communication at the Angeles University Foundation. At 23, she has already been a college instructor, an English tutor, a periodic writer, a compulsive photographer, a university-based publication editor, and a radio station manager. She is currently an amateur mom (and bum), looking for a "lucrative way to pay back her Maker—creative or otherwise."]

* is a collection of short stories and poems by . It was first published in the US in 1998, and in the UK in 1999. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

-Posted: 2:02 AM 1/14/08 | More of this author on eK!