Random Respected Reader Interprets “The Saguaro Cactus and the Very Early Morning Talk Show”


Confusion circulated through the Buffalo Chips headquarters when a usually reliable staff writer published an atypical, potentially Dada-inspired piece to the e-magazine’s website. The piece is entitled “The Saguaro Cactus and the Very Early Morning Talk Show”. A freelance editor asked the aforementioned staff writer if they “were high” when they wrote the piece. The staff writer insisted they weren’t. “Well,” the freelance editor continued, “reading it made me feel like I was on mushrooms.” The aforementioned staff writer replied, “Nothing can make you feel anything, you victim,” and scoffed in response to the freelance editor’s criticisms.

In order to quell the backlash from and lend clarity to the way-way-out-in-left-field piece, Buffalo Chips is quoting, with the permission of its creator, a random respected reader’s written interpretation of “The Saguaro Cactus and the Very Early Morning Talk Show”. Buffalo Chips highly recommends reading the piece before reading the interpretation. The random respected reader’s interpretation is as follows:

“I understood the story, although I think it was oblique. The female saguaro cactus criticizes its lover, the male very early morning talk show, because of his predictability. I believe that’s a commentary on every human’s inherent limitations. Those limitations lead to each human’s repetitiveness to ensure audience approval, be that audience a literal audience or the metaphorical audience of friends, family, and/or a romantic partner. The saguaro cactus has discovered her partner may never break the patterns he’s developed to ensure his audience’s approval, and she realizes she can’t love him because of that fact. Ironically, she’s also at least vaguely aware of her own pattern of wielding her emotional power over the very early morning talk show. She knows she is no different than him, and desires an escape not only from him but from her own transparent habits. Hence her fleeting wish that “the spines she grew to protect herself from the outside world” would “turn around and prick her”. She believes that if she felt the pain from the wounds she inflicts on others, the resultant empathy may force her to change her reliance on emotional power-mongering. And yet, she doesn’t end her relationship with the very early morning talk show host. Her pattern is as multi-layered as him accepting her abuses.

“Now for the ending. The News 12 New Jersey helicopter functions as a representative of the universe at large, carrying with its rotors a destructive force that cares not for any individual’s emotional problems. I believe the dog is the most honest character in the flash fiction piece. To combat chaos and its life’s unanswered questions, the dog howls. The dog knows why it howls, and the dog knows it has chosen this particular pattern based on its limited coping mechanisms, being that it’s a dog and cannot very well seek a psychologist or another form of therapeutic clarity. The dog knows its howling will not repair “the tiny leak in its water bowl it suspected was there but couldn’t really know for sure.” But the dog also knows its howling, like the saguaro cactus’s howling (demonstrations of emotional power), like the very early morning talk show’s howling (sarcasm and deep questions to win audiences), isn’t meant to repair its latent fears. The howling comforts the dog, giving it a false sense of control over the unknowable, and the dog is fully aware of the ultimately ineffectual purpose of its howling. That’s why I think the dog survives the helicopter crash. The dog lives because the dog isn’t lying to itself or to anyone else. I guess the saguaro and the talk show could’ve survived, too. I don’t know for sure, man. I’m tripping balls right now.”

So concludes the reader’s written interpretation. Buffalo Chips has since drug-tested the staff writer responsible for “The Saguaro Cactus and the Very Early Morning Talk Show”. Against all odds, the drug test’s results were negative.


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