Beast of Burden
It is only as I breathe in deeply before each Om while sitting in the tub-like sarcophagus at the center of gravity in the Great Pyramid that I am forced to ponder the mystery of who goes there to pee.
Outside, I ask a camel named R2D2 his theory on who leaves behind this universal odor of urine.
“I don’t know,” he replies, “and what’s more, I don’t give a dung.”
“Why are you so bitter?”
“Well, if you must know, my testicles still hurt. My master squeezed my scrotum between a pair of bricks.”
“Jeez, what a terrible accident.’
‘Accident, my hump! He did it on purpose so that in my painful response I would swoosh up enough water to last for twenty days. The lazy bastard!” “Wow, I guess it’s not easy being a camel.”
“You ain’t kidding, pal. These pyramids may represent the cradle of civilization to you, but to me they are simply reminders of five thousand years of oppression.”
“Things haven’t improved much for you, huh?”
“We have always been the victims of human chauvinism. Did you know that the first inter-uterine birth control devices were used in camels? My great-grandmother had pebbles put into her uterus to prevent her from getting pregnant on long journeys.”
“Well, at least it wasn’t permanent sterilization. I mean you’re here, right?” “Yeah, and I have the freedom to piss wherever I want.”
“Except inside the pyramid.”
“Listen, you seem like an okay guy, so I’ll answer your question. It ain’t sacrilegious visitors who take a leak inside the King’s Chamber, it’s just jaded guides. Hey, you wanna go for a ride now?”
“Sure, why not?”
And the camel bends down, warbling a chorus of I don’t wanna be your beast of burden…
Paul Krassner, counter-culture hero, riding a camel and his conversation with it, Beast of Burden, is above.
One of the tents in the desert on the way to Sahara City, where Bill Graham threw a big party for the band after the last show.
Photo Credits: Paul on camel – Pat Jackson, Chuck Kesey – Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, Tent – Richard Loren