Mark Twain: Cannibalism in the Cars

Ad Hoc Short Story Week featuring Mark Twain:  Day 4

While riding on a train, Mark Twain’s fictionalized version of himself meets up with a “Congressman” who tells “Twain” a story.  Once I saw the word “congressman”, I was sure political satire was sure to follow.  I wasn’t disappointed.

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The story involves a group of congressmen on a train in the middle of nowhere during a blizzard.  After the train is stranded for a week, the group finally decide they need to elect someone for breakfast – not someone to find breakfast or fix breakfast, but someone to be breakfast.

The elections that follow are flat-out hilarious.  Elections are not only held for breakfast but for dinner, also.  When I thought it couldn’t get funnier, the story teller describes which congressmen made for pleasant fare and which did not.

The only slight disappointment occurred when the reader is taken back to the original train with the story teller.  Twain’s fictionalized version of himself is morally appalled at the story; however, one of the train conductors indicates the story teller was simply crazy and the reader gets the impression that perhaps none of the story really happened.  Personally, I would have rather been left with the events as they were.

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