Previously in Taking You Up On That Offer: Tim Curry and Morgan Freeman Finally Read The Phone Book Out Loud Together.
One of these days — and that day is closer than you might think — everyone and everything that you’ve ever called “my spirit animal” is going to show up at your doorstep and make you go on a vision quest, and it’s going to be awful. It will last for months. You’ll be alone in the wilderness, covered in dirt, and you’ll be cold, and you’ll be hungry. You will hallucinate. Not fun Burning Man hallucinations either. Messed-up primal hallucinations, like the kind Buffy had when she dreamed about the First Slayer.
“Sorry,” the GIF of a Rupaul’s Drag Race contestant and 1960s-era Joan Didion will say in pitiless chorus as you stretch out your arms and beg for water. “You invoked us as your spirit animals. Fasting and sensory deprivation prepare the mind for enlightenment. This is how it works.”
And it won’t stop there, because you’ve never just called ONE THING your spirit animal and left it at that. They’re all going to want a turn, even that fifteen-second clip of Gore Vidal being interviewed by William Buckley.
“Please,” you’ll beg, covered in ram’s blood. “I don’t want to learn any more spells. I don’t want this.” TOO BAD, the gaping mouth of Seth Cohen making an awkward turtle face will soundlessly intone. YOUR SPIRIT ANIMALS ARE HERE.
Seventeen different photo sets of Jennifer Lawrence saying something relatable will thrust poison berries at you. Eat them, they will hiss. Death is your gift.
Liz Lemon and Dorothy from The Golden Girls and a thousand other matronly, charmingly curmodgeonly white women of a certain age descend upon you with knives and glazed eyes. “Pain will purify,” they chant. “Pain will help you to ascend.”
Why couldn’t I have just said I liked these things, you think desperately to yourself, while you are still capable of conscious thought. Why did I have to bring spirit animals into it?
The enormous face of Donna Meagle from Parks & Recreation will appear on the horizon instead of the sun as the world around you is plunged into darkness. She speaks, and every tree in the forest that surrounds you is instantly wreathed in flames. Ron Swanson’s luminous, grinning face rises jaggedly in the east. The two of them war for dominance; she consumes his head whole and entire, then vomits forth a river of blood so hot it shears through mountains and burns right through your skin.
“Stop hitting yourself,” the ghost of Dorothy Parker will say. You will not be able to stop hitting yourself. “You asked for a spirit animal. Isn’t this what you wanted?” Everything hurts.
“No, I — I just sort of meant that I thought you were cool,” you whisper. “I thought it just meant you thought something was cool. I didn’t know I had to do anything. I didn’t know you would come here.”
“That’s not how spirit animals work,” the darkness replies just before it claims you.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.