Roll up! Roll up! Widen your eyes, suspend your disbelief and step forward to be amazed and enthralled and in thrall you shall be! Such wonders await, such sights will abound! For this is no ordinary journey friends… this is the looking-glass, the time travelling, time unravelling, unparalleled and unrivalled… Monsanto Brothers Circus! And when I say circus ladies and gentlemen boys and girls I’m not just talking about your humdrum everyday bearded mermaid! I’m not just sending you through for a juggler or two… although for the record the mercury spinners in the anti-grav tent have to be seen to be believed! Conjurers aplenty! Strongman automatons! High wire hybrids for your eye-poppery and jaw-droppery!
You sir! Yes you there with the optical implants, what more dare you ask to behold? What’s that? Come now sir, don’t be shy, uncloak your aura for all to see and speak the words the rest of these fine folk are thinking. You’ve all seen him on the holosphere, and I’d take a strong wager – if I happened to be of the betting persuasion – most of you are scanning his bio on your cortex embedded readers as I speak! Well read on lovely people but this must be seen in the flesh and the flesh must be seen…
So gather close ladies and men both gentle and otherwise. Draw near boys and girls and prepare to be bedazzled and befuddled in equal measure! Watch carefully and remember to breathe for this is no trick. No sleight of hand, no smoke, no mirror. What you are about to see is like nothing you have seen before or may witness again. At first glance he will seem to you an ordinary man… yet no ordinary man would dream up such death-defying madness! No simple soul would roll the dice and beat the odds at every turn! Fire eaters? Burned up and laid to ash. Sword swallowers? Rusty, dusty and pointedly pointless. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the culinary stuntman… the daredevil of degustation… the incomparable, astronomical, gastronomical… Gastro the Great!
Focus your attentions young and old on the simple apple in his hand. Watch in wonder as he takes a bite… ah your underwhelmed stares cut me to the quick! That very apple was grown in an orchard! A real live, sprayed with Alar, airborne parasite riddled orchard! But wait… his lips are pursed… sourness grips him and he reaches for his pocket… a golden liquid pours from his flask on to the patiently waiting, cryogenically frozen since before the fourth war fruit… what madness is this? Gasp away madam! Gasp away! Yes sir, you did read your molecular detector app correctly… that my friends, is raw honey! Made from BEES no less! Yes, yes a round of applause if you will!
Regulate your core temperature young lady this is only the beginning. You will see things you thought were confined to the annals of history. Watch if you dare as Gastro the Great devours a softly boiled egg! That’s right! An egg! Pushed out from a long forgotten host called a chicken in a most unsavoury manner and now boiled in unsterilised water to a bacteria-blooming sixty degrees Celsius! Don’t faint away now boys but that crunchy morsel on the tip of his tongue is a piece of deep-fried tuna! Oh the acrylamide! Oh the mercury! And all this eating makes a man thirsty… but no… NO… it cannot be! Milk! Unpasteurised! Unmodified! From a COW!
Good man, good man, a perfect time to drop the virtual curtain to allow these wonderful people to catch their breath and digest – pun most certainly intended – what we have just witnessed. But stay close one and all, there is so much more to come! Marvel as Gastro the Great risks blindness in eating unspliced rice… no vitamin-A enrichment here I’ll have you know! Surely not an unmodified ear of corn I hear you cry? Cheese grown from a natural culture? It cannot be!
Thank you sir, you are too kind. In fact the generous credit donations by you all allow me to let you in on a little secret… tonight’s encore is something very, very special and has not been attempted in over three thousand years! To the untrained eye of you and I it will appear to be an ordinary hamburger… but this is no ordinary show… and this is no ordinary man. The sucked in breath! The colour drained cheeks! The heads shaking in disbelief! Well… BELIEVE I tell you… for tonight, up CLOSE and PERSONAL you will witness the impossible! You will observe the improbable! Hang on to your Petri dishes one and all and pray to Saint Creutzfeldt and Saint Jakob as our culinary cracker-jack bites through a piece of meat cut DIRECTLY FROM AN ANIMAL!
Maestro, if you please the lights once more! The music encore! Again… I give you… Gastro the Great…
Header image: “Georges Seurat 066” by Georges Seurat – Metropolitan Museum of Art. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Georges_Seurat_066.jpg#/media/File:Georges_Seurat_066.jpg