Hummus — A Monologue

hummus

This is a very deep and philosophical monologue indeed. It’s often too much for the average human to full understand. As such, I will be unpacking it over time, dissecting the paragraphs piece by piece so you can fully grasp the vast wisdom to be found in the words of our dear mister Bickerstaff. For now, I’ll just show it to you as a whole so that you can prepare for what’s ahead. Enjoy.


By Karl Bickerstaff

What is… hummus? Is it a smoothie? A smoothie of beans and spices, a smoothie that we dip chips and carrots in, a smoothie that’s not made of fruit, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and such? 

One doesn’t normally dip chips in smoothie. But then again, hummus isn’t normal. It’s a mystery. 

Is it, then chip dip that’s not Mexican or cheesy or containing any of the normal elements of a chip dip? Do you dip carrots in chip dip? Do you dip carrots in hummus at all? Am I just a strange person, winding my strange way through a strange universe, eating carrots and hummus? 

Perhaps I am. But something about hummus doesn’t seem to be a chip dip. What is it, then? It isn’t a smoothie. It isn’t a chip dip. Is it bean paste with a dream? Perhaps it is. Who am I to say that bean paste isn’t allowed to dream? Or unpasted beans, for that matter? Does pasting beans onto paper with glue count as bean paste? Would a bean paste pastille pass for a perilous being from the past? 

Perhaps. Perhaps not. What would bean paste dream about? I’ve never been a bean, but I’ve seen countless beans. Green beans, beans that aren’t green, yard-long beans, beans that pretended to be a yard long but were really just 2’7″, beans in a yard, a yard full of beans, a yard in beans… 

Do beans dream about yards? If so, do they dream about the measurement or the social determination of property lines? If it’s the measurement, do they truly dream about yards, or do they dream in metric and shrink it down to sides? 

Can a bean even dream about meters? If I played a song for a bean, could it tell me the meter? Beans aren’t meat-eaters, but I am. Could I mete out meat for meter-readers? If I travel to England, they’re metre-readers, so do I give them meate? What if they aren’t meter-readers, but meter-maids? What if all the meter-maids are vegetarian, and they don’t want my meter-meat? 

What if they are vegetarians because they’re not meat-eaters, but meter-eaters (or metre-eaters, if we’re still in England)? If so, do they eat the measuring meters or the measuring meters? That is, the meters that measure, or the meters that we measure by? How would one even eat a meter? Does eating a meter-long bean count as eating a meter? What about eating a meter of spaghetti? 

Is spaghetti made from beans? They say it’s made from dough–but is wheat just a bean in hiding? A short bean, that’s just shy because it’s short, so it hides among the wheat? You can come out, little bean–I’m tall myself, but I won’t judge. 

If spaghetti is secretly made of beans, and hummus is actually made of beans, does eating spaghetti count as eating hummus? 

But we know spaghetti is clearly made from shy beans, and spaghetti is much stringier than hummus (what would stringy hummus even be? Would be be like spaghetti, but not? What even is stringyness?). So clearly, hummus isn’t even made from beans, and none of this matters. 

So what, then, is hummus, if not smoothie, chip dip, or bean paste with a dream? Is it still paste, even if it isn’t made from beans? If it is, is it glue paste, or mashed paste? Can you use mashed paste as glue? I’ve never used hummus as glue, nor glue as hummus. If they’re both paste, they’re probably interchangeable, but I can’t test that right now. I’m busy giving this monologue on hummus. 

Is hummus even real? What is real? Is spaghetti real? Are shy beans that pretend to be wheat even a real thing? Is hummus all that reality is? 

What is… hummus? Maybe we should start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. But I don’t have time for singing–I must know what is real, what is paste, and, most importantly, what is hummus? 

So what is ‘H’? Some say it’s a letter. But what is a letter? Are letters and numbers just different ways of saying the same thing? What is that thing? Is ‘H’ the same thing as a thing that isn’t ‘H’? 

‘H’ is only one sixth of the letters that spell ‘Hummus’. But is the spelling of the word the same thing as the thing that the word means? If the word is the same thing as the thing that is the word, is ‘H’ part of hummus? Clearly, teenagers don’t think that spelling defines a thing. They change spelling all the time. But what if they’re wrong? What if, someday, someone misspells ‘gravity’ in a paper, and gravity just gives up on humanity, because it’s offended that a scientist (we’re assuming that scientists are the only ones who write papers on gravity) misspelled its name (which may or may not be it, depending on whether or not the name of the thing is the same thing as the thing it is the name of), and it goes off in a huff and lets us all flap around like birds, but not moving because we don’t have the aerodynamics of birds, so we’re just kind of stuck until the wind currents carry us around like the ocean currents do to boats, except that can you run aground when you’re floating in the air, or is air just like water but thinner, and we can use all the same terms, until we misspell them and they get mad and change on us, so suddenly an anchor actually works like a birds beak, even though I have no idea how to misspell it like that, because I’m good at spelling, unlike the teenagers that started this paragraph, except that they didn’t actually start it, they just showed up three sentences, and is this sentence supposed to end in a question mark or not, because I’ve lost my train of thought long ago, so would someone remind me? 

What is… hummus? Maybe we’ll never know. Maybe, long ago, it was spelled ‘humuss,” with one ‘m’ and two ‘s’ ( or ‘s’s), but someone switched it so the word was more symmetrical 

and better balanced? Does that change the meaning of the thing? Is the name the same thing as the thing that it’s the name of? Does it even all matter? Does it? Am I going mad while writing this, or is this just how I always act when I’m tired? 

What is tired? What is mad? What am I? Who am I? Am I supposed to be able to answer these questions, or should I leave it to the orangutans? 

“What is… Hummus?” 


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