Rhubarb is the fruit of barbarians, and we live in barbaric times. That is why you see so much rhubarb on people’s plates these days. But as we know, rhubarb crumbles. So too will the barbarians crumble, when we smite them. Smite, too, your rhubarb, before putting it upon your plate. Smite it while it is still in its rhubarb bed, in a tent, under arc lights, where it grows, so I am told. Smite the stalks before plucking them from their beds and carrying them in a sack back home, to be boiled and boiled and boiled to mush. It is food for barbarians, to be sure, eaten without utensils, shoved still hot into the mouth with your bare hands, gobbled down. You will burn your hands on the rhubarb mush, but you are a barbarian. Burns and abrasions and cuts and wounds are mere marks of barbarity. But you too will be smitten, as you smote your stalks of rhubarb. Like rhubarb, you will be pulverised to mush, by fearsome foes e’en more barbaric than you. They are gathering now, beyond the horizon, behind the hills, over which they will come sweeping, shouting, a great roar of yet baser barbarism, and look! they are armed with stalks, hard stalks they brandish in their hairy fists, stalks of raw rhubarb. They are so barbaric they do not even know how to boil their fruit. And they shall triumph.

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