The charming man from Oklahoma had sympathy for the shy boys of America. It’s not wrong to be quiet, he said, but it is wrong to feel silenced. A semicircle of faces nodded.
The program the charming Oklahoman developed also conveniently addressed the unstable neighborhood rabbit population. It went like this: —Hire a man with traps. —Catch a bunch of rabbits. —Rent a cabin in the woods. —Bring a troop of shy boys. —Release the rabbits. —Have the boys hunt them. —Kill as many as you can. —Don’t let the boys use guns. —Teach them how to break necks with their hands. —When night comes, collect the dead. —If a boy wants to eat what he’s killed, fine, cook it. —If not, dispose of the bodies discreetly. —Return the boys to their families.
The man was confident in his methods. True, killing rabbits was not exactly admirable, but neither was wasting your own life too nervous to grab life properly. He explained this philosophy —which he called extreme exposure therapy— over dinner to his muscular teenage daughter, who said, Cool, and chewed a chunk of potato.
The charming Oklahoman had no idea he had just set a series of events in motion. He couldn’t have guessed how deep the need in these boys went. He didn’t know they would grow dependent, seek out rabbits on their own to calm their fraying nerves, strangle rabbits to steady