Joebob slipped in to see an old seamstress, withered with countless years, her back hunched over her head from spending most of those years bent at a sewing machine. The sewing machine was rattling away at a billow sheet of fabric. Without glancing up from her work, she asked, “What can I do ya’ for?”
“Uh… yeah. I’m looking for some Altarations?”
The woman nodded and sucked her teeth, while pulling the fabric across the machine for another long stitch. “An’ what would it be that ye’ lookin’ to Altar?”
Joebob almost slapped himself in the forehead. “Oh, I’m so forgetful, it’s out in the car!” Joebob ran from the establishment, and before the door had even slammed shut, he strode back in leading a fatted calf on a rope. “What do you think you can do with this?”
The seamstress stopped her work, and eyed the cal appraisingly. It rolled its eyes and bleated at her. “Well… what style are ye’ goin’ for? Judean? Minoan?”
“Actually, I was thinking Hindu?”
The old woman looked him up and down, taking stock of him. “A Hindu-Cattle-Sacrifice?” She sucked her teeth again, and Joebob wondered how often she was going to do that. “There are very, very few people that can look good in a Hindu-Cattle-Sacrifice, and you don’t look like one of them. Your hair is all wrong, and don’t even get me started on the shoulders.”
Joebob looked crushed for a moment. “What’s wrong with my hair?” He shook it off, and went on, “C’mon, you’ve never seen me in a Hindu-Cattle-Sacrifice. You don’t know how I look in one, and from the pictures I’ve got at home, I’m downright dashing in it.”
The seamstress shrugged, her shoulders creaking like an unoiled coils-spring in a clock that had just fallen from a rooftop and been tap-danced upon by a gorilla. “It’s your money. Fifty quid.”
The old woman whipped the garment she had been working off of the sewing machine, and wrapped it around herself. With a few dashes, dags, and some pins, she converted the robes of a voodoo high priest into something more suited to an Archbishop of the Hindu Faith Based Congregation.
Joebob was awed. He had no idea that the two outfits were so similar, why in fact, he had just been watching Shaka Dean, the High Priest of the American Voodoo Church fight the Archbishop Patel of the Hindu Faith Based Congregation in a Wild Wrestling Extravaganza death-match. He didn’t even know that there was a resemblance between the outfits until he saw this transformation.
At any rate, she turned and did a few button pushes on the sewing machine, and it folded itself into a large stone altar (well, it was probably fake, but it still looked quite nice). She laid a cloth on the altar with Sanskrit embroidered into it. “Alright, get the calf up here.”
They propped the calf up on the altar, and the seamstress launched into a rambling Hindu prayer. After some chanting, dancing, and light yoga, the seamstress pressed a button. A metal shield descended around the altar; there was a mournful “moo” that was suddenly cut off in a bovine scream, and a moment later the shield rose and all that remained was a pair of steaming hamburgers and a BLT.
“A long time ago,” the seamstress began, “our people believed that our ancestors were reborn into animals. This remains true! Our past, our traditions, and our hopes, are constantly reborn into new forms! C’mon, let’s eat.”
The seamstress handed Joebob one burger, and took the other for herself, and they ate.
After he had left, the seamstress sat down, contemplating the BLT. She hated Hindu-Cattle-Sacrifices; the hamburger never sat well. And for some reason, the last five of these she had done, the Altarmatic had spit out a BLT, which it should only do for Judean and Islamic sacrifices.
With a sigh, she picked up the sandwich and ate it.