In "Tots," Peter Schneider takes the reader into the seedy world of Totfights, kind of an ultra violent version of "Boy Fights" from Arrested Development in which two four-year-old boys fight to death. In Schneider's story, the narrator refers to it as a "logical extension of the vastly more popular cockfighting - though, truth be told, totfighting probably originated long before mankind had domesticated roosters." Yeah, it's a weird story. A very weird story.
Actually, I can't help but think that the Totfights/Cockfights allegory is a bit of a tip of the hat to A Modest Proposal, showing the horrific nature of the actions of real-world people through the logical extension of those actions. While I don't think anyone would equate chickens with toddlers (chickens are nasty birds, while many toddlers can be quite pleasant), the analogy largely works. There are some other interesting things here as well, such as the future of Totfighters as VPs in fortune 500 companies, and the oddly caring relationship of a Totfighting handler for his "boys."
All in all, it's a weird little read of a story that reminds me a lot of Chuck Palahniuk's work (and not just because of Fight Club). The morals presented seem a little broad, but Schneider never decends to the point of preaching to his audience.
Phew, there we go. I'm all caught up on short stories for the week. Hopefully, from now on, I can get back to a regular schedule with a response per day. So far, staying on track for the readings have been the easy part. It's getting to these responses that seem to be tripping me up.