by Benny Raymond
ONE Day on his own personal crumby Little Desert Island Of American Individualism, si‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth went to his PC and opened an email
from a regular correspondent. It was an invitation to pass on a chain letter, a prayer to St. Theresa, the saint of “God in the details.” The instructions specified that he was to pass it on to ten new people, and to return a copy to his initial correspondent as well. Immediately, si‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth sat down and tried to sort out from his favorites list ten names of people he knows who could be relied on to greet this new turn with open minds, put aside prejudice and carry on with the delightful game in a lighthearted manner…as he, si‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth fancied he was doing.
Accordingly, he composed the lighthearted note that you see here, to go with the forward, and sent the thing on its way:
OK, Everybody…you won’t believe what a headache it is to try to pick out ten people who you figure WON’T foul this up…most of you I can rely on, I reckon, and so Mark-O & Tee Jay, you mugs better pitch in, too, or else Mrs Payne not to mention Deb, Marcy or or somebody WILL turn you into…TOADS! Thanks Everybody, Best Love & Wishes in the New Year!
IN Short order as the Germans say over in Old New Ulm, Minnesota, si‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth “got his head washed.” Twice over:
LADIES And Gentlemen…. While I find these wacky internet E-mail good-luck-charms to be quite amusing…I must, at this time, politely decline the request to send this along. Now…I’m not saying there might NOT be something to it all…its just that I’ve found, if I want spiritual enlightenment from major electrical appliances in and around the household, I’ve had much better luck in turning to the radio, Tee Vee or other various power tools in the shop. Now…don’t think I’m being dis-respectful in thinking these “good luck chain letters” are little different than your typical “John From Society Cargo Cults” (…as too are politics in general: “Hey…I voted Democrat! Where’s all the Free Stuff?!!!”) Instead…I’m opting FOR Emmett’s threat in that someone…anyone!…please, turn me into a TOAD so I can go to bed and SLEEP for the rest of the winter!!!
…I Hate saints. Sorry. I am no longer a believer in the supernatural. I am very sorry to stop your fun but I think the only requirement for you to receive the miracle is to have passed it on and you did that. Don’t you know any priests or nuns you could play this game with? I have to confess my surprise at your attempt to be superstitious. I would not have expected it from you. Good Luck and Happy New Year!
SI‘ Smit’, er, Smeeth was abashed by the whole episode and came around his teacher of Sufism in Lincoln Park in Old Mankato, the Moroccan Hameed Najmee, moping and complaining:
“I don’t understand it…!
“After all as you taught me, when A New Possibility washed up onto The Beach Of Inevitability from out of The Ocean Of All Reality, all I did was to try to make it ‘come true’ as they say…and now this! My friends are all sore at me and I’ve gotten spanked twice over and I feel like a dolt! I guess there IS such a thing as being too openminded after all. Phooey!”
THE Sufi Hameed Najmee was working on his stamp collection and annoyed by the intrusion of his disciple:
“Spare me the repulsively inaccurate ‘all’ and the ‘true’ and the ‘feel like!’ In ALL of your excellently overdone self-analysis you naturally neglect the one thing that matters, namely that you acted like a nitwit!
“The most important thing for YOU now to do is to relax and get it through your head — it won’t be the last time!
“The one thing really wrong with your outward behavior is the Internet bad manners of shoving around another one of what you yourself in your Eagle Lake accent call these ‘God-damned forwards!’
“As a result, all you have succeeded in doing is to persuade some folks to rehearse — and so REINFORCE! — some of their existing prejudices and create MORE delay in their own situations!
“Whereas what you could — should! — have done is to promote this thing to various fantasy figures in your mind, on an imaginary computer. Because as we have been learning, that sort of thing, active imagination, is at least equal to physical reality, it is in fact a lot more effective than all this outward foolishness, and what you were really trying to do was to impress everyone with YOUR holier-than-thou ‘openmindedness!'”
“NOW Relax yourself!
“The good thing is that through training you have at least come to the point where you can no longer do any real harm to the World…and, the World is also likewise safe from any of your attempts to ‘do good!’
“It is simply not in any incompletely regenerated human being’s power to make ANYTHING more or less ‘true.’ Neither the validity of Darwin or the Bible or fossils or any of the OTHER religions is affected one way or the other.
“Basically, people need all of the tools they can get for the daily business of life, everything I mean from the Holy Quran…to calculus. And why not? I mean you wouldn’t — I sure hope to Allah not anyway! — try to fix a carburator with a toilet plunger any more than you would try to bake bread in a refrigerator!
“It is all simply a matter of different rooms in a house for different people at different times, here in the hallway is a nice Holy Quran on stilts for any believers who stop by, there is a nice bathroom with a new whirlpool Jacuzzi and plenty of toilet paper for the American visitors….
“And here in the kitchen is plenty of tasty food for ALL!
“SO Now get to work and fix me up a plateful of champignon toast, some of that there German potato salad, open me up a couple of bottles of Schell’s and then get out of here, I’m busy…now scram! Beat it!”
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription-rights reserved
[15 January 2008]