Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Earnest

Damn, I missed the fool's day! It's where I belong, but I'll take the morning after. Seeking to avoid any and all need for another day job. I'm an April fool for sure.

I did nearly fall into Google's annual trap. This one was about a mind indexing application for download onto my mobile device. Hunh? What? You've got to be kidding. Oh. Check the date. 

I heard Edward O. Wilson yesterday, that politically incorrect dude from Harvard (not the one who's helping out in the White House now) chuckling on stage about his own little April Fool's joke on an ant. He'd sprayed the thing with the pheromone of death; the corpse scent which triggers all good ants to truck him away to the graveyard. Reminds me of that scene in some

Monty Python film where they're trucking away the corpses during the plague, and some poor guy's not dead yet. They club him to death for being so out of place. He's not dead yet, but will be, so they save themselves a lot of trouble and paperwork and wasted effort to haul him back away again.

It's so wrong to laugh. But it's funny somehow to think of ants just simply responding to the pheromone code, even though their comrade still kicks. And I guess the dead-scented ant keeps getting up and trying to clean himself off, and move back among the living.

Edward O. Wilson offends too, by likening humans to social creatures, whose collective intelligence is so much superior to their individual automata reactions. But can't we at least aspire to that? I mean, who among us wants Obama's job (and they need to be put in jail, most of those that do). A man whose only actionable sin is to have the middle name Hussein and smoke a tad wee bit? Who among us is that safe from what the powerful might use against us? And who could make sense enough for good decisions among not just the clamor, but the toughness of all those intersecting vectors of metaphoric war and meltdown and inertial greed. I've lost my mind for less!

OK, so, yeah, he's my queen and I'll be his worker bee. But the cool thing is I get actually to decide and follow my own heart into the battle. I have a name. I've overcome those pheromones (well, I did have to lash myself to the mast). I am even queen in my own little hive.

We are so not insects, though when stirred to fear by talk show loudmouths and idiot Skull and Bones presidents, the pheromones do overwhelm us for sure. We become the soldiers then, just like those Chinese patriotic and oh so well educated students who mouth their government's arguments without even checking the facts. Without adjusting that apparatus through which they resolve what's out there in the world, so identified with the instrument of their knowledge that they become it. Instrumental dweebs.

Wasn't there a movie about this? Ants, right?

Well, so welcome in you cruelest month. I'm running that gauntlet of warnings about my duties and responsibilities to my hive, as I march away from gainful employment. But I am pretty much alone, having shed that sense of want, and having given at least a hand in the raising of some pretty wonderful young ladies. I guess that makes me dangerous, at least insofar as I won't be rallying to any flag. But I'm not so young to get whipped up either, and I did have the great wisdom to be born white and male and American during the 20th century, right? So, I think I've got no real complaints in the first place. 

So, I'm in danger of speaking some truth is all. But it's not a very real danger, since I remain pretty sure no one gets the joke. I never was very good at telling jokes. 

"There was a bishop and a governor and a prostitute, see. Now, the bishop needed the governor to stop prosecuting his Church for the sins of it's pederast priests' past. And the governor really wanted some hot young ass, but was too honorable to take advantage of misguided groupies, see? And then this chick who's decided to peddle her ass makes buttloads of money, and gets a deal for latenight

They all end up in hell somehow, and there they are asking one another how they screwed up, because they each still thought somehow they'd done the right thing, up above. 

OK, so it's a Saturday Night Live skit, say, and that's the setup, and these three are all there together, acting out this usual kind of barroom scene before they go back home, after they come off the stage.

And then there's this little kid at home wonders out loud to Mommy when they're all up there telling their stories, you know, kind of vaudeville on stage telling their jokes, these three, but you don't really have to wonder why a little kid is watching vaudeville, because it's all on TV, so this, sort of, happens in private, but you're watching, because it's a Saturday Night Live skit, and the kid, who's like a Lily Tomlin adult kid, wonders why the only one with normal clothes looks hurt, see, and she wonders, out loud to Mommy, umm, I thought he was the one in charge? Because he looks kind of like he's peeing his pants.

And Mommy, who's wondering about Daddy just at that moment, you see that bubble above her head, where Daddy's not home yet and that's why they're still up because Daddy's bringing home a surprise, looks down at her little girl and says, no sweetie, the one with the big boobs, which are bigger than Mommy's because they're fake, sweetie, the one with the big boobs has always been in charge, because it's what they feed you from the start. See?" Mommy's got a glass of wine.

But the little girl says, "Mommy, she's not in charge. She's really dumb. No one listens to her." And then Mommy says, shhhhh. And then the little girl steps on an ant, and doesn't want to grow up to be anybody, you can see right on her face, but she looks up at Mommy, and says: "Oh, I see Mommy. Is that why Daddy never looks at the babysitter's face when she comes over?" 

"No sweetie. That's because Daddy's thinking of what he'll do to me after he takes the babysitter home if I haven't been a good little girl."

And the little girl looks up again, and she says, Does he spank you too, Mommy? 

And Mommy says, "no sweetheart, he just calls me his little princess." And the little girl thinks to herself. "Poor Mommy" that bubble over her head this time.

Then Daddy comes home and turns the TV off and he's making popcorn and they have a really nice time watching Ants on TV, which was his surprise because his daughter really likes those kind of cartoon movies.  

This is the night before they go off to their new little church, where the pastor's a woman and not so hot. But the service is really good. The service is really fine. You find this out in the conversation before the bishop with the red beanie hat and the prostitute dressed like a little girl, or Barbie because you can't tell the difference any more, and the governor with the really nice suit, get up on stage. 

You find out that they had to leave the old church because too many people, including Mommy, had the hots for the young preacher, and you saw this family turning away from the swoons, holding hands and frowning because the preacher's gyrations up at the pulpit were way too much like Elvis or something, for their comfort zone (This is Saturday Night, remember). You've already seen that little setup scene.

And the next morning, the pastor, this chick in dark robes, gets up there in the pulpit, plunks her little Barbie Doll down on one side, and a kind of Bozo the clown doll down on the other, to set up her sermon for that day. And the opening line is, get this, "What does it mean to be a Christian soldier?"

And the little girl says, OK now, hold onto your lunch here, the little girl says to her Daddy, she says "I know! It means you dress like a little girl so you can tell the guy with the beanie the secret of how to screw the governor".  And Daddy says, "shhhhh . . . " because he didn't think the little girl had overheard him saying that last night, and was getting really embarrassed. He'd been making fun of Catholics, and that was one of the jokes on the vaudeville stage, up on Saturday Night Live, and the little girl was showing off, because she got the joke when he told her Mommy, "I'll be your little ant soldier if you'll be my queen." and she, the little girl, was still thinking about Christians from the other skit.

"I want to know how Barbie's a clown", he tells her to explain his rapt attention. And the little girl thinks to herself, "because she's got relatively big boobs and dresses like a little girl?" Although little girls don't really say out loud to themselves anything like "relatively".  But the little girl snuggles up to Daddy and falls asleep to the soothing words of the pastor, who's intoning, "it means that you have to make a fool of yourself." 

And so she puts the clown clothes on Barbie and the Barbie clothes on the clown, and everybody's scandalized for a moment, not because the dolls are naked, because everyone's seen that already, but because there's a kind of cross dressing going on up in the pulpit, and then the little girl wakes up and the woman preacher is holding up the little clown doll all dressed up in Barbie clothes, and then the little girl gets scared that someone is going to get angry with her Daddy because she saw him once in Mommy's clothes which was really silly, but he looked kind of scared, and so she's scared, and then the preacher takes off her black robes and underneath there's a really old fashioned bathing suit, the kind where there are bloomers and a skirt, and she opens a parasol above her head and she says:

OK, are you ready?

She says, "What's so Damned funny?" But she's got a smile on her face, and so everybody laughs, because it's a liberal church where it's OK to laugh and say swear words as long as they're in quotations, and the kids are already in on the joke, and so the little girl looks up at her father on the one side and her Mom on the other and she's really glad that it's all funny, and that the pastor's got her bathing suit on.

And then, back to the joke up there on the virtual vaudeville stage, which is really just off stage, say after death on what they'd thought was the way to see St. Peter, or in the barroom after they come off stage, but are still in costume, say, and they find out they've gone the other way. The Governor asks the bishop, "What are you doing here?" and the bishop says, "I'm sorry, I sinned when I made them jump on your goof. I'd thought I was doing God's work, and now I find it didn't pass muster" 

And so he turns to the Governor, in some surprise, and asks; "Do you really go here for that?" And the governor says, "hell no, I paid fair and square. No, I guess I'm here for that other thing I can't tell you about." And the bishop says, "what? What possible harm could there be in telling the truth now?" And the governor whispers over to the Bishop, "no, I don't care what they do to me, I'm just trying to save her ass" pointing his thumb over to the prostitute. 

And you're not sure for a little moment, if he wants to save her ass for him there in hell or if he's doing the noble thing, but you can't quite imagine, first of all, that there's any place in hell for screwing around, and second of all, the same problem gets perpetuated, since, presumably, the prostitute's here for good and all, and there's nothing he could do to save her ass, since her ass is already cooked too.

And they both look over, sort of scared and sort of awed, because they knew who had the goods on them, and you knew they knew, but the bishop was still off his guard, and so he wondered to the prostitute, "so what are you doing here, sweetheart?"

And she said, "I'm God's agent."

"But I trusted your discretion," wailed the governor, "you were so sweet!" 

"Yes, well you were just a prospect then, dear heart. Didn't you know I always wanted us to be together etenally?"

"But I have a wife! I thought we were just negotiating price!"

"We were - I was only testing your resolve - enjoy!"

And she disappeared in a puff a smoke, and then the bishop and the governor looked at each other, and said "Damn! Busted!"

And so the moral of the story is never pay for what you can get for free. You'll get screwed every time!

But you still don't know what they got busted for.

It was for keeping their secrets in hell before the one who already knew them. Their secrets. 

OK, it's not funny. It's not even worth a laugh. Damn, I wish I were any good at this.

Please leave your offerings at the door.

And that's how the prostitute got saved for heaven, because nobody knew the things she knew, and even in hell she wouldn't tell how the Governor dressed up like a bishop, and the bishop dressed up like a Barbie doll. 

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