Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Good Ship Lollygag

We are on a fabulous Holistic Health Holiday cruise aboard the Good Ship Lollygag to an exotic island. The ship enters a river, and passes through a narrow inlet into a lagoon.

The water here, we are informed, is excellently ennobled with arcane ingredients and ancient healing elements. You must drink it. Go on. Here's how. And the tour director sinks his face below the surface and comes up gulping and smiling. So do we all. You think we didn't want to be healthy?

Back aboard, we are spirited into tango lessons. Here's how, the entertainment director tells us. And he hops on one foot, then the other, and so do we all.

After a little while, I notice I am no longer able to see color. I wonder if this is healthy.

And now, proclaims the attendant, we should all go to the bathroom. He is smiling as well, and he troops off, us behind him, where we divide at the twin doors.

Later the cruise ship is impounded and the crew arrested. It is reported that the scheme was gold smuggling. That was one of the prime ingredients in the water of the lagoon. So they had their customers absorb the water and then condense it on the dance floor and then let it run into filters set up for the occasion. The company was able to collect a sizable amount of gold that way.

But wherefore did they not simply filter the gold from its natural watery habitat? Ah, there's the glub-glub. In the lagoon there were certain parasites, bacterium, impurities the cost to cleanse which would've been prohibitive. And yet here were some millions of volunteers a year willing to freely offer kidneys and pay them for the privilege.

Also, as we were all dedicated alternate medicine freaks, to report our health troubles after the cruise would've been a betrayal of the faith. We did not even relate our renal rumblings to potential new sailors on the Good Ship Lollygag. Needless to say, each pilgrim to the lagoon ever after, in the homeopathetic tradition, diluted all future participation down to nothing.

But here I am, back on land, running beside the sea as those health nuts will. I pass Beth, the stalwart of the doggie beach where we used to run Scoob and Maya waketimes. I had just passed others I knew, and they had told me there were surprises, the rangers were bringing around to every little group certain treats. It's good to keep communicating, said Beth.

Yes, I said, and told her of the wakeful time Chico and I went to the hills above Allende to secure pot for fun and profit. And Badman Jose worked on a chicken farm, and he did not understand generally, and we did not understand him specifically, and it was a circumstance ripe for disaster. I don't know where I draw my allegory sometimes.

A janitor with a South Pacific accent now seems to be telling me I must help a relative apply to enter a VA hospital. I cannot understand him, and he is growing impatient with my incomprehension. I look through folders in my office now, but cannot find what I think he said, Ramu, because I suppose he didn't say that. He shows the file and we stride forth.

Here's Ramu now. I set out to do up an ap. (This was my waketime job.) I must take his picture. I have a tiny camera the size of a large signet ring. It isn't working. And now out here in the field, a private and dark neighborhood street, I have desks and cabinets to take back to the office. I can just handle this, maybe, but there should be another way.

Wait, there is help. Other family members of Ramu. Good, let's go. Now Ramu is a canine, and he's tied up, but uncomplaining. He's lying on the ground, and looking at me expectantly. I will free you, guy, don't worry. I will take you home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cloud Perforations

It was a state school, not the least prominent but not far up from the one that was. He was a physics prof. He said to his classes first day, "I want you to consider clouds, but not quite clouds yet, but the perforations within them. I want you to think of those openings as pre-existing.

"It is through massive calculation I have determined the chaos theory is correct, in that this is the only means by which I might stand here. However, the incredibly complex labyrinth by which I arrived before you, and you before me, could not have accounted for all the variations in the meagre five billion allotted years. No, we must assign another, darker force. We must determine something is watching."

That grabbed 'em. Then he proceeded throughout the days left in the quarter to demonstrate the arcane ineffable mystery of doubt. And then late in one class a youngster put up her hand.

"Yes, but ... say a Brinks Truck passed by on the interstate outside our window and a bag of cash blew out, or was tossed out, anyway disintegrated and a confetti storm of cash rained down on us here in this class, and only us here.

"Then would we not feel special, as if the product of design, with some force out there selecting us for advancement, whereas all the other classes would be thinking of lunch or the night. Only we would consider ourselves blessed in this universe through the merest chance."

She stopped and she looked at the professor. And he at her. The class ended.

It was the beginning of the Multiverse. All the science journals now are conversant on the multiple universes. And the young student was not even a physics major.

Years later, someone and someone from one of the classes of the physics professor of the almost-lowest-rung state school met somewhere, and one said to the other:

"Say, do you remember that physics professor ...."

"Yes, yes, old Cloud Perforations."

"Yes. I wonder what he meant by that."