The first volume, from which the following are excerpted, will be L to N, in tribute to Mylanta’s belief that the “strict alphabetical order is too constraining.”
Limits exist only in human consciousness. The outer reaches of the universe are so far beyond us, it makes me dizzy with contemplation. Einstein believed that the universe was finite and had a border. Where does it end and how does it come back, and are there any late fees? The truth is that it goes forever—which gets downright annoying when the kids are asking, “Are we there yet?” The universe encompasses infinity, and in every direction. Where Decatur, Minnesota fits into the scheme of things I know not. The universe is unbounded. The only boundary exists in the human mind; thus, the end—the border of the cosmos—is held only in the mortal brain of Einstein, who passed away a few years ago. Lovers of erudite musical criticism mourned the passing of Alfred Einstein, the eminent musicologist, whose notion of a “bound and finite” universe I now take to task.
Lice make parents freak out, and whatever makes parents freak out is a source of mirth to the eternal child in us all. Also, it sells a heck of a lot of costly shampoos and funny fine-toothed combs. Further, lice provide a rationale for failing eyesight in elders. They are incapable of seeing them. So one of the perks of advanced age may be to host a lice disco on your head unbeknownst to you. Let’s accept these loathsome creatures with love. I defy conventions regarding lice and I defy conventions especially where Shriners are concerned. Nobody is going to get me on one of those go-carts, wearing a fez. As for lice, I say, So What? Big Deal! I tell the un-bathed among my followers at Spirit Ranch ”“ live and let live. Just don’t sit near me, and don’t think you can wear my dashiki.
Love is all. Love is charity. Love is silence. Love is buying Chivas Regal for the swami who has changed your life. Love is a bit of Beluga slathered on the side. Love may also be construed as a Rolex oyster perpetual which could fast track the disciple’s enlightenment.
On Non-Stick Pans
You are sold a frying pan, touted “non-stick.” The first few times you use it, you may fry eggs without incident. They are cooked properly and slide from the pan effortlessly. Then by degrees, the edges of the egg begin to stick, and the stuck parts bake on with a tarlike tenacity. (“Hey, wasn’t this supposed to be a non-stick pan?” you whine.) At the end of the day, the cleaning lady scours it, and now what was a non-stick pan completes its transformation into an every-thing stick pan.
This is where Awareness comes in. In the West, we have a whole tradition of throwaway: we would throw out the pan that everything sticks to. The doohickey on the turn signal breaks off and we buy a brand-new one or, better yet, get a showroom-new car so our ego can feel really pampered. In India, on the other hand, where nothing quite works as it’s supposed to, the remedy for everything is Awareness. We might take the old sticking pan and with a dash of awareness realize the need to pour on a bit of cooking oil every time we use it. Awareness negates the wastefulness of the Western way, which is the way of “new and improved,” and “more and more,” and ultimately leads to an endless cycle of desire and consumption.
Listen, disciples, it’s almost midnight and we’re all out of beer. Do you think the Country Store is still open?