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Thanks A Lot

April 10th, 2007 (06:34 pm)

A 14-year-old girl, with a habit of reading, looked up a reference she had seen online in a blog she had been following. Her older brother provided some of the translation. She wrote the story down and took it to school, to the horror and delight of her friends.

It went like this.

These two guys show up and tell this righteous dude they’re gonna burn the town and he’d better get out with his family. They warn him because he’s upright and all. He says, sure, spend the night.

In the night, all the men in town gather around the house of Mr Righteous, and demand he send out the two visitors. They want to punk ‘em. That’s right, they want to bugger the two strangers, all of them.

Oh, no, says Righteous, that will not do. For I pride myself as a host, and it would be unworthy of me to allow this dreadful deed upon my guests. But I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’m a family man, and I have two virgin daughters, and I’ll send ‘em out and you can do with them whatever pleases you.

No, we want the guys, said the flitty folk. But the guys, they worked some magic so the whole town was blinded. I dunno, pepper spray? And the sicko mob couldn’t find the door. And in the morning the two visitors said, you’d better split; we‘re callin‘ in airstrikes. And don’t look back, as the Dylan tune says.

The wife of Mr Righteous did look back, and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Mr Righteous and his two virgin daughters escape the holocaust and climb the mountain and set up residence in a cave. And the daughters confer, saying, this sort of does it for us as far as men are concerned, ya know? But we want the seed to go on, don‘t we? Nudge-nudge. So, let’s jump the last of the red-hot papas!

So they did. Plied him with liquor, and then, the first night, the older, and the next night, the younger, plied him good. He was so blitzed he was unaware when each came to his bed and when she left. At least, that was the story of Mr Righteous. And they both conceived by dear old dad, and their sons were also their brothers, or maybe their own fathers, anyway, they both founded whole tribes that went on, thanks to papa and the hooch.

The story was passed around to much shock and laughter and, invariably, ended up in the hands of a teacher. By that time, it was no longer possible to trace its provenance; there was just some vague reference to The Web, from which all such smut flows. The faculty was appalled, families were alerted, conferences were held, and net privileges revoked generally. And all around the adults deplored the general failure of morality in our permissive age that such trash could infect our young and vulnerable minds so they drift further and further from God.

It all started in a blog.

The subject of the particular post was Dr Sax, a manufacturer of soap and intricate conspiracies in confused text he included on every label of the plastic bottles carrying his product. The labels were a rambling stream of consciousness much as you might hear in certain literate symposiums or perhaps that should be sanitariums. The soap sold quite briskly in a variety of shades in specialty shops and it worked reasonably as expected and the company did very well and nobody read the labels.

Nobody but, apparently, Woesong, who was of the habit of languishing in incomprehensible script. He had read a lot of Stein and Beckett and even, when very young, Ulysses.

Dr Sax had set for himself a task, the destruction of all evil, which was embodied or else symbolized by a great snake which would crawl out of a cave from the bowels of the earth on some future dark day for humanity. It was presumed that a giant eagle, in keeping with the Mexican symbol, must be the antidote. While puzzling over just where might be found a bird of sufficient size, Dr Sax had to take care of the devil in the details, such as germs.

Somewhere in the maze of mad conjecture and fierce babble, Woesong read of a film script produced by Dr Sax and offered unto the nobles of Hollywood, where it was met with supreme indifference. Intrigued, Woesong sought out more about this stillborn movie.

You had to find the next issue of the particular product, say Castile, and try and pick up the thread again. Two facts seemed to bubble up from all the tortured distress on the label. One, the topic was Lot, the one in the Bible whose wife was turned to salt on such and such an occasion, and two, the objection was calculated as a defense by the movie moguls of Sodomites.

With no other information, Woesong went to press, which meant simply the inscribing of his findings into his blog where all the world might see, including some stray 14-year-old girl. All the world was generally in the habit of distinctly not seeing Woesong’s fabled reports, but this one just happened to catch the eye of the lover of a stringer for a quasi-respectable semi-news source.

The headline became, “Hollywood Rejects Film in Deference to Gay Sensibility?” The story was only four sentences reporting the gleanings from Woesong and then lapsing into the traditional generic bashing of the liberal west coast den of iniquity.

As the story was picked up by the broadcast division, it found the eyes which would give it legs, those less than literate stalwarts of the screaming meme revelations of cable news. There was moral outrage at the heathens in Hollywood, although attempts to confirm the report (someone had a line through an ex-lover to the mailroom of the William Morris Agency, which was no longer in service) were unsuccessful.

The switchboard lit up, and so the reports continued with ever more outrage on each side of the camera. “SODOMITES OVER SAINTS? Details at 11:00.“ As the callers lost their tempers, so went the temper of the broadcasters. It was the great snake chasing its tale.

Meanwhile, Woesong was interviewed. He related his understanding of Dr Sax, who was a mysterious philosopher genius who was never seen in public. (He wasn’t allowed out of doors without an attendant.) Somewhere by the fourth or fifth news cycle, Woesong had discovered the scripture on which the film was to have been based. (Whether an actual script had been completed was not clear on the labels as yet.) It was inscribed on a green bottle of Dr Sax Hollyhock Herbal Remedy.

Genesis 19. The story of Lot, the nephew of the mighty patriarch Abraham.

This was the note which sent our young girl on a search through her family Bible.

“No Morality Without Religion!” went one lead on a hysterical bleating channel. “No Religion Without Scripture!” screamed another.

All of the separate elements, Woesong, Dr Sax, the cable news, the young girls and the outraged parents, theology, sociology, never coalesced altogether; in fact they each and all drifted further and further apart, then disappeared into the ever-gathering dark.



Posted by: paravati (paravati)
Posted at: April 11th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)

Uhm, this is hilarious.

I actually have a few bottles of the fabled Dr Sax (sic) soap on the shelves in my bathroom rack. And it's always really pissed me off that he prefers to "augment" other writings. Grr.

Posted by: tremonius (tremonius)
Posted at: April 11th, 2007 06:15 pm (UTC)
The Fabled Dr Sax

Ah, yes, Dr Bonner. I conflated Kerouac's Dr Sax with the good soap doctor.

But what does "augment other writings" mean?

Posted by: paravati (paravati)
Posted at: April 11th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: The Fabled Dr Sax

I can't remember which flavor soap it is, but on some of the bottles he takes poems and writings from other people and changes them. He credits "So and So with help from Dr. Bronner" at the bottom. For some reason I want to say he's done it with Walt Whitman, but I can't be positive. The soap in my shower has a big label over most of the writings so I can't see it very well.

It always made me mad because if he wants to write, then he should write his own stuff. Not change other folk's already great and famous writing in order to market his soap.

Posted by: paravati (paravati)
Posted at: June 23rd, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)

Trem! You came back! I'm so glad. I was all upset because I never had a chance to say goodbye. :)

Posted by: tremonius (tremonius)
Posted at: July 10th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)

I don't feel comfortable at this dance. An old guy over along the wall like Poindexter. Plus I don't know the steps.

I came back to look for a couple snapshots I was sure I had posted. I didn't find them. Looking for old photos is like dancing.

I'll look at your pages now and then I'll hide some more.

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