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Let’s you and him fight.

Okay, see, there were these two students? And they were terribly jealous of each other. (Does it matter why?) Their master was old and infirm and had not one bum leg, but two. Withered, pale, stick-like things. Poor circulation. Feet like two blocks of ice in the morning. And each student was given charge of a leg, to rub and pinch and powder and clean, and every day they’d set to it, glaring all the while at each other over their teacher’s lap.

And it came to pass that one day one of the students had to get up and leave during the who leg-rubbing foot-massaging bit. Maybe to get a glass of water, maybe to take a leak, maybe they were out of talcum powder. And while that first student was gone, the second student took up a rock and bashed away at the opposite leg, the one the first student had charge of. Just beat it until it snapped in three or four places. Shattered.

When the first student came back and saw what had been done, what do you think? That first student picked up a stick and laid into the opposite leg, the one the second student had charge of. Blood flew. Bone splintered.

Our moral? Beats me. Something about the Mahayana and the Hinayana. You figure it out, let me know. My question: why the fuck didn’t the teacher get all Pai Mei on that second student’s ass the minute he picked up the rock? There was a perfectly serviceable sword sitting right there.

Okay, see, there was this snake? And one day, this snake’s tail speaks up (for back then, the tails of snakes could speak), and the snake’s tail says, you know what? I’m sick of this shit. (It’s speaking to the snake’s head.) You get to go first in everything you know? You just lead and lead and lead and drag me around through the dust and I’m sick of it. We’re gonna try things my way for a bit. And the head’s all, like, what? Is there an echo in here? Somebody say something? And the head just keeps on keepin’ on.

Anyway, the tail of the snake is so pissed it does the only thing it can do, which is coil itself about an opportune tree. And the head pulls and pulls, and the tail holds on and holds on, and there’s a lot of hissed swears leaking back and forth until finally, exhausted, the tail lets go, and, exhausted, the head can’t keep the snake from rolling into a firepit and burning to death.

Our moral? It’s a toughie: that opportune tree is none other than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the tug-of-war shook loose a fateful apple. I don’t have to tell you what happened next. —Aren’t we much better off these days, when nobody talks out their ass anymore?

Okay, see, there’s these two flesh-eating demons, right? Or maybe they were superheroes. Anyway, they’re fighting tooth and bloody nail over a chest and a stick and a ratty-ass pair of sandals. Just that: these epic killer combos unleashed over a wooden box you maybe saw on a shelf in Target in the World Beat Home Furnishings aisle, and a stick that, okay, might make for a nice walking stick if you ever went on walks anymore, and a couple of sandals too far gone to even make it as dumpster chic. Somebody’s already walked too many miles in them. But these two demons don’t show any signs of letting up. Biff! Pow! Blammo!

Until this guy walks up and he somehow manages to get their attention and he yells whoa, whoa, and they manage to stop, glaring at each other, taking these big deep panting breaths, wiping the sweat off. And the guy, he’s just this guy, not a demon or a superhero, he says, wow, I mean, this is incredible, but why are you fighting over this junk?

And the first demon says, that trunk isn’t junk; it contains everything you might ever possibly need in this world. Put in your hand and pull out gold, books, food, a house, beautiful paramours, the ear of the king. And the second demon says, the stick isn’t junk. You hold that in your hands, all your enemies are subdued. And he’s glaring at the first demon. Who says, those sandals? And the second demon says, yeah, those sandals. Look like crap. But, says the first demon, you put them on, and you can fly.

Okay, says the guy. I see. But still. You’re both such amazing fighters. It would be a damn shame to see you kill each other over this stuff. Just back up a minute, let me get in there, and I’ll split it up for you. Okay?

So the demons, reluctantly, backed away, and the guy leaped in and picked up the stick and shook it at them both, then scooped up the trunk and kicked into first one and then the other sandal, and he swooped up into the air. And he laughed and laughed and said, see? Now you no longer have any reason to fight!

Our moral? Demons can fly, too. So can superheroes. The guy was so scared when he saw them coming that he dropped the stick, and they totally smeared him into steak tartare and spread him on a loaf of bread they pulled out of the trunk.

Okay, there’s these two guys, see? And they walk into a bar. And the first one turns to the second and says, my dick is so big

  1. Bruce    Mar 5, 11:50 AM    #

    and the second one says, dude, not really. Then a guy walks up and says, “I am so above this. Grow up.”

    They both look at each other. They look at the guy. They shrug, “whatever.”

  2. Kip    Mar 5, 12:08 PM    #

    Yeah! I mean, what if I don’t want to grow up?

    That third guy’s always such an asshole.

  3. Robert    Mar 14, 10:18 AM    #

    That two demons story sounds like a reworking of “All Heads Off But Mine”, which is one of my favorite old-time, bloodyminded fairy tales. You know, for kids!

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