The Divinity of Nonsense
[The scene opens with Eristotle, the Chaosopher, coming around a corner and
seeing Thuddipius, the eternally clueless, casting about for someone. He
stops abruptly, and begins to back slowly and quietly out of sight. Alas,
Thuddipius turns and sees him in the nick of time. Eristotle looks to the
sky and mutters ``Let me guess, the sacrifices haven't been big enough lately,
THUDDIPIUS: Is it so that you claim that nonsense is the highest
aspiration of man? I have heard many persuasive arguments from Socrates that
Wisdom is the highest aspiration of man.
ERISTOTLE: You jest. Socrates will be the first to tell you that he
hasn't the foggiest notion of what he's talking about. Nonetheless, there
seems to be a dialogue starting, so I may as well run with it.
T: ``Dialogue?'' What does ``talking for two days'' have to do with this?
E: Very little, I hope. I've got a date with a hot dog vendor in a few
T: Say on, then, Eristotle.
E: Socrates is, in some part, correct. Reason is the highest
aspiration of man as a man, much in the same way that the highest
aspiration of a catheter as a catheter is to siphon indelicate fluids
from a delicate part of the body by an indelicate method; this is nothing to be
particularly proud of, Thuddipius. However, the catheter can also be used to
sip Coca-Cola, and therein lies the divinity of man.
T: Have you been lying face-down in the poppies again?
E: I make the jokes around here, straight man, and don't you
forget it. I can see to it that you never appear in another Erisian dialogue.
[Fawnius Self-Effacius (most likely on loan from a Road Runner cartoon)
swoons into the scene from behind a tree]
FAWNIUS: Though I am unworthy of receiving such wisdom, I would
love to hear more about your catheter...
T: Okay, okay, I'll lay off. [Roughly tosses Fawnius into a briar
patch] Jeez, ya give a guy a little ficticious fame...
E: You about ready to continue, Thuddipius?
T: Yeah, yeah. ``Catheter,'' right?
E: Just so. The catheter, in acting as a catheter and
only as a catheter is rather unpleasant. When it rises above its
usual aspiration, though, it becomes a comparatively nice thing.
T: [Brightens in a horrendously sarcastic manner] Eureka! And
just so is man, who is normally a boring thing, but who can become an eating
utensil by aspiring to transcend his normal aversion to goat cheese! Oh, the
E: Knock it off, and I do mean now.
E: You were, in fact, on the right track. Let us back up for a moment,
though. You believe in the gods, do you not, and that they are greater
than man as man is greater than soggy dog hair?
T: I do, by Zeus. I still remember when Janus Carnicellius XX ranted
against the possibility of the gods on the Acropolis. Zounds, what a mess.
E: Do you also agree that the gods are not bounded as men are and not
subject to the same laws.
T: Indeed I do.
E: To conclude the set-up, do you likewise believe that to understand
more is better than to understand less?
T: I feel that I must.
E: Can an apple be both green and not green at the same time? Spare me
any ``well, a Macintosh is kinda green and kinda red'' rhetoric. I'm attempting
to indict ~(P&~P) here.
T: [Dutifully, so as not to risk his job security] There can be
no such apple, Eristotle.
E: Why not?
T: There just can't, Eristotle. It is an obvious, undoubtable
first principle. To doubt it is nonsense.
E: It is impossible for your mind to grasp it, then?
T: It is impossible for it to be.
E: Look who knows so much about existence. You can't imagine your own
non-existence, but that could be arranged. You don't have the ability
to doubt these ``first principles,'' so you decide that the gods must bow to
them as well. And you thought Janus got splatted...
T: [Loudly, nervously looking for approaching stormclouds]
Nonono, the gods can conceive of things that men can't...
E: Even the opposites of your beloved first principles?
E: And this ability makes it possible for them to understand more than
any mortal man?
T: It clearly does, for they can understand everything that men can
and other things that men can't.
E: Well spoken. And greater understanding is part of what makes gods
greater than men?
T: That and the ability to turn cities into creamed spinach, yes.
E: So, since understanding the opposites of first principles leads to
nonsense, and this understanding is what makes gods greater than men, then
nonsense clearly has a share in divinity and men should aspire to it.
T: You just make it up as you go along, don't you?
E: I have to, Thuddipius. You want a hot dog? I'm famished.