Call me Ishkabibble (because I asked you to. Is it really that
big a problem?). Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely; if I think
about it too long I have a flashback and the toaster starts asking me if I want
to have a game of baci-ball -- having little or no sanity in my head and no
particular need for it, I thought I would travel about a little and see the
Thuddite part of the world. Here, there be boredom.
Herein is a warning to all who would safeguard their humor and the humor of all
men. It has cost me dearly to find this knowledge, and I pray that it falls
not on deaf ears.
Beware Shub Shibboleth, Beast of a Thousand Catchphrases, Demon of the Virulent
Spawn of the Thuddite Media!
The Awful Shub invades the minds of innocents through the speech center,
causing them to do the bidding of the Nameless One (Greyface
[oops]) without thinking
first. Such mnemonic infection is easily spotted, but care must be taken in
the search or else the battle will be lost before it is joined.
Children of the Shub are identifiable in that they have some variant of
the following catchphrase as central and primal to their thinking:
``Why Ask Why? Just Say No''
This ``No'' can be in response to any idea or practice which is outside the
mainstream. The important characteristic is that the rule is not
questioned. The consequences of not following the rule are looked upon
with horror, and almost universally not thought out. If there is
actually some form of argument behind the rule, the person in question is
probably not one of the Shub's children but rather a member of one (or more) of
Orders of Discordia.
A secondary clue to the Shub's influence on the person is that he is
usually as dull as the proverbial Stucco finish; creativity and humor often
suffer due to the Shub's infection.
Once such a person is identified, the utmost care must be taken if the
person is to be saved, but the cure must be administered quickly (``Once you
have started down the Path More Taken, forever shall it rule your destiny.''
-- Joka the Yeti Master). The person can usually be saved, since the mnemonic
infection of the Shub does not destroy the ability of the subject to think for
himself; it only suppresses the willingness to undertake such thought.
The reawakening of the sleeping grey matter can not normally be achieved
with direct confrontation (indeed, such confrontation should be avoided at all
costs, as struggling directly against the infection gives it opportunity to
sink its claws deeper), so sneakier means must be employed. The person must
be inundated with every type and variety of heretical, humorous literature
EXCEPT the type that is heretical to the particular form of his infection. Such
intellectual inundation, coupled with the Humor Effect, will hopefully lead to
a gestalt in which the consideration of heretical concepts as viable will expel
the mnemonic infection with the force of a poorly positioned ben-wa ball.
If such a cure is not feasible (if, for example, the subject has been
so poisoned that ALL heretical concepts are personally heretical to him), the
subject must be given up as lost until such time as luck or some Personal
Erisian Revelation of Laughter (Divine PERL, that is) purges the unfortunate
(though hopefully not on your good shoes).
Mourn for (or laugh at) the lost, but help the salvageable.