Friday, January 20, 2012

The Book of Fort

The other day, while hiking in the mountains, I came across some ancient writings secreted in a cave. Clearly, they are Scripture from a forgotten people. I just finished translating the first scroll ...

And there lived in the land of Gob a righteous man named Fort, who was a crafter of fine hardwood didgeridoos. And his didgeridoos were strong and resonant and affordable and brought great joy to the people of Gob. And so it was that Fort prospered. And as he aged, he would preface his comments with, “When I was young and foolish ...” And thus the people of Gob came to regard Fort as old and wise, and indeed he was.

One day a seeker of wisdom appeared in his didgeridoo shop and asked: “Wise Fort, show me God.” And Fort replied, “Alas, son, I cannot do that, for I do not presume to know God." And the seeker asked: “Wise Fort, explain to me the meaning of life.” And Fort replied, “Alas, son, I cannot do that, for I do not presume to understand the mysteries of life.”

And the seeker asked: “Wise Fort, show me how to make a didgeridoo.”

And Fort replied: “Come closer, my son. That I can show you.”


And so it passed that an ox gored a young man to death, which would have been of no account but for the fact that the ox and young man had two different owners. And the owner of the young man sought restitution from the owner of the ox. But the owner of the ox refused, claiming that an ox of high status had every right to gore to death a young man of no status.

And this would have been accepted as entirely reasonable had the man of no status been owned by a man of low status. Alas, the man of no status was owned by a man of high status. And so a great dispute arose in the land of Gob, and neighbor began regarding neighbor in the type of reproachful manner that recalled the Dark Times that ended the Golden Age that preceded the Day of Reconciliation that gave rise to the Era For Which There is No Name.

Surely, they said, God must have anticipated an event of this nature would occur. And if that is so, they reasoned, then God must have anticipated all manner of events, and so must have come up with laws to govern the entire realm of human endeavor. And if that were so, then God would have provided clear rules to resolve all disputes.

Therefore, the people of Gob reasoned, God must have issued a Code. And so it was that the people of Gob called upon Fort, crafter of fine didgeridoos, to go to the top of the mountain for forty days and forty nights - or 40 nights and 40 days, whichever came first - seek out God, and return with the Code.

Forty nights and forty-one days later - or forty days, accounting for time off - Fort returned from the mountain with a large rock shaped like a tablet.

Did you return with God’s Code? asked the people of the Land of Gob.

I did not, replied Fort. But I did come across this rock with some writing on it.

Surely, they said, that must be the word of God.

Judge for yourself, said Fort.

What does the Code say? the people of Gob enquired.

And spoke Fort, It says thus:

“The stupidest idea - indeed must odious, most pernicious - ever devised by Man is that certain men regard themselves as superior to others and others as inferior to themselves.”

That is all that God says? asked the people of Gob.

That is all the rock says, replied Fort.

And the people of Gob pondered the matter for days into weeks and concluded that the rock conveyed wisdom that was far beyond the realm of mere mortals and so must be the Word of God. And having been singled out by God, they concluded that they must indeed be special. And they resolved to live by God’s Code.

And by living by God’s Code, they immediately regarded themselves as superior to others and others as inferior to themselves.


And so it came to pass that the most superior of the superior people in the land of Gob reasoned thus: If God possessed the wisdom to issue a Code of such profound infinitude - or infinite profunditude, as the case may be - His thinking has to be nuanced beyond imagination.

And indeed, if this is so, then God must have issued a longer Code, a Code in two parts, the second part which would have contained exceptions to the first part. And so they dispatched a delegation of Elders to the top of the mountain to find the second tablet which would have contained the second part of the Code.

Alas, the Elders failed to return with the second tablet, but by now, thanks to the wisdom conferred by the first tablet, they now possessed the insight to deduce the wisdom of the missing second tablet, and so came up with a long and detailed list of exceptions to the first.

And this list of exceptions was loudly acclaimed by the people of the land of Gob, especially among the superior of superiors. And thus the Era For Which There Is No Name gave rise to the Era of Great Prosperity, at least according to some.

More to come ...


kg said...

waiting for more!

Keith said...

I really like this.