Thursday, March 31, 2005

Not Sure What to Call This: Parody?



[8:30 AM]
Thank you for calling. Our representatives are currently helping other customers. To ensure quality control, religious people may be listening.

… [8:35 AM]
Thanks for holding. Our representatives are still ministering others. Your call will be answered shortly. Peace!

… [9:19 AM]
Hey, psst. Some patience, man! Where did you come from? Have your credit card number ready.

… [9:51 AM]
Still there? Wow! Spines are tingling here. “Only losers wait,” they say. But isn't it fear that drives us to think this way--the fear of thinking about permanence and mortality? Please continue holding! Our next customer representative will be with you momentarily!

… [10:30 AM]
Hello, friend. A thousand times a day we say “Thank you,” a numb exercise we learned in the seminars. And finally when it’s real, our voices crack, stunned by the disparity between the sincere and the feigned. Damn! How feeble is the tongue in conveying the stirrings of the unfettered soul! Yet we remain calm, for a prophet once said, “If you do not give thanks to people, you will not give thanks to God.” So thanks for holding. Someone will be with you shortly.

… [11:27 AM]
News has spread: “A Sufi has called us.” We beg you not to hang up. Meaning is beginning to creep back into our clay lives. Rumi once said:
On the lip of madness have I dwelled
in want of reasons to know.
On a door I am knocking.
At last it opens.
From inside I've been knocking all along!
We, too, are knocking. So please hold, and remember to have your number ready.

… [12:17 PM]
There’s a crisis, Teacher. Each of our customer representatives is demanding to take your call. A shameful dispute has ensued. Ugly, physical confrontation is imminent. A committee has been convened to anoint the Receiver of your utterances. Please continue holding.

… [2:15 PM]
It has been decided that all of the customer representatives will listen to your words through conference technology. A phone crew is on the way.

… [3:19 PM]
Ok, here’s an update. We're now waiting in a small room as the wires are cut and tied. A heated debate has kindled. Can a human being be transported by “beaming” around? Are we only material? What about our souls? Was Roddenberry trying to tell us that we’re only a wrapped up bunch of molecules that can be dismantled, scattered, aimed, and reconstituted like orange juice by some machine? Watch out for falling assumptions! Please hold.

… [3:50 PM]
There’s a snag, Master. The workmen had to shutdown the main power to put in some sensitive equipment. The amenities of our nest have been stripped. No muzak, faxes, or humming vents. The silence is amazing, surrounding us like amniotic fluid. There’s nothing for anyone to say. It’s like, “What am I doing here!” We’re being introduced to our own souls, and God is it awkward! So apparently there’s more to us than what we think. But how long will the realization last? When the power returns, will it be flesh as usual? Thank you for holding.

… [4:35 PM]
The work is nearly done. And after all this time, it’s just another device, like the TV laughing machines that tune our senses at the hands of technicians. Ralph threatens to beat Alice—laugh. Otis stumbles in dead drunk—slap the knee and guffaw. Someone's sleeping with someone else--ha ha! Stay on the line! We’ll be right with you!

… [4:59 PM]
The time has come at last. The veils have been torn from our eyes. The subliminal message is now as obvious as a housing project. We were taught, “Forget tomorrow! Just do it! Today!” Count the lonely people who accepted this yesterday, all the backs that have turned and relations broken. We suddenly see the beauty of mocked virtues, with the face of an innocent child smiling at the sky. The sky hasn’t changed; it has always been beautiful. But release us, Wise One, that we may see how real is our sudden enlightenment. Let us be tested by the legions of glitter and game. Let us find our resolve when nobody’s looking—the standard of conviction. So farewell! Bless you. And thank you for holding. Forget about your number, we have it on file.

… [5:00 PM]
. . . . .


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