The Pooh of "Bob"

Dr. Hieronymous Zinn

 

> Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,

> A give you can't bird, but a bird you can give.

> Ask me a riddle and I shall reply,

> "Huh?"

 

"What's that you're writing?" asked "Bob," leaning over my

shoulder to look at the screen.

"The Tao of "Bob"," I replied.

"As in 'Dow' Chemical(tm)?" asked "Bob," spilling some of

his drink on my keyboard.

"You see, "Bob," I said, "a lot of people don't seem to

know what the Church of the SubGenius is..."

"Yes? So what?" said "Bob," blinking his eyes.

"And the easiest way to do that would be for us to go to

Dallas for a moment."

"What?" said "Bob," his eyes wide open in amazement.

"Right now?"

"Of course. All we need to do is lean back, relax, take a

few hits of 'Frop, and there we are."

"Oh, I see," said "Bob."

 

Let's imagine that we have walked down a narrow street in

Dallas and have found a Wal-Mart that sells velvet paintings,

painted in the classic manner. We go inside and ask to be

shown something allegorical--something humorous, perhaps,

but with some sort of Timeless Meaning. The greeter smiles.

"Try aisle six," he tells us. "A copy of 'Dogs Playing

Poker!' " A store drone leads us to a large aisle and pulls

one of the endless velvet paintings from the rack, holding it

up for us to examine. "On sale this week--only $9.98," he says,

setting it down on the floor, then leaving us alone so that

he can attend to a spill on aisle twelve.

Although we can see that this is a fairly recent version,

we know that the original was painted long ago; just when is

uncertain. But by now, the theme of the painting is well

known.

We see a group of dogs around a table. Three of them have a

hand of cards. The expression on each dog's face shows his

individual reaction to their hand. Since the painting is

allegorical, we are to understand that these are no ordinary

dogs, but are instead representatives of the types of men in

the world, and that the hand of cards represents their

understanding of the concept of slack. The four dogs are

representative of Dupes, Pinks, and SubGenii. The first dog

has almost no money left, and looks resentfully at the second

dog who has still has a little, hard won pile in front of

him; but the third dog, who has a great huge pile of money

before him, bears a stupid and insolent grin as the fourth,

a female dog beneath the table, sniffs (or something)

enthusiastically at his crotch.

To the first dog, representative of the Dupes, life is

unfair. He thinks that he has not gotten a fair shake and

it is the fault of the second dog. He figures that if all

dogs are treated equally, he will get what he rightfully

deserves. He remains resentful, poor and unloved.

To the second dog, representing the Pinks, who still has

a little money, life is hard work. If he bows and scrapes,

he will be able to afford more dog toys than the first dog,

and this matters to him more than life itself, as evidenced

by his progressive high blood pressure. He is resentful of

the first dog's covetousness of his small pile, and wishes

that the first dog would get a job. He too remains resentful,

full of illusions, and unloved. His slack is false.

The third dog, representative of the SubGenii, has discovered

the secret of slack. He has been so pleased by his good

fortune that he has sent in far more than the $30 required

to the Church.

Bitches flock to his beck and call. The worst hand he has

always beats the best hands of his opponents. When he has

nothing in his hand, they fold before his bluff. He doesn't

even try to win the game anymore, realizing that whatever he

wants he will get. For he has achieved the final knowledge:

that when you play poker with dogs, you will win every time,

because dogs are lousy poker players.

"Over the years, your classic teachings," I said to "Bob,"

"have been developed and divided into philosophical, monastic,

folk art, marketing and sales forms. All of these could be

included under the concept of 'The way of the SubGenius,' but

the basic kind of "Bob"-ism that we are concerned with here is

simply a way of appreciating your teachings in such a way as

to maximize the benefits, and to develop an utter indifference

to the needs and feelings of others."

 

"But what does that have to do with dogs playing poker?"

asked "Bob."

"I thought I had explained that" I said.

"I don't think so" said "Bob."

"Well then, uh," I said, "I guess you could say that the

Church of the SugGenius is a little like 'Frop."

"Like 'Frop?" he asked, "you mean you can smoke it?"

"O.K., so maybe it's not a whole lot like 'Frop," I said.

"Are we still in Dallas?" he asked, "cause if we are, I

want to buy some golf balls."

"No, we're through explaining, and now we're back here at

my computer" I said.

"Oh," he said, "nuts. And they were on sale, too."

And he wandered over to the stash to get something more to

smoke.

 

Much later in the evening, I asked him if he knew that his

face represented a great concept in "Bob"-ism, called 'Pooh,'

the carve-sculpted chunk of human excrement.

"I'd forgotten," he said whistfully.

So here we are, about to explain 'Pooh,' but in the SubGenius

Manner, so we won't try too hard or explain too much, so as

to confuse the issue, and keep it from becoming an intellectual

concept.

The essense of the carve-sculpted block of human excrement is

that things in their original simplicity can be processed,

manipulated, and chemically altered to result in either money-

or art-generating something elses.

This basic SubGenius principle applies not only to things in

their natural state and function, but to people as well. Or

the government, or even fast food. Which brings us to "Bob," the

very epitome of carve-sculpted excrement. As an illustration

of the principle, he may appear a bit too simple at times...

 

"I think it's more to the right," said Stang nervously. "What

do you think, "Bob?" "

"Bob" looked at his two hands. He knew that one of them was

the right hand, and he knew that when you had decided which one

of them was right, then the other one was wrong, so it should

be punished.

"Well...," he said slowly--"Huh?"

 

...but, no matter how he may seem to others, especially to

those fooled by appearances, "Bob," the carve-sculpted block of

human excrement, is able to accomplish what he does because he

is simpleminded. As any old SubGenius walking out of the woods

after he has taken a crap will tell you, simpleminded does not

necessarily mean stupid. Usually, but not necessarily. It's

rather significant that the SubGenius ideal is that of a raging

warrior Yeti, the grunting, snarling, seemingly primative

"broken-mirror" of society, rather than the wimpering simp

with far too many human genes.

 

"The fact is," said NENSLO, "we've missed our way entirely."

 

They were having a rest in a small truck-stop in the middle of

the desert. "Bob" was getting rather tired of that truck-stop,

and suspected that the people following them about were

government agents, because whatever waitress they would hit on

would suddenly act as if it wasn't her table, and each time,

NENSLO said triumphantly, "Wow, what a babe! Hey, momma!" and

"Bob" said sadly, "been there, done that," and Stang said

nothing. He had tried to think of something to say, but the

only thing he could think of was, "Help me! Help me!," like a

certain half-fly of renown, and it seemed silly to say that,

when he had "Bob" and NENSLO with him.

 

"Well," said NENSLO, after a long silence in which nobody

thanked him for the undercooked cheeseburgers they were having,

"we'd better get on, I suppose. Which way shall we try?"

 

"How would it be," said "Bob" slowly, "if as soon as we've

left here, we drive to England?"

 

"What's the good of that?" said NENSLO.

 

"Well," said "Bob," "we keep looking for Dallas and not finding

it, so I thought that if we looked for England, we'd be sure to

arrive in Dallas, which would be a Good Thing, because we'd know

that if we had crossed the ocean, we weren't there."

 

"I don't see much sense in that," said NENSLO...

"If we drove away from this truck-stop, all the way to England,

of course we would arrive there eventually."

 

"Well, I thought perhaps you wouldn't" said "Bob," "You would

end up in Hawaii and just Think it's England."

 

"Why don't you drive?" said Stang suddenly.

 

NENSLO gave a laugh to show how silly Stang's comment was, and

walked into the restroom. After he had been there for a while,

he walked back again. Face ashen, he remarked that, since when

do the truck-stops in Texas call their restrooms 'W.C.s', and

have bidets for the truckers? Then the waitress brought their

order of poi and chips with a round of Guiness Stout.

 

"I just thought," said "Bob." "Now then, Stang, let's go home."

 

"But, "Bob"," cried Stang, all excited, "do you know the way?"

 

"No," said "Bob." "But there are twelve pounds of 'Frop in my

cupboard, and they've been calling to me for hours. I couldn't

hear them properly before, because NENSLO would talk, but if

nobody says anything except those twelve pounds, I think, Stang,

I shall know where they're calling from. Come on."

 

They drove off together; and for a long time Stang said nothing,

so as not to interrupt the 'Frop; and then suddenly he made a

squeaky noise...and an oo-noise...because now he began to know

where he was; but he still didn't dare to say so out loud, in

case he wasn't.

 

As for NENSLO, he ended up having to fly home from Liverpool,

via Maui.

 

*******************

 

> "I will be warned of the dangers of time travel!," remembered

> Tilly, of the warning she was given in the future, of the perils

> of the past, which she presently thought had been both historic

> and foresighted, "though knowing now what I will know then makes

> it somewhat anachronistic."

 

-Dr. Zinn, from the novel