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,
"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.
"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
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?"
"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
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
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
"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,
> "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