(The Dissection of The Soul In Three Parts)
Bethlehem, Pennsylvannia-How much would you pay for the soul of a 5 million year old man? 10 million dollars? 20 million? 100 million? What about a billion dollars? 10 billion dollars? 100 billion dollars? A trillion dollars???
Would you give up the pinky finger on your left hand? What about your right pineal gland? Would you watch every episode of the television show Manimal? Would you become a cannibal who injects himself with Dianabol? Would you sell your children to a band of angry Saudis? Would you trade in your mother for three broken down Audis? Would you endure an hour-long attack from ravenous dogs? Would you reprise Ray Milland’s role in the movie Frogs? Would you trade dentures with Martha Raye? Would you spend Father’s Day with Marvin Gaye? Would you elope with an antelope? What about a cantaloupe?
Billionaire heiress Angelina Corpsegrinder did just that. Corpsegrinder, the granddaughter of former President John F. Corpsegrinder, purchased the soul at a nearly incalculable price at an auction on Friday outbidding thousands of lustful members of the American aristocracy. Corpsegrinder now has, within her beady little hands, possession of the one object that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God not only exists, but also intends us to hear his outrageous and inconsistent demands.
Encased in glass in case of loss, this abandoned soul sits in a vault, collecting interest at nearly 8 percent. Corpsegrinder has had the soul examined by thousands of religious icons and hundreds of other idle idols of the breathing class. Their findings all point to one inescapable fact, that people, given the correct amount of compensation and fearing for the devaluation of their name and the deflation of their credibility, will say anything to remain unforgotten by strangers. That we are conspiring against all logic and pinning our dreams and hopes upon an empty vessel is not important, what is important is that the conspiracy continues to hold true no matter how vengefully its core fiction has been used.
Thousands have filed past a replica of this soul in the Museum of Spirit, Fellowship and Other Inane Cruelties. For years, it was thought that this replica was the only soul alive in captivity. Many believed that, in nearly every case, when one expired, the soul passed into another realm leaving only a husk of body in some embarrassing pose. And teeth. Now, thanks to the generous nature of those who possess most of the world’s resources, we can rest assured that a real soul exists.
The soul originally belonged to a Neanderthal named Arnold Mulligan. In his haste to consume the flesh of a recently slaughtered pig, Mulligan’s soul fell out of his body and fell into a tar pit somewhere south of Tupelo, Mississippi. After being discovered some years back, the soul was passed to different collectors in high stakes poker games. It eventually fell into the clutches of former Presidential candidate Adali Stevenson and has languished in a coffee can in his basement since 1964. But, that is not important. Who needs chain of evidence when there isn’t even the evidence of a chain?
Finally, a pawnbroker from Jamaica, Queens named Arthur Leo Sclerosis slumped into the vault and examined the artifact. It was elliptical. No bigger than a marble. It had been poked and prodded by the finest pokers and prodders on this planet. Its verification had been peer reviewed by peers and reviewers who had all made tenure at the finest educational slaughterhouses on the planet. They had stood in line for hours to see it, all seeking to be part of a truth that, as keepers of truth, they were free to invent. Some of them, the rebels, tried to destroy it, but Plato had told them long ago that it couldn’t be destroyed, so they stopped.
Sclerosis didn’t care. He was dying and had the freedom that only the truly condemned and utterly forgotten can ever gain. His body, ravaged by disease and disrepair, crawled towards the altar upon which the soul had been placed. He made several silly motions with his hands to confuse the guards into thinking he was part of a group of fiction providers larger than himself, then he dove face first into the case, shattering the shatterproof glass and freeing the soul from the most recent in its series of cells.
The alarms sounded. Everyone on earth froze and locked their eyes upon him. Were it destroyed, they’d have to go back to having faith in something implausibly stupid. Were it destroyed, the whole edifice would plunge headlong into a nothingness of materials careening off one another and going nowhere in particular for an undetermined period of meaningless time. Were it destroyed, they’d have to accept the possibility that God or whatever creative force begat us from Its stomach was cruel enough to simply leave us in the middle of an endless wilderness of despair with no map to get home. Were it destroyed, they might look in the mirror and come face to face with a walking pile of animated flesh killing time between now and when its life functions had ceased.
“Please…we beg you! Leave us at least the illusion of stability in this demented nightmare of an existence!!!!” they cried in unison.
He held it aloft for all to see. “This,” declared Sclerosis “is nothing more than an M & M!!!!!”
He popped it into his mouth, chewed and swallowed. He died at that moment, for no other reason than his heart stopped beating.
People were aghast! So little truth had flashed before their eyes since religion adopted the game show format in the 1950s that this mockery of their very existence flung them into an orgiastic fit of rage. Still…there was something to this. After all, this was an experience they had just experienced. An event. A happening. A thing. They were all a part of it. Suddenly and without warning, the guards draped an American flag over the former man’s lifeless body and hoisted him on their shoulders as if he had just scored the game-winning touchdown in a championship football game.
“HE………IS………..RISEN!!!!!” they shouted in unison.
Everyone went back to work.