Feb. 12, 2003
volume i, issue x
this killed
Karen Ashburner

Write this on the inside of your shirt cuff:
a person has a right to self-proclamation
without being saddled by "moral obligations."
The terrible waste occurs
when people fail to recognize
and acknowledge relativity,
spending countless afternoons crawling
on their hands and knees, collecting bones,
relentlessly intimidated by vague words
like "honesty" and "humiliation."
The first step in manipulation
is philosophy. Consider the Boy-Girl Theory:
if boy plays it cool, then girl wants boy
(or vice versa); if boy comes on like hungry dog
chasing squirrel, then girl doesn't want boy
(or vice versa). Haven't you ever seen that guy?
the one who looks like the Hunchback of Notre Dame,
yet still has a gorgeous female on his arm?
Of course, no matter how clever a person may be,
at the last moment of acquisition, The Better Deal Theory
is an uncontrollable instinct: this holds true
for vacuum sweepers, insurance, real estate,
or marriage. People always have their minds open
to the last minute pie-in-the-sky offer. People are like that,
perfect pigeons, always worried, at least
subconsciously, mean as cat dirt once they smell
victory. Whether you're trying to win a business deal,
a football game, or a woman, the most awesome obstacle
to overcome is getting paid. No one is going to come
to your aid, not Superman, or Plasticman,
not Cookieman, or Legalman. As everyone knows,
moving the ball past the Red Zone is a son-of-a-gun,
the defense always stiffens, and The Tortoise
dons The Hare's clothing. But no matter how interesting
something is, no matter how true it is, no matter
how much it might please you, acknowledge
the Theory of Reality, and use it to your benefit,
or it will automatically work against you;
one altruistic good deed after another
will only get you a handful of air,
because The Tortoise, dressed as The Hare,
will often do a perfect imitation
of Mary's Little Lamb.

(c)karen ashburner 2003