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Arthur Yap was having a hard time feeling like life was something that could be managed successfully. A second cup of strong coffee had not brought his poor attitude out where it could be lambasted and laughed into oblivion. Instead, he felt as if he had just barely enough energy to dump out the coffee grounds and rinse the machine, then collapse back into his bed. But Yap had a lot of work to do. He had no time to indulge himself in sloth. Coffee was not the answer, so he slapped on his hat and walked to the cow pasture.

Arthur Yap stood by the cow pasture, whipped out his appliance, and pissed on the electric fence. Zounds! Coffee be damned! Here was central nervous system stimulation that made coffee look like sleeping tea. This technique, known as hellpissing, is practiced by very few. But Arthur Yap knew, and he used it when he really needed a lift. And here he was, fresh from his morning hellpiss, and now he was ready to get to work; ready to go!

“The reasons, the reasons, yes,” mumbled Arthur Yap that night after dinner as he sat talking on the phone with his old buddy Sneed. “The reasons why violence on TV bothers me and makes me uncomfortable are two. Two reasons. I’ve thought it out.”

“Two reasons,” said Sneed. “So tell me the two reasons, cause I’m telling you the roller derby is where it’s at.”

“Right. First of all, when they do a good job of making you forget this is all fake, or if you are seeing footage of actual violence, then for me these moxy-toxins from my heeby jeeby gland are released and they give me discomfort. I get symptoms, man, symptoms!”

“Well if you think the Simpsons are violent,” scolded Sneed, “you do need some help. So what’s the second reason?”

“Symptoms, not Simpsons, you jackass!”

“You see that? Your glands are full of hate, Yap, it’s no wonder violence makes you uncomfortable. Face it, you don’t like violence because it’s a mirror, because you see your true nature when you see acts of violence. And then you have to face the fact that you are a vile and dangerous member of society.”

“Hmmmm, I’ll have to consider that possibility,” said Yap, “but let me tell you the second reason.”


“The second reason is that well-depicted violence with sound and motion on my TV in my house while I’m in my chair, well, it brings home to me quite literally the horrible fact that humans are violent, that this is not unusual for humans, this violence, and that we as a species still have a lot of nasty aggression in us and that maybe to survive in this world one needs that ability to be aggressive. But when will it become more controlled? When will wars end and fistfights not erupt? It reminds me of how far we as a species have yet to go before we’ll be something I’m not embarrassed to admit I’m a member of!”

“Well smell you mister high and mighty helldog!” Sneed sneered.

“Speaking of high and mighty, tell me again that story of when you met the famous Guru Schenectady Sam...what was it he said?”

“Ah,” said Sneed, “that’s a good one. Good story. But if you want to feel better about yourself come with me and gather tin foil gum wrappers for proper disposal.”

“Does it make, I mean, will it really help me feel better?”

“Oh it does, it does,” said Sneed. “Your mind problems will dissolve like skulls in an acid bath if you just come out and help save the world with me. We might even find a used car battery that was abandoned in a bush.”

“Enough patronizing palaver, there, Sneedy-oh, old sport. I mean, I was hellpissing just this morning. I’m an adult like you, damn-it.”

“Right, I forgot. OK, the story goes like this:

There were these Monks, right? And they believed very strongly that the thing to do was to renounce and pray and eat bland baloney dust and sleep on a rock and chant and transcribe holy wax and to be as close to God as possible by being devout and all. They had nice brain waves a lot of the time from being so simple and from chanting and all. Sometimes it was real nice. Other times the soup was thin and they were unhappy as dry sticks in the wind. The one thing they could really savor as an unpredictable but always inevitable treat was the nocturnal emission. Crusty cloak syndrome.

So anyway, say we have an auxiliary praising station down by the seaside where these monks, fifty or so of ‘em, go to do special seaside prayers and chants. Wonderful glory to God. And they are all kneeling down, no one is leading, they are all the same rank and they know the chants so well that no one has to lead. So they’re all lined up in there. And they hear a boat full of raucous Vikings come ashore in one of their bopity boats and they ship the oars and come howling onto the beach to rake and plunger. Holy shit-squirrels! Vikings love to mince Monks with their brutal battle axes! Run, Monks! Fly to the hills! Hide in the wine cellar, ply the Vikings with drink, make them your friends, DO something!

But no, the Monks believe that the whole purpose of life is to be peaceful and not acknowledge or participate when violence is at hand. Totally ignore it. They even ignore the violence which makes their baloney dust available. It’s actually macrobiotic vegetarian free-range wax-along simulated baloney product. So there is no violence in their food, except that of the harvest, and that, how is that peaceful? The one type of life, plant life, that is totally peaceful and just naturally goes for what sustains it (though vines could be called nasty when they choke a host I guess, and plants and trees compete mercilessly for light, shading the weak, but is it their intent or is it just how they adapted?) without predatory toothwax, the noble plant kingdom, how is it more peaceful to kill and feed on them? Is that better than facing one’s meatiness and one’s earthly predatory waxations? Predatory stockyard, predatory slaughterhouse, predatory grocery store cart. Hargh! Hi-yah! But anyway the Monks just shift into a Latin prayer which asks God’s mercy on Vikings. A beautiful prayer chanted and sung in the dust-mote light beams from the windows. Monks with eyes closed sing into the light, ‘Bless the Vikings, oh Lord!’.

The Vikings come crashing in and make fun of the Monks. They start to chop off the heads of the Monks one by one, calling them cowards and worthless sissies. The Monks are praying for the Vikings in Latin, but the Vikings don’t know that. It’s a private joke among the Monks. ‘Bless all Viking everywhere. Bless their boats and wooden oars. Bless their hands and bless their faces. Bless their elbows and their asses. Bless them all everywhere oh Lord yes indeed amen,’ and again they’d repeat the prayer. The sound got less and less as more and more of the heads rolled on the floor. By kneeling they were allowing the Vikings to chop at them with utmost facility, like a child playing tee-ball. Vikings with love of gore kick the heads about the floor. Klooning sounds of Monk-heads hitting the floor. There is blood on the boots of the Vikings.

Blood stains the meek as they fall to the menace. Blood for thy love in unbearable bummer, bloody red fun in the drastic foray. But the Monks hold fast. Even to the last row. And then finally the last Monk. His lone voice beseeching grace for these crazed axe-swinging thugs. And then Thwack, he’s gone too. The Vikings laugh with glee. This sort of thing edifies them.

So the whole point of the story is: Who Won?”

“And I always say the Vikings won, cause those damn pacifist Monks wouldn’t even so much as run away to try and save their hides,” said Arthur Yap.

“Yes, and some people say the Monks won because they never swayed from their purpose and they had grace on their side, and that grace beats murder like paper beats rock,” Sneed observed.

“But it’s not a game of paper-scissors-rock, it’s life and death, and once you’re dead you’re dead. And when you’re dead you lose!”

“A lot of people see it that way. But Schenectady says that both of them won, both the horrible hacking Vikings and the peaceful holy-howling Monks. They both won! The Vikings won because they see life as an opportunity to rape and plunder and to kill worthless meek chickenshit Monks who have no balls at all. So the Vikings are fulfilling their life’s rapacious goals, they are absolutely doing what makes sense to them.”

“Horrible,” muttered Yap.

“Horrible, yes, but you must admit they are perfect Vikings when they kill passive Priests.”

“OK,” Yap agreed.

“And the Monks! The Monks were into a similarly unreal trip, which was to disregard the flesh. They see it like this: the world has too much evil in it so we renounce the bitch and hide away and pray. And they have strong principles and they are tough dudes to be able to persist in their rigor. And they had the chance to live their purpose, they had the ultimate chance! And they did not fail. They felt that the flesh is to be held in low esteem and the spirit in high, so they prayed for those who slaughtered them and they did not resist. Wow. That’s not easy to do! To keep on praying when you know that axe is coming. And the Vikings too had a chance to live to the fullest their philosophy of boundless cruelty and disregard for sustaining non-Viking life.”

“And so,” Yap chimed in, since he knew the ending but just liked to hear the story told, “and so we are given, in this life, a chance to decide what the meaning of it is and to live by that decision within reason and to the best of our ability.”

“And the best of our ability doesn’t mean heroic nonsense, it means we work at it with intent to achieve.”

“Ah, yes. Now that we’ve solved the problems of the world, I better hang up cause I’m over the minutes limit on this cell phone.”

“Alright there, Yap, good talkin’ with you as always.”

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