We are what we pretend to be, because we pretend to be what we really are. The act . . . is not an act.
–Man Being Interviewed,
Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis
After a few hours of seemingly unrelated work, I sent out a LimeWire search for MP3 files: anything containing the term “rare.” Then the bossman and I went up to the kitchen for a break. Bossman and I discussed many things — the increasingly vile aroma emanating from the piss-logged floorboards of the upstairs men‘s room; New Testament predictions of Bush’s latest failed pronunciation attempt; this one guy who says “Yeah! Yeah!” without apparent context. Eventually, we ended up discussing, in general and at length, the charms of (premenopausal yet) older women.
Finishing our vendogrub, we continued our discussion of sexuality and aging and grace and well-adjusted Mrs. Robinsons as we navigated three flights of stairs and one long hallway I insist on calling “Eugene” (after Ernie Kovacs) and then dropped down one last flight to our subterranean workstations on the cold, cold ground floor. Computer monitor: The first MP3 file found, the first name on LimeWire‘s search-results list, was an “extremely rare!” recording of “Mrs. Robinson,” allegedly performed by Kurt Cobain in high school.
Coincidence? Then, driving home that night, as I listened to KFWB break a story about a cat mangled half to death in his owner’s automobile engine (overslept), a seemingly unrelated cat attempted suicide by running out in front of my car. (No contact. Cats appreciate anti-lock brakes.)
Another coincidence, I hear you say. When I got home, I set up iTunes to play random audio files from a library of thousands, turned on the (MSABCNNBCPravdaFoxAOLTimeWarnerKGBRJReynoldsMitsubishiDaimlerHeadline) news for some cheery background noise and began throwing together some dinner. Fifteen minutes later, as I forked the first fluffs of steamed rice onto the soft pancake of Tasty Bite® Kashmir spinach, the deregulated news-anchor mannequin segued with “. . . in Kashmir today . . .” just as iTunes played the unscheduled opening strains of Led Zeppelin‘s “Kashmir.” That’s three for three.
Three major coincidences in one day is generally considered enough to qualify for religious tax exemptions, as the Lord Almighty® has provided the miracle of cryptic coincidence to those of us daft enough to question His existence, so that we might pause to cower before His immaculate metaphors, wondering where we went astray, before resuming our empty, hell-bound lives.
See, I‘ve read about these kinds of things; this is exactly how these things happen. Three coincidences meant that the Lord had selected me for a mission. But what was it that I was to do? Was it as simple as getting a late-night television show, an 800-number and a Swiss bank account stuffed with profits made off a Book I didn’t write? If so, must I poof up my hair and affect a Southern accent? Or would the Lord have me choose something more oblique? Did He mean for me to jumble the letters of the words Kashmir, cat and Cobain into an aroma-sick bitch, skin a Tacoma birch or some other mysteriously relevant anagram?
Of course He did. Otherwise, why would He have had me buy a copy of Andrew “Overt Word Warren” Trevorrow‘s Anagrams ($15 shareware, going up to $20 in a few weeks) (www.trevorrow.comanagrams)? (If you run a nonMac OS, you can find a list of residential and online generators at the Anagrammy Links and Resource Page [www.anagrammy.comlinks.html].) Trevorrow’s program returned 137,953 two- to five-word anagrams for Kashmir cat Cobain, which I saved as an enormous plain-text file comprising 2,875 single-space pages of 12-point Courier type, which the Lord advised me not to print out. Did the Lord then intend for me to undertake my quest by analyzing the entire unwieldy gospel? No. Surely He wished me to select the very very first anagram on the list: anatomic brackish. Meaning something salty and distasteful that pertains to anatomy. For example . . . yecch. Surely the Lord hadn‘t killed that cat, that Cobain and that Kashmir for that. Which could only mean that the Lord wanted me to search through the remaining 137,952 matches, even if it takes the rest of my life.
Fine: Stoic bank hair cam? Smack anchor tibia? Atomic casbah rink? Not quite right. Ah: Mosaic crank habit! Yes! (Lord? Oh. Okay. Maybe not.) Let’s see . . . hick aborts maniac? A martini cock bash? Hm. Batman air his cock! Now we‘re getting somewhere. (Just because you’re not religious doesn‘t mean you have to make fun of me being religious.) Achromatic ski ban? No . . . (It’s not as if I‘m the only one with an anagram problem) . . . ask bitch or maniac . . . (Louis XIII gave Thomas Billon a full-time job with decent health insurance to be his Royal Anagrammatist, to spend all day drinking wine and coming up with anagrams of Louis’ pals‘ names for party entertainment) . . . nicks tiara ham cob . . . (and even before that, in 1974, the Lord Almighty paid someone $14.09 to anagrammatize “Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum” into “Virgo serena, pia, munda et immaculata”) . . . acrobatic ham skin . . . (It’s not even a problem, really) . . . mohair cabin tacks . . . (I hear anagrams were a favorite among the Dada crowd, and all of them ended up with box seats in heaven. That‘s good enough for me) . . . monastic back hair . . . chairman bit a sock . . .
Go North, Jacob (www3.bc.sympatico.caamandaministriesgonorthjacob.htm).
Prophetic Revelations (www.faithsays.comrevelations.html).
Satan Is Santa Claus (www.landoverbaptist.orgnews1299santy.html).