only built 4 wisconsinite linx

At first I didn’t see the point of establishing my own religion. I mean, sure, there were tax incentives, but how was I gonna find disciples willing to follow a doctrine I was making up in real time? I was a couple years out of school and having a hard time settling on a career path, though, so I quit my job at Catfish King and went for it. And despite my earlier misgivings, my new religion got off to an exciting start.

My first objective was to attract an affluent flock, which I accomplished by advertising in the local polo club newsletter. I then locked in my new adherents with flashy sermons asking them why, if they wouldn’t put shitty 87-octane gasoline into their luxury sedans, would they settle for putting lesser religions into their souls? (in truth, very few of my metaphors made any sense beyond telling the gathered faithful how great my new religion was, in as unspecific terms as possible.) Once confident in their loyalty, I began subtly undermining their collective self-worth in order to increase their reliance on me. It didn’t take much, just a few sly jabs like screaming at them through a megaphone that they all smelled like a gross blanket from the garage that a raccoon had just given birth on.

It felt oddly liberating to disconnnect from any grounding in reality, as I made an escalating series of promises that pledged an increasingly outlandish picture of the afterlife. Any guilt I may have felt by making these false claims was offset by the realization that my followers truly enjoyed the organizational simplicity of being able to divide the next world into two categories: devotees would be treated to a millenia-long Pink Floyd concert replete with an image of  Jesus shooting a spectacular laser light show from his stigmata, while heretics would be condemned to an eternity of Supertramp rock blocks, to be interrupted by periodic breaks to shit pure blood for 40 days.

For the first time, I had a community that accepted me and loved me. But more than anything, I wanted power. Not just so I could bend people to my will and shape the world to my liking, but also so that my Hoverboard would work on water, and I panicked once I felt my influence over my parish beginning to wane. Under mounting pressure to produce a nonexistent holy text I had been telling the Family about for months, I staged a combined diversionary tactic and morale-boosting exercise, gathering all the congregants together one night to teepee our cross-town rivals in Falun Gong. Then, ecstatic with righteous fury, we egged the B’nai B’rith and ding-dong-dashed the First United Methodist Church. It was a glorious night, but one that ultimately proved quite costly as we made some formidable enemies. Within days, an unflattering piece on 20/20 brought a lot of undesired attention from several law enforcement agencies.

Predictably, it all went downhill fast. One by one, my wives left me as my economic prospects dimmed after the investigations. I couldn’t hold down a job because no matter how far back in the kitchen they’d put me, it was just a matter of time before someone recognized me while taking out the garbage, and then I’d be run out of town. But in losing everything, I have been freed from desire and given a fresh start. I’m excited to be living off my wits again, and enjoying the fruits of my cunning. In fact, I notice you’ve been eyeing this delicious morsel I’m eating, friend. No, it’s not one of those gross-out novelty gummi rats on a stick from the makers of mini-jawbreakers made to look like eyeballs. This is the real thing, baby. I got traps all over the city, enough to keep me fed for as long as I want. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear I had acheived success at something like this in a past life.


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January 2011
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