“How is it, three?”
“To be very frank, four, it stinks”
“Thank gOD for that!”
— The Dialogs of the Third and the Fourth believers (Second-last triplet)
You cannot have your cake and eat it too, says conventional wisdom. But you can eat your cake and shit it too. No wonder the (Shhhh!)It religion has no prohibitions about eating cake, or for that matter anything. So long as you increase the amount of it! in the world, anything is fair. But if there is one thing that the Shhhhh! religion wouldn’t allow — not to its high-priests, not to its collectors (we’ll come to that soon), not to its aam junta — it’s coffee! Coffee, the Shhhhh!tian belief goes, is constipating — and constipation, in Shhhhh! religion, is the number one intestinal sin. But first things first.
Nobody knows how the Shhhhh! religion started. There are a lot of conflicting hypotheses, none of which are supported by any reliable historical evidence. But the Shhhhh! creation myth is well documented, mainly because it’s very short.
“gOD had a chronic constipation, and then it! happened”
Theologians have often debated whether constipation should be considered a intestinal sin or intestinal virtue, for surely if it weren’t for chronic constipation, it! wouldn’t have come into existence at all, but that’s a very recent development. The high-priests of the Shhhhh! religion insist that if there is an original sin (the reason for all the suffering in the world) in this universe it’s constipation. Modern psychologists, who have tried to find a link between constipation and pain tend to support this albeit regressive belief of the Shhhhh!tians.
In a very recent controlled experiment (double blinded and all that) in a sample of eighty seven people who were given constipating medicines, a whooping eighty six of them claimed that they felt unhappy. The eighty seventh person, it was later found out, was a masochist. What is surprising is that all eighty-seven of them were given a laxative, to rule out any placebos, but even the thought of constipating medicine made them unhappy!
However when it was pointed out that coffee actually makes people feel good, the psychologists who conducted the experiment insisted that was because people did not know that coffee is constipating. But then we digress!
The first serious altercation between the Shhhhh! religion and science is known to have happened with the law of conservation of it!, which says, in simple words, that:
It! can never be created, nor destroyed. The total amount of it! in the universe remains constant.
Apart from the obvious fact that it went against the creation myth of the Shhhhh!tians, this really got the theologians who also made and sold cakes very upset (In those times the Anti-trust laws were almost non-existent, so the theologians did not have to disclose their businesses even if there was a provable conflict of interest. Even the office-of-profit bill is very recent in origin — and even that didn’t last long!). Surely if it! cannot be increased, you cannot insist that people eat cakes! The theologians got angry and stopped making cakes. This made experimental psychologists very angry, because their mice preferred cakes to virtually any other food item, and suddenly stopped ignoring all stimulus. May be it’s this old indirect rivalry between the scientist and the psychologists that might have resulted in the psychologists siding with the high-priests of Shhhhh! religion on the matter of constipation, but then we’re not into constipation theories.
When asked if he could explain the wondrous workings of the universe in simple words, a famous scientist is known to have answered:
“It’s a piece of cake”
He wasn’t even kidding!
[To Be Continued…]