Sunday, July 27, 2003
I read somewhere recently that certain great thinkers of our age believe humanity will bring about its own extinction. The thought process is that if we don't render the planet unliveable by virtue of nuclear war and its concomitant pollutions, then a hapless scientist will trigger some reaction or release a diabolical agent in a lab which will kill us all. I agree a reaction may occur that sets the very planet tilting asunder, killing all carbon-based life forms, but I don't think it will occur in a laboratory: I think the reaction will occur in a church in a suburb of Dallas. I have just come from that church, having narrowly escaped with my life. These agents of chaos doomed to make worlds collide are a pair of ladies. Lynn is a lady of a certain age with a bustline stretching clear to the next county replete with large pendulous necklace dangling from the precipice. Unfortunately, Lynn is a very huggy person in a grandmotherly sort of way, and after you've nearly drowned in her embrace, you will stink of her cheap and bountiful perfume until next you bathe and shower. The odor is eyewatering, hideous and strong. A hug from Lynn always makes me feel as if I'm carrying the essence of a thrift store about with me, cubic miles of worn, unwashed clothing, skin cells of countless humans clotting my olfactory. Anita is a lifetime chain-smoker with skin the color of foie gras. Think braunschweiger or vienna sausage i.e., not healthy. You know when you leave a vase of flowers sitting after it has lost its bloom, and you dump it out and a green foglike odor nearly flattens you? That's Anita's breath. Anita is in the autumn of her years and has hygiene issues. Why think of petty niceties such as a good personal washing when there are so many cigarettes yet to be smoked in this world? Bad enough to sit a mere 12 feet from Anita and smell her Eau de Dew Da Day, but the coughs were what got me--from that distance the odor of her diseased lungs made me gag. So, here is my theory - if Anita and Lynn should come in close proximity, the demons which conspire to outstink all others would engage in an Armageddon-like battle, in effect achieving cold fusion. The outraged ions, glancing off each other, would set afoot on the planet an odor so implacable as to extinguish life as we know it. So, if sometime in this lifetime everything ceases to exist, well, I'll know why.