Why You are Obliged to Read

By Carl-John X. Veraja (modern day freedom-fighter extraordinaire)

When I was in kindergarten, I remember being enthralled with coloring a castle in order to tune out of the shock of a new environment.  I was adding a large-eyed alligator to the moat when John Doe (that was his actual name, don’t question me) grabbed a fistful of crayons and wickedly and gleefully annihilated my composition.

Well, I wanted revenge.  So, being a blossoming angry young man, I went home and searched for a sharp weapon.  I found a bright orange box cutter and slept with it snug underneath my pillow. In the morning, I was gleeful. When I got to class, I sat near John Doe.  I engaged him in conversation and, when I had prompted him to say something disrespectful, I took out the box cutter and threatened to take out his eye.

The teacher luckily descended on me and seized the box cutter.

“Where did you get this?” she asked.

“From al-Qaeda, ha.”

And so, I became a terrorist and class clown in one day. I had evolved. I tried to explain myself to the principal.

“What’s your excuse, young man?” asked Mrs. Fanning.

“I’m a Muslim?”

“You’re Catholic,” she retorted, “I go to church with your parents.”

“Ok, I’m a pathological liar? Maybe a sociopath? Perhaps I need evaluation. And drugs. Umm. Yes, definitely drugs.”

“You’re a weird one, Mr. Smothers.”

“That’s not my name,” I complained.

“For the purposes of this story, it is.”

“You’ve got me there.”

Later, in high school, I was transferred from a private to a public school when my parents divorced.

On the first day of school, I fearfully entered the theater where we were corralled before classes began.

The alpha male took notice of me. He backhanded one of his cronies in the chest, smiled menacingly, and strutted to me.

“Hey, fagboy, I got a present for you,” he said.

“I’m Mr. Smothers,” I corrected.

“Yea, ok queerbait,” he said, taking off one of his glove and striking me in the face. “You like that, huh?”

I grabbed his hand and stared intensely into his eyes.

“Look, I’m psychotic,” I informed him. “If you do that again, I will find you. I will carve you. I will strangle you with your own intestines. Do you understand?”

After that, no one bothered me for a bit. However, in a couple of weeks he and his cohorts regained some courage. They started making loud jokes about how, if I had a knife, they would shove it up my buttocks.

So, the next day, I brought a large steak knife into school and showed it to them. Soon enough, the dean confiscated it.


So, now I’m 38. In the lead-up to the Great Recession, I realize that the banks have basically robbed the entire planet. Now, I’m planning on blowing up banks and laughing.

Luckily, I realize that blowing up a building will accomplish nothing, because money is imaginary anyway. Still, the symbolism appeals to me, because the belief in money gives it its power. Also, I didn’t mind robbing the banks via credit cards I never intended to repay and other loans. So, why should I begrudge them destroying the world? Yes, I found acceptance and love in my heart.

Soon, enough I was sharing this acceptance and love online. Somebody would post something like “Today God wants you to know that foreclosure is the road to freedom,” and I would get so insane I’d rush outside looking in vain for a thorn bush to throw myself into. Then, I would list a minimum of 10 reasons why this person needed to seriously consider the benefits of suicide to themselves and the greater good, making sure that it sunk home in the shallow waters of their mind that I meant their suicide. Usually once they got that, however, they insisted I needed to pray in all sincerity for Jesus to reveal himself to me.

And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I told him if I was asking in sincerity that would mean I believed already so it would be impossible to come to believe by believing already. However, the online anonymous Christian did not accept my logic. Then, he reminded me about the eternal torture that awaited me and said he would pray for me since I was obviously spiritually handicapped.

Nice guy. Snake oil manners.

Unfortunately, I had outgrown the habit of arming myself and threatening people. So, I started a blog. Much more responsible on my part, I figure.

But if you don’t keep reading it, I may regress. And we don’t want that.

So, I started “Mr. Smothers’ Blog of the Diabolically Disheveled Disease.”

Thank you for your patronage. Stage 2 is coming soon. And you’re all invited.

Bring a weapon.

One thought on “Why You are Obliged to Read

    kolembo said:
    05/13/2012 at 3:45 pm

    hey, you’re a great writer you know! Very good.

Thank you, keep it courteous.

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