|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
Monday, July 23rd, 2007
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Even when traveling, which was often, Stan kept up with his IAA meetings. Upon arrival in any new town he always called the local chapter. Rushing between appointments that day, he’d made his call in great haste from a barely seen hotel room in a scarcely noticed street in a town he was unlikely to grow familiar with. He jotted the address at speed and rushed out to hail a cab; the meeting of IAA, Imbeciles Anonymous of America, was about to begin.
By the time Stan arrived the proceedings were in full swing. The room was packed and he sank unnoticed into a chair at the back. A florid fat man had the floor, and Stan lent him an ear.
“I believe” the fat man bellowed, “that human life is precious. Stem cell research is therefore godless, immoral, and cursed. Oh, the heathen claim that a microscopic clump of cells in a petri dish is hardly equivalent to human life. Blasphemy! Human life begins before conception, when a lawfully married husband gets a gleam in his eye in the company of his lawfully married spouse. Therefore I tell you that in the sight of the Lord, a petri dish that contains the fruits of such encounters is a petri dish that holds life itself. Furthermore my friends, those cells, those sacred cells, are composed of atoms. And those atoms in turn are sacred. And much else that is composed of atoms is similarly sacred. Oil rigs, for instance. Missile defense shields. The electric chair. Maximum security prisons. All sacred. Yes, the sanctity of life extends through the miracle of creation to much that we hold dear, including our cars, our jet skis, our golf clubs. May the lord be praised!”
Stan settled back in his chair. This was the stuff he was used to hearing at IAA meetings. Imbecilities of course, but so cathartic. The florid fatty sat down, his place taken by a wizened little man with unnaturally long arms that dangled loosely from his shoulders. His hairy face, prominent ears, and slight stoop completed the picture.
“Good people” he yammered in an up-tempo falsetto, “we are threatened by wicked, dangerous lies. Evil-doers maintain that man, sacred man, evolved from lower life forms. They claim that slimy creatures slithered out of an ancient sea and with the passage of millions of years became that noblest of the creator’s works, man himself. Lies! Palpable lies!”
A roar of agreement rose from the crowd. The effect was rather spoiled when the little man continued “Yes my friends, these spewers of falsehoods insult us all by insisting that man, noble man, is descended from the lowly ape!” Had he scratched an underarm as he said this, he could hardly have looked more like the ancestors he spurned. A few titters, quickly shushed, rippled through the audience.
In the slightly awkward pause that followed, Stan rose and stood on his chair. His home IAA chapter was highly participatory, and he never wasted an opportunity to speak his peace. “My friends” he intoned in the rolling basso he’d perfected for just such occasions, “I have heard the matter of this assembly, and I am moved. I myself used to think the earth flat as a pancake, the moon made of green cheese, that babies arrived courtesy of the nearest stork. Like you, I was benighted. And thanks to my bretheren and fellow sufferers, I have seen the light of reason. Let me help you make that journey. Allow me to recount my own voyage of exploration, that you may find proof that none of us, none, need be mired in imbecility for ever!”
Stan waited for the customary rousing cries of “speak brother!” that generally greeted his set piece. Instead, there was a bewildered chorus of murmured “what’s he talking about?” and “who is this guy?” Stan colored and looked around, rather desperately, for help. The florid man caught his eye and asked, not unkindly, where he thought he was.
“Why” Stan replied, utterly confused, “Imbeciles Anonymous.”
“Friend, you’re mighty welcome, but they’re down the hall. This here’s the local meeting of the Republican Party.”
* * * * *
A NOTE TO READERS
There was nothing new at The Nossiter Net between March 3rd and April 26th, nearly eight weeks. The reason: tech sabotage. Yahoo Geocities, the host for this site, denied access for the entire period. At one point, they even managed to lose all the files. In many discussions with Yahoo staff, no clear explanation was forthcoming. No one seemed able to fix the problem. Ruling out the possibility of Dubbya’s revenge, I finally wrote to Mr. Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc and described the ordeal the page had undergone since the beginning of March. A week later, a helpful Yahooo engineer named Jason called. He had my letter before him. Though he couldn’t do the repairs on on the spot, he promised a fix by the next day. That was April 26th, nearly two months after shutting me down in the first place.
The Nossiter Net apologizes, which is more than I can say for Yahoo Geocities.
©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2007
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