by Jeffrey M. Mahr
©1999 Adirondack WYSIWYG -- all rights reserved
The background says it all -- "I Want to Believe." Oh, I don't mean UFOs, although if you would like to discuss them feel free to send me your facts and/or opinions at the above e-mail address. What I want to believe is that you're really out there. That there are people pulling this file, and the other files from TSAT, up onto their computer monitors and reading the material that comes up.
Now before you click on something else, let me point out that one story has been read over 350 times -- no, I won't tell you which one, you'll have to check them out yourself to find out -- yet the author never got one single comment back. Were all 350 readers so impressed by the high art that they immediately ended their lives before sending a comment, having nothing more to live for? Were all 350 readers so disgusted that they immediately forsook all future contact with computers or people so as to avoid the possibility of further taint from the horror that was that story?
I think it's apathy. Now I know you've all heard the slogan "Just say NO!" May I assure you all that this is the correct wording of the slogan. It is not "Just say NOTHING" despite the decision that so many of you have made.
Before I go on, I'd like to tell you a story, a true story. I know. I was there. I did it.
The story is about a co-worker that wasn't doing her job. She was supposed to help someone get moved from one place to another and it just wasn't happening.
A friend and I were getting frustrated because she couldn't seem to get the job done -- so we put a curse on her. We told her that things would go wrong until she finally finished the move.
Now those of you who know better are probably laughing and wondering what kind of nuts we were (and probably still are) for thinking we could put a curse on anyone. Well, she laughed too, but the next week a can of soda she had placed on her desk burst. Sugary water sprayed everywhere and covered all the papers on her desk.
That was just chance right? Curses don't exist, right?
The second week she went to answer her telephone -- and it came apart in her hands. The receiver and the plastic frame around the telephone went one way and the innards went another.
Still chance, right?
The third week she was driving down a national highway in a large urban area -- one with a large statue and people who use words like "dem" and "doz." This particular highway has often been called "the world's longest parking lot" so you should not be too surprised when I tell you that she nearly ran into a car parked in the center lane of that three lane road.
The next week the move we had wanted to happen -- happened. And then the problems suddenly disappeared.
Now we all know that curses aren't real, don't we. We all know that there is no real magic. We all know that when I tell you that if you fail to offer a response to a story by at least one author each issue you will be cursed, it's not real. There's no reason to believe. There's no reason to do anything other than remain apathetic. Right?