"Bob" is NEAR

From: "Joe Cosby" <joecosby@mindspring.com>

Bob is very near. Bob is nearer than you think, and getting closer. Have -you- packed a spare toothbrush yet?


Look at'em. They don't know what they want. They don't know -what- they want, but they know they better get it -pretty goddamn soon- or the're going to get some bullets for that ol' AR15 and go down to the ol' post office and -show all you smart asses a thing or goddamn two!-

Because they don't know -what- they want but they're pretty sure that the fact they aren't getting it is probably -your- fault.

Ya backstabbing sonsabitches!

They don't know -what- they want, but they know they're scared to death- of it, and if you offer them some they're gonna call the cops.

Ya fucking FREAK!

They don't know -what- they want, -why- they want it, but they know the heart of the problem is that everybody won't just ACT -NORMAL-.

-That's- the fucking problem!


Once upon a time in the far-away Land of the Normals lived a nice lady called JK Rowlings who wrote a lovely book about a clever little boy called Harry who could wave a magic wand and do magic.

Many little boys and girls in the Land of the Normals read about little Harry and liked him VERY MUCH.

But the Mommy and Daddy Normals started to worry. "Why aren't they playing Bloody Death III (tm) like they're supposed to be?"

"They're -reading-!"

"That's not -Normal-!"

This came to the attention of the Twisted Loonies, who rule the Normals.

"Harry Potter is EVIL! It's a -Satanic plot- to pervert the minds of our children and make them UN-CHRISTIAN! To make them PAGAN LESBIAN WITCHES! To make them ABNORMAL!"; they declared.

And all the Normals nodded solemnly.

"Good call, Reverend" they said.

And then they blinked.


So what the hell do you do with people like that?

The -kindest- answer would seem to be to -parody- them. Hold a mirror up to the monkeys and when they start laughing tell them "Amigo, that's -you-."

"The Onion", an online satire page, uploaded the following parody of the Harry Potter situation:


Then recently I received this email:

Subject: FW: Harry Potter-READ THIS NOW!!!

This is something for all parents to check into! God help us! There is a link at the bottom to check this out yourself. I know Dolores and she is a very mature Christian. She wouldn't get involved in a hoax.

Subject: Harry Potter-READ THIS NOW!!!

The following was sent to me today from some friends I respect and trust and I am passing it on as I received it as I think everyone should be warned about what is in the books if they haven't read them (which I haven't). - Dolores

which then went of to quote directly from the Onion article, word for word, verbatim. Without so much as blinking an eye.

The routing header showed that the -direct- route to me had passed through 32 people, not one of whom found such quotes as:

how about the REALLY young and innocent impressionable mind of a 6 year old when asked about her favorite character: "Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty," said 6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC. "Jesus died because He was weak and stupid."

didn't seem unlikely. Bob only knows how many people it spread to via collateral branches ...

Not only do they live up to their own parodies, they -OUTDO- THEM!


The line between parodying Normals and the reality of Normals is quickly swallowing itself alive.

The tension-wall which separates reality from the utter collapse into absurdity is shaking, and groaning distressingly. Workmen shake their heads despairingly.

The fabric is ready to collapse. Wormholes eat through the Onion website. Normality bubbles though the Internet and drips through modems, warping the fiber of reality itself and feeding normals into their own parodies and back again in a closed arc. Whole families disappear and are replaced by the characters from their favorite sitcoms, and -nobody can tell the difference-. Madonna becomes a yuppy. Jonathan Winters starts a cyanide cult and L Ron Hubbard rises from the dead. Legume starts to -kinda make sense-, when you think about it. Pokemon and Barney go on a wild killing spree and the TV ratings go through the roof. TV commercials are declared a Sovereign State and immediately ratify a death penalty. The Freem-sons act as their police and in a single weekend of terror all those who have not sought to do away with their acne with a simple over-the-counter product or adventure the great outdoors in a new SUV are done bloodily away with.

As the last friction of resistance gives way the feedback arc accelerates, Normals and their TV's whirl in and out of each other in a spinning ball of energy letting out a piercing whine; louder and louder, smaller and smaller, until the energy balls begin to suck one another in, collapsing into a shrinking ball of cosmic essence which momentarily occupies a spot in Norman Lear's lower back: then disappears forever.


The Church of the Subgenius is the only place where the line between parody and reality is -gone already-. Clearly, it is our only hope.

So pack that toothbrush now. You don't want to wake up with a mouth full of frop and find yourself 50 million light years from the nearest 7-11.

-- Joe Cosby

Here at Microsoft, drive head contention is more than just our promise to you.

It's a way of life.


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Original file name: Bob is NEAR - converted on Sunday, 11 March 2001, 14:51

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