There was a point in my life when I was pondering many issues of human nature, and wondering if what we did now effected what might happen to us after we died . . . I was laying face down on the linoleum tiled floor, which is one of the six places I happen to ponder those types of issues best. The other five were too far away. The closest place is almost always the best place, for me.
While I mused abstractly I entertained myself by blowing a single piece of cereal across the tile floor, trying to outdo myself with each puff. As the cereal rolled across the floor it bumped into what appeared to be a large shard of deeply varnished wood. I was, in fact, under the impression it was wood until it skittered toward me.
I was deeply concerned to witness a rather large cockroach sprinting toward my face, but was even more concerned when it raised it’s antennae and addressed me. -BARON VON HOOPLA! it called in a deep basso profundo.
-Gah? I choked in answer. I stand by it as a valid response, under the circumstances.
-CALL ME GULIK. I AM A MESSENGER. I COME HITHER AND DITHER TO TEACH YOU ABOUT REINCARNATION.
-Zah! I gagged, being still an ignorant fool, and lacking full enlightenment.
The roach tittered over to the cupboard near my head and opened it, revealing hundreds of cockroaches crawling through my garbage. I don’t know what stopped vomit from spewing out of every pour in my body, but I’m thankful it didn’t. I hacked again as Gulik said, -THESE ARE THE CHOSEN OF ERIS. THEIR ENLIGHTENMENT WILL ALLOW THEM TO MOVE UP THE LADDER AFTER THIS LIFE TO KOALA IN THE NEXT LIFE.
-Koala? I asked. -That’s the next step up from cockroach?
-OF COURSE. DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY BELIEVE COCKROACHES LIVE A RATHER IDEAL LIFE FOR THE MOST PART. MOST LIVE IN, OR VERY NEAR, GARBAGE . . . THE CENTRAL DIET OF OUR KIND. AND, I DON’T KNOW IF YOU’VE NOTICED YET OR NOT, BUT THE WORLD IS FULL OF GARBAGE, GROWING STEADILY BY THE HOUR. THERE WILL NEVER BE STARVATION FOR COCKROACHES.
-But, why are Koalas the next step up the ladder? I asked.
-FOR ALMOST THE SAME REASON. KOALAS LIVE IN EUCALYPTUS TREES, WHICH IS THE SOURCE OF THEIR MAIN FOOD: EUCALYPTUS LEAVES. BUT, THERE ARE FIVE ADDITIONS TO THE KOALA WHICH PLACE IT A NOTCH ABOVE US:
1) THEY ARE ACCEPTED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD BY ALL SPECIES OF MAN BEAST AND INSECT (EXCEPT FOR COCKROACHES) AS THE CUTEST ANIMAL IN EXISTENCE.
2) THEIR CENTRAL DIET, EUCALYPTUS LEAVES, ARE PSYCHEDELIC, SO ALL KOALAS ARE ETERNALLY STONED.
3) THE EUCALYPTUS LEAVES CAUSE THE KOALA’S URINE TO SMELL FANTASTIC, WHICH IS UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.
4) KOALAS ARE PSYCHIC, SO THEY CAN-
-Holy shit! I exclaimed. -For real??
-FUCK YOU, WHAT DO I CARE IF YOU BELIEVE ME?
-WHERE WAS I?
-The fifth reason.
-RIGHT. THERE IS NO FIFTH REASON.
-So, I asked. -What is above Koalas?
-What the holy Hades are Srizzlefish?
-THERE ARE ONLY EVER FIVE SRIZZLEFISH ALIVE AT ANY GIVEN TIME. SO THERE IS A LONG WAITING LIST. THEY LIVE ANYWHERE FROM TWO HUNDRED TO FIVE HUNDRED YEARS. THEY JUST FLOAT AROUND ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN, COMPLETELY ENLIGHTENED. THEY REQUIRE NO SUSTENANCE, THEY SIMPLY . . . ARE.
-Great Googly Moogly. What’s above Srizzlefish?
-Nothing? How can there be nothing above Srizzlefish? Something must be.
-NO. THERE ISN’T. THAT’S IT. THE END. KAPUT.
-So, if there’s nothing above Srizzlefish, when do you become human?
-PFFFH! Gulik laughed. -WHAT’RE YOU, KIDDING ME? AND TAKE A HUGE STEP BACK DOWN THE LADDER? YOU’RE ON GOOFBALLS.
Thus, I was enlightened.