Joey was attempting to recruit Bill and me to “the Movement.” Friends had indicated with the twirling finger by the temple that Joey was nuts. In that decade known for the outre, Joey was a further outlier. His movement sought world peace by population reduction. His claim was that an excess demand for limited goods caused all conflict. So the way to world peace was to reduce the population below demand. His path to do this was through abstinence, sterilization, and the use of drugs that reduced the urge for ” depraved communal interdigital coitus.” Joey was vague on this last item’s definition but claimed that it alone accounted for the First Romano – Sabian war.
My friend Bill asked Joey how he intended to convince people like him who enjoyed depraved communal interdigital coitus to excess to forgo the practice. Unfazed, Joey responded, “chanting Hymns derived from the ancient Mesopotamian practices of the goddess Inanna.”
But Bill pointed out Inanna was the Goddess of procreation and love. Bill then sat down for several hours and gently pointed out the more glaring doctrinal movement errors. He illustrated these by quoting from the Book of Jeptha, Macrobious’ Saturnalia, and authoritative-apocalyptic works. Bill then attacked the doctrine of Limited Goods, suggesting a corrupt translation from the original Glagolitic for Limited Good. Thus he demonstrated the cause of the First Romano-Sabian War was a dispute over who was good enough to steal the Sabian brides, not that the Romans had a shortage of brides. With this, Bill and I walked off, leaving Joey with his mouth wide open in dismay. Q.E.D. as the Romans were wont to say.
Joey had spent several weeks annoying many people in the Baltimore area with his movement‘s precepts. But nobody had seen Joey since that evening. It seemed that Bill’s meaningless babel had driven him away.
While enjoying some free Iron City beer one night, a tapping came at the door. Our friend Bob opened the door only to be swept aside by an ecstatic Joey and a troupe of movement adherents. Kneeling by Bill’s bare and hairy toes, they proclaimed his sanctity.
Extolling the Truth of his mission as the new prophet of the movement, they clustered around him, begging for revelation. Bill, a well-bred and gentile atheist, had no idea how to react. Our friends Bob and Chris reacted firmly and booted them out of the house. I grabbed our backpacks and ushered Bill out to the back alley.
Somewhere on our way to Boston that evening, Bill began to muse how Jonah had been a reluctant prophet also. Perhaps he was called to prophesy? I reminded him of his love for depraved communal interdigital coitus and how unsuited for celibacy he was.
“Perhaps you’re right, Wes, but oooh! I feel the power of prophesy welling up!” I responded: ” You sure it isn’t that bag of spicy beef jerky you got at the truck stop?”