Tales from Scottland
by Scott Parkinson
A Paid Adverstisement
Well, it didn't take me long to realize that I had a commodity with this column space. So, to underwrite my continueing costs of being SCOTT, I have sold half this issue's space for Tales from Scottland to some slick-talking advertising type with a fat checkbook and a quick pen. Just because this product is running within the space of my column does not mean that we, myself and the rest of the Liars, endorse its validity or condone its use.
New from the makers of Eternal-Bliss comes:
Just like our old religion, Judaism, but with a new and improved godhead-Jesus.
Jesus is an improvement on the testy, vengeful god of the Old Testament. He's been reformulated to be easier to swallow. Some of the rough, unforgiving edges have been removed from God, so that Christianity has a softer feel--making it easier to embrace.
Yes, that's right, Christianity will now make it easier for you to practice religion. No longer will you have to avoid some of your favorite foods, Jesus just doesn't care. What about those pesky purification rituals, you say? Gone, Gone, Gone. Jesus doesn't want to make religion hard, he knows that life is hard enough-he just wants you to have fun. So go ahead, combine meat and dairy products, he won't mind, or sin and say you're sorry, he'll forgive you. Jesus isn't like those old gods from the past, he's new, he's hip-hey, he understands what it's like to be human, he's been there.
So the next time you're shopping for religion think new, as in New Testament, and your life will be a lot easier. Gone forever will be those plaguing doubts about whether or not you will get into Heaven; Jesus is a forgiver-hey, you're sorry, then he's sorry, that's the way it works.
Commandments-don't like 'em? Well heck, neither does Jesus. He's not into ordering people around, that's too much like his old man, and he knows it. So out the window with commandments, they're tough and just waaay too clear cut. So how you gonna know what to do? Good question, and Jesus has a good answer-Parables. Yes, those wonderfully vague little statements are now par for the course in Christianity. No longer do you have to live by those painfully obvious guidelines set down in the Old Testament. And why should you? Parables will give you that religious leeway you will certainly need if you are really going to enjoy the Christian way of life. Parables mean an end to etched-in-stone religious doctrine, and a good thing too. How can an unchanging set of rules hope to fit in with your changing life? It can't, and if you choose Christianity, it won't have to.
Afraid of choosing a god because he might not match your personality? Well, worry no longer. Christianity has the convenient trinity, in which you get three gods for the price of one. That's right, 3 for 1. Guaranteed! You want the harsh god, the trinity has got the harsh god. You want the forgiving god, the trinity also has the forgiving god. You want a quasi-magical, pseudo-mystical being that intervenes in mortal affairs, the trinity's got that too. Don't waste your precious faith on any old singular deity, you deserve more. But don't get suckered into that polytheism trap, you pay for what you get there. You want five gods, well then you had better be prepared to serve five gods. Only Christianity gives the 3 for 1 deal. So don't be fooled by fast-talking hucksters pushing a faith you just can't afford to practice.
So remember Christianity with our new god-lite product-Jesus: He's got all the salvation and half the damnation. Amen!
Surgeon General's Warning: Jesus has been found to cause guilt, dementia, nervous disorders, schizophrenia, hallucinations, manic behavior, temporary losses of reason, homophobia, sexual anxiety, ignorance, hatred, wars, and genocide when taken in large doses.
I recently had the opportunity to use a women's public restroom, and I must admit that I was a little shaken up by what I saw. If it is true, and I fully believe it to be, that people are their most natural when they are alone, then what I saw in the ladies bathroom was a very telling commentary on the difference between the sexes. A toilet is a private facility and so what goes on in them is, apparently, natural behavior. I formed some pretty vivid pictures of human behavior from my visit to the ladies room, but quickly realized that one toilet does not a survey make. So, unbeknownst to my friends and relatives, I decided to visit as many ladies rooms as I could safely enter without fear of landing in jail and facing a morals charge, just to see if they all conformed to the first one that I visited. My travels and troubles proved out my beliefs, being that the first restroom was a fair representation of all of the subsequent restrooms that I visited. I also learned that women are quite annoyed, and often violent, when they encounter a strange man with a questioning look on his face wandering about their realm, but that is another story entirely.
After I finished my survey of women's public facilities, I sat back to review what I had learned and to analyze my findings. The conclusion that I came to after I had reviewed all of the facts did not bode well for we men of the world. Having spent a fair amount of time in public restrooms, I began to realize that they just weren't rooms where people went to relieve themselves, but rather, they were separate representational universes, each one physically displaying the trappings of its inhabitants. This being the case, it became undeniably apparent that men are lacking in a great number of social skills, and that they actually seem to have stopped their social progress somewhere back in the stone age.
Before men start shouting, and it would help if women didn't nod so smugly to themselves, about what an unfair judgment this is and how men are always being singled out as brutish and backwards-it would do for men to look closely at the evidence, and then decide.
The first thing that I noted in my transgender bathroom explorations was odor, or actually the lack of odor. Yes gentlemen, if you ever make a trip into that other world, and I'd like to go on record as saying that I am not encouraging this behavior only noting it, you will immediately realize that it smells nothing like the one you're used to. In place of the thick, eye-stinging, throat-tightening smog of a men's room and its accompanying brace of happy, dancing flies, is an airy, almost fresh-smelling little parlor. It was a place that didn't make me hold my breath and touch everything with my feet. Instead, I proceeded to go use the toilet (remember men this is a ladies room and that means no urinals) and not worry about where I was going to find the bleach to wash my backside when I was done. Yes, that's right, I sat down on the seat and didn't feel like I was languishing in some fetid pit.
The next few things that I noticed came while I was seated on the throne of this women's world were very interesting. The view from a ladies toilet is of pristine walls, shiny floors, and clutter-free ceilings. Men, I chide you not when I tell you these things. As I sat, deep in female territory, and gazed about at how they would order the world if they didn't have to deal with the negative effect of men, I was stunned. The first thing I did when I sat down and started my business was to look to the walls for something to read. My eyes slid over yards and yards of virgin wall-never once catching on some juicy proverb in limerick form, or a yowl of social protest, or even the phone number and description of some friendly, accommodating, and freakishly flexible person-nothing, just barren space. This just about knocked me off the can. Since the first hunter killed the first mammoth men have been returning to their caves and writing on the walls as a form of social expression. To see so much excellent space wasted made me think that maybe women were not tuned to the subtler aspects of society and therefore didn't understand the need for social expression. I was happy with this conclusion until I remembered that some of the greatest expressers out there in the co-ed universe were women, and that they used print, in all of its forms, masterfully. I came to realize that women, within the confines of their universe, could exist without harsh declarations, rude exaggerations, or spirited denunciations and that they seemed to have found a balance between self and other that allowed for this non-combative co-existence.
My eyes, rolling helplessly over the walls, soon found something else that was different from my gender's universe. It was a subtle surface difference, but it had a much deeper impact upon me. I noticed that no matter where I looked there were no urine streaks on the walls. Aside from having a lot to do with the lack of smell, it also screamed of a lack of boundaries. No one had sprayed their territorial markings upon one inch of this universe. It was uncontested territory. I fought hard, and all men can appreciate this, not to stand up and claim this universe and all of its area my own with one mighty spray of authority. Controlling my natural desire, I just sat there and looked, actually marveled at what I was seeing. These women seemed to come in here, unwatched by some greater authority and share a limited resource without reactive behavior. I tell ya' it was unnerving. The more I looked around, the more I noticed the other little tell-tale signs of this female order. There were no remnants of toilet paper bombs on either the ceiling or the floor, nor were there any kicked in doors, busted toilets, smashed sinks, or anything of that nature. If nirvana could manifest itself on this plane of existence, then I think women's restrooms are what it would be like. A self-organized, collective of widely diverse people all co-existing peacefully within a limited area. Yes, they are commodal communists-in the best sense of the word.
Men, men, please calm down. I know this is upsetting and that right now your probably fuming and saying that this may all be well and true, but these are just surface matters and don't really strike to the heart of human nature-and with this, I agree. Unfortunately, there is another observation that alone proves nothing, but when coupled with the other evidence forms a pretty damning picture of our primal nature.
Men, the most frightening thing that I learned about women while I was a stowaway in their universe was how they behave towards each other while they are in it together. Not only are they civil and polite to each other when they are alone, which we are not, they are even more so when they are together. Women socialize in the bathrooms. They interact, converse, smile, nod, joke and just generally get along. I've even witnessed cases where more than one woman will occupy a stall at a time. Yeah...that's right, they cram into that little space together and do their business. Why? Because that was what was necessary to do to get the job done. Civil, polite, and functional-those are the characteristics I saw displayed by women in their universe.
Now, I have to tell you men. I've been using mens restrooms all my life and never have I once shared a stall with another man. Nor have I smiled at a stranger while in the can or struck up idle conversation. In fact, when I enter the mens room, my guard goes up. I know I've just entered an area that is inhabited by surly, aggressive, solitary creatures that bristle in close proximity to each other, and anyone who doesn't understand those rules will soon find them being clubbed into his head with the help of a porcelain bludgeon.
So, there you have it men. A clear and vivid picture of each sexes behavior, isolated and enhanced by the removal of the other sex from the picture. I don't think that I need to point out that every problem we have and complain about in our society seems to have a direct example within the mens room, and on the other side of that coin, most of the behavior and social graces that we like point out as being the products of civilization seems to function effortlessly within the womens room, and never the twain shall meet. Are you beginning to see where I'm going with this. Men, we have to admit we aren't grown up enough to come out of the bathroom and play government. So, I suggest that we hand over the keys to all the world's ruling bodies, let the women take charge, and then head to the can for some collective thinking on where we went wrong. I tell you the truth when I say that ever since my first visit, I dream of one day living in a world that is as peaceful and orderly as a ladies room.
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