The Griffin Can Be Umpire

Hey remember last winter when I used to tell you all about Wicca and Celtic pathworkings and Sylvia Browne on angels? (I’m getting all tearily nostalgic just thinking about it. Those were the days – turning over page after page, staring at the words in disbelief, laughing incredulously, drawing moustaches on the angels and druids.) Well now other people are talking about her, to wit, PZ at Pharyngula and James Randi. It all sounds so familiar.

All God’s creatures exist on the Other Side with only one exception. The only living things I have never seen at Home are insects. I am not sure exactly why that is, but I have never seen a spider, fly, or any other type of insect…

That bashful ‘I am not sure exactly why that is’ is especially typical – she’s always saying things like that. ‘I’m not sure exactly why it is, but there’s nothing there that I don’t happen to like. Dirt, splinters, skeptics, insects – isn’t that strange – I have no idea why that is. And at the same time – I’m not sure exactly why – there is everything I do like. Golly, isn’t that just coincidental?’

Like this bit I quoted last winter (because I don’t have any of her books, that’s why – you think I actually want to have them on my shelves?) from The Other Side and Back

We on earth are stuck with our dimension’s annoying laws of time and space, laws that contribute concepts like ‘late’ and ‘crowded’ and ‘traffic jam’ and ‘stressed out’ to our vocabulary. The residents of The Other Side joyfully function without those restrictions and instead enjoy the freedom of such universal laws as infinity and eternity.

Yay! No ‘late,’ eternity instead! No traffic jams or crowds, because with infinity to play with, everybody can be miles apart – it’s brilliant! Of course, then the question arises, what could you be not late for? What could you travel through no traffic jams to get to? I mean, are you meeting people for lunch, or what? Because if you are, at some point you’re going to have to get closer to them – or else call it something other than lunch. ‘Waving hello across a vast space’ perhaps, but not lunch. That’s where this infinity business nabs you, you see – it seems like a good idea, it seems like pure luxury and enjoyment – ‘all the space I want! I can do a 20 mile run in my living room!’ – but then when the moment arrives that you want to pick up a piece of foccaccia because you’re hungry, and you can’t because it’s several miles away – well you see the problem. And it’s like that with everything. Pretty soon claustrophobia starts to look pretty good – but it’s too late, because you’ve let Sylvia Browne talk you into the infinity-and-eternity version. You’re not allowed to change your order. Messes up the gears in the infinity drive. And as for eternity – that means that on the rare occasions when people do manage to get within shouting distance and you all settle down for a chat – they never leave. Why would they? What’s their hurry? They’ve got nowhere they have to be (and they can’t get there anyway, because of infinity), and if they did they’d have more than enough time to get there – so they’ll just stay and pass the time with you.

And how is this for something to look forward to: All spirits on The Other Side are thirty years old…Spirits can assume their earthly appearance when they come to visit us, to help us recognize them, but in their day-to-day lives on The Other Side, not only are they thirty but they can choose their own physical attributes, from height to weight to hair color.

Ooooooh, I do look forward to that, don’t you? Ooh I’m so excited – maybe I’ll go there now. I can choose my own physical attributes! Okay, I’ll be ten feet tall, weigh enough to crush stuff, and have hair the colour of turpentine. No, wait, scratch that – I’ll look exactly like Billy Bob Thornton. No, wait, I’ll look exactly like Marie Dressler (oh, wait, I already do). No, Natalie Portman. No, Sponge Bob Squarepants – oh, no, wait, he’s a poofter, I want to look butch – the Archbishop of Canterbury – that’s it, I’ll look like that guy. And I’ll be thirty, and everyone will be thirty. There we’ll all be, ten feet tall looking like Sponge Bob, racing the unicorn up and down our infinitely long living rooms and hoping nobody drops by and stays for eternity. Um – it doesn’t sound all that much fun, actually.

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