I like meditation. At one point in time, I was actually quite good at it. In fact, I was meditating once when suddenly, right in the middle of my session, I got the sensation of a cool wind whipping through my hair. Then, when…wait…I wasn’t meditating that time. I was eating a York Peppermint Patty™. Now that I can recall the occurrence, I also came to the strange realization that the minty, chocolate delight in question is one tasty confectionary treat that Charlie Brown will never be able to enjoy. Case in point:
Sherman (on the phone): Hey, Charlie Brown. What are you doing?
Charlie Brown: I’m eating a York Peppermint Patty!
Sherman (hangs up in disgust and addresses the members of his small, but tasteful, get-together): Charlie Brown is eating Peppermint Patty!
Everyone: Good grief!
Marcie (on the phone): Charles! You horrible bastard!
Snoopy (in thought bubbles): Here’s the World War I Flying Ace in his trusty Sopwith Camel pursuing the elusive Red Baron. Oh, no! The synchronization gear has failed. He’s shot off all of the propeller blades. The World War I Flying Ace is going down…much like that round-headed kid apparently did with that girl who always calls me the “weird-looking kid with the big nose.”)
Charlie Brown: Aaugh!
What a sordid and steamy tale of romance and betrayal! Spellbinding!
Speaking of which, Peppermint Patty’s relationship with Snoopy in 1974 was probably the first documented case (somebody documented it, right? I mean, I’m not gonna check, because what, me work?) of a mainstream comic strip unintentionally (I hope) dangling on the fringe of bestiality. For a while, the two of them were even shacked up together in Snoopy’s dog house. Thankfully, Marcie intervened before Peppermint Patty ended up having puppies.
It’s a well-known psychological statistic that the first thing that any intelligent person will think of when told to clear their mind is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Seriously. Clearly, there is no possible way that Ghostbusters is actually a work of fiction. Who would make that up? Not only does it plainly address some of the more complicated aspects of paranormal activity, it also provides a real-world perspective regarding how you should handle yourself if Gozer the Gozerian unleashes her (or its) minions in your refrigerator and then rudely invites herself to your roof and uses it as a staging area to initiate her mission to destroy humankind. People need to be armed with that sort of information in today’s society. While I can clearly sense your skepticism, I can assure you that your attitude is the sort of thing that ensures that one never has an unlicensed nuclear accelerator around when one needs one. In addition, where would we be if Ray Parker Lewis Can’t Lose Yourself, Jr. never attained the towering heights of his temporary fame before slowly seeping back into the fungi-encrusted cracks of the zeitgeist?
Once you have successfully been able to circumvent the marshmallow barrier in meditation, you have graduated to the next tier, which typically involves dredging up every useless memory that you have ever had in your entire life, and may even include memories from any significant or insignificant past lives, as well. This could even include the ones from when you were briefly reincarnated as a horsefly that was eaten by a lizard that was subsequently eaten by a cat that once crossed within one hundred yards of the Queen of Sheba, which makes you pretty goddamned important in the grand scheme of things. Okay, maybe not, but the only way to avoid the mental distress experienced during this level of meditation probably involves having a large portion of your frontal lobe removed. Yes, I know that seems rather unrealistic, and that meditation instructors will likely encourage you not to latch on to any specific thought, instead, and yeah…that works…if you happen to have recently suffered from a severe blow to the head that left you with little more than the working knowledge of a Barbie™ coloring book. What will really happen is that a story will begin to unfold in your head that will be constructed of so much random and conflicting information that you will probably first experience a jarring bout of vertigo, followed by several rapid-fire episodes of déjà vu, which will be topped off by the sudden revelation that every single event you’ve ever experienced, and every single decision you’ve ever made, have made you everything you are today: a middle-aged, pot-bellied, hypertensive financial consultant with a bi-polar ex-wife, two mortgages, an over-achieving teenage daughter with the social skills of a tree sloth, a pre-adolescent son vying for a rehab scholarship, chronic hemorrhoids, and a career path that will ensure that not a single person on earth will remember a damned thing you did five years after you die. The impending sense of doom that tends to accompany this sort of thing is free when you order large fries.
That’s just an example of course, and by no means am I referring to anyone in particular. However, you can see where the only plausible result at this point is the whole meditation system exploding inside your cranium with the dazzling beauty of billions of newborn isotopes bursting forth from the vaginal miasma of an unconstrained fusion reaction. I hate to point out the obvious, but this is never good. While situations will obviously vary based on the psychological variables and environmental conditions, the most common response to this measure of trauma tends to involve isolation, over-medicating, excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged bouts of thumb sucking, and (usually only found in Kentucky) chronic masturbation. Resistance is futile.
In the end, you will certainly be able to say that meditation changed your life. Where you were once perceived as a responsible (albeit somewhat apathetic), tax-paying, god-fearing, cheeseburger-loving, Apple-Pie-American-Citizen with an unshakable foundation of mundane obscurity, you are now the broken, decaying shell of a confused and defeated nowhere man, drowning your ever-present feelings of disillusion and disappointment in a tidal flow of distilled spirits as you listlessly lurk behind the smoky clouds from 50-cent cigars and unsuccessfully attempt to lose yourself in a never-ending stream of tentacle-based hentai and midget porn. You could even say that all the books were right, and that you’ve finally reached a level of consciousness that you never expected to encounter, and that you’ve even learned something new in the process. Someday, you will be unwillingly detained after authorities are forced to pry your clenching, white-knuckled hands from the scrawny neck of a bald, bleary eyed, Krishna follower in a red bathrobe whose softly spoken, unsolicited advice to you was, “You really need to relax. Have you tried meditation?”