Barry Smith: Irrelativity |

Barry Smith: Irrelativity

Barry Smith
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Jordan Curet The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

Dear Bad Guru,

I have a friend who really likes to give me advice. Sometimes, when he’s doling some out that he thinks is really deep and profound, he insists that I close my eyes first. I assume this is so I can fully absorb the words he’s offering without visual distraction.

The other day he was giving me some such advice and as I sat there with my eyes closed, I peeked. When I did, I saw that he was doing some peeking of his own – up my skirt.

I didn’t say anything, as I didn’t want to let on that I had violated his trust by opening my eyes. Plus, it occurred to me that maybe he wasn’t so much peeking up my skirt as reading my aura. Or something.

Have you ever heard of this sort of thing before?


Easily Exposed

Dear E.E.,

Did the dilemma your friend was advising you on have anything to do with your undergarment style or color? If so, then this upskirtward gaze is understandable and demonstrates the devotion of a true friend.

Try this: wear an even shorter skirt, sit across from him and request some insightful words regarding a tax issue that’s been troubling you. If he peeks again, then you’ve eliminated at least one variable.

Before you jump to conclusions, though, consider that your friend may be working on a new anatomical divination method. In the early 1800s, phrenology – the practice of determining one’s character and personality by “reading” the bumps on their heads – was all the rage. This procedure was developed by Vienna physician Franz Joseph Gall. Though it since has been discredited, it certainly had a good run. Interestingly enough, a recently discovered journal reveals that Gall developed this pseudo-science because he secretly “just really like(s) fondling people’s heads.”

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

The radio speaks to me.

I don’t mean that I hear a song like “Stairway To Heaven” and I think that it’s a message from a dead relative or that I hear “Hey Joe” and take it as a cue to go out and shoot my old lady. Nothing like that. I don’t even listen to classic rock stations.

No, I mean my radio literally speaks to me. I turn it on to listen to NPR, and instead I hear, “Good morning, Will, that’s a nice shirt you’re wearing today. Hey, how’s that toast? You sure love that strawberry jam, don’t you? Oops, got a little bit on your tie. Looks like you’ll have to change it before you go to work, which is in about 10 minutes, so you’d better hurry!”

This only happens at home, and the information is all frighteningly accurate; my name, my love of jam, my shirt, all of it.

And I’m not delusional. I’ve turned the radio on when friends are over and they hear it, too.

“Hey, Will, is that Sandra I see there with you? Are you two gonna play Scrabble again tonight? Watch it, Sandra, Will likes to cheat. Ha ha.”

It’s more annoying than intriguing, but it seems just metaphysical enough that I thought I’d ask Bad Guru to explain how this works.


What’s the Frequency?

Dear Kenneth,

Could be that you’ve accidentally tuned your home radio to the All-Knowing and Talkative Wavelength of Consciousness called the “Frequency of the Ethers.” This station exists down at those low numbers where NPR is usually found. However, it isn’t usually accessibly to the normal home stereo, so it’s more likely that your closest neighbor has some binoculars and a Mr. Microphone.

• • • •

Dear Bad Guru,

I’ve come unto the world at the End Times to usher in a thousand years of peace! I fulfill prophecy! I know this because I have discovered my name in the Bible!

I don’t have a question, I just thought you’d want to know.



Dear Fred,

Bad Guru isn’t convinced that discovering your name in the Bible qualifies as fulfilling prophecy, especially if your name is “Fred.” Bad Guru doesn’t recall a “Fred” mentioned in any Bible he’s ever seen, not even in the so-called lost books.

You know that very first page in your Bible, the one where it says, “Happy birthday, Fred”? You do realize that that part wasn’t written by God, right? That was written by your Aunt Helen, who, despite the heavenly effects of her rum cake, doesn’t have the authority to declare you a messiah.

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