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,

How can I stop procrastinating?


Evan in Evergreen

Dear Evan,

The bad news is – you can’t. The good news is – you shouldn’t.

Procrastination is one of the energetic building blocks of our Universe. Scientists will try to tell you that it’s gravity or centrifugal force that keeps the planets in orbit, but it’s not. It’s Procrastination. If we had advanced-enough tools to examine the planet Jupiter’s “To Do” list, we’d see that item number four is “break out of orbit, careen into outer space.” This has been on the list since shortly after the planet was formed. Number three, by the way, is “clear away pesky moons.”

Will Jupiter ever get around to these chores? Sure, eventually. And when it does, it will set off a chain reaction that will destroy our solar system. Cosmic Procrastination is keeping our little speck of a planet intact, so let’s hope that Jupiter, like you, continues to slack off.

Procrastination is also a major component in life down here on our planet. For instance, it’s an integral part of evolution. Why do you think it takes millions of years for a snake to sprout tiny little feet? If Procrastination were taken out of the mix, you’d wake up tomorrow morning with fully functioning wings and an extra arm jutting from the center of your chest. Sure, it may sound fun, but I assure you it would be very disorienting for both you and the species in total.

So when you look at that broken shed door and think, for the thousandth time, that you REALLY need to get around to fixing it, don’t fret. You’ve merely tapped into the power that binds the cosmos.

And why is this not taught in school? Because Newton never created the Law of Procrastination. He meant to – just never did.

Dear Bad Guru,

So, “God” is “dog” spelled backwards. We know this by now, thanks to bumper stickers that read “Dog is my Co-pilot” and the old joke about the dyslexic agnostic who wonders if there really is a Dog.

Is this just an accident of the English language, or is there something larger going on there? You know, cosmically?


Backwards in Bellingham

Dear Back,

There is something going on, but it’s not particularly cosmic.

A word or phrase that’s spelled the same way backwards and forwards is called a “palindrome.” A word that, when spelled backwards, becomes the word culturally agreed upon to refer to the Great Creator is known as a “deidrome.” For example, “Halla” is an Arabic word for a goat which proves too unruly to domesticate. And yes, other cultures make “deidrome” jokes similar to our dog/god variations. A very popular bumper sticker in India reads, “Despite all the troubles I see around me and have personally experienced, both physically and spiritually, I continue to place my unwavering trust in Anhsirk.” An anhsirk (“Krishna” spelled backwards) is a jelly donut. Hilarious.

There’s also the Hebrew joke about the agnostic dyslexic man who wonders if there really is a “Havohej” (a small, archaic, single-serving clay vessel used mainly for ceremonial purposes). Some of the humor in this one may be lost in translation.

Dear Bad Guru,

If I make a voodoo doll that looks like somebody I know and then stick a pin in it, will something bad happen to that person? For real? What kind of pin should I use?


Voo Don’t in Vermont

Dear Don’t,

Making a functioning voodoo doll isn’t as easy as just wrapping some yarn around a corn husk and drawing on eyes and a mouth with a Sharpie. If you’re decorating for “Harvest Days,” that’s one thing, but if you’re serious about making a voodoo doll, you’ll need to find a teacher and apprentice with them for years before you see any results. By that time you’ll probably have moved beyond, or simply forgotten, whatever petty grievances you had with that person to begin with.

I’d recommend you drop the voodoo doll plan and instead settle for administering some “stink eye.” It’s fast, reliable, instantly gratifying and requires no materials or previous crafting abilities.

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