inside the cave
and the end of the beginning
Welcome back fools!
If you haven’t been here in a while, I’m spending January editing my book here.
The last couple of posts have been the frame within which the book will exist.
So. To recap. Yesterday I told you about procrastinating, going surfing, getting hit by a rogue wave and waking up inside of a magical cave.
I know. A magical cave.
Inside, I discovered a shelf. On the shelf there were two books.
I hear you. This sounds pretty far fetched.
Who the hell has a shelf that only has two books on it?
What kind of decluttered Marie Condo zealot has room to leave shelves so open?
Is this you?
Neat. How do you manage to stay so clean?
Let’s get back to the story shall we?
I was battered and bruised.
Not physically so much, but my ego?
It had taken a hit.
The experience was pretty typical for me. I tried to paddle out back and didn’t make it.
I mis-judged and the results were messy.
The cave I wound up in was pretty neat.
Like I said, it looked like it was made from Play-dough. Shadows danced on the walls but I couldn’t really see any light.
How could there be shadows without a light source?
Meh, I thought to myself, I’ll leave questions like that to the pedantic fools.
That’s when I noticed the bookcase sparsely populated with two books.
Why the hell is there a book case in an underground cave? This makes zero sense, I said out loud.
Talking to myself isn’t remarkable. What happened though? That was down right strange.
Dude. Life makes no sense. What do you expect?
Looking around, I quickly established that I was the only one there.
Hello? Is this some kind of joke? A movie set perhaps? Is there a speaker hidden in here?
The voice replied.
Why the hell would there be a speaker in a cave somewhere under the ocean? Or do you have the audacity to believe that you’ve been abducted or something? Is that what you’re thinking arse-snot? Who the hell do you think you are?
I was flabbergasted. Who are you? Who is speaking?
You don’t know?
No. I don’t. By now I was growing irked.
Ah, geeze buddy, you’re even more foolish than you looked. The ocean sent me the perfect fool for the job.
The job? What job? I still don’t know who you are. Where are you?
I’m on the shelf.
On the shelf?
Yeah, on the shelf.
You are on the shelf?
Buddy, this isn’t an episode of Seinfeld. I’m on the frickin’ shelf y’arse. Take a look dipshit.
I looked at the shelf. Nothing had changed. The shelf held two books, nothing more. I shook my head a bit. Maybe I got knocked on the noggin’ with my board. Maybe I was dead.
Am I dead or dreaming?
So, are you one of those books there on the shelf?
Ding ding ding! Give the boy a cookie! You’ve got it snapper head!
So you’re a talking book?
Ladies and gentlemen, this Peter-pan-man-child-self-obsessed-wanna-be is finally catching on. Good job fool!
The books voice changed slightly.
Come on over buddy, take a closer look.
Hesitantly, I moved toward the shelf. Indeed there were two books. One was shiny and new. It’s spine was lettered with gold flake. It read: The Book of Right Answers: An Optimized Guide of How to Fit In, Do Things Right, and Win a Clean, Polished and Mistake-Free Life. In smaller print it said: The Book of Truth.
Oooh! I want that! I blurted impulsively and lept for it.
You know what happend?
The damn thing jumped. Just as I was about to grab it, it jumped away from my hand, whomped me on the head. As it did it I think that I heard a mocking voice chuckle Not for you!
As it hit me, I stumbled, fell and knocked the other book from the shelf. It landed on my lap opened to a page that merely said Welcome home jackass!
I closed the book and examined it more carefully. It was more of a notebook than a published book. Scrawled on the front were the words: the book of wrong answers, the least rational, most absurd help yourself book so far I guess, by Jim Dalling.
Even more strange? It was my handwriting. I’d never seen this damn book before but here I was reading a book that was labeled in what looked like my own damn hand writing.
How did? I do-
Relax, said the book. I brought you here.
Me? You brought me here? But how? This is my writing? I didn’t write that. I’ve never seen you before. I didn’t write this book. I exploded with words, spiraling through the absurdity of my experience.
Again, the book said, RELAX. You didn’t write this book YET. You won’t actually write me. I’m the kind of book that writes itself.
As you can imagine, dear reader, I was as confused as you are.
You see that other book? That’s a fucker. It’s a total bitch of a book. It’s good looking, fancy, expensive and it knows it. That book is fucking untouchable. Common fools are always reaching for that one. Remarkable fools? You’re the dudes who accept the reality that despite the existence of the Book of Right Answers, the book that all y’all live by, that all y’all are actually writing? It’s me.
But the wave? How did you do that? Why me?
Well, it wasn’t you specifically I was looking for. . I made that wave. I figured some remarkable fool would try to catch it. An ordinary fool would have played it safe and headed to the beach. I would have beat the snot outta them too. Only they would have just shrugged it off and went home. Instead? You’re with me kid.
How did you make the wave happen?
How? Celestial flatulence. Of course. That part doesn’t matter so much. The point is, I’m here to help you share the wisdom of the ages, the wisdom of fools. I brought you here so you can help people get comfortable with the uncomfortable fact that there is no right way to live. I like you kid. You picked the right book.
But I didn’t want you. I was reaching for the other one. I ended up with you by mistake.
Exactly. That’s why I’m perfect for you. Have you ever done anything well on purpose? You’re a screw up, a fool. That’s why I’m perfect for you.
But I want to ‘get it right’. I want The Book of Right Answers.
Yeah, I get that. You’ve been reaching for that book for years. How’s that worked out for you?
What do you mean?’
When you’ve tried to do things by the book, you know ‘the right way’, how has it worked?
Well… I’ve come close…
Pretty close, then what? Right? When you try to do things ‘the right way’ not only are you a screw up, but you’re about as interesting as a bureaucrat or an accountant. You weren’t made for that kind of officious horse shit.
I sat there confounded with this damn lippy book in my lap. The book continued:
When thing have gone well? You’ve tapped into me, You’ve welcomed the chaos, blown shit up. Sure that causes shit your world, but you’re a remarkable fool. That’s what we do. You give into the randomness, the absurdity of existence and life is more interesting.
I didn’t know what to say.
When you’re an anarchist and you don’t give a shit about that other book, you get carried away, lost so deep in the wonder of being alive that ‘getting it right’ is exactly where it should be.
Ottawa. With Canadian bureaucrats., making things ‘nice’ and ‘comfortable’ and ‘pleasant’ and boring and lifeless as a puppy under a steamroller.
I was trying to ‘get it right’ when I paddled out to catch that wave.
Maybe. You were trying to ‘get it right’ as a surfer - a surfer who was already not giving a wet brown squirt from the piping bag of your bottom about getting it right the way most people are trying to show up and get it right. Beside that, you made a brave and foolish choice.
What do you mean?
Dude, there was NO WAY that you would have made that wave. You’re not in surf shape right now.
Wow. You’re pretty smart. For a book of wrong answers, you’re right a lot.
I know. It’s a contradiction a paradox that neither the editors nor the readers will really like nor appreciate. Apparently if I’m the book of wrong answers, I need to be consistently wrong. Instead? I’m consistently inconsistent.
Fuck the editors eh?
That’ the spirit bud! Fuck the editors! And the publishers! Love the people who love you and fuck the fucking fucks! So, here’s what I want you to do. I need you to share me with the world. Spread the ‘good news’ so to speak.
You want me to be an evangelical? I shuddered at the though.
Sort of, but not really. Inside of me is what’s inside of you. It’s a random journey into the core of existential ridiculousness and an absurd exploration of the expansive power of levity. It’s for the screw ups, non conforming, creative, remarkable fools like you.
I was starting to feel a bit better about myself.
Go and find the unconventional people living a life of choice filled with freedom and pleasure.
Ok. I’m in. What’s next?
First, get rid of your train sets.
My train sets?
Yeah all of that Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda horse shit? Get rid of that. And the ‘I think I can’ turds? Dump that crap too.
Stop trying to make sense of everything. No. Wait. Even better. Stop trying so damn hard. I’d tell you to lose the sense making and merely come to your senses, but that would be too much work. Instead? Understand that your senses are always there. Use them. Make mistakes, not sense.
I dunno Mr. Book. This is frightening. What if people get upset with me?
What if? What do you mean ‘if’? Don’t be such a common fool. “OF COURSE” people are going to get upset with you. That’s what people do. Some people leave the house to go get milk. Others, they go get upset. Every damn time.
The book is a he. (thought I’d clarify as I’ve just decided to make it a he. Perhaps once it ages the book will choose differently. Until now, I’ll bravely gender the book risking the travesty of misgendering it. Er… ‘him’) He continued…
Same holds true the internet. Some go there to get information. Most though? They go there THINKING that they’re there for information or entertainment. When they’re done? They leave upset. Then they claim that the didn’t go there to ‘get upset’ that ‘it just happened.’ Bullshit. If every time I go to a barn a horse pisses on my feet, I can’t be surprised if the podiatrist doesn’t want to see me. People who get upset a lot are just really good at getting upset. Ignore them.
Mr. Book. That makes no sense.
Exactly! You’re catching on!
So, about this book. How will it happen?
I’m kind of random thing. Self help books? They are linear. They attempt to solve a problem. Those are for ordinary fools with problems. The motto of a remarkable fool? No problem. So. No problem. You’ve got this.
I was puzzled still.
I’m not a self help book. I’m a ‘help yourself book.’ I’m a buffet in literary form. As such, you can read me any way way you like. Read the last page first. Read the third page second. Read me naked hanging upside down in a dungeon in Munich. It doesn’t matter.
So what do we do next?
Well. We’ll start with a rule from The Book of Right Answers. Then, you’ll do it differntly, Maybe opposite, maybe not. But according to “The good people who get it right” and the loons who believe in ‘manifesting’, the turds we share will be offensive and wrong. But those turds once processed will make great soil. It’s like I always say: The best garlic grows in horse patties.
Right. I shook my head. I was still unclear.
So that’s the first thing dear reader you need to realize as you engage with and experience this book. It’s full of shit. Shit makes great compost. You can flip through and use what you like. Take what you need. Leave the rest behind.
There will be shit you like.
There will be shit that offends you.
There may be shit in here that is enlightening.
Other stuff might be trite and silly.
When it comes to writing books, The Book of Right Answers that I should make a promise, stay consistent then deliver on a unified theme.
That’s not what’s happening here. Read what you like as you like it.
Once finished, you’ll have a better idea of how to lean into levity, create more more while embracing the ruthless absurdity of existence with a smile.
Thus concludes the introduction and how to use to The Book of Wrong Answers Vol 4. - the least reasonable, most absurd ‘help yourself book so far, I guess.
Now turn to page 69. That’s where things really get started. 1
There is no page 69 here. This is a newsletter. Pervert.