Friday, December 14, 2007

The Lumberjack's Guide to Philosophy

Word of Derision – Dedicated to the book which inspired this nonsense. But more to the idiot who gave it to me. At night, I read it to sleep :-) Please refer to the glossary in case you find the terminology a bit abstruse.

Long long ago, in a forest far far away, hidden somewhere in the Macula Cluster in the southern spiral of the Galaxy, lived a friendly neighborhood lumberjack named Marvin Black. From the very dawn of his remarkably singular life, everyone around him, including the fortune telling computer Dumb Opinion, had the firm notion that Marvin would grow up to become a great philosopher (and lumberjack). Even when he was just 4 years old, Marvin started showing the traits of becoming one. He purportedly asked his grandma, “Why do we suck thumbs?” on his 4th birthday. It is also rumored that his very first word was not Mum or Dad but Why. Amazing as it may sound, Marvin also grew up to become a skilled lumberjack. Many lumberjackass girls swooned over him. However, Marvin was not oblivious to his duties as a fine philosopher. He remained, people speculate, a lifelong bachelor.

Believing more in the prophecy of Dumb Opinion than his capacity, Marvin Black learnt the nuances of philosophy from the great Cheekat Oracle himself. For 13 years, and at a fee of 4223 purest Clam Shells, Marvin persevered. Ultimately one fine morning, when he sat meditating under a Mocking Tree, he experienced Stupid Enlightenment – the greatest of all enlightenments. Marvin realized his journey had now begun. He took the leave of his guru, Cheekat Oracle, and departed in search of the Greatest Question. The entire lumberjack community of Macula Cluster bid him a teary farewell.

(Aside – Actually, it was the Mocking Tree just making fun of Marvin. “There were no signs of the real Stupid Enlightenment”, said expert Enlightenment Inspectors. It is suspected that Cheekat Oracle had himself rigged up the entire fraud, for he hiked his fee the very next semester. The book 1000 Ways to Ridicule Lumberjacks was also found in the possession of Mocking Tree, supposedly a gift from Cheekat Oracle himself. Every lumberjack in the cluster knew that Marvin Black had been duped. But no one had the courage to tell him the truth and break his heart. Also, many Elders believed that Marvin was destined to become a philosopher, enlightenment or not. Marvin was about to prove all them very correct.)

Marvin wanted to bring philosophy within the realms of understanding of the Common Man, the dumbest computer in the world. Having sworn to achieve this commendable feat, Marvin began to seek one Enlightenment after another, even giving up lumbering after he was just 42 years old. He learnt philosophy from all the great masters in the galaxy, including Wholesome Hole and More of the Moron. Sometimes he had to even hitchhike and travel in unsanitary conditions across the immense reaches of space; just to satisfy his Satya Ki Pyaas. But Marvin Black was relentless. His ultimate aim was to solve the most perplexing question in the galaxy, The Greatest Question – “Why Do Men Have Nipples?” For answering the same, he sought the assistance of the most useful theory in philosophy, the Theory of Life, the Nipples, and Everything. Having attained the blessings and guidance of all the great thinkers of his time (including Wholesome Hole and More of the Moron), Marvin settled down on a lonely planet called, well quite obviously, Lonely Planet.

Slowly, but steadily, the galaxy came to know of Marvin’s prowess as a philosopher. People send exa-pigeons to him with their doubts and questions. He always tried to answer them to the best of his capability. In pursuit of the Greatest Question (re - para 2), Marvin solved some of the other lesser known but equally difficult puzzles. For example, he came up with answers to baffling problems like “Why don’t people shit just one turd?”, “Where have all the dodos gone?” and “Who is your daddy?” within three years of his stay at Lonely Planet. It is for the same reason that the Elders asked him to keep an account of his philosophical exploits, lest his efforts were lost after him. This request led to the publication to what we now know as The Lumberjack’s Guide to Philosophy, an attempt to explain philosophy to the Common Man.

The success of the guide was impeccable. Within months of the first edition being published, Marvin Black became a household name. Lonely Planet found a place on the tourist map of the Galaxy. Marvin was not too pleased with all the undue attention he got. Like any other eccentric philosopher, he wanted to be left alone to his devices. Often, he would throw a Philosophical Bomb at some unsuspecting admirer and when the fan had been baffled enough, Marvin took his leave, often smiling smugly at his victory. With age and knowledge, Marvin became more and more of an oddball and even less accessible. Earlier resorting to just Philosophical Bombs, Marvin now employed the services of Quackomatic Ducks in order to ward off unwelcome admirers and fans.

The galaxy had accepted Marvin as the greatest contemporary philosopher, even better than all his gurus and mentors. His proofs were immaculate and up till now, each had been understood by Common Man. By ensuring this benchmark was met, Marvin made sure his take on Nipples, Life and Everything was understood by all the inhabitants of the galaxy. However, all his attempts to quench his Satya Ki Pyaas had proved futile. He knew time was running out and in desperation, he came up with less than perfect solutions to The Greatest Question. Quite obviously, these solutions were comprehensible by everyone but the Common Man. Prone to bursts of moodiness, Marvin blew all his money on drinking binges and bar fighting. People thought that he was going crazy and called him the Perennial Paranoid Pauper. Up to some extent, this was indeed true. But as far as philosophy was concerned, Marvin was the best the Galaxy had seen and that would remain so for several decades to come.

One night, as Marvin turned around in an uncomfortable sleep, he was visited by none other than Mogamboji. It has been widely speculated that Mogamboji whispered the answer to the Greatest Question in Marvin’s ears that night. Quite contrary to expectations, Marvin Black chose not to refute any such allegations. In a press conference held the next day he said, “I think my theories and solutions should give you an idea whether Mogamboji is behind it or not.” Myth or mystery; The Greatest Question was solved that night. Its solution made Marvin Black, the Perennial Paranoid Pauper, immortal in the annals of history.

Having succeeded in his life’s aim, Marvin spent the rest of his life in peaceful contentment, warding off the Quackomatic Ducks he had previously hired. He had somehow managed to forget the secret frequency and was not ready to pay the hiring agency any more clam shells for recovering it. He died at the ripe old age of 142. It is said that his last words were, “Gosh! I think I don’t have any nipples.” Marvin Black, through his determination and dedication, became synonymous with philosophy and all that it entails. This is just a small glimpse into the life of a great thinker. SleepingTablets hopes you enjoyed the read.

So long, and thanks for bearing with all the nonsense.

In case you want to buy a copy of The Lumberjack’s Guide to Philosophy, please email us at The cost of a deluxe edition is 42 Clam Shells and includes Marvin’s Solution to the Greatest Question. The paperback version, for beginners in philosophy, comes at an unbelievable price of just 17 Clam Shells. Book your copy now!


In alphabetical order

Common Man – Supposedly the dumbest computer in the Galaxy. It once calculated two plus two as four and a half. Possibility of Diode Malfunctioning was ruled out.

Mogamboji – The patron god of all god fearing philosophers. Digambarji is the patron god of all non god fearing philosophers.

Elders – Wise looking people in any community of Lumberjacks.

Exa-Pigeons – Mechanical Robotic Pigeons designed to travel through hyperspace and deliver messages faster than the usual means of communication.

Mocking Tree – Also known as Mockree, a tree which attempts to mock the lumberjack chopping it. It does so in the hope that the lumberjack will ultimately be so depressed by the ridicule that he will give up chopping the tree.

Quackomatic Ducks – Ducks which emit shrill quacks and can discourage any person from entering one’s home. These ducks give you a special frequency which makes the quacks ineffective on the employer/owner himself.

Satya Ki Pyaas – The ever lasting hunger for truth and the Greatest Question.


  1. yeh thoda upar se nikal gaya..

    sorry...thoda nahi...kaafi upar se

  2. I ofcourse got the post and it had me in splits. Damn you Marvin. You actually manage to show some pathetic little positrons of potential. It obviously borrows heavily from the creative genius of THE book but then "mogamboji and digambarji"..have to give you credit for it
    This is the second book-inspired post in two days and someone professes to have detested it. Aah.

  3. Amazed by the sheer genius of this school of Philosophy...I hereby declare...that henceforth, the "A" in the A-Fan shall stand not for anonymous, but for AWED !
    hail Marvin Black !!
    hail his disciples !!
    and hail Mr. LAL !!

  4. Vuelo from hereforth goes into ur hands....

    Will come back with a detailed comment sometime soon!

  5. For those who have failed to understand - I think the disclaimer should act as an aid for your lethargic Grey Cells.

    For those who did get something - This is indeed, as someone put it quite effectively, a "fucking fantasy ride". In case you enjoyed it, I am probably as surprised as you.

    For the 'A'wed people - *blush blush*
    We must work towards popularizing this great school of thought.

    For the Pink People - Don't shirk away from your responsibility. I am sticking with random things. Comments? Always welcome :P