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By Wayne Alan Brenner

Step One

The first thing you need to do is: let this document fall.

That’s right, hold it out in front of yourself and let it fall to the ground. Make sure you watch it fall–watch it closely, now–and make sure it falls all the way, make sure it actually hits the ground. If it hits the ground, then you know that gravity’s still at work, that everything’s doing what it’s supposed to do, and then you’re free to move on to the next step.

It’s extremely important that the fact of gravity be firmly and freshly established before you move on. We cannot stress this point enough. And whereas other objects may have been let’s say tampered with to provide the mere illusion of gravity, this document has been prepared in such a way that will thwart those provisions, that will undo the illusion of false gravity, that will allow for a valid test.

Go ahead, now, make sure of it. Before you read on, let this document fall.

Step Two

Empty your mind of all unkind thoughts.

This step, as every step, is also important. The way to accomplish this second step is to recall the last unkind thought you had. Perhaps you wished a sudden and violent death for the overly aggressive driver of a car on the way to where you received this document. Perhaps a rival for romantic affection recently made certain inroads with the object of your desire and you contemplated mayhem. Perhaps you currently wish misfortune upon the author of this document or, conversely, upon those who would tamper with objects to provide the illusion of gravity.

You must now seize upon that unkind thought, whatever it may be, and you must not allow it such a fleeting existence. You must bring the full strength of your imagination to bear and picture in vivid detail the consequences of your angry desire: the snapping of the aggressive driver’s spine, say, as his car slams into a telephone pole and dark splinters penetrate the flesh of his compromised body; the sudden onset of cancer in the lymph nodes of that pushy creep who’s gotten all friendly with your major dating prospect; the sundering of the finances of this document’s author; the crippling of the legs–already mottled with clumsy bruises and hideously mapped with varicose highways of vein–of those who would falsify gravity to further their unspeakable means.

When you have fully imagined these things, when you have exhaustively catalogued the true extent of each facet of the desired damage, only then will your mind be cleansed of its stain and similar stains of ill boding. Only then can you move on to the next step.

Excerpted from five simple steps to greater joy in this world of sorrow,

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