Written by Otis Pinto
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Wednesday, 30 June 2004

Dear D'art:

Your father has asked several of his friends to contribute prose to a book that he is compiling for you. These people are some of the brightest and most talented individuals one could find anywhere; among them are doctors and lawyers, college professors and businessmen. These figures would be considered eminently successful from almost any vantage point. However, due to what can only be described as a glaring oversight, my name was apparently included on the list. What follows is an attempt to explain the world as I see it.

Life is short, D'art. About 4'8", to be exact. Despite its diminutive stature, however, Life packs quite a wallop. Life is often cruel, sometimes downright merciless, and is rarely on time for supper. That being said, the news is not all bad. Life will occasionally startle you with its brilliance. Consider, for example, the works of Van Gogh, or Mozart, or Nipsy Russell. While it is true that not all men are destined for this sort of greatness, it is equally true that you can find a great hamburger in virtually every city on the planet. The trick is in recognizing genius where it lies, and taking it for all it's worth. To help you with this endeavor, I've addressed below the three topics which will most likely, in some fashion, occupy the loftiest of your thought processes over the course of your own Life.

Topic One: God

From a philosophical standpoint, the existence of a Creator is somewhat provable. The argument goes something like this:

(1) We observe that everything that is in motion in our universe must have been set in motion by some force.
(2) Our universe itself is in motion.
(3) Therefore, we can conclude that some force outside of the universe must have initiated the entire process, then likely kicked back with a beer to watch the show.

How this Creator continues to affect us is subject to debate. Some believe in destiny, which means that your team is probably never going to win the Superbowl. Others believe in free will, which basically gives you carte blanche to sin with reckless abandon, provided you look to the heavens and apologize in a meaningful way at some later date. What is important to remember here is that organized religion is not necessarily a celebration of God, but is often a product of Man, combining hearsay, speculation, and outright fabrication into questionable doctrines on which billions of people stake their eternal existence. When pondering the magnitude of this, keep in mind that Man is also responsible for the World Wrestling Federation, Cheez Whiz, and the Renault LeCar.

Topic Two: Love

True love does, in fact, exist. I have no doubt, D'art, that your father loves you very much, just as I love my own sons. However, the love between man and woman is unstable, at best. It is safe to say that you will fall in love several times during your life. It is also somewhat certain that at some point you will have your heart broken by a woman. Do not despair, dear boy. This is an unavoidable part of the life process. It is important to remember the old adage, "There are plenty more fish in the sea." Personally, I prefer fresh water fish to ocean fish, and a good stiff drink to both. For some, however, seafood may provide some solace. I have found that six months of hard drinking and smoking seems to cure almost any heartache.

Topic Three: Money

It has been said that money is the root of all evil, an instrument of the devil. How ironic, then, that its nearly impossible to rent even an efficiency without at least a little. Beware, D'art, of the blind pursuit of money. I believe that you can not take it with you; if you can, I will definitely be a little short on the other side. Suffice to say that, in this world, time can be more cleverly used chasing other riches than those financial. "Tomb Raider" and the film works of Chasey Lain are two of my favorites. It is up to you, and you alone, to decide what has value in your life; however, if you find yourself in a marriage, your spouse will likely make most decisions on this subject.

In closing, I want to leave you with three statements I hold very close to my heart. These are truly words to live by, and I try to consider their gravity on a daily basis. The first is that no man is an island (though my friend Dusty is so large that his pants have their own zip code). The second is that you will most definitely not go blind from doing "that". I am
forced here, however, to question the true cause of my own nearsightedness. The last one is...ummmm...well, I can't remember the last one. I'll have to get back to you on that.

Love,
Otis

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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