The Public Eye

printed 08/10/2018

I’ve been pondering the universal questions recently, the most significant of which is how many universal questions are there anyway?

I don’t think anyone knows, which would explain why we have been so slow in coming up with the answers.

It’s not like we can say, “I’ll take universal mysteries for $500, Alex.”

But it does seem to me that if we were meant to solve these cosmic riddles, someone or something would have jotted them down along with a note that says, “Answer these seven questions and win a trip to the unknown in this brand … new … car!”

But no, we have to fumble through, which makes this whole business of contemplating the great mysteries of life rather pointless.

I also don’t think we’ll end up floating around at the conclusion of our earthly cycle while waiting for someone to grade our findings in the endless quest to know everything.

“Oh, I’m sorry. You missed universal question five. But thanks for playing and here are these lovely parting gifts.”

“Parting gifts?” you reply. “If I’m getting lovely parting gifts, where exactly am I going from here?”

“Well now, that would be question five, wouldn’t it?”

The Rev. Billy Graham, who was perhaps the most notable evangelist of our time, offered his thoughts on that many years ago, when he declared that, yes, there were golf courses in heaven.

The Rev. Graham was a fine person and all that, but his answer left me with even more questions.

For instance, if you were playing golf in heaven, you’d make every shot, every time and card an 18. Otherwise, you’d be playing at another, somewhat warmer, location.

“Tough shot, Dan. Right into the eternal pit of fire. You’ll never get out of that one.”

On the other hand, if you knew you were going to shoot an 18 every time you played, that would be boring as hell, which would suggest …

That’s why I tend to stay away from the great unknowables — they’re just too complicated, whereas plain, old ordinary unknowables are much easier to deal with.

Such as:

• If government was completely transparent, wouldn’t that make it invisible?

• If everything that goes up must come down, why does it sometimes happen in reverse when you eat your first oyster?

• Why do people have no fear of standing on the median strip in the middle of the highway with a hundred cars roaring past them on both sides, when they would never even think of standing in a median strip situated between two expert marksmen shooting two tiny bullets in different directions?

• Would it be politically incorrect to call someone walking down the street wearing a thong a “lunar rover?”

• If there’s no such thing as global warming, what happened after the Ice Age?

• And finally, if a vulture took a commercial flight, would it have to pay extra for carrion luggage?

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