NEANDERVILE — Alarmed by the excessive use of blame and the proliferation of evidently phony British accents among Dwellers, Official Tribe Contrarian Garth today called for a ban on “these hideous accents” — and greater utilization of the new concept of guilt, which he claimed to have created in a burst of inspiration that immediately left him feeling like he’d done something wrong.
“Blame and Brits are two seemingly unrelated issues that actually are two sides of the same coin,” said Garth, who is known to oppose almost everything. Occasionally, however, he comes up with something that makes sense and this was one of those rare instances, Dwellers agreed after hearing him out, though they ultimately rejected his findings.
“Let’s start with guilt,” Garth said. “What does it mean? It means that almost without exception, you feel you are to blame, even if you had nothing to do with it. You can also experience guilt without anything currently happening. Just look back in your life or into the future. Something surely did or will go wrong and you believe it’s your fault. Who else could possibly be to blame? Comprende?”
Dwellers did not immediately.
“I’ll give you an example,” Garth said. “Let’s say you didn’t eat that apple that’s missing. And no one accuses you. No one even thinks of accusing you. But a sense begins to grow deep within you that despite all evidence to the contrary, somehow you must have been involved. Out of fear, you confess. You are completely innocent but now everyone hates you. Which sorely intensifies the guilt. You are trapped in an endless cycle until the next opportunity arise, at which point you have guilt piling on guilt, a crushing burden.”
Garth then discussed blame, the new concept introduced recently by tribe shrink Sig.
“Guilt is the polar opposite,” Garth said, “and as such, it provides a necessary balance to blame. Nature abhors a vacuum, as we all know. We cannot have blame without guilt. No Mike without Ike, not Hillary without Bill. Or look at it this way: the dreaded wooly mammoth is to be feared — until we club it to death and eat it. Now comprende?”
Dwellers still didn’t seem to be getting it, but they kept listening.
“OK,” Garth said, “now for the fake British accents. I hear them in growing numbers — kids and grownups alike. No one can understand the words, of course, but they are definitely British. They deceive people into thinking they are sophisticated and trendy, when in fact such phoniness is suited only to reality shows with plummeting ratings.”
Garth reminded the Tribe of Mystic Bob’s recent visit to 2014, when he found “a million channels, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and much more online,” but only one Breaking Bad, one Shameless and one South Park. The rest, Bob reported, was mostly cheesy singing, dancing and cooking shows.
Garth theorized that Bob returned with some sort of subliminal fake-accent infection that has spread through the Tribe.
“And now we have kids calling themselves Cat, Nigel and Simon,” Garth said. “It’s one thing to mimic James Bond or Anthony Hopkins, but Gordon Ramsay? Give me a break.”
“So what is the connection to guilt?” tribe Assembly president Vlad asked.
“Easy,” said Garth. “Anything so fundamentally fake is a blight on your soul. It’s the sin of lying. And sins without exception doom you to an eternity in hell — unless you feel excessive guilt, which has the potential to save you, provided it’s heartfelt and crippling and you supplement it with repentance, life-long self-loathing, and a long stop in Purgatory. For good measure, also stay away from the sex unless it’s to procreate.”
“Sounds like the foundation for an organized religion,” Vlad said.
“Exactly what I was thinking,” said Garth.
But that concept failed to immediately catch on. Dwellers — many of them still speaking in British accents — accused Garth of being a “party poop again” and blamed him for ruining the day. Garth immediately felt guilty.
“All this psychobabble makes me want to scream,” said Tribe Jester Griff.
Guided by the 12 Steps, he let loose.
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