Well, this is exciting, contributing writer, commenter and eater of Kitchen Cooked Potato Chips, Jaws the Cabbie has a new book out! It’s called, “The New Improved Testament” and today we’re featuring an excerpt from it. Jaws is working on an online version where you can download it or you can buy the print version here: “The New Improved Testament.” Okay, here’s the introduction and Chapter One after that, take it away, Jaws!
Introduction to “The New Improved Testament”
It was, as a fellow SubGenius once was wont to say, a world gone mad with killer satellites and extra crunchy fried chicken. Ronald Reagan was doing his best to put a weed up the Soviet Union's ass by trying to get the MX Missle system implemented, the Soviets were seriously considering exercising a first strike option against the United States, the nuclear scientists of the world were setting the doomsday clock to one or two minutes before midnight and what seemed like an army of televangelists were shamelessly huckstering the poor and poorly educated of the United States to dip in to their limited finances to, (and I'm quoting from an ‘80’s cult movie called “Riders of the Storm” here...) “send Jesus some.” It was a time in my personal history that I became seriously worried that I might be losing my mind.
It was my habit during the mid 1980’s to frequent the bars in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis, a popular watering hole with the University of Minnesota college crowd and a smattering of sixties casualty types. Once there I'd down one whiskey sour after another while filling the high score screens of the Missile Command and Asteroids video game machines with my initials. This was how I attained a sense of solace, peace and relative sanity back then.
When contemplating the state of the world in those days, I would frequently get this mental picture of God and Jesus sitting in a corner of the bar, (the bar I have in mind really does exist and served as the inspiration for the bar mentioned in the Book of Ralph) getting slowly drunk and working themselves into a slow boil over what humanity was doing to this otherwise beautiful planet of theirs, not to mention themselves.
It was in the mid 1980’s that I became aware of the Church of the SubGenius, and I started reading every one of their pamphlets that I could lay my hands on, laughing myself in to a hemorrage over the antics of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, allegedly an awning salseman and chief Diety of the Church of the SubGenius. I had myself an epiphany...I became an acolyte.
In the summer of 1987, I got hold of a third hand portable typewriter and in the space of about two or three weeks, “The New Improved Testament” was written in an alcohol fueled rage. I couldn't type for shit, I'd never had a lesson in my life, and when I'd finished, three bottles of white out and a small mountain of crumpled paper balls later, the finished manuscript looked as though it had been produced by a developmentally challenged terrorist with severe motor difficulties, but I was so proud of it, “The New Improved Testament” was my crowning achievement...my Magna Opus.
It sat mouldering in my bottom dresser drawer for over 20 years.
In 2005, after ten years of driving a hack in the northeastern suburbs of the Twin Cities, I found myself disabled by a stroke and living on a very limited VA pension with a lot of time on my hands, and I rediscovered the manuscript, touched it up some and added a “book” to the story, all the while remembering those decidedly weird times when my sense of SubGeniusness was at it's pinnacle...I rediscovered Bob” Dobbs...realising that I'd finally attained the SubGenius ideal of....TRUE SLACK! I now do here present it to you, dear reader in all of it's disturbed glory...
Yours in slackfulness,
James Newberg, A.K.A. Jaws the Cabbie, A.K.A. The "Reverend" Norman J. Tallywhacker
Chapter 1 – There ARE NO SALAD BARS IN HELL!
1. After the fracas in the street, God 'n Jesus 'n “Bob” and everybody else that was left of the Faithful went back into Balmer's.
2. But it wasn't too long before the remaining Faithful, one by one, passed out and slid off their stools and out of their chairs and on to the floor and under the tables.
3. And the only Ones left standing were God 'n Jesus 'n “Bob” and the Apostle Ralph.
4. God was so impressed with Ralph's stamina that he decided to let him in on a little drunken secret.
5. So God scooched over towards Ralph at the bar and put His Big Hairy glow in the dark Arm around Ralph's shoulder, shook His Head and, smiling sadly, said unto Ralph; “I've had about all I can stand of those Yuppites ya know...they steal everything that isn't nailed down armed only with a gold plated ball point pen, spit on everybody else that isn't a Yuppite,and sometimes on each other when they can get away with it.”
6. THEN they write BOOKS about what they've done and go on TV. And pat each other on the back and slander their ex-spouses, not to mention all the people who's broken bleeding bodies they had to walk over on their way to the top.”
7. “Well, I've decided to give those Yuppites just a little more time in which to feel smug...just a few more years mind you...then I'm gonna waste the fuckers, every last one of them.”sayeth The Lord.”
8. “All of them?” Ralph did ask unto The Lord.
9. “Yup, every last one of them...hell, they're worse than the damn Philistines! Not only that, they've got computer aided graphics and psy-war techniques to aid them while they LIE and STEAL and OINK and SQUEAL!” sayeth The Lord unto Ralph and His Eyes started bulging and getting all scary as He spoke.
10. “Well, what are Ya gonna do after Ya kill all them Yuppites?” asked Ralph of God.
11. And God moved closer unto Ralph and began to grin...and there was something really unnerving about that grin, lemme tell ya.
12. Then God waved His Mighty Hand upon the air, and lo...Ralph and God 'n Jesus 'n “Bob” were standing high upon a cliff inside of a huge underground cavern.
13. And it was a terrible place with a terrible smell to go with it, like as if somebody burned the shit out of a roast or something like that.
14. And far below Them was a huge wall, with a huge wrought iron gate in the middle of it.
15. And inscribed at the top of the gate were these words; “All ye who enter here, ABANDON HOPE!”
16. And above these words was there welded a big, yellow sheet metal happy face!
17. And milling below the happy face were millions upon millions of Yuppites, some clad in the ubiquitous polyester, and many others in cotton dockers.
18. And many of these Yuppites wondered out loud, in their rage and in their sorrow, where the hell was the fucking salad bar...and there was much jeering and whining and smirking among them.
19. And God did look down upon the Yuppites and did then say; “Jeez...look at 'em...they're standing at the VERY GATES OF HELL ITSELF...and all they can fucking say is WHERE'S THE FUCKING SALAD BAR!!”
20. Well, beith thou real people...there ARE NO SALAD BARS IN HELL, and forever hence there shall be no salad bars in the place of eternal torment!
21. Not so much as ONE LOUSY CROUTON!
22. Neither shall there be the onions of Bermuda, nor the baco-bits, nor the chic peas NOR the black olives, neither shall there be the lettuce of ROMAIN!!!
23. There shall be no ranch dressing.
24. No thousand island or creamy Italian either.
25. Only stale Ritz Crackers and blue cheese dip that's gone over and ONLY IF YA ASK REAL NICE!
26. Nyuck nyuck nyuck.
28. The Yuppites knew not of this and boy, were they in for a shock.
29. Then Ralph saw Satan climb upon the top of the left hand gate post of hell, and Ralph saw that the devil seemed to be enjoying himself immensely.
30. Satan looked pretty sharp with that big ass stetson hat he was wearing and those mirrored aviator shades...just like the ones in Cool Hand Luke.
31. He had this cool silk western shirt and pegged jeans and a big silver belt buckle with the words; “Let's Party” embossed upon it.
32. And Satan swung open the gates of hell and bid the Yuppites enter.
33. And as the Yuppites passed through the gates, Ralph saw something pretty wild take place.
34. Beneath Satan's jolly but somehow malignant grin, the Yuppites were slowly turning into piglets, although some of them were turning into weasels!
35. “That must be the lawyers.” sayeth Ralph unto Himself as He bore witness to the event.
36. And Ralph looked once more upon Satan, and lo, Satan had a bottle of Ken Davis barbecue sauce in his right hand and a big, sharp barbecue fork in his left hand and my oh my, wasn't that big mean grin on his mug just getting bigger and Bigger and BIGGER!!
© 2013 by James Newberg